Humor in the Family | Second Installment

Family jokesters take all forms
Family jokesters take all forms

Humor in the Family

In this second installment I’ve some family stories for which I was not present, but merely heard told time and again over the years. As a kid, I never got bored hearing my mom and dad tell all the funny stories many times over. So, I still have them in my own memory banks, second-hand memories though they are.

It was not only my parents who were practical jokers from time to time, but all of the family on both sides.

And, not all the funny stories involve pranks. Some were just odd incidents that happened which in retrospect were very funny.

The house must have looked something like this, with twin dormers overlooking the porch roof
The house must have looked something like this, with twin dormers overlooking the porch roof | Source

Dr. Horan

One of my mother’s stories conjures up quite the scene likely to have had the neighbors wondering what was going on.

The house they lived in at that time had a pitched roof with dormers facing the street, and an extension of the roof over the porch.

In the neighborhood lived a cat whose ownership was uncertain, but they had a hunch that it belonged to one Dr. Horan who lived nearby. They took to calling the cat “Dr. Horan.”

One day, there was a commotion out on the porch roof. It seems that this cat and another had gotten into a hissing and spitting match up on the roof, accessed from a nearby tree.

My mother, who was in her late teens at the time, and her step-mother were each leaning out of the dormer windows, but of course could not reach the cats. They proceeded to yell at the cat they recognized:


”Dr. Horan! Stop that”

”Dr. Horan! Get down!”

“Dr. Horan! Stop fighting!”

Suddenly realizing what this might sound like, and how the neighbors might think the good doctor’s name was being maligned, they sheepishly drew back inside, and let the cats work it out for themselves, as cats will eventually do.

Patrons in a bar were all shuffled around
Patrons in a bar were all shuffled around

Excuse Me…’Scuse me…

Uncle George was quite the prankster. He and my aunt used to frequent a certain bar for a drink now and then. They were “regulars,” and went to hang out with friends. George was always coming up with something.

This one night, he got up from his bar stool, and made everyone move aside, saying, in a muffled kind of speech, “ ‘Scuse me..’scuse me…lost my false teeth… ‘ pardon me.. can’t find my teeth…”

He had the all the patrons at the bar off their stools looking for the damned teeth under the edge of the bar, when all the while, he’d merely shoved them out of place in his mouth, so he could sound like he had none, and play this trick on everyone.

And it wasn’t even April Fool’s day!

Dancing lessons with the Arthur Murray studio?
Dancing lessons with the Arthur Murray studio?

Dancing Lessons

My grandfather was another jokester in the family. And he could say the most outrageous things with a perfectly straight face. If you didn’t know him, it might take you a while to realize he was joking.

This one day, he got a phone call from a fellow saying “Congratulations! You’ve won a session of dance lessons at Arthur Murray studios!” Yep--they had junk phone calls back then, too.

Grandpa didn’t miss a beat; he knew what the gig was, so he said, “Are you sure there isn’t some mistake?”

“Oh, no, sir, no mistake.”

“Really? Reed is a common name; you may have the wrong Mr. Reed.”

“I don’t think so, sir. Is this Mr. N.. Reed, of xxx street?”

“Yes, it is, but I still think there has been a terrible mistake. You see, I just got out of the hospital, and I’ve only got one leg.”

The poor fellow fell all over himself trying to back pedal and apologize; was totally flustered, and ended the call awkwardly.

Grandpa hung up and had a good belly laugh, for of course, there was nothing wrong with either of his legs, both of which were present and accounted for.

Boston Terriers are supposedly notorious for being finicky eaters
Boston Terriers are supposedly notorious for being finicky eaters

Dog Breath in Spades

One of my aunts had a Boston Terrier. Among their traits is a supposedly finicky appetite.

I think this dog must have forgotten to read the manual, for one fine day, he was out in the yard, and came back in, all friendly, full of ‘doggie kisses,’ and had horrible breath!

What the heck? Another round of ‘doggie kisses,’ and the smell was identified. Garlic. Ugh.

Auntie looked out the window, and saw that the naughty boy had dug up and eaten all her garlic plants!

As if normal dog breath isn’t bad enough!

Stay Tuned

Yes, there are more. I’ll be sharing others in the not-too-distant future, as I get them recorded. The more I think about these, the more I recall others. There are a ton. Well, perhaps not literally a ton--how would you weigh a story, anyhow?


Photo and graphic credits:  Pixabay
Artwork:  Liz Elias © 9-5-4-15

© 2015 DzyMsLizzy

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Comments 12 comments

billybuc profile image

billybuc 12 months ago from Olympia, WA

I laughed out loud at the dancing lessons, and I rarely do that. Thanks for kicking off my Saturday in grand fashion.


drbj profile image

drbj 12 months ago from south Florida

How lovely, Liz, to grow up in a family so accustomed to humor and prank-making. You are blessed, m'dear. My dad was the King of Jokers and once a month when his poker cronies met at our house there was more joking, pranking and laughter than one could imagine possible. Your grandpa, Mr. Reed, and he would have been the best of friends.


always exploring profile image

always exploring 12 months ago from Southern Illinois

Lol, you did have some funny kin. The false teeth escapade was hilarious. I can imagine what the caller thought about the one leg. Ha. I like humorous family stories. I believe that's a large part of a happy family. Thank you for sharing..


Venkatachari M profile image

Venkatachari M 12 months ago from Hyderabad, India

Very interesting and entertaining post.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 12 months ago from Central Florida

I love your grandpa's response to the prankster saying he'd won free dance lessons. What a hoot! We used to make phony phone calls (we called them phonies) all the time when I was a pre-teen. My girlfriends and I would get out the phone book, pick a number and make up some fangdangled story. One time I pretended to be an old girlfriend from college. The wife of the man (whose name was listed in the phone book) was not too pleased that her husband's old flame was trying to rekindle the relationship. I must have had her on the phone for a good 15 minutes. Rotten of me, huh?


DzyMsLizzy profile image

DzyMsLizzy 12 months ago from Oakley, CA Author

@ Bill - LOL Glad I was able to give you a good laugh. We all need those from time to time. We had a rare relaxing Saturday away from home, ourselves, so I'm feeling much less stressed now--I guess that means it's time to play a prank on one of my daughters. ;-)

@ drbj - It does sound as if our respective ancestors would have gotten along famously. I did always feel lucky that we were more likely to find things funny than gloomy, or have a constant cloud of angst hanging about. I'm delighted you enjoyed this group of silly stories.

@ Ruby - Yes, and there are more such tales to come. LOL Uncle George was full of such mischief, and in some cases, mishaps that ended up funny. Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting.

@ Venkatachari M - Thank you. I'm glad you enjoyed these tales of nonsense.

@ Shauna - Hahaha--yeah, that was always one of my favorite tales as well. You cracked me up with your "phonies." I think all kids have done that at some point. Our were usually more along the lines of the tired old chestnuts like, "Is your refrigerator running? Well, you'd better go catch it! --click." LOL Yeah, bratty things to do.

The one 'fandangled story' I had played on my was by my dad--I wrote of it in the first installment, "...Growing up Funny." Thanks for stopping by and sharing your pranks.


Larry Rankin profile image

Larry Rankin 12 months ago from Oklahoma

I always enjoy seeing a family's personal take on humor.

Great hub!


DzyMsLizzy profile image

DzyMsLizzy 12 months ago from Oakley, CA Author

Hi, Larry!

Thanks--glad you enjoyed this trip down Nostalgia Blvd. ;-)


MsDora profile image

MsDora 12 months ago from The Caribbean

I still can't get over how a gossip columnist passing by your house could have made Dr. Horan leave the community. Thanks for tickling the funny bone.


DzyMsLizzy profile image

DzyMsLizzy 12 months ago from Oakley, CA Author

LOL MsDora,

I guess that's what my mom and step-mom were worried about. I wish I could have been there with a video camera. But alas, my mom was only in her late teens, and I not even thought of.

Glad you got a chuckle out of this..


peachpurple profile image

peachpurple 5 months ago from Home Sweet Home

lol, great and funny hub, you did a good write up


DzyMsLizzy profile image

DzyMsLizzy 5 months ago from Oakley, CA Author

Thanks very much, peachpurple. It was a fun trip through old memories.

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