A Few of My Least Favorite Things
I find some things annoying. Cats, for one, but I won’t go into detail on that issue. Cats wearing clothes, I find that very annoying. Cats on calendars. I’ve never been on a calendar and I find it very annoying that cats have that achievement. Just like I’m annoyed that monkeys have been shot into space and I haven’t. But I won’t discuss those two things. There’s actually only four that I want to share with you, and maybe you’ll find them as annoying as I. Maybe all you’ll find annoying is this Hub. If that’s the case, then I did my job. I made you feel something. I always try to make people laugh, cry, love, hate, throw up, and dance, and if I can get all of these reactions simultaneously, then I’ll consider this Hub a success. That being said, I battled the English language in order to explain why I find these four things annoying, and here is the bloodbath.
Is there anything dumber than a knock-knock joke? I don’t like them. Maybe because I take them too literally. Plus, I fail to see the relevance of asking someone who’s there when you’re staring right at them. If I do ask who’s there, just to humor you, please tell the truth. Don’t say gorilla. I know you’re not a gorilla. You must think I’m stupid. And I’m not going to ask, “Gorilla who?” because that question doesn’t make any sense. But if I do ask, you reply with, “Gorilla me a cheese sandwich.” For real? That’s bad grammar. You’re using gorilla as a verb. There’s certain occasions when that’s appropriate, like when you say you’re going to deck someone, but that’s one of those words that have two meanings. I don’t think the word gorilla has two meanings. You might argue that it means to grill. For real? No, it doesn’t. You don’t hear guys saying they like gorilla steaks. People would think it means they like to eat gorillas. Did you know that the Latin name for gorillas is Gorilla gorilla? Of course not, you’re too busy telling knock-knock jokes about them. Reference a topic before you decide to use it in a sentence. And fix your own bloody sandwich. Maybe it’s guerilla me a cheese sandwich, and not gorilla me one. I don’t care which it is, they’re both being used out of context. Next time someone uses a knock-knock joke on me, I’m not going to say anything. I’ll pretend that I’m not home and they’ll eventually go away. Maybe they’ll learn in time to stop knocking on my metaphorical door. Oh my God, do you know what would be worse than a knock-knock joke? A knock-knock joke mixed with a cliché. As in, knock-knock. Who’s there? A snake. Uh-uh, if it was a snake, it would have bit me. Oh my God, I would want to punch you in the eyes.
Here’s some knock-knock jokes that I came up with. In no way, shape, or form does this mean that I approve of their usage. And any similarities between jokes, living or dead, is purely coincidental.
Knock-knock. "Who’s there?" Scooby. "Scooby who?" No, Scooby Doo.
Knock-knock. "Who’s there?" Spank. "Spank who?" Me! Ha-ha!
Knock-knock. "Who’s there?" Knock-knock. "Who’s there, damn it?"
Knock-knock. "Who’s there?" I am. "I am who?" I don’t know who you are, I just wanted to see if you’d buy some magazines.
Knock-knock. "Who’s there?" Police. "Police who?" Police! Quit screwing around and open the door!
Knock-knock. "Who’s there?" A pervert. "A pervert who?" A pervert who’s going to molest you, that’s who.
Knock-knock. "Who’s there?" *no answer* "Is there somebody there?" *silence* "You’re freaking me out…" *scratching at the door* "Oh my God, who’s there!?!"
Knock-knock. "Who’s there?" Your boyfriend! "My boyfriend who?" What, it’s your boyfriend, Alex. How many boyfriends do you have?!
Knock-knock. "Who’s there?" Did you order a pizza? "Did you order a pizza who?" Uh, did you order a pizza, sir?
Knock-knock. "Who’s there?" IRS. "Damn it!"
Knock-knock. "Come in, the door’s open." Uh, knock-knock… "Didn’t you hear what I just said?"
Knock-knock. "Who’s there?" Gorilla. "You don’t sound like a gorilla…"
Knock-knock. "I’m not interested."
Knock-knock. "Go to hell."
“I WAS GOING TO TELL YOU SOMETHING, BUT I FORGOT WHAT IT WAS…”
Every time someone says that to me, I just stand there and stare at them. My face may be expressionless, but my mind is seething. Why the hell would you say that to me? What’s the bloody point? All I know now is that there’s something you wanted to tell me, but I don’t know what it was. And neither do you, so neither of us will ever know. And there’s always a slightly awkward pause after the person says that, and both parties drop their eyes and start glancing around, as if there’s somewhere else they’d rather be. If you forget something that you wanted to say, just let it go, for Pope’s sake. Don’t bring up the fact that you forgot. That information does nothing for me. All it does is leave me wondering what the devil you wanted to tell me. Was it something nice? Was it a compliment? Was it an insult? Were you going to tell me that these pants make my butt look big? Maybe when someone says, “I was going to tell you something, but I forgot what it was,” it’s them remembering the cliché that’s been hammered into us all from childhood. If you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all. So that immediately makes me think they wanted to insult me, but then chose not to at the last second. Fine. Dandy. But don’t point out you were thinking about insulting me. I don’t need to hear that. I’d rather hear the insult, to be honest. At least then I’d know where we stand in our relationship. Maybe they wanted to tell me a knock-knock joke. If that’s the case, then God bless them for choosing not to. Maybe some people say this and honestly have nothing to say to whoever they tell it to. Maybe they say it as a joke or prank. Even if they don’t mean it as a prank and they just honestly forgot, I still take it as bullyrag. When I’m on my death bed, I hope that person is there, standing beside me. A few seconds before I’m about to die, I’ll motion for them to come closer. As they’re leaning over me, their ear above my mouth, I’ll whisper, “I was going to tell you something, but I forgot what it was…” And then I’ll pass on into the next world, where people say what they mean and don’t bother telling me when they forget what they wanted to tell me.
Knock-knock. “Who’s there?” I was going to tell you something, but I forgot what it was…
“YOU FORGOT THE SECRET WORD.”
Here’s the situation. I just asked you to hand me something, maybe it was a screwdriver, and you said, “You forgot the secret word.” As if you’re a password protected robot or an attack dog that needs certain code words to do something. First off, it’s not a secret word, because everyone knows what it is. Second, the longer you stand there and stare at me, waiting for me to say this secret word, the more frustrated I become. I wanted to use the screwdriver to open the back of my TV remote so I can change the batteries, but now I’m considering using that screwdriver on you. And then begins the staring contest. Neither of us wants to back down. I might use words such as now, or pronto, or stat, or even throw in peas, just to see if you’ll mistake it for the word you’re looking for, but none of these are the word you want to hear. I know that. I’m just trying to make you feel as frustrated as me. We continue to stare at each other, as if our eyes are magnifying glasses being used to fry a helpless ant with a concentrated beam of sunlight. Each of us waiting for the other to burst into flames. I know you want to hear please, so I finally use the word. “It would please me,” I say, emphasizing the word you wanted to hear. But that’s not how you wanted the word used. It just makes you more frustrated. Which makes me more frustrated, because now five minutes has gone by and I still don’t have that bloody screwdriver. Sure, I could get up and go get it, myself, but that’s not the point. The point is winning this little war that we’ve started. To hell with changing the channel. I don’t need to watch TV. On a side note, I think the phrase, “You forgot the secret word,” actually came from the TV show that was hosted by Groucho Marx. You Bet Your Life or something, I forget what it was called. People would say the secret word and win a cash prize. And the secret word was never please, so I’m not sure where the connection is. So I’m not going to say the secret word. Not unless there’s a cash prize in it for me. Does that sound like I want to be paid to be polite? That’s not what I meant to say, but yes, that’s exactly right. If I had a dime for every time I said please, I’d have enough money to buy a robot that would do everything I asked it to do, and I would never have to use the secret word on it. That’d be money well invested. “Get me a screwdriver, robot.” The robot gets me a screwdriver. “Not tell me that you love me, robot.” The robot says that it loves me. “Say it like you mean it, robot.” The robot sits on my lap, brushes my hair over my ear, and whispers, “I love you.” Now tell me you don’t want your own robot.
“WHY DID THE CHICKEN CROSS THE ROAD?”
Oh my God, who bloody cares? Why is this such a big deal? I’m grieving from a recent death in the family, so I ask a friend to say something to get my mind off things, and they ask, “Why did the chicken cross the road?” My uncle was just run over by a semi truck and this is what they come up with? How insensitive. But never mind that. I just want to know why this chicken is so popular. You know how many people can name the first woman elected to congress? I can’t even do that, but I sure as hell know everything about that stupid chicken. Except why it crossed the road. I guess that’s the question that’s on everyone’s mind. Forget will I be able to pay my rent on time. This is the question everyone’s thinking about. Why did the chicken cross the road? I wish Plato and Aristotle were still alive. I’d like to throw that question their way and see what they come up with. They’d probably roll over in their grave if they knew that the biggest question of the twentieth and twenty-first century was about a chicken. We should be asking questions about life. About what happens after we die. Questions about space and if we’re actually alone in the universe. We need to figure these things out, but how the hell can we do that if we can’t even figure out a chicken’s intentions for crossing the road? But maybe the answer isn’t what’s important. Maybe it’s the question, itself. Maybe this stupid question sums up life just perfectly. As in, why do we do these things? Do we even have a reason? Why do we cross these metaphorical roads? To get to the other side? But is the grass greener over there? Why aren’t we content with what we have? Maybe these are all questions hidden inside the one about the chicken. I’d like to think so, but I’m not sure that’s the case. “Why did the chicken cross the road” just might be the most important question ever. Maybe we’re just approaching it the wrong way. We’re hung on the chicken. What, a chicken? I like chickens. You want to know why it crossed the road? Huh, that’s a good question. IT’S NOT ABOUT THE CHICKEN. It’s about you. It’s about all of us. It’s the raison d'ê·tre. The meaning of life. Why the hell do we do the things we do?
Knock-knock. “Who’s there?” A chicken. “A chicken who?” A chicken who crossed the road and didn’t give a damn reason why.
Who even came up with that question? A farmer sitting on a tractor, watching a chicken streak across the yard and then across the road and disappear into a corn field. He sat there for a moment, then wondered out loud, “Why did that chicken cross the road?” He became obsessed with it. He asked everyone. But they didn’t know the chicken and they hadn’t been there to witness the road crossing, so they all just assumed the man was crazy. But maybe he was on to something. His wife eventually left him and he spent his time in an empty house, scrawling that question on the walls with his fingernails, constructing chickens out of his mashed potatoes, then putting the mashed potatoes on his feet and packing it between his toes. He walked around muttering, not able to get his mind off that cursed chicken. He lost weight, refused to bathe, and let his hair and beard grow out to unacceptable lengths. Until one day he looked in a mirror and came to a realization. He was the chicken. They were the same. And then he died and he died alone. This story is so depressing. And yet everyone turned the question about the chicken into a joke, as if it’s a laughing matter. It was their way of mocking the farmer. Hey, Bill, why’d the chicken cross the road? Probably to get to the other side. Ha-ha-ha-ha. They didn’t get it. And neither did I, at first, but now I think I do. I have to become the chicken. I have to cross the road and get to the other side of this twisted joke of a world, and not give a damn about what people might think. I need to make the change. I need to save my own life. And maybe, just maybe, someone will see my actions and become inspired to become their own chicken and cross their own road. Because there’s nothing wrong with the world. It’s just how we perceive it. The road runs straight down the middle of our mind and we have to cross over to the other side. The sunny side of life. Don’t try to change the world. Just try and change your mind.
I’ve said what I’ve come to say, so I’ll shut up. God speed, good luck, and bon voyage. Pardon my French. And pardon this last knock-knock joke.
Knock-knock. "Who’s there?" Who’s there who? "Who’s there who who?" Who’s there who who who? "What? You’re not making any sense..."