Returning from the Dunkin’ Donuts one Sunday morning, Larry was in a slight rush, OK, maybe an exaggerated rush. Football was starting in a few minutes and as was his tradition, he needed to deliver donuts for his buddies fat kickoff of the early game. Pizza would follow for the afternoon game, he wasn’t responsible for the pizza.
Larry fussed with the AM radio in an attempt to receive game updates, dividing his time between the road, his cup of coffee clearly labeled “hot” for his enlightenment, and the donuts sliding back and forth across the front seat of his truck. With all these things to worry about, Larry also decided to take a sampling of a jelly filled donut. He probed his unseeing index finger in the box, time after time it came back dry to his distress. In an act of desperation Larry turned his full attention to the box. He got his jelly filling simultaneously as his truck met the rear end of a slowing Lincoln Continental.
For a moment, Larry was completely unaware of what just happened. He assumed he had peed himself, but it was too hot. Coffee spilled in his crotch, not only stinging but scorching his humility. He checked his face in the mirror unsure if the red on his cheek was blood or jelly donut entrails. It turned out to be a combination of both.
The accident was more a nuisance than a tragedy. Number and insurance information were exchanged, both vehicles were still operational, with luck, Larry wouldn’t miss much of the second quarter.
Forgetting his experience just moments before, Larry sped home to the waiting television. As he drove, he felt a peculiar feeling in his head. Not exactly painful, not completely pleasant, but strangely... funny. As he drove, the only thoughts going through his head were a litany of jokes he’d heard throughout his life. He turned up the radio to ignore the inner stand up routine, but somehow, doing that was funny. As he rounded the corner to his street he couldn’t help but say aloud, “What do you call a cow with no legs?” As he got out of the truck, he erupted with laughter, “Ground Beef, get it.”
Watching the football game was excruciating for his friends. All they wanted to do was be immersed in male bonding of the lowest common denominator, all Larry could do was tell stupid, endless jokes. Jokes seemingly flowed continually and without regard to circumstance or relevance. As the home team made a first down Larry blurted out,
“What do you get when you cross a donkey with an onion?... A piece of ass that brings tears to your eyes!”
Moments later his team completed a long pass to get them within field goal range.
“How many Californians does it take to screw in a light bulb? Nobody bothered to answer.
“Californians don't screw in light bulbs they screw in hot tubs.”
Nobody was really laughing, maybe due to a lack of humor, maybe out of concern.
It would seem the insignificant head injury had left Larry with an unorthodox side effect. Not only could he instantly remember every joke he’d ever heard, but now, without any control the jokes, funny or not, flowed from him like tears at a wedding. Just after halftime, Larry’s team was down by a touchdown.
“A dying man smells his favorite oatmeal raisin cookies cooking downstairs. It takes all the strength he has left but he gets up from the bed and crawls down the stairs. He sees the cookies cooling on the counter and staggers over to them. As he reaches for one, his wife's wrinkled hand reaches out, smacks his and she yells:
“No, you can't have those! They're for the funeral!”
Larry’s buddies don’t stay for the second half. As they are leaving Larry says, “Wait, have you heard this one, it’s a football joke? For a moment his friends stop.
“How are the New York Jets defense and yo mama alike?
“You give them a quarter and they'll let you score!
Larry watches the second half alone, but not without humor.