When jokes are so horrible, so obvious, so corny that they make your eyes roll, it’s a good chance that they’re what many call “dad jokes.”
Bordering on lame, and all the more hilarious because of it, these jokes are so bad and yet fathers seem to get such joy from trotting out the perfect pun or joke when least expected. It’s practically a rite of passage for many dads.
One dad has found a way to reach more than his immediate family. His fame — and terrible jokes — have spread like wildfire: first in his neighborhood, and now, thanks to the internet, throughout the world.
Tom Schruben is a dad from Kensington, Maryland. That is the first thing you need to know. The second thing you should be aware of is that his love for his jokes is so great that his own daughter bought him a book of dad jokes as a Christmas present.
“He loves to make really bad jokes,” his daughter, Darcy, told The Washington Post. “He makes a lot of puns.”
But while sheltering in place, Tom had lost his generally cheerful demeanor as time went on. His wife was the one who initially suggested he write a joke for others to see after hearing about someone else doing something similar.
Somehow, Tom didn’t get to it right away, but eventually caved and started posting dad jokes on a whiteboard in front of his house. And once he heard laughter as a result of his handiwork, he was hooked. It was just the pick-me-up he’d needed.
“Once he got his first laugh, it was so satisfying to him,” his wife, Ann, said.
“It surprised me how much it made my mood better,” Tom said. “I don’t really know why, I guess I feel like I’m contributing a little bit to other people’s happiness.”
The jokes are what you’d expect: deliciously groan-worthy.
“Hold on — I have something in my shoe! I’m pretty sure its a foot,” one read.
“Without geometry, life is pointless,” read another.
“What do you call a cow with no legs? Ground beef.”
“What do you call a bear with no teeth? A gummy bear.”
This man posts a daily “bad dad joke” in his front yard. People groan, but they love it. https://t.co/deA40jshg7
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) May 4, 2020
The one that has been getting the most notice is a bit more clever, and has taken many by surprise.
“I ordered a chicken and an egg from Amazon. I’ll let you know.”
The neighbors have reportedly taken delight in the daily offerings, and many make sure to pass by to get their joke of the day.
“If you don’t like them, well, they’re not supposed to be good,” neighbor Jim Pekar said.
“We stopped and read the joke, and we had to think about it for a minute,” neighbor Mana McNeill said. “Then I finally got it. I’ve been telling other people the joke since. It’s clever.”
“That was great fun, we had a chuckle,” McNeill added. “It was a nice respite on our walk. You have to find something great in this mess.”
Tom is finding purpose in his homey message board, and plans to keep going “until we’re done with the virus.”
“Everyone is very stressed with the virus and the quarantining,” he said. “I thought it would be a good idea to give people a break from that, shake them up momentarily to take their mind off their troubles for just a minute.”
“It gives me a reason to get up and get out in the morning early,” Tom went on. “It breaks up the day and gives me a little purpose. We look forward to it in the house.”
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