No Thorn, No Rose

Q: Where do roses sleep?
A: In a flower bed!

Explanation: According to many surveys, roses are one of the most popular flowers.  Although they have thorns, some people say that they are not that hard to grow.

When you have a garden with flowers (as opposed to a garden with fruits and vegetables), we can call that area a flower bed.  If you prepare the flower bed well, the flowers will grow well.  I have never heard anyone call a vegetable garden a vegetable bed.

A bed, without flower, is a piece of furniture where people sleep, but you kew that.

This joke is funny because it plays with the word bed and flower bed.  Yes, it makes sense that roses would sleep, if they sleep, in a flower bed.  (Thank you, Trevor for the joke!)

Here is a motivational speech titled, Make Your Bed:

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Turkey Crossing

Q: Why did the turkey cross the road?
A: So people would think he was a chicken!

Explanation: Happy Thanksgiving!

In many countries throughout the world people celebrate a day of thanks.  In the United States, Thanksgiving is celebrated on the 4th Thursday in November; that will be November 24 in 2022.  One of the traditional foods for that celebration is turkey.

This joke is funny because it plays with another, well-known joke: Why did the chicken cross the road?  (There are many cross the road jokes.)  Of course, the turkey does not want to become someone’s dinner. So, if it pretends to be a chicken as it crosses the road, it will have a better chance of staying alive, and not ending up on someone’s plate.

There is a lot of research about the benefits of being thankful, of feeling and showing gratitude.  Here is a TED talk about being grateful:

Thank you for reading this blog!

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Banner’s Begonias

Q: Why was the Incredible Hulk so good at gardening?
A: Because he had a green thumb!

Explanation: Dr. David/Robert Bruce Banner becomes the superhero known as the Hulk, or the Incredible Hulk, when he becomes angry.  In that process of becoming the Hulk, his body transforms, becoming larger with lots of muscles, and his skin turns green.  When his skin turns green, his whole body turns green, including his thumb.

To have a green thumb is an idiom that means to be really good at taking care of plants and gardens. My wife has a green thumb, which you can see when you admire the succulents, bonsai, orchid, and geraniums in the window garden.  OK, you don’t really need a green thumb to grow geraniums, but you get the idea.

This joke is funny because it plays with the literal and the figurative meanings of green thumb.

Watch here to see a transformation of Dr. Banner into the Hulk.  Better yet, watch this video to learn how to grow geraniums:

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A Kiss from the Count

Q: What’s it like being kissed by a vampire?
A: It’s a pain in the neck!

Explanation: Happy Halloween to those of you who celebrate!  Many countries around the world celebrate Halloween, or another somewhat-related holiday around this time of year.  A Mexican student of mine once commented that Halloween is a lot like Day of the Dead, but several others disagreed.  I also disagreed, but can see some connections.

In the United States, Halloween for children is about dressing up in costumes and trick-or treating, asking for candy.  One of the most popular costumes continues to be a vampire.  Vampires are well known for biting the neck of their victims and drinking their blood.  If someone were to bite your neck, it would really hurt; it would cause a pain in your neck.

A pain in the neck is an idiom that means something that is bothersome, difficult, or annoying to deal with.  A neighbor’s dog that won’t stop barking might be a pain in the neck; someone who complains all the time might be a pain in the neck.

This joke is funny because it plays with different meanings of pain in the neck: A literal pain that hurts you, and the idiom that means something that is annoying.

Here is how National Geographic explains the history of Halloween:

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Peanut Butter and Worry

Q: Why was the jelly so stressed out?
A: Because it was spread too thin!

Explanation: Jelly is a food made by boiling fruit juice with sugar until it becomes thick and sort of transparent.  Jelly is similar to jam, marmalade, and preserves.  This link can explain more about the differences between those different spreads.

They are called spreads (noun) because you can use a knife and spread (verb) them on bread (or something else).  Other spreads include hummus and chutney.  If you want a lot of jelly on your bread you can spread it really thick, that is, put a lot of jelly on the bread.  Or you can spread it really thin by just using a little bit.

Spread too thin is an idiom that means that you have too much to do and not enough time to do it all.  If that is you, you might tell someone, “I’m sorry I can’t help you.  I am spread too thin right now.”  Having too much to do can be very stressful.

This joke is funny because it plays with the idea of spread too thin: Literally spread too thin like jelly, or figuratively spread too thin, like when you have too much to do.

If you are spread too thin, you might take a break from it all and learn how to make jelly-

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Oceans Apart

Q: Why didn’t the girl trust the ocean?
A: Because there was something fishy about it!

Explanation: While there are five named oceans, Arctic, Atlantic, Indian, Pacific and Southern, there is really only one world ocean.  I would recommend having much respect for the ocean both because of its power to give life to the earth, and its dangerous power to take life through storms.  As you already know the ocean has many fish in it.  To trust someone means to have confidence that the person will treat you fairly, be kind, not hurt you.

If something is fishy, that means that there is something suspicious about it.  To be fishy is an idiom. (That reminds me of the old saying, “If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”)  Someone offering you $1,000 sounds fishy.  Someone offering to sell you something really cheap sounds fishy, it might be stolen or maybe it doesn’t work.

This joke is funny because it brings together the idea of an ocean full of fish and someone who is fishy.

Back in the 1970s John Denver wrote a song in tribute to Jacques Cousteau who studied the oceans.  I hope you like it.

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Cantankerous Granny Smith

Q: When is an apple grouchy?
A: When it is a crab apple!

Explanation: In the north it is apple-picking season, and time for pumpkin spice everything!

Apples are fruit, so of course they are never grouchy.  A person who is grouchy thinks that everything is bad, nothing is right; they are irritable and complain a lot.  The best example of a grouch is Oscar the Grouch from Sesame Street.  Grumpy is a synonym for grouchy, so you could watch at Grumpy Old Men for more examples.

Crab apples are small apples that are typically wild, that is, they have not been domesticated to be bought and sold.  (You can eat them, though.). Crabby is another synonym for grouchy.

This joke is funny because it plays with the word grouchy and it synonyms, like crabby.

Oscar the Grouch is one of my favorite characters on Sesame Street.  Here is a compilation of Oscar the Grouch.

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Gone with the Wind

Q: Why did the kids fire their squirt guns into the air on that windy day?
A: They were just shooting the breeze!

Explanation: A squirt gun shoots a stream of water, much like a spray bottle, but in the form of a gun.  Many people like to play by squirting water at their friends on a warm day outside.  Some people train their pets by squirting water at them (others say that squirting animals does not work or is mean).

A breeze is wind that blows just a little bit.  To shoot the breeze is an idiom that means to talk with your friends about nothing really important.

This joke is funny because it plays with the phrase shoot the breeze, both the literal meaning (shooting a gun into the air) and the idiom (talking with your friends).  Please don’t shoot guns into the air; what comes up must come down.

Watch here for a detailed explanation of how spray bottle work:

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Edgy Endurance

Q: What lies on the bottom of the ocean and twitches?
A: A nervous wreck!

Explanation: Did you hear that Shakleton’s ship, Endurance, was found back in March? It sank to the bottom of the Antarctic ocean in 1915, and has been lying there since then.  Don’t worry, it was not twitching.  To twitch means to make small, jerking movements.  You may have experienced an eye twitch, or felt a leg twitch when you are falling asleep.

A nervous wreck is a person who is very nervous about something.  It is an informal phrase that is quite common.  A student might be a nervous wreck before a big test; a patient might be a nervous wreck while waiting for the results of a medical test, expecting the worst.  Occasionally, people who are nervous may experience a muscle twitch.

This joke is funny because it plays with the word wreck, and the ideas of a shipwreck and a nervous wreck. If you are interested in shipwrecks, here is one list to check out.  If you are interested in the discovery of Endurance, watch this video:

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Come out, come out wherever you are!

Q: Why are false teeth like stars?
A: Because they come out at night!

Explanation: When I was a kid, my dad had this neat trick that would always make us laugh: While driving, he would loosen his lower front teeth (dentures) and wiggle them in front of his lips, below his nose.  We of course would giggle.  These teeth were false teeth that replaced his original teeth.  Every night he removed those false teeth to clean them.  Yes, his teeth had to come out at night so he could clean them.

Stars also come out at night.  In reality, they do not come out, they are always there, but we cannot see them because our star, the sun, makes it too bright for us to see the starlight that comes from very far away.  To us it seems that the stars come out of their daytime hiding place.

This joke is funny because it plays with different meanings of come out: remove, like the teeth, and appear, like the stars.

Thinking about stars had me thinking about space and space travel and the moon…

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