My mother and I had a love / hate relationship, but what I remember the best about her was her sense of humor. She always knew how to make me laugh when I was little. She always told me jokes, by way of acting them out, and I would always laugh; when she repeated a joke, I would still laugh because she would always tell it slightly differently and the joke would be funny to me all over again. Whenever I heard new jokes, I would tell them to her. She would always laugh even after I told them several times. And she wasn’t faking the laughter, either. Jokes, especially her own, always made her laugh. Everyone in my mother’s family enjoyed laughing–a lot! Whenever we went to Mexico, we always sat around after a meal telling jokes. Everyone always had a joke to tell. And someone would always request to hear their favorite joke. Some jokes made everyone laugh repeatedly. My mother usually told a lot of jokes and would be asked to repeat some of her jokes. I don’t remember all of her jokes because it’s been a long time since I thought of them, but I will do my best to recall some of them. Here are a few of her jokes:
- A woman is on an airplane with her baby. The man sitting next to her is continuously making fun of the baby and repeatedly telling the woman how ugly her baby is. The woman finally breaks down in tears. The flight attendant notices the commotion and approaches the woman. “What’s wrong?” asks the flight attendant. The woman says, “This man keeps bothering us.” The flight attendant finds another seat for the woman and her baby. The woman is satisfied with the new seat and thanks the flight attendant who tells the woman, “Everything will be okay now. Just let me get a banana for your monkey.”
- A motorcyclist wore his jacket backwards to prevent the wind from hittting his chest. He crashes into a tree and a passerby tries to help him. When the ambulance arrives, the paramedics ask, “How’s he doing?” The Good Samaritan answers, “He was doing fine until I turned his head to face the right way.”
- I can’t remember exactly how this joke went and I probably won’t tell it well either, but it’s about a man who lives in the rural area of the state of Veracruz in Mexico. He has to go to the big city of Veracruz, Veracruz, for the first time in his life and take the train to visit his dying grandmother. He has never seen a train before so he asks what it looks like. They tell him that it’s big and black and puffs smoke. When he arrives in the city of Veracruz, he sees a well-dressed black man wearing a suit and smoking a big cigar. So he jumps on the black man’s back thinking that he’s the train.
Of course, just reading the jokes now, they don’t seem as funny. You have to imagine mother acting them out. Part of what made them funny was how my mother tried not to laugh as she anticipated the punchline. When she finally reached the end of the joke, she would laugh the loudest. Those jokes still make me laugh when I imagine my mother telling them. ¡Ja, ja!