Sunday, January 10, 2021

"To Have and Have Knocks"

By Jerry Zezima

Knock, knock.

Who’s there?


Jerry who?

Jerry Christmas and happy New Year!

OK, so I just made up this lame attempt at humor, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be included in the next edition of “Knock, Knock! The Biggest, Best Joke Book Ever,” which my wife, Sue, and I gave to our granddaughter Chloe for holiday ho, ho, hos.

Since then, Chloe, who’s 7 and a half and loves to laugh, which not only is true but also rhymes, has been calling me with knock, knock jokes.

“Knock, knock,” Chloe said in her most recent call.

“Who’s there?” I answered.

“Weirdo,” said Chloe.

“Weirdo who?” I replied, convinced she was talking about me.

“Weirdo you think you’re going?”

“Ha ha!” we laughed in unison.

Chloe and her little sister, Lilly, who’s 4 and is a real pistol, with a sassy sense of humor and a mischievous grin, not only love to tell me jokes but routinely invite me to parties on FaceTime, which is the closest we get to seeing each other — without face masks and social distancing — in this age of viral quarantine.

“Poppie?” Lilly said on the screen while dressed like a fairy princess.

“Yes, honey?” I replied while attired in my pajamas.

“What’s Pinocchio’s name when he tells a joke?”



All three of us laughed at the witticism, which Lilly obviously made up all by herself. I was so proud of her!

People often ask me if I spoil my grandchildren.

“No,” I tell them. “That’s my wife’s job. My job is to corrupt them.”

I must admit, with all due modesty, that I have succeeded splendidly.

That was evident at our latest virtual party.

“Knock, knock,” Chloe said.

“Who’s there?” I replied.


“Owl who?”

“Owl be seeing you!”

More giggling.

“We’re having a picnic,” Lilly announced.

“What can I bring?” I asked.

“You can bring the telephone,” Lilly instructed.

Chloe, who like me was still in her pajamas, except hers were adorned with a castle while mine sported coffee stains, was eating a small bag of pita chips. So was Lilly. I had a bag of Bambas.

“Here, Lilly,” I said, pretending to feed her one of the peanut snacks through the screen.

“It’s in my head!” Lilly squealed.

Chloe and I chortled.

Lilly was on a roll, which didn’t surprise me because I had heard from my younger daughter, Lauren, who happens to be the girls’ mother, that when Lauren scolded Lilly for making a mess in the house, Lilly retorted: “You’re fired!”

“Lilly,” I said. “Did you fire Mommy?”

“Yes,” she responded, very seriously, without explanation.

I burst out laughing. Chloe laughed, too. Lilly kept a straight face for a few seconds. Then came that mischievous grin. She looked into the camera and said, “Poppie?”

“Yes, Lilly?”

“You’re a knucklehead!”

We all roared. At least I wasn’t fired.

While all this frivolity was going on, I was sipping coffee out of the mug the girls gave me for Christmas. It says: “Dad Jokes: Served fresh daily.”

But the jokes were on me.

“Knock, knock,” Chloe said.

“Who’s there?”


“Boo who?”

“Don’t cry, it’s just a joke.”

I laughed.

“Knock, knock,” Chloe said again.

“Who’s there?”


“Olive who?”

Chloe smiled and said, “Olive you.”

I smiled back and said, “Olive you, too.”

Olive both girls, who have inherited Poppie’s propensity for jokes, silliness and just plain fun.

Someday, when this pandemic is over, we’ll get together and have a real party. Then we’ll open the book and tell each other jokes.

Take it from a goofy grandfather who graduated, magna cum laughter, from the School of Funny Knocks.

Copyright 2021 by Jerry Zezima

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