Off-Beat Humor and Monkeyfarts
Matisse’s parents gave him paint sets when he was a child.
Einstein’s parents gave him a giant chalk board, a science kit and chalk.
Frank Lloyd Wright’s parents gave him Lincoln Logs.
I didn’t even need to consult Wikipedia to make up these facts. The point is, you never really know what will become significant parts of your child’s life. Whether the soccer team she’s on in 2nd grade will lead to a life as a new Pele, or whether the Legos will an engineer make.
I’m a comedian. And I’ve always been a ham and a wiseacre. I guess what I’m saying is that I like to crack wise, pull a leg or two and generally HAVE A LAUGH.
And some small part of that started, when I first discovered got a badly beaten up copy of "Off-beat Humor" from my grandparents basement when it flooded. I have to say that I almost dreaded Googling that, knowing that it holds an almost mystical place in my life. But there it is: Offbeat Humor
My grandparents were not beatniks, nor comedians. I have no idea how this book came into their lives. That’s why I think it was FORETOLD.
This book has, um, off-beat humor in it. It helped form my particular viewpoint. Sample joke:
His name was Seven-and-a-quarter. They had picked his name out of a hat.
The children were banging pots and the frying pan, and pounding on the kitchen-cabinet doors. They were making believe they were a band.
One said: ”I wish Mom would come and stop us. This noise is killing me!”
The intro warns:
The current notoriety of beatnik poets, and the popularity of sad-sack humorists in nightclubs, is a sign we are seeking less obvious sources of stimulus and amusement. The present collection of offbeat humor should therefore tickle the sophisticated; but surely you don’t have to be sophisticated to enjoy it!
I love this book. It is such a weird artifact. It had a big influence on me.
But you never know what kids will like. You just throw things at them (not literally, you animals!) and see what will stick. My poor daughter can probably hardly help but try to be funny, what with me cracking wise all the time. And I’m not even sure I’d want her to be a comedian, knowing that the cruelest cosmic joke would be for her to become a much more successful comedian than me. But when my wife bought her Monkeyfarts!
For a First Grader, the title alone is reassuring: it’s got both “monkey” and “farts” in the title. And the rest delivers on that promise. Sample joke:
A couple of chickens walk up to the checkout desk at a public library and say, “Buk Buk BUK.” The librarian decides that the chickens want three books. She gets three books that she thinks they will like and checks them out to them. The chickens take the books and leave.
Around lunchtime, the chickens return to the desk. They seem upset and say, “Buk Buk BuKKOOK!” The librarian figures the chickens want three more books, so she finds them three more suitable chicken books for them. The chickens take them and leave.
Later that afternoon, the chickens come back to the library. They find the librarian – they are looking very upset. They say, “Buk Buk Buk Buk Bukkooook!” The librarian is now suspicious of these chickens. She gives them five more books, but decides to follow them when they leave the library.
She follows them out of the library and down the street to a park. She hides behind a tree and watches. The chickens throw books at a frog in a pond and the frog says, “Rrredit Rrredit Rrredit…”
That is SO dumb and “offbeat.” It makes my heart proud to see her laugh at that. Monkeyfarts! is a worthy addition to her library.
This is too funny.