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Dad jokes can be painful and wonderful. The reason why they’re called ‘dad jokes’ is because dads relish the eye-rolling and awkward silence that follows them. Those two things are, in fact, the payment we’re after when we tell them. Do it enough, however, and your kids will actually start to crack the same types of corny jokes right back at you. When that happens, you’re likely to get smiles and laughs instead of awkward silence. Your kids’ friends will even find themselves laughing at the silliness. That’s when it gets fun.

Take this one for example:

Every time we drive past a hay field (with the big rolled bales of hay sitting around to dry), I always yell out angrily, “Haaaay!” My kids are used to it by now, but their friends are often uncomfortable about a dad getting upset in the front of the car. It’s been going on long enough that it’s tradition now. On a particular trip past one of these fields in Idaho, the conversation in our van went something like this:

Me: “Haaaay!”
My daughter: “Knock it off, or I’m bale-ing out here…”
My son: “Okay, that’s the last straw…”
Me: “We can’t stop now; we’re on a roll…”
Daughter: “Wheat are you talking about?”

I was so proud. I was raising my own army of…(wait for it)… pundits.

From that day, the one-liners have never stopped. Before she deserted me and went off to college, my daughter Kate and I used to go to the grocery store for a few hours just to walk the aisles and crack eye-rollers with the stuff on the shelves. It’s not the usual daddy-daughter date, but it’s fun, it’s free, and it’s some of my favorite memories with her.

Imagine you’re at a store and see a dad and daughter on several different aisles:

(Holding up some mushrooms): Hey, Kate, am I a…fun gi…?
(Holding up some ketchup): Go ahead, dad, I’ll…ketch up…with you.
(Pretending to stab a box of Cheerios): I’m a…cereal killer…
(Riding on a horse made of cinnamon rolls): …rollin, rollin, rollin…
(Pointing at me with a bag of Oreos): Dad, you’re so…cookie…
(Pointing back with some raisins): Is this how I’ve been…raisin…you?

Odds are you’d hear something along the way that made you laugh. You might even join in on some aisle where they were (several strangers always do something like that).

So why am I sharing this? Because I think we forget how fun life can be sometimes. Joking around doesn’t cost a penny and can create some amazing memories with loved ones. It’s also tough to crack a joke by yourself that’s funny enough to make you laugh (something like how hard it is to tickle yourself) so you need to be with someone else for the best results. Jokes are funnier when you’re sharing them with other people. The funniest jokes also seem to be the ones that just happen without planning them. Whether you’re at the store, at home, or out walking, there are one-liners everywhere!

A few unplanned examples from our family’s Sunday walks (complete with a few one-liners from different family members):

  1. Here’s the scoop…
  2. Can you dig it?
  3. It’s a freshly-squeezed Lemon…

See how it works? It’s like you were on that walk with us now, isn’t it? No, well, we’re off to a…rocky…start then (I had to sneak that last one in somehow).

How about this artifact we found on another walk:

  1. Whoever left this has no…sole (soul).
  2. Apparently there was an accident and this is the…sole… survivor.
  3. This person always seems to be one step ahead of us.

And finally this beautiful meme just waiting to happen:

  1. This neighborhood has really…lowered their standards.
  2. Someone shot this poor thing…
  3. What’s all the…hoop-la?

Sunday walks can be so much fun! Even if you won’t admit it, you’ll use some of those eye-rollers. Hopefully, you’ll look for one-liners and silliness when you’re out and about. If you have a chance to same something cheesy or silly, take it. It might be the only smile someone has in a day…

…and that someone might just be you.

Give it a try! Take a random picture of something you see during the day and come up with some one-liners for what you see. You can even email them to me (smile@OneCrazyDad.com) with your one-liners. You might find them in an upcoming article, get a reply with some more zingers from the pic, or feel great knowing you’ve brought a smile to someone else (me). Keep smiling!