My five-year-old son is crazy about cars, so I took him to his
first car show. He loved seeing all
the different models and brands
and gushed over the big engines,
the colors, and even the wheels. But the car he was most impressed with was a hearse. “Mom!” he shouted. “Look at all this storage!”
Sara Simeral, New London, Connecticut
Q: Why did the chicken go to the
A: To get to the other side.
Q: Why does a chicken coop have two doors?
A: If it had four, it would be a chicken sedan.
Q: What do you call a parade of rabbits hopping backwards?
A: a receding hare-line.
Q: What do you call an old snowman?
Q: What does Charles Dickens keep in his spice rack?
A: The best of thymes, the worst of thymes.
Q: What’s the different between a cat and a comma?
A: A cat has claws at the end of paws; A comma is a pause at the end of a clause.
Q: Which dinosaur knew the most words?
A: The thesaurus.
Why do artists constantly feel cold?
Because they’re surrounded by drafts.
Yule log who?
Yule log the door after you let me in, won’t you?
Q: Who did Frankenstein’s monster bring to prom?
A: His ghoulfriend.
Q: What does a nosey pepper do?
A: Gets jalapeño business!
After cleaning my five-year-old patient’s teeth, I accompanied him to the reception area, only to see him struggle with the oak door.
“It’s heavy, isn’t it?” I asked.
“Yes,” he said. “Is that so children can’t escape?”
Jennifer Sloetjes, Fort McMurray, Canada
I was visiting a friend who could not find her cordless phone. After several minutes of searching, her young daughter said, “You know what they should invent? A phone that stays connected to its base so it never gets lost.”
A concerned police officer approaches a boy who is crying in front of a newsstand. “What’s wrong?” the cop asks.
“Superman isn’t out yet!” says the boy.
“I’ll handle it,” the cop assures him. “Hey, Superman!” he shouts. “Come on out! We won’t hurt you!”
—Source: Funny in Croatia Survey
The topic for my third-grade class was genetics. Smiling broadly, I pointed to my dimples and asked, “What trait do you think I passed on to my children?”
One student called out, “Wrinkles!”
Sam’s eighth birthday, my brother took him to a football game. During halftime, a Marine band played, and Sam studied them intently.
“Why the interest in the band?” his father asked.
“I’m checking to see if Ben and Matt from our synagogue are in it. They’re Marines.”
“But they’re in Afghanistan.”
“If I were in a marching band, I’d say I was in Afghanistan too.”
As I was treating my daughter and her family to the buffet at a casino, all the bells and whistles for a winning slot machine began to go off. My seven-year-old grandson was awed.
“Wow!” yelled Casey. “This is like Chuck E. Cheese for old people.”
When my eight-year-old asked how I knew I was pregnant, I told her I had taken a pregnancy test. “Oh,” she said. “What questions were on the test?”
My second graders were assigned the task of writing thank-you cards to soldiers serving in the Middle East. One of them wrote, "Thank you for protecting us! I hope we win!"
At a baby shower, everyone was asked to complete nursery rhymes. My 11-year-old daughter Taylor contributed this: "Jack Sprat could eat no fat.
His wife could eat no carbs."
A few weeks? after the death of my father-in-law, I found my seven-year-old son crying in bed. His grandmother had died the previous year, and he was taking it all very hard. "You know, Kyle," I said, "when we die, we’ll get to see Grandma and Grandpa again in heaven."
With tears spilling down his face, Kyle cried, "That’s easy for you to say. You don’t have that long!"
When I took my school-age daughters to a lunch with veterans, I told them to ask questions. One of the men said he’d fought in the Korean War, and the girls were so impressed that the eldest wanted to know more: "Did you fight for the North or the South?"
My five-year-old nephew has always happily answered to BJ. That ended when he came home from his first day of school in a foul mood. It seems his teacher took roll, and he never heard his name.
"Why didn’t anyone tell me my name was William!?" he complained.
Our six-year-old daughter, Terra, has a need to ask questions … lots of questions. Finally, one day, my wife had had it.
"Have you ever heard that curiosity killed the cat?" my wife asked.
"No," replied Terra.
"Well, there was a cat, and he was very inquisitive. And one day, he looked into a big hole, fell in, and died!"
Terra was intrigued: "What was in the hole?"
I sat in the doctor’s waiting room watching a young mother try desperately to control her three loud children. "They’re not a very good advertisement, are they?" she groaned apologetically.
A man muttered, "Only if you’re advertising contraceptives."
"Where is Pearl Harbor?" I asked my fourth-grade history class. "Here’s a hint: It’s a place where everyone wants to go."
One student blurted out, "Candy Land!"
When my eight-year-old sister came to visit, I took a day off from my job at the Pentagon and showed her the Lincoln Memorial. There she saw a large block of text—273 words long—etched into the monument.
"What’s that?" she asked.
"Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address," I told her.
"If that’s his address, how does he get any mail?"
I picked up my nine-year-old daughter from school and asked how her day had gone. A few minutes later, I repeated the question, and again a few minutes after that. Instead of annoyed, Ariana was philosophical.
"Mom," she said, "your amnesia is my déjà vu."
I should have known better than to take my four-year-old son shopping with me. I spent the entire time in the mall chasing after him. Finally, I’d had it. "Do you want a stranger to take you?!" I scolded.
Thrilled, he yelled back, "Will he take me to the zoo?"
Our three-year-old daughter was making up a poem when she asked us what rhymed with stop.
My husband said, "Think of something that’s cool and refreshing but that Mom and I don’t let you drink."
Our daughter knew the answer: "Alcohol!"
My two sons, Jake and Austin, are a handful. So I wasn’t surprised that Dad looked frazzled after we took them to a football game.
"It will be a cold day in #@%* before we come to another game," he muttered.
"Did you hear that?" Jake shouted to Austin. "Grandpa’s going to take us to a game in December!"
While my three-year-old grandson was attending a birthday party, his friend’s father sneaked off to take a shower before work. Halfway through, the father heard a tapping on the shower door, followed by the sight of my grandson peering in. Looking around the stall, he asked, "Is my mom in here?"
My daughter loved the picture frame her five-year-old son bought her for Mother’s Day. She found a photograph of him and replaced the cat photo that came with it. Landon became upset: "Why are you putting a picture of me in there when I bought you a picture of a cat?"
My 13-year-old nephew thought his "gangsta" outfit—low-riding pants and exposed boxers—made him look cool. That is, until the day his five-year-old cousin took notice. "Nathaniel," she yelled out in front of everyone. "Your panties are showing."
All parents are proud of overachieving children, and one father was no exception. The bumper sticker on his car read "My Kid Made Your License Plate."
Our friend tells everyone that he began losing his hair while serving in Vietnam. His granddaughter incorporated that information into her grade school history report on the war. She wrote, "My Grandpa went to Vietnam and got his hair shot off."
Following his motivational talk at a Weight Watchers meeting, my father noticed one client’s small son climbing onto a scale.
"Don’t go on that, Joey," warned the boy’s slightly older brother.
"It makes people cry."
My five-year-old grandson was looking through some old photos when he noticed his grandfather in his Marine dress blues.
"What kind of costume is that?" he asked.
"That’s not a costume," his grandfather growled. "Men have died for that uniform."
The boy looked up and said, "So you stole it, then?"
We were shopping for clothes when my 13-year-old daughter spotted a hat with "Guinness" written on it. She put it on and proclaimed, "Look! I’m a genius!"
My husband, a deputy district attorney, was teaching an antidrug class to a group of Cub Scouts. When he asked if anyone could list the gateway drugs, one Scout had the answer: "Cigarettes, beer, and marinara."
Our elementary school was honoring local veterans. The students were a bit intimidated and didn’t know how to approach them.
"Start by introducing yourself,"
I said. "Then ask what branch of the military they served in."
One student walked over to a vet and promptly asked, "What tree are you from?"
I stole a couple of minutes from work to give my wife a call. She put my two-year-old son on, and we chatted a while before he ended it with an enthusiastic "I love you!"
"I love you too," I said, with a dopey grin plastered on my face. I was about to hang up when I heard him ask sweetly, "Mommy, who was that?"
At our supermarket, I noticed a woman with four boys and a baby. Her patience was wearing thin as the boys called out, "Mommy! Mommy!" while she tried to shop.
Finally, she blurted out, "I don’t want to hear the word mommy for at least ten minutes!"
The boys fell silent for a few seconds. Then one tugged on his mother’s dress and said softly, "Excuse me, miss."
Once I’d finished reviewing my daughter’s homework, I gave her an impromptu quiz. “What is a group of whales called?” I asked. “I’ll give you a hint—it sounds like something you use to listen to music.”
“An iPod?” she guessed.
“Close,” I said. “But what I’m thinking of is a little smaller.”
During Sunday school, the substitute teacher asked my four-year-old what his name was. "Spider-Man," said my son.
"No, I mean your real name," pressed the teacher.
My son apologized. "Oh, I"m sorry. It"s Peter Parker."
The highlight of our zoo trip was a peacock showing off its plumage. My four-year-old son was particularly taken with it. That evening, he couldn’t wait to tell his father: "Dad, guess what! I saw a Christmas tree come out of a chicken!"
I love playing Santa at the mall. But parents often have trouble getting young children to sit on my knee. It took a lot of coaxing for one little girl to perch there, so I got straight to the point. "What do you want most of all for Christmas?" I asked.
She answered, "Down!"
Last Thanksgiving, my niece came home with her school project: a beautiful autumnal leaf with the words "I am thankful for my mommy" printed on it.
Her eyes tearing, my sister said, "This means so much to me."
Her daughter nodded. "I wanted to put ‘Hannah Montana,’ but my teacher wouldn’t let me."
The first time my son was on a bike with training wheels, I shouted, "Step back on the pedals and the bike will brake!"
He nodded but still rode straight into a bush.
"Why didn’t you push back on the pedals?" I asked, helping him up.
"You said if I did, the bike would break."
A little boy went to the library to check out a book titled Comprehensive Guide for Mothers.
"Is this for your mother?" the librarian asked.
"No," said the boy.
"So why are you checking it out?"
"Because I started collecting moths last week."
To commemorate his first visit to our library, I gave a six-year-old boy a bookmark. More familiar with electronic gadgets than old-school tools, he had no clue how it worked. So I demonstrated by placing it between two pages, then closing the book. "When you start reading again, voilà!" I said, opening the book to my bookmarked page.
"Wow!" he said. "That’s cool!"
"Boys just like one thing," my ten-year-old told a friend. Oh, no, the end of her innocence, I thought. Then she announced her finding: "PlayStations."
My sister explained to my nephew how his voice would eventually change as he grew up. Tyler was exuberant at the prospect. "Cool!" he said. "I hope I get a German accent."
While I was making a huge batch of snickerdoodle cookies, I asked my ten-year-old to read the recipe and ingredients off the box to me, doubling them as he went along. He did as he was told. His first instruction: "Preheat the oven to 700 degrees."
Forget about Halloween. If you’re really eager to frighten the kids, just read them these headlines. "TV ads boost eating of obese children"
When he received a journal as a gift, my eight-year-old son was mystified. "Mom, what am I supposed to do with this? The pages are blank."
"You write down interesting stuff that happens to you," I said.
"So it’s like a blog … on paper."
When my ex-Marine father-in-law was at my house, our six-year-old neighbor came by to play with my kids.
I asked her if she knew who he was. She looked up at him with her big blue eyes and said, "I don’t remember what his name is, but I know he used to be a submarine."
I love making clothes for my five-year-old granddaughter. And she, in turn, always seems happy to accept them. The other day, I asked if she would like me to make her a skirt.
"Yes," she said. "But this time, could you make it look like it came from a store?"
Up on the screen at our local multiplex, the star whispered to his female costar, "I want you to be my mistress."
"What’s a mistress?" my eight-year-old granddaughter yelled out.
Then the man gave the woman a passionate kiss.
"Never mind," my granddaughter said.
Tired of doom-and-gloom headlines? We are too! At Reader’s Digest, we believe it’s our job to act as an antidote to all the negativity in the news. That’s what convinced us to pick our June cover model. We took one look at that face and couldn’t help but smile. Hence, the birth of our June cover line: “Oh, cheer up!”
Now we’re challenging you to share your funniest ideas about what the baby is thinking. Take a look at our cover and share your thoughts. We’ll publish our favorites on readersdigest.com!
The 6 a.m. regulars at the dog run are, not surprisingly, a pet-oriented group. Recently John started discussing his trip. "The flight was awful! We were delayed for a few hours, and when we finally boarded, the baby behind me didn’t stop crying for the whole flight."
Another dog run regular turned to him in surprise: "What did the owner do?"
At my ten-year-old’s request, I loaded my Rolling Stones tunes onto his iPod.
"I had no idea you liked the Stones," I said.
"Sure. I like all that old-fashioned music," he said.
"What do you mean, ‘old-fashioned music’?"
"You know," he said defensively. "Music from the 1900s."
Alpaca the trunk, you pack-a the suitcase.
A mosquito bit me!
It’s me, why are you crying?
Ketchup with me, and I’ll tell you!
Sam and Janet
Sam and Janet who?
We will we will Rock you.
"Daddy," said my 11-year-old daughter, "I think I want to join the Army."
"Baby," I answered, "I think the Air Force would be a better option for you."
"But I don’t want to be a pilot."
"You don’t have to be a pilot," I told her. "There are other jobs in the Air Force."
Her answer: "I don’t want to be a flight attendant either."
Every morning, I do a mad dash to drop off my son Tyler at day care so I can get to work on time. My impatience hit home one morning when he piped up from the back of the car, "Our car is really fast and everyone else’s is slow because they’re all idiots, right, Mom?"
My cousin, a teacher, asked her young students, "Why should you never accept candy from strangers?" One girl knew. "Because it might be past the sell-by date."
My mother taught for 11 years at a day-care center. One winter afternoon she was trying to show a young boy how to zip up his coat. "The secret," Mom said, "is to get this piece of the zipper to fit in the other side before you try to zip it up."
After struggling with the zipper for several minutes, the boy sighed and said, "Why does it have to be a secret?"
Luke, our venturesome 14-month-old son, was at my mother-in-law’s house. He was playing with her car keys when the phone rang. After hanging up, my mother-in-law realized that Luke had put the keys down someplace, but she couldn’t find them anywhere. Thinking quickly, she gave him another set of keys.
As she pretended not to look, Luke toddled around the corner and into her bedroom. Then she watched as he carefully placed the second set of keys under her bed—right next to the original car keys.
I had finished my Christmas shopping early and had wrapped all the presents. Having two curious children, I had to find a suitable hiding place. I chose an ideal spot—the furnace room. I stacked the presents and covered them with a blanket, positive they’d remain undiscovered.
When I went to get the gifts to put them under the tree, I lifted the blanket and there, stacked neatly on top of my gifts, were presents addressed to "Mom and Dad, From the Kids."
When my daughter was little, we took a vacation to Florida. Seated on the airplane near the wing, I pointed out to Rhonda that we were above the ocean. "Can you see the water?" I asked her.
"No," she said, peering out the window at the wing, "but I can see the diving board."
My sister had been ill, so I called to see how she was doing. My ten-year-old niece answered the phone. "Hello," she whispered.
"Hi, honey. How’s your mother?" I asked.
"She’s sleeping," she answered, again in a whisper.
"Did she go to the doctor?"
"Yes. She got some medicine," my niece said softly.
"Well, don’t wake her up. Just tell her I called. What are you doing, by the way?"
Again in a soft whisper, she answered, "Practicing my trumpet."
When my neighbor’s granddaughter introduced me to her young son, Brian, I said to him, "My grandchildren call me Mimi. Why don’t you call me that too?"
"I don’t think so," he retorted, and ran off after his mother.
Later I was asked to baby-sit for Brian, and we hit it off wonderfully. As he snuggled up to me, he said, "I don’t care what your grandchildren say. I love you, Meanie."
One night our local newscaster was reading about an allegation that two Sesame Street characters, Bert and Ernie, were gay. The show’s producer refuted this, pointing out that they were only puppets, not humans. They argued a lot and then made up to show children how to resolve conflicts and stay friends.
While watching this report, my wife, Donna, noticed that our seven-year-old daughter was also listening. As Donna struggled to come up with an explanation for the term "gay," our crestfallen daughter said in dismay, "They’re puppets?"
While editing announcements for a newspaper, I came across an item promoting a camp for children with asthma. Aside from all the wonderful activities the kids could enjoy, such as canoeing, swimming, crafts and more, it promised that its lakefront property offered something the kids probably did not expect: "breathtaking views."
As I was nursing my baby, my cousin’s six-year-old daughter, Krissy, came into the room. Never having seen anyone breast- feed before, she was intrigued and full of all kinds of questions about what I was doing.
After mulling over my answers, she remarked, "My mom has some of those, but I don’t think she knows how to use them."
My father and I belong to the religion of Sikhism. We both wear the traditional turban and often encounter strange comments and questions. Once, in a restaurant, a child stared with amazement at my father. She finally got the courage to ask, "Are you a genie?"
Her mother, caught off guard, turned red in the face and apologized for the remark. But my dad took no offense and decided to humor the child.
He replied, "Why, yes I am. I can grant you three wishes."
The child’s mother blurted out, "Really?"
A first-grader came to the ophthalmology office where I work to have his vision checked. He sat down and I turned off the lights. Then I switched on a projector that flashed the letters F, Z and B on a screen. I asked the boy what he saw.
Without hesitation he replied, "Consonants."
Being a teenager and getting a tattoo seem to go hand and hand these days. I wasn’t surprised when one of my daughter’s friends showed me a delicate little Japanese symbol on her hip. "Please don’t tell my parents," she begged.
"I won’t," I promised. "By the way, what does that stand for?"
"Honesty," she said.
I am five feet, three inches tall and pleasingly plump. After I had a minor accident, my mother accompanied me to the emergency room.
The triage nurse asked for my height and weight, and I blurted out, "Five-foot-eight and 125 pounds."
While the nurse pondered this information, my mother leaned over to me. "Sweetheart," she gently chided, "this is not the Internet."
While taking a routine vandalism report at an elementary school, I was interrupted by a little girl about six years old. Looking up and down at my uniform, she asked, "Are you a cop?"
"Yes," I answered, and continued writing the report.
"My mother said if I ever needed help I should ask the police. Is that right?"
"Yes, that’s right," I told her.
"Well, then," she said as she extended her foot toward me, "would you please tie my shoe?"
The orthodontist and his assistants were removing my ten-year-old son’s dental appliance. Because it was cemented to his upper teeth, they had to use some pressure to release it. When it finally popped out, three of his baby teeth came out as well.
My boy was horrified when he saw the gaps. "Well," he said to the staff gathered around him, "who do I see about getting dentures?"
As a dentist, I recently tried out a new chocolate-flavored pumice paste on my patients. No one liked it except for a six-year-old boy. While I polished his teeth, he continued to smile and lick his lips. "You must really like this new flavor," I said.
"Yep," he replied, nodding with satisfaction. "It tastes just like the time I dropped my candy bar in the sandbox."
The commercial for Viagra with the middle-aged men running happily through the streets to the song "We Are the Champions" came on while my husband and ten-year-old son were watching TV. After seeing these jubilant men kicking up their heels, my son turned to his father and said, "Dad, would you be that happy if you got rid of your heartburn?"
Preparing my son for his first day of kindergarten, we were reviewing numbers and counting. Suddenly he asked, "What is the biggest number in the world?"
As briefly as possible, I tried to explain the concept of infinity. I thought I had done pretty well, but then he said, "Dad, what number comes just before infinity?"
During weekly visits to my allergist, I’ve noticed a lot of inattentive parents with ill-behaved children in the waiting room. So I was impressed one day to see a mother with her little boy, helping him sound out the words on a sign.
Finally he mastered it and his mother cheered, "That’s great! Now sit there. I’ll be back in 15 minutes."
What did the sign say? "Children must not be left unattended."
As a professor at Texas A&M, I taught during the day and did research at night. I would usually take a break around nine, however, calling up the strategy game Warcraft on the Internet and playing with an online team.
One night I was paired with a veteran of the game who was a master strategist. With him at the helm, our troops crushed opponent after opponent, and after six games we were undefeated. Suddenly, my fearless leader informed me his mom wanted him to go to bed.
"How old are you?" I typed.
"Twelve," he replied. "How old are you?"
Feeling my face redden, I answered, "Eight."
After years of using the same perfumes, I decided to try something different and settled on a light, citrusy fragrance. The next day I was surprised when it was my little boy, not my husband, who first noticed the change. As he put his arms around me, he declared, "Wow, Mom, you smell just like Froot Loops!"
My older son loves school, but his younger brother absolutely hates it. One weekend he cried and fretted and tried every excuse not to go back on Monday. Sunday morning on the way home from church, the crying and whining built to a crescendo. At the end of my rope, I finally stopped the car and explained, "Honey, it’s a law. If you don’t go to school, they’ll put Mommy in jail."
He looked at me, thought a moment, then asked, "How long would you have to stay?"
My son, age 13, was sick in bed with bronchitis, and although he showed some general improvement, his harsh cough persisted and could be heard all over the house. Worried, too, that he was missing so much school, I went into his room to see how he felt.
There he was, propped up in bed, earphones on, listening to a baseball game—while the tape recorder coughed on and on. The next morning he was in school.
Nothing seems to dim my 13-year-old son’s sense of humor. And he’s certainly not above being the butt of his own joke. Shortly after he was diagnosed with attention deficit disorder (ADD), he threw this at me: "Hey Dad—how many ADD children does it take to change a light bulb?"
"I give up," I said.
"Let’s go ride our bikes."
I overheard my nine-year-old son on the phone with a friend discussing a computer simulation game. The game involved creating a family, a house for them to live in, and so on. My son, an old hand at the game, gave this warning: "Whatever you do, don’t get kids. They don’t bring in any money, and all they do is eat."