The words “Chase” and “joke” are synonymous. If you’ve ever been over to our house for any length of time, you’ve probably gotten a healthy dose of the Chase Joke Tellers Inc.  We don’t have very many jokes, but we tell them well… and we tell them often.  Awkward situation? Tell a joke. Dinner winding down? Tell a couple jokes. Feeling sick? A joke is JUST the thing to cheer you up. Heard that joke? I can tell a different one.

The best time to hear jokes at our house is when we’ve invited someone over for dinner for the first time. They don’t realize what they’re getting in to and… as the meal goes on, someone inevitably tells a joke.  The rest of the family freeze and watch… waiting to see how the guest reacts. As soon as the reaction has been recieved and interpreted, the battle begins. Suddenly, rapid fire jokes shoot back and forth – somehow, there is room between the jokes for laughter (or eye rolling).  The joke tellers change so fast, if you try to keep up with order or joke topic similarities, your mind would turn into tasty puree. Seriously – if there were such a thing as a joke telling relay, we’d have that gold medal. We wouldn’t even need the Laffy Taffy wrappers.  The only way to end the battle is by giving the appropriate signal to my father, signaling that the funny stuff is over and you’re ready for conversation to turn spiritual (either that, or kick somebody in the gut. While it’s funny, it will make us all take a moment before continuing on the joke streak. If you let the silence go on too long, we’ll just tell jokes where physical pain is inflicted… take advantage of the joke-less moment: That’s your chance to change subjects and rescue intelligent conversation)  Laughing at every joke WON’T help anything… and, if you stop laughing, It will  just encourage Team Chase to tell jokes until they FINALLY get you to crack a smile.  I’m telling you – violence is the only solution.

I’m just excited that all of us have graduated to “real” jokes.  The old days, it was a bit awkward when the 2-year-old would join in the joke telling and either 1) miss the MOST important part of the joke (which, of course, would be followed with someone else retelling the joke, so you don’t miss it) or 2) tell the “Grandpa burped and the house blew up” joke. If you don’t know it, I’m sure someone in our house still can tell you the joke. I’ve carefully wiped it from my memory. It’s just that punch line that I don’t believe I will ever be free of.

This blog post was inspired yesterday. Dad was booking tickets for an impending journey (of which you will read, I’m sure… if you ever read my blog again…) and the lady on the phone was apparently sounding a bit glum. Dad, being a Chase and after being given a list of random letters as a confirmation code of some sort (or some other such nonsense) didn’t even WARN the poor lady and begin a joke. Granted, this joke is HILARIOUS. I laughed. So did, apparently, the lady on the phone, because Dad chuckled and mentioned something about getting a lower rate for a new joke.  What she didn’t know, was that if she would have just asked, she probably would have gotten another joke for free.  All we Chases need is an audience.

p.s. in case you were wondering, this was the joke Dad told:

A Czechoslovakian guy walks into the Dr.s office. Dr. points him to the eye chart and asks “sir, can you read line 5?” the Czechoslovakian responds “read it? I know the guy!”

If you don’t get it, I’m sure one of my siblings would be more than happy to explain it to you. Just be warned: it may  be followed by a few bonus jokes. Hold on to your hats, folks.