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Monday, December 13, 2010

Junk in the Very Tall Trunk

My family and I, like many, have a running gag. I used to love going to the zoo, and in fact I still do. Seeing animals that are rare, wondrous, precious, or just plain there is a treat that I’ll be sharing with Little Danger for sure.

On this particular once-upon-a-time, I sat quietly in my stroller as my parents wheeled me along the pathways at the St. Louis Zoo. We spent a bit of time watching the giraffes in the sweltering heat of an August summer day. I was fascinated by the way the giraffe would swish its tail, shooing the flies away from itself with its very own built-in flyswatter. Of course, being only 5 or so, I didn’t quite have the vocabulary or patience to properly articulate such a sentiment. Instead, I happily chirped out “Gee, I like that giraffe’s butt!”

Thus began a long and endearing (though occasionally embarrassing) run of giraffe butt jokes that has persisted for 3 decades. It’s still possible for me to make my mom giggle by the mere mention of a giraffe butt, and I try to make sure I do so every now and then. For instance, finding myself in London’s largest toy store, I staged a shot of me grabbing a giraffe by the tail…and I submit to you that if you can afford a life-sized stuffed giraffe, you can fuck right off. Some of us outside of the rarified airs actually have to struggle to make ends meet.

Dangerboy conquers Girafficus Bythetailicus

I’ve always been a fan of little in jokes like this, secret ways of saying things within a couple, family, or group of friends. They build a secret language of shared experience, humor, and love. What’s your favorite family in-joke?


  1. Haha, love it. Isn't it funny how jokes stick?

    Once upon a time, I was home alone and really wanted some Pierogies. I was like 11 or 12 maybe. So I called up my grandma and asked her how to make them. She begins by saying, "Boil some salt water and add some butter." And I was all, "Well where do I get salt water from?"

    And thus, a joke was born. To this day (going on 25 now) every time I invite someone over for dinenr or am invited to dinner, a salt water joke is told.

    Great post, Danger. Brings back memories.

  2. That's too funny. :)

    My favorite one starts with my mother being very angry with me. She was standing my the front door, just laying into me, with my brother standing next to us. She went on and on about my failings for about ten minutes, and then whipped her head around, narrowing her eyes on my brother. "And you!" she said. "You're just...surly!" My brother and I tried to maintain a straight face, to no avail. All three of us just collapsed into giggles.

    Any time I want to make my brother laugh, I tell him that he's just...surly. Kills us both, every time.

    Thanks for the laugh, Danger Boy.


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