At my old parish, St. Joseph’s Neier, I always had the challenge of filling up the bulletin, trying desperately to make it a bit readable. Besides my own thoughts, I would put excerpts from books (probably illegal), pithy quotes (well…I thought they were pithy), and a joke.

Humor was always the hardest challenge, especially in the 21st century when people take offense at practically anything and everything. And yet, humor is useful in softening difficult situations, lightening the mood, and even giving insight. Certainly, some jokes are clearly inappropriate. Some people find humor in them for the mere shock value, but many fall flat. (Do yourself a big favor, avoid forwarding them in emails or on social media.) Stereotypes and ethnic humor don’t cut it, nowadays. (I have included some Irish jokes, but it’s OK because I am Irish. Isn’t that how it works?) The general rule of humor is that you do not “punch down” or take the easy, lazy shot. You can poke fun at the powerful, but not the defenseless. Of course, self-deprecating humor is always welcome. It is good to laugh at yourself and some people made careers out of it. (Rodney Dangerfield and Ronald Reagan, for example.) An inability to honestly laugh at oneself is a sign of deep insecurity.

So, with this in mind, I decided that this week, as I leave for a couple of weeks away, I would leave you with some jokes. (Who doesn’t need a laugh or at least a giggle?) All of these jokes made me laugh, so you may get an understanding of my sense of humor… or lack thereof.

A young Irishman tells his mother he’s in love. Just for fun, he brings home three girls and asks his mother to guess which of the three he has chosen to be his bride.

After his mother interviews all three, she says, “Your fiancée is the one in the middle.”

“That’s amazing, ma. How did you know?” “Because I don’t like her.”

An Irishman and his wife entered the dentist’s office.

“I want a tooth pulled,” the man said. “We are in a big hurry to get to the pub, so don’t fool around with gas or Novocain or any of that stuff.”

“You are a very brave man,” remarked the dentist. “Which tooth is it?”

“Show him your bad tooth, honey,” said the man to his wife.

Little girl: “Mom, what’s it like to have the great-

est daughter in the world?”

Mother: “I don’t know, you will have to ask your grandma.”

A man walks into a library and asks, “May I have a hamburger?”

The Librarian says: “Sir, this is a library.” “Oh!” the man replies.

Then he whispers: “May I have a hamburger, please?”

The sky was looking ominous so I asked Siri, “Surely, it’s not going to rain again today?”

She replied, “Yes, it is and don’t call me Shirley!” I guess I left my phone in Airplane mode again…

My grandfather warned people that the Titanic would sink. No one listened, but he kept on warning and warning them! Nonetheless, they got sick of him…

…and kicked him out of the movie theater. (Stupid joke, but it made me laugh.)

“We used to play spin the bottle when I was a kid. A girl would spin the bottle, and if the bottle pointed to you when it stopped, the girl could either kiss you or give you a nickel. By the time I was 14, I owned my own house.”

It seems I have spent a lifetime of mouthing mechanically, “Say thank you. Sit up straight. Use your napkin. Close your mouth when you chew. Don’t lean back in your chair.” Just when I finally got my husband squared away, the kids came along. —Erma Bombeck

While a priest was making farewell visits before moving to a new parish, an elderly member of the congregation paid him the compliment of suggesting that his successor would not be as good as he had been.

“Nonsense,” the priest replied, flattered.

“No, really,” she insisted. “I’ve lived here under five different pastors, and each new one has been worse than the last.”

(That doesn’t happen at Holy, right?)

A man was visiting his son when he asked if I could borrow a newspaper.

“Dad, this is the 21st century,” he said. “I don’t waste my money on newspapers. But if you like, you can borrow my iPad.”

That spider never knew what hit him.

If Dracula can’t see his reflection in the mirror, how come his hair is always so neatly combed? — Steven Wright

Father Kevin

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