Wednesday, July 13, 2005

How many uncles does Lily have?

My magazine has a section for jokes sent by kids. It's one of the most popular sections and gets a lot of entries. I have to periodically do a filter to separate the good ones and file the rest in a file called 'Unpublishable entries'. It breaks my heart to think that these jokes, which I'm sure my li'l contributor must have guffawed over for days before sending in for publication, will never see the light of the day. Which is why I can't bring myself to trash them.

Kids laugh at everything. Really. They do. I find it very difficult to filter the jokes I receive. I do not want to hold back what I think is a bad joke, but which the readers will find utterly hilarious.

And that's why I am so thankful for my tuition kid. Not only are my Wednesday lessons an absolute delight, but they also transfer me into the world of primary school children and what makes them tick. When I see the things my tution kid laughs at, I find it easier to put myself in the shoes of a reader when I am assessing the 'bad jokes' I receive.

Take today for instance. My tuition kid was telling me about a classmate of hers who's taller than each of the boys and girls in her class.

"You know... Everyone looks up to her!" She chuckled delightedly.

I laughed.

looks up to her!" She repeated, just to make sure I had not missed the joke.

I laughed again.

"But she looks down on everyone. Hahaha!" She said, as she went back to solving the question she was working on.

Within a few seconds, she was looking up again, "And you know? She even looks down on teachers. Especially the short ones. But she has to look up to the tall teachers. No choice! Hahahaha!"

Uncontrollable laughter on her part. Polite smile on mine.

And how can I forget the day she was telling me about how she likes bowling most of all. "But my mother wants me to study all the time, do a post-graduate degree and become a professional. Siao! (Crazy person!)" Now she did not pause enough between the words 'professional' and 'siao' and I quipped, "So your mother wants you to be a professional siao, huh?"

"Hahahahaha! Professional siao! You're so funny! Hahahahaha!" She said. I looked around, embarrassed, to make sure no one was listening to the conversation.

And then there's the multiple choice question she was struggling with today.

Q: To be a good lawyer, one must be ______________ in court.

(A) flair (B) eloquent (C) fluent (D) dilemma

Finally she gave up and declared, "The answer should be "present"!" She squealed in delight. Ok, this one was hilarious. And just watching her laugh at her own joke made me laugh uncontrollably too. (I think her mother will fire me if she finds out about the insane amount of laughing that goes on during my lessons.)

And here's another one. Part (a) of a question with a picture of an amoeba read, "Identify the organism shown below." And by mistake, I read part (b) of the next question which was based on a family tree. So I read out, "How many uncles does Lily have?"

"What??? Lily?? Who is Lily?? Hahaha! You read the wrong question! Hahaha! Who is Lily?"

"Maybe Lily is the name of the amoeba?" I suggested.

"Hahahaha! Hahaha! Lily the amoeba! How many uncles does Lily the amoeba have? Hahaha! " I had to literally hush her into silence.

And even today, whenever she sees a question with parts (a) and (b), right after solving part (a), she says without fail, "How many uncles does Lily have? Hahaha!!!!"

Oh the joy of being a child...


The Village Idiot / Soldier said...

In life, if you do not laugh at your own jokes --- how can you expect anyone else to laugh at them?

That's the kid in me speaking.

Sahil said...


u really tell stories well. I couldn't help but laugh as I was reading that.

And if u've watched Indiana Jones and the temple of doom, you would remember the little Chinese boy who is Indie's sidekick.

Now re-read the story, replacing Sayesha's tuition kid with him. You will burst out laughing reading the convo they had.

Great post :)

Sayesha said...

Rocky Bhatia Lite,

I've never heard the grown-up in you speak. You mean there actually is one? ;)

Princessse said...

hahhahah, this one had me laughin out loud! :) sho cute.

Anonymous said...

lol ! i chuckled and laughed so much ... that is really well written ...the best post I've read on ur blog till date :)...nothing can beat humor..have u ever laughed uncontrolably... holding ur tummy and tears flowing from your eyes like a river (ok not that much but jo bhi) ...happens sometimes with me.

Anonymous said...

Aww that is so cute...and funny !

R said...

Funny...this post! reminded me i can still laugh at innocent humor.:))

Anonymous said...

"How many uncles does Lily the amoeba have?"

That was too simply good...

Anonymous said...

There is so much joy in this world... Thanks for reminding us every now and then.

mjey said...

kids....they never fail to amuse us.

Vivhyd said...

Haha nice one!! kids are so cute.. they make us forget all the sad happenings arnd.. Nice blog.. 1st time here.. and the pic in ur profile is awesome too..

Sayesha said...

Hey all,
Kids really say the darndest things! So if I crack 'bad jokes', it's not me. It's the company I keep :D

Thanks, vivhyd! One of my closest friends took this shot :)

Aye Kay said...

I read this post yesterday and totally enjoyed the way it was written. The I re-read it today evening waiting to leave from office, and just burst out laughing when I read this line:
"Hahahaha! Hahaha! Lily the amoeba! How many uncles does Lily the amoeba have? Hahaha! "
And that too in an office that is usually very quiet :-s It ain't jus the 'Lily the amoeba's uncles' part - the way that statement has the laughter added in, I could picture a li'l gal enjoying the joke :-) Way to go Sayesha. You've given a some boost to an otherwise very drab start to the weekend (it's been raining since morning)

Anonymous said...

Hehe Kids. Once you get past the pooping and all the other disguting stuff, they're alright! :-)