Punch Lines

Point of View
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A new in-law was visiting and inquired about my writing progress. She wondered whether my career was worthwhile, considering the pay is based on word totals.

She couldn’t stop teasing me about searching for the right words and honestly felt it was all a waste of time. Before I could reply, my wife came in from the garage, frustrated again with the kids across the street leaving their bicycles in our driveway.

She wanted some way to change their behavior without starting a verbal war with really nice neighbors. Instantly I had one of those creative moments writers consider blessed.

I asked my wife to get me some pieces of cardboard and a magic marker.

Then I wrote on each the words “FOR SALE.”

With one of those spousal eye-glances to the heavens, my wife followed my advice and attached the signs to the forgetful kids’ bicycles, making sure the signs faced across the street.

Within minutes the kids were sent over to retrieve their bikes as their mother acknowledged with hands in the sky her own frustrations and her satisfaction with this resolution by laughing with my wife.

Our neighbors loved the “For Sale” sign scare, and no more bikes have been left in our driveway. And my new in-law has stopped bothering me about my constant search for the right couple of words.

—Connon Barclay

A well-worn dollar bill and a similarly distressed 50-dollar bill arrived at a U.S. Federal Reserve bank to be retired. As they moved along the conveyor belt to be shredded, they struck up a conversation. The 50-dollar bill reminisced about its travels all over the country. “I’ve had a good life,” it proclaimed. “Why, I’ve been to Las Vegas and Atlantic City, the finest restaurants in New York, performances on Broadway, and even a cruise to the Caribbean.”

“Wow!” said the dollar. “You’ve really had an exciting life!”

“So tell me,” said the $50, “where’ve you been?”

The dollar replied, “Oh, I’ve been to the Methodist church, the Baptist church, the Christian Reformed church . . . .”

The $50 interrupted, “What’s a church?”

—George Vander Weit

I had a class of kindergartners and first-graders for vacation Bible school this summer. Each day the children wore pullover costumes to give the feel of life in Old Testament times. On the last day the children were prohibited from wearing the costumes because of a report of head lice. My class was extremely disappointed. In an attempt to console them, I gave them a lengthy explanation about the nature of head lice and why we had to quarantine the costumes. After I finished my speech, one kindergarten boy raised his hand and asked, “What’s wrong with head lice? Don’t we need those to drive cars in the dark?”

—Bruce Vaandrager

Driving along a country road, a man ignored a “bridge out” sign and continued driving—but in a few miles came to a stop. The road was completely barricaded. So he retraced his route. That’s when he saw the sign on the back of the first one: “It was, wasn’t it?”

—John Veltkamp

Random thoughts from a 3-year-old:

Son:  “I have lots of plans for what I want to be when I grow up.”

Mom: “That’s nice.”

Son: “I will be whatever God wants me to be.”

Mom: “That’s great! I’m so glad.”

(Pause)

Son: “I think God wants me to be a pirate.”

—Jenni Breems

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