Sunday, March 7, 2010

what's the difference between a duck?

when i was little, i quickly discovered that i was not as good at being cool as everyone else.
cole could shoot milk out of his eyeballs. jeremy had a belly button shaped exactly like a cheerio. alyssa could do handsprings and cartwheels, and fawn could wiggle her eyeballs. kjersti could belch the loudest, even though she was a girl, malory always, always, won the races, and patricia told pee-your-pants-three-days-later scary stories. they each did their thing, and did it well. then they carried on in life with the calm assurance that they were cool because of the thing they did. imperturbable and suave. ah. not me.

i could read pretty well, and also had big ears. that was all.

i needed a schtick. something that people would remember me by. something that would make me as cool as if i had a cheerio bellybutton.
one day, it came to me: a joke. i needed a good joke. the funny people i knew were usually pretty ugly and not even very nice, but they always had friends. lots of friends. because they were funny. stolid, maybe, but funny.
finally, i got one. my dad told it to me. the best joke i had ever heard.
i told it to a kid at school the next day:

"what's the difference between a duck?"
"huh?"
"what's the difference between a duck?"
"a duck and a what?"
"just, a duck."
"that makes no sense."
"k, well they're both--"
"it's a stupid joke. it makes no sense."
"it does. they're both the same except--"
"suzy. your dumb joke makes no sense."
"it's a good joke. just let me tell you the answer, it's funny."
"no. it's stupid."

i retired my joke in grade 12, after i had spent roughly 8 or 9 years running it into the ground along with my reputation and social life. i realized that even though it was the best joke in the world to date, no one would ever realize that and therefore, i should give up on it. besides, i no longer needed a schtick. i had a schtick. people thought i was a moron; that was my schtick.

anyways, the other night i was hanging out with kiersten, and i felt a sudden and random surge of confidence and the deep need to have someone laugh at this stupid joke.
so i said, "hey kiersten. what's the difference between a duck?"
she made a confused face. "uhm...i don't know...?"
deep breath. "they're both the same except one has webbed feet and so does the other."
there it was.
i waited.
she laughed. sincerely. i mean, i really honestly think so.
and i finally, finally, felt some semblance of being almost as cool as the kid with the cheerio bellybutton.

5 comments:

kiersten said...

... and I just laughed AGAIN.

I don't know why it's so funny ... but it is.

And I like it.

Anonymous said...

Suz I have been repeating this joke as part of my usual never give it up! because it is unique and so are you....ps I retired the scary stories once I was told that I wasn't allowed to play with anyone. lol

Anonymous said...

My sister and I have a similar one that has been going on for nearly 15 years now - what's the difference between a helicopter?
An orange, because a motorbike has wheels.
Has us in hysterics still despite it being completly nonsensical (who knows why - we were teenagers when it first started - who knows why teenage girls do what they do!) - with everyone else looking at us strangely! But it's our bond.... :)

elena (a.k.a. suzy) said...

patricia? is that you??
well i'll be. i haven't talked to you in ages.
& kiersten: thank you for making me feel good about myself.

Anonymous said...

suzy! i bet you 10 medhat mall dollars i know who the "thats a dumb stupid joke" person is! ps. i hope i loose the bet and you can come down and visit again!!