If you've been around here a while, you know that I'm a big fan of the running gag. As an example, you could go back to my mutant wombat phase--I think I must have referenced mutant wombats at least once a week for a couple of months there, and to me it just got more and more ridiculous every time I did it. Of course, it's also possible to overrun a gag, as evidenced by my first set of edits in which my lovely editor said, "Yes, this was funny the first three times you said it. Now, not so much."
My son has inherited my running gaggy tendencies. For a while there, every joke involved butts. Now that, you might say, is pretty typical for an elementary school kid, and you'd be right. Eventually, we got sick of the butt jokes and told him to find something else to joke about. His selection? Grandmas. Every joke involved grandmas, as in: "Knock knock! Who's there? Grandma! Grandma who? Grandma head!" And then he'd laugh uproariously. Or he'd sing "Bad Romance" by Lady Gaga, using only the word grandma: "Grand-ma-ah-ah-ah! Grandma-ah-ah-ah!"
It was, admittedly, pretty funny the first time he did it. The sixtieth? Not so much.
So we got sick of the grandma jokes and told him once again to find something else to joke about. And they'd been talking about continents at school. So he decided to joke about Africa.
At first, he did a lot of African Lady Gaga renditions, and that wasn't a problem. But then, we were at the grocery store, and one of his sisters wasn't listening, and I'd just given her a stern talking to for running around in circles and screaming while I was desperately trying to find the chick peas. And then he says, "You're so stupid! What are you, from Africa?"
Color me embarrassed.
So then we had to sit down right in the middle of the aisle and talk about how some people are of African descent and how did he think that would make them feel and so on. And the whole time I'm looking up and down the aisle and PRAYING that no one heard that.
The whole thing made me think. And I probably owe all you mutant wombatians an apology too. I promise not to sing about you to the tune of Lady Gaga anymore.