Thursday, October 29, 2009

Beware of the Knock Knock Joke (It's a Guaranteed Chain Reaction)

One thing most veteran, ok even newbie preschool teachers know, is to beware of the dreaded Knock Knock Joke. Why? You might ask. Well in preschool one Knock Knock Joke always sets off a chain reaction in preschoolers that will have you running for the door... (or more likely looking around the room for a really good distraction just to make it stop!)

What am I talking about? Well if you have ever told a preschool aged child a Knock Knock Joke you would know. They figure out rather quickly that Knock Knock Jokes can make people laugh. So then they try to tell one. Usually they start with the same one you just told them. Then they laugh like it was the first time they heard it. And this is where I caution you BEWARE! Because if you laugh (even if you just laugh because you are laughing at how hard they are laughing) you will set off the chain reaction! Then it goes on. They try to make up their own joke, which usually contains 90% of the orignal joke you told them but has some kind of nonsense punch line. You might laugh again (a courtesy laugh no doubt), or you just think they are cute. But then it gets worse. They make up another joke. "Knock Knock." "Who's there?" you ask. And again parts of the original joke are recycled and more gibberish is added. They laugh and laugh again and don't really care if you join them. Then again! "Knock Knock" ... You might say, "Let’s stop now." But it won’t matter. That just acts as a catalyst and increases the intensity and persistence to which they try to tell more jokes that increasingly make no sense what so ever. By now you are wishing you had never told them the joke in the first place. Soon the jokes are not even filled with real words but become streams of nonsense words followed by fits of laughter. You might again request the joking to be over. Your futile attempts will only bring about more outrageousness from the young comedian! Now they will resort to "potty talk" to try to keep you engaged and get your attention. "Knock Knock" (They won’t even wait for you to say who is there.) "Mr. Poo Poo Head!" and screams of laughter will erupt without even offering a punch line… because well, Mr. Poo Poo Head is just funny all by itself. Heaven forbid you accidentally laugh again and start the whole process anew.
So what brought on this observation you might be wondering?
Well today one of the preschoolers surprised me with a Knock Knock Joke that actually made sense. I am sure she heard it from someone, but it surprised me that she actually remembered it correctly. But then again she is a pretty sharp little girl.

Are you ready for this?

Knock Knock

Who’s there?

Iwana Witch.

Iwana Witch who?

I wanna Witch you a Happy Halloween!

I dare you to tell it to a preschooler you know!!!!


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