Changing perceptions one joke at a time…

I just got the book Probus – Way To Dignified Ageing.  I will be reviewing this book in detail soon, but wanted to share something of significant import before that.

For many of us, when we were young, our parents must have seemed like serious people – people who did not joke so much, laugh so much or approve of frivolous behaviour.  Obviously, with several children around the house, a typical Indian middle class family could not have been easy to run and the burden of educating all of us and bringing us up on a shoe-string budget must have been fairly daunting.

By the time we grew older and they could talk to us on an equal footing, the generational gap had set in and the relationship boundaries had already been pretty well established. Besides, by then we had also become too busy with our lives and friends and thus never got to spend quality time with them.  Which meant that we never got to see the frivolous and playful side of our parents, ever. Just think about it, undoubtedly they were just as fun-loving and happy-go-lucky in their childhood as we were in ours.  Surely they were not born serious and stodgy!  I think that in many ways, this is such a pity, because if only we had seen their jovial and joyful side, we would be so much more loving and affectionate as care givers now when they are old and need our help and support.

I am thrilled to say that I believe this book could give us a second chance to see the fun side of our parents.  The first thing I noticed when I quickly flipped through the book was the number of really funny jokes which poked fun of the elderly!  Here were some “stodgy” and “serious” people  laughing at themselves and enjoying the process!  While this book is a treasure trove of information for the elderly, I believe this is a must read for every person who is looking after  the elderly at home or at an old age home.  You can get a copy of it here at cost price.

To whet your appetite, here is one joke from the book that I found hilarious. It’s titled Sharing Forever.

He ordered one hamburger, one order of french fries and one drink. The old man unwrapped the plain hamburger and carefully cut it in half.  He placed one half in front of his wife.  He then carefully counted out the french fries, divided them into two piles, and neatly placed one pile in front of his wife.

He took one sip of the drink, his wife took a sip and then set the cup down between them.  As he began to eat his few bites of the hamburger, the people around them kept looking over and whispering.  You could tell they were thinking, “That poor old couple – all they can afford is one meal for the two of them.”

As the man began to eat his fries, a young man came to the table. He politely offered to buy another meal for the old couple. The old man said they were just fine – they were used to sharing everything.

The surrounding people noticed the little old lady had not eaten a bite. She sat there watching her husband eat and occasionally taking turns sipping the drink. Again the young man came over and begged them to let him buy another meal for them. This time the old woman said, “No thank you.  We are used to sharing everything.”

As the old man finished and was wiping his face neatly with the napkin, the young man again came over to the little old lady who had yet to eat a single bite of food and asked “what is it you are waiting for?”

She answered “THE TEETH”!