A joke is funny the first time, and then it's funny one more time. The next time, the joke is not funny. At that precise point it is ready to become part of a running gag. So goes the remainder of our trip to Ikea.
|This one is nice, but I can't seem to figure out what shape it is?|
|This would be perfect for the mantel, but it already belongs to somebody!|
|I like this table for the family room except it feels like it's missing something.|
|This is the same table, last week.|
|This is that new robot Ikea makes, the one that's always checking things out?|
|Ooh these are defective. Their mom and dad intermarried from the same product family.|
|This table? It always holds the door open for me --- and I like that.|
I'm also like a stern martial arts teacher who wants to see the mystical realization that happens when, after turning a joke into a running joke and telling it over and over again, like the Karate Kid hanging up his jacket 600 times, it crosses a threshold and the original joke becomes funny again. (to me). There is a reluctant pupil in that analogy which is where it fails to parallel my relationship; the only thing Beth learns from me about comedy is how to endure it. However, this Sunday, we were at Ikea getting a bookshelf. I also wanted to find something the kids could use to display all the new shells they picked up last week. Beth suggested specimen jars. We found some. I was just about to pick one up. "Don't take that one honey," she said. "It's Burken."