Zoom Meetings, Jokes, and the Janitor Who Came Out

How funny am I? Just ask this dolphin.

Why is that dolphin looking at me?

Ha Ha Very Funny.

My favorite joke goes like this:

Why did the monkey fall out of the tree?

Because it was dead!

In an indoor waterpark in the Poconos, the kids and I had a long walk back to our room through twisting hallways. Every time we went by, we passed the janitor’s closet. It reminded me of little Will — this 6 year old with special needs who told jokes and played the piano in the talent show.

The best joke he told went like this:

“What did the janitor say when he came out of the closet?”


Will told that joke better than I ever will, but I told that joke more often — every time we strolled past the closet in fact.

“Hey kids…. Question for you. What did the janitor–“


I once read that laughing hard at something funny interferes with your memory. That’s why it’s hard to remember jokes. Someone says a great joke and you think “HAHAHA I have got to remember that one!” Then you find yourself two sheets to the wind at your husband’s work party, surrounded by IT guys in plaid with their hands stuffed in their pockets next to their scientist wives, halfway through that awesome joke, with a feeling of sudden dread that can only be the Forest of the Lost Punchline.

People laugh at me all the time. It wasn’t until Zoom meetings and the pandemic came along that I realized why. I make faces.

Like, in life, I’d put myself in the “generally/interestingly attractive in a certain kind of way” but not like model gorgeous or anything. All of that dies a quick death when I start moving my face. I go from a 5 to Weird-Zo with just some of my trademark, non-subtle grimaces.

It wasn’t until Zoom meetings happened with their gallery of faces that I realized also how dead inside other people seem to be. Like — am I (and Lexi!) the only person having emotions? Or just the only one who uses a paint roller to show them?

I love my bosses at work — truly great people — but they are constantly telling me I have gotta work on my “body language” in my communications with other people.

Phhfftttt! I keep telling them. What is the problem? I’m just TALKING. Gah! Meh.

Then came Zoom.

I need to remember to turn off my video more often.

Day 2 of 30 Day Challenge from Poet Jen Harris and Writing Workshop Kansas City

Prompt: You are a standup comedian. What is your signature style?

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