[dropcap]I[/dropcap] dressed as clown for the school costume party. I did not want to be a clown. I wanted to be a cowboy, Roy Rogers, or Hopalong Cassidy. I would’ve even been satisfied to be a run-of-the-mill Cherokee warrior. Anything but a role that involved the use of my mother’s face make-up.

But the fates above made me a lowly jester that year. And so, while other boys in Mrs. Jeanie’s class were dressed up as comic book heroes and soldiers, I showed up with a Harpo horn, wearing a rainbow wig and rouge.

“Oh little Seanathan aren’t you cute,” Mrs. Jeanie said.

I hate that God-forsaken nickname, to this very day.

“Can you tell me a joke?” Mrs. Jeanie pinched my cheek. “You sweet little clown. Tell the class a joke.”

Mrs. Jeanie didn’t know it at the time, but I happened to have a knack for remembering jokes. A talent even.

My daddy used to tell elaborate jokes to his buddies while sipping from a longneck bottle. And while I had no idea what his jokes were a actually about, I remembered many of them word for word.

So, I launched into a story about a priest, a mule, and the farmer’s daughter. A real classic. Never before had lyrics of prose poured from my mouth with such eloquence. When I got to the punchline, the class of first-graders just blinked at me.

I was suspended for a week after that.


  1. Facebook Friend - April 9, 2015 2:04 am

    Saw this on Facebook, you are so funny. You need a column, I’d read you every damn day.

  2. Guest - April 10, 2015 10:36 am

    Ha ha! reminds me of a time in second grade that I told a dirty joke to my sunday school teacher, I had no idea it was dirty at the time.


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