Saturday 6 December 2008

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The Bacteria Joke

© John Sawyer – December 2008

I’m on the back verandah and the phone jolts me upright: Shit, I’m not asleep.

I’ve been watching the dog. Not the usual sphinx; tonight she’s stalking flies. Her eyes follow as the flies circle. When they come within muzzle shot, she lunges and gives a hollow sounding chump as she crashes her teeth together. Missed again. She always misses. Well I’ve never seen her catch one. They must taste real good because the amount of energy expended surely isn’t recovered by the intake of an occasional fly. I don’t understand. How does a humming bird maintain the energy to flap its wings at a million revs a minute just by soaking up a few drops of pollen?

“Gidday, Jack here…”

“Hello Grampa, its Nick.”

“How you doin’ Nick?”

“Good… Hey Grampa, I’ve got a very funny story. I thought you’d like to hear it.”

“Great. Go on Nick?”

“Why did the bacteria cross the road?” Sounds of my daughter prompting in the background. “No. That’s wrong. It should be: ‘Why did the chewing gum cross the road?’”

“I don’t know Nick. Why did the chewing gum cross the road?”

“Because it was stuck to the duck’s foot.” More background prompting. “No, that’s wrong. Because it was stuck to the chicken’s foot.”

“Ha. That’s a real good one Nick.”

“There’s more Grandpa… Why did the bacteria cross the road?”

“I dunno Nick; why did the bacteria cross the road?”

“Because it was stuck to the chewing gum. Funny hey Grampa.”

I’m almost crying with laughter. “Yeah that’s a beaut joke Nick. Where’d you get it?”

“I got it from a book in the school library. I’m in a special club some lunchtimes. I reckon its good fun.”

“Thanks very much for ringing. Are you off to bed now?”

“Yes, Grampa, I’ll see you later.”

Nick’s a bit frustrated with reading. He lives in a house where his Mum and twin sister are prolific readers.

The dog chomps again and I see her licking her lips and salivating profusely.

Yeah, persist with it Nick. You’ll love the rewards.

I go inside and add a page of chicken jokes to my web site and email a link to Nick’s mum.

“Why did the chicken cross the playground? To get to the other slide.”
Oh well, it's probably just as important as some of the other hot shot stuff I do.


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