A little less than 2 years ago my Dad died. It was, without question, the worst thing that has ever happened in my lifetime. I still refer to it privately as The Day the World Ended. Photos from that year are divided into Before and After, and, as he appears in some of the Befores, I try to avoid that "album" in my library. But once in a while I get blindsided.
Dad had some recurring jokes that only got funnier with retelling. This only works, mind you, for Mavrick jokes. We have some outside corroboration of this from family friends who also agree that old Mavrick jokes retain their comedic value. Not all of them; hell, no one can be funny all the time. But Dad had some real winners. Yesterday I was run over by two of my favorites: You like Ice Cream, don't you? and Wanna see something cool?
When my brother Nick was about 6 he decided he hated mashed potatoes. He would later decide that just mashed potatoes could constitute an entirely acceptable meal, but as a small child he was having none of it. One day at dinner, my Dad tries to trick him into eating his mashed potatoes by asking him the now-immortal question:
Dad: You like ice cream, don't you?
Nick: Yeah, why?
Dad: What do you think they make ice cream out of?
Nick: (puzzled look)
Dad: (smirking and eyebrow-pointing at the mashed potatoes)
Years later, someone gave my Dad a Timex watch with the Indiglo illumination feature as a Christmas present. He thought that was the greatest thing since pocket watches migrated to wrists. All day he would sidle up to someone and ask "You wanna see something cool?" and push the magic button, partially covering the face of the watch with his left hand to better showcase the dim blue light. He never stopped thinking it was cool. Years later he would continue to ask my sister's friends "Hey, you wanna see something cool?" when she brought them over to the house. Amazingly, we were never embarrassed, because it's Dad. And Dad Jokes are always funny. Always.
Fast forward to Sunday afternoon, 2011, grocery shopping day at Publix. My husband, who had left me to contemplate my yogurt choices, leans over conspiratorially when I catch up to him and asks:
"You wanna see something cool?"
Me: Of course.
Now I'm laugh-crying in the frozen food aisle, and I don't even care who sees me. The ghost of Bill Mavrick strikes again.
The picture is a little hard to make out, and you have to ignore the fish sticks in the middle. Mashed potatoes on top, ice cream on the bottom. The perfect Dad Joke sneaking up on me in the grocery store. If only the light inside the freezer ahd been blue LED...
And you just thought it was a bad job of freezer case stocking.