jj: Girls and Boys Together
(8 March 1998)
Little-girl jokes form a small genre unto themselves. I've always heard these two told about little girls, for some reason, rather than little boys...
- A prisoner was released on parole after a twenty-year sentence. Elated, he ran down the street yelling, "I'm free! I'm free!" A little girl standing nearby replied, "That's nothing; I'm four."
- An eminent astronomer was introduced to a friend's daughter. "I'm an astronomer," he told her. "What does that mean?" she asked. "It means I study the stars." "Oh, we did that last year," she replied.
...There's at least one other in a similar vein, but I can't recall it. So instead I'll add a couple of little-girl anecdotes (of unknown veracity) about real people:
- John von Neumann (one of the founders of modern computing) was apparently renowned as much for his absent-mindedness as for his brilliance. Once he and his family decided to move. His wife, knowing how forgetful he was, started reminding him a month before the move"Now, remember, when you're coming home from work one month from today, take the A bus, not the B bus, to go to the new house." Each day she reminded him again, in similar fashion. A month went by, and moving day arrived. "Now, remember, when you're coming home from work today, take the A bus, not the B bus, to go to the new house."
Of course, after work von Neumann took the B bus as usual, and it wasn't until he arrived at his old home that he realized his mistake. Unable to remember where the new house was, he was standing in front of the old house when a little girl approached. "Excuse me, little girl," von Neumann said, "Do you happen to know where the von Neumanns have moved to?"
The little girl sighed, took his hand, and said, "Mommy said you would do this. Come on, Daddy, I'll take you home."
- Frank Zappa and his wife gave their children somewhat unusual names. When Moon Unit Zappa was a child, she came home from school one day in tears. Her parents asked her what was wrong. She sobbed that she wanted to change her name. Her parents exchanged glances and told her that they had expected that she might get teased sometimes, and that if she really wanted to change her name she could do so. They asked what she wanted to change it to, expecting something like "Sue" or "Beth." Instead, Moon replied: "I want to be called 'Beautyheart'!"
Finally, here's one about boys (I think my father told me this one):
Once there was a married couple named John and Jane. Unfortunately, they were very poor; when Jane gave birth to identical twin boys, they had to give the kids up to an international adoption agency. One of the boys was adopted by a family in Central America, and was named Juan; the other was adopted by a family in the Middle East, and was named Jamal (pronounced /h@ 'mAl/). Many years went by, and John and Jane finally came into some money and wanted to meet the kids. After many hassles with the adoption agency, they finally contacted Juan and sent him money to fly up and see them. They all had a wonderful time, got along marvelously, but like all good things this brief reunion had to end, and Juan went back home. Jane turned to her husband and said, "That went so well, we've got to bring our other son here and meet him as well." But John just shook his head and said,
"Ya seen Juan, ya seen Jamal."
I may have accidentally stolen the von Neumann anecdote from a Raymond Smullyan book. See the reader comments and addenda page for details.
Jed Hartman <firstname.lastname@example.org>