You’re sitting at a restaurant with a friend. The waitress comes bearing your friend’s meal first (yours is still in the kitchen or something). Then as she places the plate on top of the table, you do one of three things:
A) Look expectantly at the waitress and blink a few times and purr so that she knows you’re hungry and would like some food too.
B) Take a few fries off your friend’s plate because you’re patient and know that your food is probably coming out next.
C) Bring the plate towards you as you say to your friend in a loud, jovial voice, “Man! This looks delicious! Now what did you order?”
If you chose A, you’re a cat. B, you’re normal. If you chose C, then you just dad-joked.
Dad Jokes can happen to anyone. Though more commonly found in groups of grown men who’ve reached the age of post-frat calf socks, arch-support sneakers, heart burn and a lack of the emotion called embarrassment, dad jokes are also prevalent among young women who appreciate cheesy humor despite a strong grasp of popular culture and the modern vernacular.
Because they are not technically fathers, nor do they possess the physical addendum that would biologically enable them to be fathers (yet their terrible punchlines are on par with those who do), said young women are commonly referred to as Dad-Jokers; DJs* for short.
*This is precisely why the AP Stylebook posits “deejay” as the proper spelling for he or she who spins records/hits play on an iPod — so as not to confuse beat-dropping professionals with those who tell terrible jokes. Dad-Jokers: making DJs uncool since 1955.
It’s important to note that the inflicted (DJs) may not even be aware of their groan-worthy quips. Those who grew up exposed to the condition might subconsciously regurgitate lines out of habit without ever realizing that what they said was supremely lame.
At the deli counter, for example, when asked for her name, a DJ will most likely respond with, “You can call me anything ya want so long as it isn’t late to dinner!” The butcher, who has been standing behind the counter longer than it takes a parrot or tortoise to die, will not be amused.
Should a DJ run into a teenager she used to babysit with the parent who used to pay her, she will probably say something obviously wrong to the high schooler, like, “How old are you now, 40?” Or she’ll comment on appearance: “Who’s this funny lookin’ kid?”
When hosting a dinner party or even a simple gathering of friends she will announce, upon each refill and ladling of various mashes that she “can’t let ya go back to Brooklyn and say we didn’t feed ya*!” Again. Eye rolls. No one will be amused.
*It’s unclear as to why DJs cannot pronounce some words to their completion, such as “ya” rather than “you,” or “lookin'” rather than “looking,” but etymologists suspect it originated from the dialect of uncles who steal appendages like noses or ears, and ask guests to pull their fingers.
While the batting average of a DJ tends to be high on the scale of swing-and-a-miss, there remains a strong audience for such lines as, “You two must be sisters,” and, “I’m hungry.” “Hi Hungry, I’m Dad.” The audience is as follows:
– The elderly women who greet customers at supermarkets
That’s it, actually, but you’d be surprised at what a wide range of the population that covers.
Still, where DJing comes in handy is any time you need to break the ice. Anytime awkward silence needs filling, tension needs to be cut, an obvious pun needs to be pointed out or someone needs to chill the eff out. Some people call them cheap jokes, some call it a bad sense of humor. Whatever you call it, just don’t call it late to dinner.