Jokes so clean they can be told in church

  • July 16, 2015

The other day I was feeling sad. I had just heard the worst possible news about the health of a dear, old friend.

My mind immediately flipped back 40 years to the first time I met him, standing by our lockers at Neil McNeil High School in Toronto during the first week of Grade 9. I was so nervous that week at the new school, especially after the vice-principal of discipline read us the riot act and said we were mere “worms” in Grade 9 and we had better obey the rules. (For the record, the VP was a tremendous man, but his opening speech each September was a shtick to scare the “niners.” It worked well on me.)

Anyway, this other “niner” standing with me at our lockers was about half my size with twice as much confidence. We were both 13 years old. “Don’t worry so much,” he told me, “that speech is just that: a speech to scare us. No big deal.” We’ve been friends ever since; although as adults we live at opposite ends of the city and don’t see each other as much as we should.

As I was thinking about him and the goodbye that will soon take place, another friend sent me an e-mail. This other friend doesn’t know the first friend and wouldn’t have known I was feeling blue when he sent the e-mail.

“I saw these jokes that can be told in church and hope a couple might make you smile,” he wrote.

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