Thursday, July 29, 2010

I Had Two

Does your extended family have certain running jokes? Things you've said for years, that instantly make everyone laugh? Mine does.  Apparently, many years ago, there was a tv commercial, or something, where the catch phrase was "well, I had two when I came in!".  As long as I can remember, this has been a running joke, particularly with my Grandma, who tends to keep Kleenex's (plural of Kleenex has me stumped-Kleenexes, Kleenex's, Kleenexi..) up her sleeve when she doesn't have pockets.  (No, I don't really know why-she's in her 80's, so we just go along with it)  From time to time, she will be digging up her sleeves, as far as she can go, in search of the Kleenex that she thinks is there.  It looks pretty funny, so people are generally already laughing anyway, when my Betty White-like Grandma says "Well, I had two when I came in!" Of course this phrase is applied to many situations, generally ending in much hilarity. Like how my mother, who doesn't get around well recently decided to keep her cell phone in her bra, so in case she falls or something, it's right there.  She likes to pull it out and show people-so this phrase gets used often in that situation, too.  (Ok, my family is strange, I know.)

My Grandpa was born in 1902.  Because of the way and time that he was raised, he was always exceedingly polite, particularly around ladies.  He complemented every meal in great, flowery detail, even if he didn't eat much of it, and always, always, complemented everyone on what they were wearing, or how their hair looked, or whatever he could think of.  He never swore around women, and if he happened to see some off-color graffiti, he would tell you to turn your head.  All of the family's pets loved him, he would "secretly" feed them under the table, and acted like he loved them, too.  Well, when Grandpa got Alzheimer's, many of the genteel manners started to slip away, revealing....well, Grandpa.  During that time, he lived with my Aunt and Uncle, and their beloved dog, Einstein-a large, lab and golden retriever mix.  Einstein and Grandpa had been good buddies before, but once Grandpa got sick, his true annoyance with animals came out.  A couple of times, when he thought they were out of the room, my Uncle saw my Grandpa look at the dog, and mutter, under his breath, "Damn cat!"

Grandpa's been gone for several years now, but this phrase has become part of our family's repertoire.  Now whenever someone trips over something, gets annoyed, or a pet does something silly/annoying/bad, someone (ok, usually it's me) usually says, "Damn cat!", and everyone breaks up. (To fully understand this, you have to know that my extended family is very conservative-no one generally swears).

Once, my Grandma, after wiping the tears of laughter out of her eyes with a Kleenex fished out of a sleeve said, "Oh, my.  I'm scared to find out what you all will be joking about me when I'm gone."
Without missing a beat, everyone said "Well, I had two when I came in!" Cue, more laughter, even Grandma's.

So what are your family's inside jokes?

That's my Grandma in the picture.


  1. I love jokes that bind families together :) My grandma did the same thing with Kleenexi {lol}..up the sleeve...clean or used..up the sleeve!!

    Our family has a few inside jokes but they're so not funny without a long yawn-inducing explanation so I'll save them. grandma started revealing many things when she got Alzheimers too! I guess there's no point pretending to be something other than what we are, because SOMEDAY it WILL come out!

  2. What a great story! :) I don't know that my family has any inside jokes...if I think of one I'll come back and share! <3

  3. One time I tried to get my cousin to try some new food. I said, "Try it. It'll make you feel real good." Of course I was wiggling my eyebrows as I said it.

    That became my trademark phrase even though I only ever said it once.

  4. We do have a lot, but they require so much explanation. I will say this...I think being able to laugh with your family, no matter at what, is the greatest thing!

  5. Hilarious...Kleenex thing - must be a grandma thing...and I am sure there is some joke, but for the life of me I can not think of it right now! Thanks for the witty post, I love that I can smile, even before I've had my first cup of coffee!! :)


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