The current play that I'm in (which is going splendidly and is making people laugh, yay), is chock full of jokes. So many that there are still lines that I hear seemingly for the first time every night. After opening weekend, one of my cast mates posted on his Facebook status that he just now got one of the jokes in the show. After 6 weeks of hearing it over and over again. Sadly this joke is one of the more obvious ones, so none of us could let that go without ridicule. He's been mocked relentlessly for a) not getting it in the first place, and b) admitting it in a public forum. And I've been casting my stones of mockery his way (it is rather fun), until today when I realized 6 weeks doesn't even compare to the length of time it took me to get one of the first jokes of my life.
My parents both have (or had) very dark black and brown hair, so imagine their surprise when precious little me popped out with a head covered with bright orange hair. People would take one look at them, and one look at me and ask them, "Where on Earth did she get her red hair?"
Once I could start stringing words together, they taught me to respond, "From the milkman." And people would laugh. Oh, it was a lovely party trick. What a witty little kid, a witty little kid who was unknowingly indicting her mother as being unfaithful to her father with a delivery man.
But we always had our milk delivered. So I just assumed that it was something that he had left for us. Like my mom had taken in the order form and thought, "Hmmmm, what do we need this week? Yep, two gallons of 2% and hair for the kid. That oughta do it." And to a little kid, the absurdity of the milkman leaving may hair in the box was funny. Funny enough to keep answering the question.
One day, when I was twenty and in college, I was just sitting around not doing or thinking much, when out of nowhere a light bulb came on. The milkman? If I got my hair from the milkman, it wasn't because he left it with the milk on the porch. No. He had definitely gone farther than the porch, like all the way around the bases with Mom. I get it now.
So, Kowalski, I will try hard to no longer ridicule you because 20 years is an awfully long time to be in the dark.