Tag Archives: jokes



The Man and I were selling our wares at a farmers market in a small Arizona town. Sells were off to a slow start, and I was trying to remain optimistic.

An older gentleman approached our table. He was probably in his 60s. He wore his grey hair and beard cut short. His clothes were specifically designed for active outdoor athletic activities.

The Man and I wished the potential customer a good morning. He returned our greeting and said he had a joke for us.

Ok, I said with mild apprehension. This exchange could go several ways, some of them more offensive than others.

Beige Wooden Watch House Near Ocean

Why didn’t the lifeguard rescue the hippie? the older gentleman asked us.

I don’t know, I said, and The Man shrugged. Neither of us had heard this one before.

Because he was  too far out, man, the amateur comedian told us.

I burst out laughing. The Man chuckled too. The joke really tickled me.

That’s a good one, I giggled.

I have another one, the fellow told us. I guess our positive response gave him courage and confidence to continue with the jokes.

Why did the cowboy get a dachshund?

Selective Focus Photography of Dachshund

The Man shrugged again, and I shook my head. We didn’t know the answer.

He heard the other cowboys talking about getting a long little doggie.

The Man and I groaned a little. This joke wasn’t nearly as good as the one about the hippie and the lifeguard.

Ok! I have one for you! I told the jokester.

Oh good! he responded. He seemed genuinely pleased that I had a joke to share.

What’s the pirate’s favorite letter? I asked.

Oh! I know this one! he said, seeming even more pleased. You would think it’s the R (arrrrr, he pronounced it in best pirate fashion), but his heart really belongs to the C. (Get it? The C! The sea! Get it?)

Front View of a Camel at the Desert Area

Ok! Ok! I said. I’d gotten really excited by this joke exchange. I have another one for you! What do you call a camel with two humps?

Now the jokester looked perplexed. A dromedary? he ventured. (He was double wrong. A dromedary has one hump. The Bactrian camel is the creature with two humps, but that wasn’t the answer to my riddle.)

Pregnant! I burst out, then laughed at my own joke.

The jokester gave me a strange look. Perhaps camel gestation was taking things too far.

A little tiny kid told me that one, I explained, remembering the four tiny comedians who’d waylaid me with jokes in the national forest parking lot where I worked.

The jokester did not seem to be amused by my juvenile humor, and he

Brown Cattle on Open Field

wandered away. I was disappointed he left before I could dazzle him with my favorite, a knock-knock joke about an interrupting cow.

Images courtesy of https://www.pexels.com/photo/beige-wooden-watch-house-near-ocean-861018/, https://www.pexels.com/photo/selective-focus-photography-of-dachshund-688694/, https://www.pexels.com/photo/front-view-of-a-camel-at-the-desert-area-998639/, and https://www.pexels.com/photo/nature-animal-agriculture-cow-36347/.

Just a Homeless Person


I know tourists are just trying to be affable. I know they’re not trying to offend. But sometimes the things they say really chap my ass.

Several times while working at the parking lot, people have made the “joke” that I probably don’t actually work for a company authorized by the Forest Service to collect parking fees. They “joke” that I’m probably just a homeless person who’s standing out there, scamming drivers out of $5. Of course, I’m standing there in brown polyester-blend pants and both a shirt and a hat with the company logo on them. I’m handing out glossy, color trail guides and cardboard day passes printed with a number and the instructions Hang on Rear View Mirror This Side Out. If I were scamming people, I’d have had to make a large initial investment in props.

I find the you’re just a homeless person “joke” offensive for several reasons.

First of all, it assumes homeless people are dishonest. The “joke” isn’t that I’m a homeless person working for a company. The “joke” is that I’m a homeless person unauthorized to collect a $5 parking fee, a homeless person scamming the driver and pocketing the money. The “joke” is never about me being a recently laid off person or a single mother trying to make ends meet. The “joke” always includes the part about being homeless and perpetuating a scam.

Secondly, the “joke” implies homeless people are lazy. The “joke” is “funny” because everybody know homeless people don’t actually work. These tourists don’t really think I”m homeless because they “know” that if I were homeless, I wouldn’t have a job, I’d just be sitting at an off-ramp flying a sign.

(Note: I’ve stood at off-ramps flying signs. I personally am not negatively judging  anyone who flies a sign. I see flying a sign as less harmful than a lot of other things people do to make money and get by in this world.)

I guess the main reason I find the “joke” so offensive is because I essentially am homeless. I live in my van. I don’t have a house somewhere. I’m not living in my van on a lark. I’m not working a summer job for fun or to supplement my pension or trust fund. I’m working my job because I need to eat, and I’m trying to take care of my teeth, and I like to have gas in the tank, and maybe I want to give Christmas presents to my friends and family.

For all intents and purposes (and some other time I can write about the ways living in my van is my choice), I am a homeless person. I am a homeless person with a job. I am a homeless person who was hired by a company to stand in a parking lot in a National Forest and collect $5 for each car that’s parked there. I’m a homeless person who puts on her uniform every morning and gets to work on time. I am a homeless person who is not scamming the hardworking good citizens of the United States and the world. (Although I’ll admit one of the reasons I took this job is because I’m too lazy to work in an office or a factory.)

Of course, the first ten times I heard this “joke,” I didn’t know what to say. I tried to joke back about my uniform or polyester blend pants. (Who’d wear these clothes just to make some money? I said, until I realized, oh, yeah, I am wearing these clothes just to make money. I sure wouldn’t wear these clothes if my paycheck didn’t require it.)

The day I heard the you’re just a homeless person “joke” twice in one afternoon, I decided the next time someone said that to me, I was going to say, I am homeless. I got tired of hearing people yell “Get a job!” while I was flying a sign, so now I’m pulling myself up by my bootstraps!”

Is that too long for a comeback?

(No one’s made the “joke” since I decided on my comeback.)