After an uncomfortable silence following the questioning of the missing "Thanks" in our Thanksgiving dinner my small and compact grandmother sat back in her chair, stuck a fork in her corn casserole and asked, "Why do Pilgrims' pants keep falling off?"
Fearing the punchline we all nervously began laughing and started loudly asking for seconds even though the first bits of the meal were still sitting on our plates. My grandmother has a knack for telling jokes wrong and for telling wrong jokes and we're always on edge when her lips open as we never know what words will drip from her reddened lips.
I stiffened and thought of all the punchline possibilities in snippets "oh good lord! Something about "his bird" or a turkey... gobbler? Missionary? Would it be wrong to accidentally toss a plate at her head?"
I couldn't stop it.
Her lips parted, the corn casserole was stabbed again and then, she spoke: "Cuz they wear their belt buckles on their hats."
Relieved laughter bubbled up from my family and Nan-nan looked thorougly impressed that she was able to bring an entire table to giggles just by using her wit.
"Oh, mom," my mother said as she shook her head at her own mother. "You are so getting blogged!"
Later, as Nan-nan was leaving, I could tell she was still lifted by the success of her comedy. "Isn't this pretty?" she said as she wrapped herself in a black fuzzy cloak and picked up her various bags of food and one disturbing bag of a baby doll in a loincloth (he was to be baby Jesus in the Christmas Program). "I got this in Columbus with Gwen when we went shopping..." she dragged her perfectly manicured hands across the cloak's sleeve.
I kissed her smooth cheek and let her out the front door to join my aunt and uncle as they left for the evening and turned to look at my leftover dinner guests.
"I bought that," my mother said with a look of pure astonishment on her face. "I bought that coat last year and haven't seen it since!"
And again, my grandmother left us in stunned silence followed by large peals of laughter.
I'm planning on renting her out for parties.