My dad has a very dry sense of humor. And he’s not particularly talkative, so when he does say something humorous it can take you completely by surprise. Often it’s not even intended to be funny, but the monotone, never-miss-a-beat delivery makes it hilarious.
A few weeks before Christmas three years ago I sent out a group e-mail to the fam with names drawn for a gift exchange. We always include dogs on the list. My parents’ dog, Scout, was getting on in years and had recently suffered a bout of pancreatitis. On December 5, my dad sent this uncharacteristically emotional reply.
No need to get Scout anything. He doesn’t play/fight with toys anymore;
doesn’t even like dog biscuits. He has some major problems with tumors. I
only wish he makes it to the holidays; but there again, I think company sets
him on edge. I just got myself a nice miter saw.
For my readers who are unfamiliar with the unintentional wit of Brian Windholz, this may be the unfunniest thing of all time, but my husband, my brother, and my sister and her husband laughed ourselves silly that Christmas Eve when the topic of this e-mail came up in conversation. I don’t think anyone had really responded to it.
We asked my dad, how do you go from sadness and worry about a dog who maybe only has another month to live (incidentally, the feisty little guy made it another two and a half years after that e-mail), to the incongruous aside about a miter saw? All in one breath? Not even a new line. And not just a miter saw. A nice miter saw. As opposed to a shitty one.
His response was, “I wanted to make sure you knew in case you were going to buy one for me for Christmas.”
This made us nearly roll on the floor. Because not one of us, for one fleeting second, would have ever considered purchasing him a miter saw as a Christmas gift. I barely even know what a miter saw is. But he felt it necessary to put it out there.
Comedy gold. Even if you had to be there to get it.
© Jennifer Alys Windholz, 2011