Sunday, June 16, 2013

Naughty Deaf Joke

Last Father's Day post, a joke from Dad as it appeared in my memoir BURN DOWN THE GROUND:

Mom answered my plea for a quarter by pantomiming empty front pockets and signing, “I’m out. Go ask your daddy.”

Without hesitation, I turned on my heels and skipped to the bowling alley lounge, where I found my father leaning against the pool table holding court among a small gathering of onlookers. He held a cold can of Coors Light and a lit Kool in one hand and was signing with his free hand.

“Two deaf people get married. The first week of living together they find it hard to talk in the bedroom after they turn off the lights.”

I caught Dad’s eye and he gave me a quick wink as he gave the ASL sign for “wait” by wiggling his slim fingers palm side up, revealing the calluses from his years as a construction worker. Unlike my mother, Dad didn’t speak at all other than an occasional shout of a name or profanity aimed at a Dallas Cowboys game. When he did, his voice came out in an oddly high pitch with too much air behind it. He couldn’t read lips as well as Mom and didn’t move his mouth much when he signed.

I let him finish the joke that he didn’t bother censoring, even though I was nearby. I had watched him tell it at least a dozen times. As he signed, the ash on his cigarette grew longer.

“After several nights of misunderstandings, the wife comes up with a solution. ‘Honey, we need simple signals in the bedroom at night. If you want to have sex, just reach over and squeeze my breast once; and if you don’t want to have sex, squeeze it twice.’

“The husband replies, ‘Great idea. If you want to have sex, pull my dick once. If you don’t want to have sex, pull it a hundred and fifty times.’”


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