Bobby’s joke

Like most things for Bobby, he discovered his joke by accident. He wasn’t trying to be funny, he wasn’t trying hard to make everyone giggle. On the contrary, he was delighted when his little remark caused grot boy and I to laugh loudly.

P&O boat and opera HouseIt had been a warm, sunny day so we’d sat outside having a picnic lunch before going to an afternoon concert at the Opera House. Sydney Harbour was sparkling with ferries chugging backwards and forwards. Circular Quay was almost filled up with the large cruise ship in port.

Grot boy reminded us, “Aren’t we lucky? We live here all the time while some people only get to visit for a short holiday.”

Dwight wasn’t sure she agreed, “I’d love to go on a cruise. You get dressed up every night for dinner. I’d need lots of new dresses.” But Ted 2 thought that sounded very extravagant, “Why can’t you wear the same pretty dress every night?” he asked.

Dwight sighed with exasperation, “You just don’t understand Ted 2.”

Bobby looked a bit concerned, “Is it safe? That ship is awfully big, I think it might get soggy and sink just like me when I have a bath.”

Grot boy, who can never resist the opportunity to give us all a science lesson, was delighted to have the chance to explain to Bobby how a ship stays afloat.

“Remember Archimedes’ principal and what he discovered in the bath?” he asked. “Well it’s the same for a ship – it stays afloat because the mass of the water displaced is greater than the mass of the boat. And the hull is made of steel, which is mostly iron, so the tight bonds of the iron atoms make them impervious to water.”

Bobby looked confused, not reassured, and pleased to be distracted by an ice cream wandering by.

The afternoon’s concert included Shostakovich’s Leningrad Symphony which is a favourite of all the teddies. The drama, the noise, with all the boom and tish of a grand work with lots of percussion made them a little hyperactive. So when the concert was over and we came back outside into the sunlight I was surprised that Bobby had remembered the conversation about the ship.

“Can you see the big ship over there?” he asked. We all turned to the other side of the harbour but the shipping terminal was empty. I was confused and concerned – was there something wrong with Bobby’s sight? Then I heard him chuckling behind us, “Neither can I,” he said with a giggle.

And that’s how Bobby’s joke began.

We’ve now all got used to Bobby asking,

“Can you see the train running around the tracks?”

“Can you see the cake on the table?”

“Can you see the big tree over there?”

And even though we know that the train, cake or tree will have disappeared, we still all laugh at his joke.

©, 2014



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