I got jokes.

by tobias crabtree

I really like knock knock jokes. One of my favorite things to do is teach knock knock’s to little kids, you know, just right as they’re ready to comprehend that kind of thing. It’s so fun. I make up my own, and they almost always just barely work, kinda like bending words for a poem or a rap song (since I also dabble in rap music lyrics, I know this kind of thing). I guess I like knock knock jokes because most people grow out of them. Most of my close friends are broken in by now. They know to go ahead and play along, because it’s better to just hear the ending and roll your eyes than to sit and have someone (Me) say knock knock over and over with a smirk on their (my) face. Kids are always ready. When I start with the knock knock jokes with kids, they are so down. They especially like the jokes if they’re just a little naughty. Just like me, I loved/love all jokes about poop. Another nice thing about knock knock’s are that they translate well into modern communication — they’re practically tailor-made for texts. And it adds a challenge since you gotta make it work phonetically without giving away the punchline.  Example:

knock knock.

Who’s there?

Eye todd eye tah.

Eye todd eye tah who?

Eye todd eye tah uh puddy tat.

OHhhh! Boom! See what I mean? I’ll give ya a second here so you can finish laughing.


I made that up just this morning between the rap songs I’m working on for my next album. Truth is, I just like joking around. The opposite of joking around is being serious and I do that too, but I don’t like to do it too much because there is so much to be serious about and, well,  things get heavy. I have this tendency to let the heavy things fall on top of me. I don’t have to look far too find something to worry over. None of us do. There are sick babies and forgotten old ones. There are forests that are turning into wild memories, what remains will be remnants to help us imagine what it was like to wander and fly our thoughts like kites between the trees. The glaciers are being milked like cows and the water that hasn’t even fallen from the sky yet is being counted on to wash the cars that sit in vacation homes three states away. While they speak of seeding clouds over LA to squeeze out more rain in order to fix the water problems, water pours down the gutters in the 400+ golf courses in the Coachella corridor. The voices of the whales are strained because they can’t sing over the sound of the war ships and barges and cruise ships. Martini sippers peek out of the square windows of the passenger planes and look down into canyons where the wolves stare back, the former thinking about how much longer till landing, the latter looking with eyes that are arrows from a tightly strung bow.

See what I mean? Did I lose you? When the heavy comes, I can’t lift it. So, back to jokes.

I’ve heard that people who joke all the time are probably hiding some kind of inner darkness. I just laughed it off. Inner darkness…what a joke.

I really like the way kids love to laugh. They’re begging to laugh. A child can go from streaming tears to hysterical laughter in one fell swoop. Maybe the distance between the two is not so far. I think the line between crying and laughing is very thin indeed. I’m not sure what mechanism it is that stirs the tears and creates the quivering chin, the contortion of the face, but it happens.

We are strange ones, us humans. These rubbery faces. These wandering eyes and fluttering hands. We walk around like we have it all figured out. I see people choosing people to be leaders and the leaders hopping around like fools, disconnected from the fact that we are all just children of this world. So much to be learned from the quietness in the room when a fussy baby finally sleeps. So much to be learned from the friend whose dad died from a heart that quit working. We don’t need to elect someone to fix our lives, our lives will be fixed by caring for each other. My friends are my leaders and my councilors. They are the ones that help me lift the heavy. They are who I count on when I say, Knock knock.

As cliche as it sounds, being present is a very good thing.

(Knock knock. Who’s there? We are.)