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Deep Philosophical Question from First Graders

A lot of people seem to be impressed with the things I can remember from my childhood. I always figure this great recall comes from the fact that I was bored and didn’t do much the first 21 years of my life, so I could replay memories of those years over and over in my head. It sort of cemented those things in my head–the good, the bad, the inaccurate.

I might be able to remember character names from Jem & the Holograms from 1989, but let me assure you that I cannot remember what I just walked into the kitchen for. I blame my son for my current state of not being able to remember even the simpliest of information.

So, how crazy is it that a joke I first heard in first grade still haunts me to this day? It is a deep philosophical question with NO GOOD ANSWER!!! And therein lies the beauty of the joke. No matter how you answer, there is a way for your classmates to laugh at you. In fact, this may have been what cemented in my mind that the world is full of a**holes.

Are you ready?

Here goes…


Well…Are you?

Answer “no”. No always seems like a safe assumption, right?


JOKE TELLER’S RESPONSE: Ew, you aren’t potty trained?!

So, the next time you get asked, you go for yes. Because if you are like 7 of course you are potty-trained (or else would lie and say that you are).



JOKE TELLER’S RESPONSE: You are a pregnant teenager!!!

Now, I have no idea why this joke still bothers me. I mean, in first grade no one really understands how anyone even really gets pregnant, except the teacher. And her uterus is shriveling up at an alarming rate from being around a whole classroom of other people’s snot-nosed kids everyday. And if your age is still in single digits, there is no way anyone is going to consider you a teenager.

But I think it bothers me that the question poses a no-win outcome.

And it is so advanced, you know no first grader made it up. They probably got it off the Internet. Oh, wait, no….early 1980’s…  They probably got it from an older sibling.

I always thought I should come up with an original idea of something good that “PT” could stand for to outwit them, but I never did. I am not naturally very smart-alacky. But if I spend a few hours around someone who is, I can usually pick it up and almost hold my own. (Like my brother-in-law. Or my husband’s best friend. Man, I am glad my husband isn’t like that. It is mentally draining to try to keep up with people with those gifts.)

Physics Teacher. (No wait, I HATED the physics teacher at our high school.)

Pony Trainer. (Oh, that’s just lame. See, this is hard!)

Parrot Tracker. (OK, now I am just giving up.)

So, how about you?

Are you PT?

C’mon, are you?

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