When I was little, my father refused to explain jokes to me and this was a source of enormous irritation. I still remember one which I puzzled over for years.
Boy: What’s a feebly father?
Father: There’s no such thing.
Boy: There is, I read it in a book.
Father: What does it say?
Boy: He had a feebly growing down on his chin.
The Princess is now interested in jokes but she hasn’t the faintest clue how they work. Determined not to torture her as her grandfather did me, we tried to explain.
Me: Knock knock.
Mr. Waffle: Who’s there?
Me (thinking furiously): Ummm.
Him: Mr. Amnesia?
Her: Why is that funny?
Me: No, no, it’s not, wait a minute what’s black and white and red all over?
Her (crossly): I don’t know.
Him: That’s more of a riddle really.
Me: Hissing noise.
Her (more crossly): I don’t know.
Me: A newspaper. See, it’s black and white and you read it all over, so it’s read all over.
Her: I see, I see. Let me try.
Us (enthusiastically): Ok.
Her: What’s yellow and doesn’t have any pages?
Her (laughing): A cushion.
I am beginning to see real merit in my father’s approach.