"So, do you girls like jokes?" asked that day's grandpa du jour, wobbling ever-so-slightly from the heady mixture of his Coumadin and Bud Light.
I eyed him warily. In such situations I can't exactly brusquely say no and walk away, so with a heavy inward sigh and a forced smile I chipperly replied, "Sure!"
That was my biggest mistake of the day.
Now gentlemen (and I use that term loosely), you and I both know that opening with a joke is always a risky proposition, no matter what your outdated Toastmasters handbooks might say. Comedy is a tricky business, and canned jokes even more so - they usually aren't funny, and the ones that are most likely to be funny walk a very fine line of being radically offensive, especially if you don't know your audience.
"President Clinton looks up from his desk in the Oval Office to see one of his aides nervously approach him. 'What is it?' exclaims the President.
'It's the Abortion Bill, Mr. President - what do you want to do about it?'
'Just go ahead and pay it.'"
JESUS CHRIST GRANDPA.
Despite how it might appear here, 99.999% of the time I am overly, immensely nice to a$$holes while I'm at work. Kill 'em with kindness, as they say. But come on now.
My chipper smile immediately disappeared and was replaced with my bitchface. "Really? You're opening with an abortion joke? You think that's an appropriate thing to say to a woman you don't even know?"
I spun on my heel and stalked away.
It's a risky proposition to tell political jokes to people you don't know - and this yahoo is upping the ante by tossing around abortion jokes? To someone who could have been his granddaughter? I should have suggested we call his granddaughter so he could tell it to her.
New rule: No jokes from grandpas will be accepted. The next time you ask me if I like jokes I'll just say no and start rattling off torque measurements of every car in the display.