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The Funniest Things I’ve Ever Seen/Heard

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Everything is ruined! Enjoy this list of the funniest spontaneous things I’ve ever seen and heard and come back to mentally when I need a chuckle (and remembered while writing this post).

Mr. Jen and I were stuck behind a car taking forever in the McDonald’s drive-thru. Soundgarden’s “Spoonman” was on the radio. Finally fed up, Mr. Jen, in a near-perfect Chris Cornell impression, yells, “DECIIIIIIIDE MAAAAA’AM” along with the music.

The Liberty Bell
My BFF Jill and I went to see the Liberty Bell together. In the gift shop, the famous picture of Thomas Jefferson handing Benjamin Franklin the Declaration of Independence was hanging on the wall. Jill looked up and said quietly, “Hey, can I get your John Hancock on this?”

Balancing Act
Out raising teenaged hell with some friends, we decided to go to a local church’s playground to smoke weed at around two in the morning. My friend Sean launched himself from the car shouting, “SWIIIIIIIIINGS!” as he ran at full speed across the church’s lawn. We heard an enormous, ringing clang, and Sean was suddenly flying through the air, arms and legs flailing. At the edge of the playground were a series of iron balance beams that were exactly knee-high to Sean and totally invisible from the particular angle that Sean had been running.

Balancing Act #2
Auditions for the Celery Flats Shakespeare Festival in Portage, MI were always held in the big barn behind the theater. The Celery Flats is an area where people go jogging and biking and skating on the trails and there’s an old-timey village. It was very hot, so the barn doors were open on both sides. I just happened to be seated directly across from the doors that looked out onto a busy section of the skating paths. A man on rollerblades skated into view and stumbled, somehow ending up with both legs off the ground, but in a sitting position. The frame of the barn door cut off my view of the impact of his fall, so for a few seconds, he flew past in the air as if he were seated on an invisible bus driving by.

My Best Behavior
A friend is the granddaughter of the much-beloved former mayor of a humble Michigan town. He was being honored during their town’s annual parade and my friend invited me to come along, provided I didn’t “do anything weird.” We viewed the parade from risers reserved for special guests and their families. Before the parade started, there were some kids riding their bikes along the route. One of them fell and without a second thought, I pointed with my arm fully extended and shouted, “HA! That kid just fell off his bike.”

Gramps Burn
Years ago, I jokingly said I would have sex with Bill Clinton. My Grandpa Pat shot back, “Jenny, that man’s had a heart attack. He can’t do that kind of heavy lifting.”

Gramps Burn #2
As a child, I had a huge gap between my two front teeth. I was around ten when, at the dinner table, I stuck a toothpick into the gap and said, “Look, it fits in there!” Grandpa Pat said, “Jenny, you can fit the log that toothpick come from in there.”

Gran Burn
While preparing for my Uncle John and Aunt Wendy’s 25th-anniversary party, my cousin asked my Grandma Z, “What time does the party start?” In my best Ke$ha voice I sang, “Well the party don’t start ’til I walk in!” To which my Grandma Z replied, dryly, “The party starts at four, Jenny.”

Devastating Dad Joke
My stepdad tells my sister and I that we’re “pretty in two ways. Pretty ugly, and pretty apt to stay that way.”

Hay Fever
Mr. Jen and I were driving down the road with all of our windows up, yet somehow the mere sight of a field of flowers gripped Mr. Jen with a sneeze so powerful, his head went around and around three times to wind up for it.

Food Fight
My BFF Holly and I were terrible kids. Just terrible. One day, while her sister, Nikki, was in charge of the house, I put salt in Holly’s glass of Coke while her back was turned. This escalated into a food fight that doused the kitchen in water, condiments, flour, eggs, and anything else remotely wet. The fight then moved into the guest bathroom, where toothpaste and shampoo became involved and, I regret to say, one tube of chapstick, which Holly rolled all the way up and smashed into my ear. By the time Nikki noticed that we were wrecking the house, the damage was done. The cupboards, floor, walls, even the ceiling in some spots, not to mention the furniture in both rooms and the adjoining hallway were covered with the nastiest mixtures imaginable. Nikki turned to us, pure, totally justified murder in her eyes, and shouts, “GET. OUT!” She pushed us out of the sliding glass door before we could grab our shoes, so there we were, walking down the road barefoot in Michigan in April when Holly’s dad pulls up. He leans out the window and says, “Hey there, Lil’ Pups. Where are your shoes? It’s cold out.” And Holly, with the most pitiable, Dickensian orphan expression I’ve ever seen, replied somberly, “Nikki kicked us out of the house without our shoes.” Their dad drove back to the house angry with Nikki, who was left to clean up the mess because as the adult at home, she let things get out of hand. That’s right. I said “As the adult.” Nikki wasn’t way older than Holly and I; we were fourteen and far, far old enough to know better.

Pest Control
After complaining about a wasp nest in a tree outside our house, I came home to find my cousin D-Rock standing on our roof with a can of homemade napalm and a bow and arrows. Her brilliant plan? To shoot flaming arrows into the nest. While drunk. And on a roof.

It occurs to me that I may have told all of these stories before. But I’m just trying to get back into the swing of writing something every day. At the very worst, you chuckled at the same thing twice.

IMPORTANT UPDATE: Maranda’s comment about her four-year-old’s pee experience reminded me of my kid’s four-year-old pee experience and I cannot believe I didn’t share it in here before. So, I give you:

Rest In Pees
We were in the car on a long country road late at night. My four-year-old needed to pee, so I pulled over, got him out, and said, okay, go potty. A car was coming by, so I was keeping an eye on them as my kid did his tinkle business. As the headlights flashed past, I saw that the spot my son had chosen to pee was a roadside memorial for someone who’d died in a car crash.

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  1. Siobhan

    Ok, my husband and I live in Vienna, Austria (I married an Austrian). They are MUCH more formal and polite here, to the point that I have heard more than one person describe the entire culture as passive aggressive. Anyway, we’ve been looking for a new apartment for about three years (finally found one and moved in last week), but the encounter with one realtor STILL has me laughing every time I think about it. One small piece of background — after WWI, Europe starved. The war that killed an entire generation of young men left very few people to work the farms, and very little farmland that hadn’t been soaked in blood. That’s not the funny bit.

    The agent showing the apartment didn’t speak much English. I speak almost no German. The agent tried to make a joke when we got on the elevator, which went like this:

    Agent: I do not understand why the elevators are all so small. They say they fit four persons, but look, we are three and almost do not fit.

    Me: that’s because they set the weight limits after World War One and haven’t changed them.

    Mr. Siobhan: SIOBHAN! WHAT THE FUCK??

    Agent: *puzzled smile*

    Me: What? Too soon?

    September 3, 2020
  2. Lissa Jeri
    Lissa Jeri

    Your mention of the Liberty Bell made me smile about my own recollection. You didn’t describe it, but the Liberty Bell is now in a huge building and you can’t get within 10 feet of it let alone touch it. When I was a kid (1950s), the Liberty Bell was in a side hallway in Independence Hall…with as much presentation as you would have a coat rack in your hall at home. We kids (I’m from Philly) would go there often, get up on the pedestal, get inside the bell, and bang on the inside, making the mandatory cracking jokes.

    And yes, do the math of my age….and yes, interest in reading genre books like Jenny’s never dies. You just have to keep the motor running….that’s advice for everyone

    September 4, 2020
  3. Maranda

    My husband, our 4-year-old son, and I were coming back from the mall, which was about 30 miles from where we lived. We a few miles from home when my son said “I have to pee”. I turned to him and told him we were almost home and asked if he could hold it. So he grabbed his crotch and asked me how long would it take for the pee to “quit wanting to come out”. Husband and I laughed so hard, I ended up peeing my pants.

    September 4, 2020
    • JennyTrout


      September 4, 2020
  4. Marit

    After giving birth to my first child I had a tear that turned into a bit of scar tissue meaning it was tight and uncomfortable. I complained about it using the word “the scar” to my GP a few weeks after he initially examined it, and he was all “oh it will get better, just remember to massage it regularly to loosen it up, make a habit of doing it while you watch tv at night or something”. I looked him dead in the eye and reminded him that I didn’t have a c-section. He looked at me for a second and the he burst out laughing and I said something about wouldn’t that be a treat for the dad in the house. I will tell that story in every setting where I can get away with it.

    September 4, 2020
  5. Bookjunk

    My dad is always going on about how he’s going to place the treadmill just so and then he’ll be able to look out of the window or watch tv while he exercises.

    Me: Dude, how long ago did you use it? Years?
    Him: Hey! But I used it regularly back then.
    Me: Come on, you used it for a week and then you were done.
    Him: That’s not true. Cause I wrote down the distance and how long it took whenever I used it and those notes fill five pages! Five!
    Me: Wow! Your handwriting must have been HUGE!

    (I swear I’m not a dick; we all rib each other like that. My mom and I laughed so hard at my dad’s face and he tried not to show it, but he was amused too.)

    September 4, 2020
  6. Rebecca

    I feel bad for Sean, but I am just DYING over Balancing Act.

    September 5, 2020
  7. Karin from the Netherlands
    Karin from the Netherlands

    Boarding privilege

    So, two days after our wedding party, we were at the airport at the crack of dawn, because we had a huge day of travelling ahead of us. And we were a bit hung-over still, and groggy but I was giddy with anticipation.

    We were waiting in line at the gate, ready to board, when this man in an expensive suit walked up to the front of the line, followed by a 12 year old look-a-like in exactly the same suit. The man looked at us with disdain, lowly rabble waiting for the economy class, and asked the flight attendant if first class was allowed to board right away. She said yes, and opened the velvet rope like thingy so the man and his mini-me could enter. He looked around, triumphantly, and I just couldn’t help myself and yelled: “enjoy, because you paid for that!” And this random stranger behind me startled laughing so hard I thought she’d pee herself. The snobbish man, however, looked kinda embarrassed and scurried inside, his confused offspring in tow.

    While you’re at it

    After I’ve given birth to my second child, I had to go into surgery because the placenta didn’t fully come out and I lost a lot of blood. The gyn told me that I was going to be prepped for surgery and explained the procedure, when I interupted: “while you’re at it, could you also remove my ovaries? Because I don’t want to do this ever again and it’s just convenient this way for everyone?”
    The face of that doctor still cracks me up. She had this ‘does not compute’ face for a second, and then with absolutely seriousness replied: “no. this procedure doesn’t sedate you enough for removing anything other than bits of placenta.” Then, as the absurdity of my request kicked in: “Also, we’d never do such a thing after a woman just given birth. We just don’t.”

    Too bad though, because my child turned 2 last week and I never changed my mind about never wanting to do a birth ever again.

    That’s why I like animals

    So, I went on this organised trip to Egypt. It was a group thing, which I loathe, but the only way to get a guide to all the cool temples and pyramids in a for my affordable way.
    Turned out me and my husband were the only history nerds, the rest of the group really just wanted to take a few pictures and lounge at a bar or wanting to go back to the hotels swimming pool. Really annoying.
    Soon, two guys of the group started ro get into this macho like contest, see who was the bravest at stuff, constantly wanting to outdo each other. One day, our guide took us to go camel riding.
    I absolutely loved the idea. I also love animals. I went to go and pet “my” camel, and just be nice to it. Because, hey, you know, carrying around tourist might not be a camels dream job.
    The others were either afraid or complaining about the smell. And soon into the ride, those wannabe alpha’s were at it again. One of the guys even went as far as standing on the back of his camel. He lost his balance, but instead of falling of like he deserved, he landed on the back of the poor beast, who let out a wail. I scolded the dude, and he stopped fooling around. The camel just went on his round, and someone made a “Haha, dumb animals” remark.
    An hour later, we were back at the starting point, and the animal handlers urged the camels to lie down so we could dismount.
    As the guy who fell onto the camel got of, the camel flexed his neck fully around, so it’s head was at his lump, and he tried to bite this awful human while -i shit you not- he growled in the most feral way imaginable. The wannabe alpha hurried of, visibly scared, while the handler restraind the offended animal. And I swear, this beast would have chased this guy all over the Sahara, which makes the camel who does not forget the most epic hero in my mind.

    September 27, 2020

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