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12. Smile

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“What is cracker?”

“Well, Robin,” Pat launched into his instructive voice, “It’s a brightly coloured tube and you have them at Christmas and you pull each end with your friend and it makes a fun noise and there are things inside.”

“What things?”

“A funny paper hat for you to wear and a little toy or something and a joke.   I always loved the jokes.”

“Robin like jokes.  Tell me joke.”

“Oh, er, well you’re putting me on the spot now, um… “What did the policeman say to his tummy?  You’re under a vest!”

“Why dat funny?  My tummy under my vest, fur vest, good and warm”

“It’s…. never mind… how about “What is the longest word in the dictionary?”

“What is dictionary?”

“Actually, I think I know this one”

“Really, Thomas?” Pat looked surprised.

“Yes, the longest word in the English language is ultracrepidarian”

“No, mate, that’s not what I meant… and I don’t think it is anyway.  The answer is Smiles because…”

“Pish, that has hardly any letters at all!”

“No, Thomas it’s a joke, it’s a play on words, it’s ‘smiles’ because it has a mile between the first and last letters.”

“That is not amusing.”

“Not funny.” Robin grunted.

“How about…” Julian began.

“Is this going to be rude, Julian?” Pat interrupted.

“No, actually, just a cracker joke.  What do you call a deer with no eyes?”

“A deer with no EYES?!  Goodness, how terribly sad, the poor thing!”

No, Kitty, it’s just a joke, it’s not a real deer.”

Kitty looked up at the Captain with confusion.

“It’s just a silly story of Julian’s, pay no attention.”

Anyway,” Julian continued, “What do you call a deer with no eyes? No IDEA!”

“Well if yous does not knows, whys did you asks us?”

“Wait, it gets better.  What do you call a deer with no eyes and no legs?”

“Ooooh” Kitty wailed, “The poor thing!”

No, Kitty.” The Captain and Pat chorused together.

STILL no idea!  Ha!”  Julian looked very pleased with himself.

“Right, yes, thank you, Julian.”

“No, hang on, I haven’t finished yet.  What do you call a deer with no eyes, no legs and no dick?”

“Julian!  There are ladies present.”

“Oh I’m most terribly sorry, Captain.  I meant to say what do you call a deer with no eyes, no legs and no penis?”

The Captain rolled his eyes.  Kitty looked him pleadingly and he just shook his head as if to say ‘just ignore him’.

“Still no fuc...”

“JULIAN!”

“Right,” said Pat, stepping in, “I think that’s enough of ‘What I Like About Christmas’ for today.  Tomorrow, food club!”