Disclaimer: This is absolutely not NFL-related. It’s not even sports related. But it is joke-related. Continue at your own discretion. Or go back to working like a chump or reading something other than [DFO] while you sit on the can. Whatever.
As many of you are aware, my wife and I had a son, blaxito, this summer. He is the first grandchild on either side of our [small] families. As such, he is the obvious star of the holidays. Now, as we approach gift shopping season, I have an idea for a now-available joke that will be either brilliantly hilarious or bomb-out. And when I say bomb-out, I mean it. Like, if it doesn’t start well, the entire thing still needs to go down and it’ll be a groaner the whole way. But if it’s a hit, it will be a home run with these people.
No Risk It, No Bisk It.
Below I will do my best to describe the anatomy of what I have in mind and I’d appreciate any feedback you all may have. My wife and I are currently….in discussions….about this. I’ll try to keep this as short as possible but please bear with me, as details matter.
We are hosting Christmas (12/25) dinner. We hosted last year for the first time ever because we got to make the pregnancy announcement. It went well, considering we had nine people at our small dining room table. Our tradition is dinner, dessert, and then presents in the living room by the tree. My family does the go-around-in-a-circle-and-take-turns approach to gifts. By this point, everyone is usually happy, buzzed, and getting everything on their lists because that’s just how we do it.
So basically, the whole joke is that everyone gets a World’s Best Uncle coffee cup as a gift from blaxito (meaning: my wife and me). Identical cups in identical wrapping. The cup isn’t what’s funny though. It’s just the catalyst for everyone to respond to receiving the cup. The people involved are what matters so let me try to give you the details.
This is important, for obvious reasons, so I am going to try to explain the individuals involved. First, there will be ten of us sitting down. They are:
1) blaxabbath (not involved)
2) mrs xabbath (not involved)
3) blaxito (not involved)
4) mrs xabbath’s best friend (he’s a fun gay guy but is an accessory to the joke)
The actual participants are:
5) Uncle A: This is my younger brother (28 years). We work together and so are closer with each other than our other brother (though our closeness is way overrated by our parents and we both get along well with our older brother). He’s a quiet good-natured kid.
6) Uncle B: This is my older brother (38 years). He’s got a good of sense of humor but my mom really looks out for him (he’s her favorite) and so there’s always this risk of “going too far” with gags on him. Not because he’ll care but my mom or dad will say something to me and then I’m the bad guy.
7) Great-Uncle C: This is my wife’s uncle by blood. He’s a no-drama easy going guy. His role is similar to Uncle A.
8) Great-Uncle D: This is Great-Uncle C’s husband. He can be a bit of a wild card (super serious or super fun) but I’m banking he’s going to be feeling good (read: drinking) and can be really funny when he knows he’s got a receptive audience — which I intend to give him.
9) Grandma: This is my mom. My only goal with her is to keep her from jumping to Uncle B’s defense when this all kicks off.
10) Grandpa: This is my dad. Look, I’m not going to get into the whole thing about how neither of us really thinks the other one is all that funny but the point is this: he’s the star of the joke. The entire thing is a set up for him opening the last cup because, for some stupid reason, the rest of the family thinks he is funny.
So I’m going to outline for you how this works out, best-case scenario. Below is a summary tabe for your reference. Then I’ll get to the potential pitfalls.
|Gift Order||Relationship (to blaxito)||Relationship (to parents)||Purpose|
|1||Uncle A||My Younger Brother||Quiet. Role is to just open cup and say thanks.|
|2||Uncle B||My Older Brother||Neutralizes value of message. Everyone is relieved.|
|3||Great-Uncle C||Wife’s Uncle (blood)||Further neutralizes message. Tips that Great-Uncle D will get one.|
|4||Great-Uncle D||Wife’s Uncle (marriage to Great-Uncle C)||Comic. Makes a big to-do of opening his.|
|5||Grandma||My Mother||Completely devalues message on cup.|
|6||Grandpa||My Father||King ham.|
So it goes like this. We’re going around opening gifts and UNCLE A (1) opens his World’s Best Uncle cup from blaxito. Everyone is thinking like, “huh, that’s something to give him when he’s sitting right next to blaxito’s other uncle.” Maybe there is some comment by GRANDMA about it but I’ll be like, “it’s fine. Just keep opening gifts.” Still, there is a little concern brewing.
We go another round or two of gifts.
UNCLE B (2) gets his box. It looks exactly a UNCLE A’s did so everyone knows it’s the same ‘level’ of gift. UNCLE B gets the same cup and everyone goes, “oh ha ha ha. You’re both World’s Greatest Uncle. Cute and fair.” And my mom is relieved that both uncles got something.
We go another round or two of gifts.
GREAT-UNCLE C (3) gets his box. Same packaging but is it a different cup? Nope — exact same mug. Two things happen: first, we’ve further devalued the message on the cup (relieving the group tension that inevitably came when UNCLE A opened his mug first) since everyone who is an uncle — either to blaxito or my wife — is getting a cup. Second, and more importantly, it sets up GREAT-UNCLE D.
GREAT-UNCLE D (4) will then make a big to-do of holding his wrapped gift. Maybe he’ll shake it. Try to peek through the folds. Everyone will laugh and have a good time because now all the uncles will be World’s Best. I’m counting on GREAT-UNCLE D coming through with a solid comedic performance because he shines brightest when he knows he’s got the spotlight.
So we go a couple more rounds and then GRANDMA (5) gets her package. She’s like, “This can’t be a World’s Best Uncle cup; I’m a Grandma. But, then again, every package that looks like this has had an uncle cup.” So the suspense is like, “is she going to get World’s Best Grandma or something?” But then she opens it, it’s an uncle cup, and — knock on wood — the absurdity is hilarious. We’ve gone from the brother I am considered closer to receiving an inappropriate gift (considering the company) to turning that same World’s Best Uncle message into a complete throwaway that everyone gets, even if they’re a woman.
This leaves GRANDPA (6). GRANDPA is the king ham and everyone already knows what his cup says. It shouldn’t be a World’s Best Uncle cup but every box before his has been one, even GRANDMA’s. As with GREAT-UNCLE D, GRANDPA delivers when the spotlight is on him. So then he opens his identical gift and everyone has a good laugh reflecting on this bonding gift-receiving experience they all just enjoyed, both individually and as members of a group.
You’ve probably gone through all these in your head as you read the best-case scenario above. UNCLE A opening his may go over so tastelessly that, UNCLE B opening his is just like, “What he hell, blax? Why bother? This is something you’d think is funny but it’s not. You made UNCLE B feel bad for a bit.” Or the GREAT-UNCLES won’t bite and then it’s like, “Oh look, a cup with a message that isn’t sincere.” If either of these things happen, then we’ve got a groaner that, as GRANDMA and GRANDPA get to their packages, is just like suffering through the same terrible joke again and again.
On the upside, the wife’s friend who will be there is a fun high-energy guy and I think I could employ him to help guide the group attitude, using him as a plant to make sure there is a seemingly-objective voice that is keeping my joke agenda moving.
Logistically, if anyone gets their hands on their packages out of order, this blows up the whole thing. If GRANDMA opens hers first, then it’s all over. I think I can control the logistics though.
So there it is, the anatomy of an all-or-nothing family Christmas joke. Now that I see it laid out, I’ll probably do it anyways and, if it bombs out, so what. But we’ve got a pretty intelligent and funny community here so I think I’d run it by you all for comment before moving forward to execution. So, yeah, thanks in advance for your input.