That’s the Joke

blaxabbath

blaxabbath

I sat on a jury years ago, 2nd degree attempted murder case. One day the defendant wore sneakers with his suit to court. It was that day I knew he was guilty.
blaxabbath

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.


All-

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.


Setting

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.


Concept

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.


Characters

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.


Scenario

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.


Pitfalls

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.


blaxabbath
blaxabbath
I sat on a jury years ago, 2nd degree attempted murder case. One day the defendant wore sneakers with his suit to court. It was that day I knew he was guilty.
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BrettFavresColonoscopylitre_colablaxabbathscotchnautKing Hippo Recent comment authors
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litre_cola

I think you get your father a Cards #1 fan mug. They will never see that coming.

BrettFavresColonoscopy

YOU SHUT YOUR–

Oh, Arizona Cardinals? Yeah, that’s pretty funny.

scotchnaut

Go with this or some other version of it and you’ve got yourself a template that you can riff from for years to come.

/my grandparents left hints for my uncle (about 16 at the time) that he would be getting a snowmobile. (70’s nomenclature, forgive me) They sent him into a weeks-long tizzy of anticipation and then presented him with a small box that he thought would be the ignition key. He opened it and it turned out to be a plastic replica of the sled he wanted.*

*fast-forward three years later. My grandfather had been grumbling about needing a new hunting rifle but he couldn’t afford it. My uncle starts dropping hints that he’s putting money aside so that he can get his dad “a fantastic present”. Xmas morning arrives and, sure enough there is a present under the tree that looks like a box of ammo for a brand new rifle. Grandpa opens it up and discovers a plastic snowmobile inside. Fucking brilliant.

King Hippo

Your Dad’s should be sommet like “Black and PROUD!!” But yeah, mom deffo gets “World’s Best Uncle.”

Rikki-Tikki-Deadly

Also you could pretend to be enraged when one of the grandfathers receives one and accuse your wife of cheating on you with that grandfather’s brother.

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

Nice; that’d get his ass kicked…… which would also make for a very entertaining holiday season.

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

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Wakezilla

BFC hit the nail on the head.

Edit

“1. Since the gifts are from blaxito, do it as a special surprise and bring out the gifts separately—don’t put them on the tree beforehand.”

I was going to mention this, but our Puerto Rican friend got this.

You could have an emergency joke planned, where if your dad doesn’t deliver, you and gay friend get world’s greatest uncle mugs too, and your wife gets a world’s greatest father mug. Then do the whole Blaxito can’t read onesie.

Don T

It’s very manipulating. 😍
Some notes
/ ducks full Diaper Genie

1. Since the gifts are from blaxito, do it as a special surprise and bring out the gifts separately—don’t put them on the tree beforehand.

2. Wrap the gifts in different packages, so that Uncle B’s gift is not tipped. That also increases sharply the potential for awkwardness and spite before gift #2

3. Give your dad a picture of the mug the others received, taped to a way shittier mug.

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

I like your number 3.

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

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Rikki-Tikki-Deadly

Another thought – maybe give the friend (let’s call him “the shill” from here on out) a mug first (or second) to solidify the idea that everyone is getting a different mug.

Rikki-Tikki-Deadly

As I read down I realize this is exactly what BFC suggested, but my comment will appear higher on the page so I should get credit for the idea.

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

Good idea; This could extend to work with the Hard Ride to Nowhere mug.

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

Gnext year is custom gnomes?

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BrettFavresColonoscopy

Harumph

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

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Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

“It is slightly different.”

-nflmemes

Senor Weaselo

I think it’s both funny and cute, and I hope it works out.

BrettFavresColonoscopy

I would do it and riff on it, so here’s my recommendation with the caveat that I’m an asshole who LOVES prop jokes and gag gifts:

A) Give the mrs’s best friend a mug too. If you’re like my family, most adults get called aunt/uncle for a while anyway
2) After it’s all over, have blaxito open a gift from you and the Mrs that is a onesie that says “what do you want from me, I’m illiterate?”
&) Do the same thing next year with world’s best grandpa paraphernalia

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

My damn neighbor kids call me uncle; weirds me out a bit.

nomonkeyfun

“Mine too. I find it so respectful of those young people.”

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Wakezilla

“My wife and I are currently….in discussions….”

Always remember, nobody goes over in a 4 way.

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

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Brick Meathook
Brick Meathook

You need to prepare a PowerPoint presentation here. Also a chart of seating positions, LSAT style.

Now, is the payoff for Grandpa at the end that he is expecting a “WORLDS GREATEST UNCLE” mug and he gets one? Or is the joke that he expects to get one and makes a big comedy show while opening it but then the last mug says “SUCK MY DICK” and then Gay Friend (the plant) comes over and sits next to him? Because that would be a very memorable Christmas joke that would be retold for decades.

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

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Rikki-Tikki-Deadly

One other pinch of spice you can do is to insist that one of the gifts was mislabeled – ensure that Uncle B gets to open his first, and then sheepishly explain that it was mislabeled and give it to Uncle A.

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

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Ian Scott McCormick

“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.”

Stop. I do not have nearly enough information here, and this should become a post on it’s own. Why does your older brother wield so much power exactly? Are you allowed to make hard eye contact with him, or is it a situation like the monarchy, where he is not to be seen eating? I’m imagining a privacy booth at your table. Mini-curtains that get drawn with Bose speakers playing white or grey noise so that you can’t hear him chewing or slurping. Very elegant.

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

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theeWeeBabySeamus

I think it’s funny.

Which might be the single best reason not to do it.

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

I was thinking the same; one of my cousins gets my “jokes” the rest is about 10-20% get rate.

theeWeeBabySeamus

Inorite?????

Nobody gets me.

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

Except for money.

In my case it is because the jokes are very bad or esoteric or both.

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

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Low Commander of the Super Soldiers

Unless you are handing them these gifts after each round or so, I’m not sure how you can control the logistics here. Please outline your 5 point plan to ensure they receive their presents in order, in 45 words or less.

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

He can use MSProject and do a schedule pull from the end hour. Allowances for drinking need to be made.

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

We could use another column on the table outlining drinking and drug use projections/ possibilities. It does sound like there is not really much drinking, but we’d like to imagine the possibilities of holiday consumption. Uncle D (get the D) sounds like the drinker?

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

This is different from Uncle Ted, who received a restraining order last xmas and will be getting dinner in rehab.

nomonkeyfun

fun gay guy but is an accessory to the joke

Ummm, I thought we weren’t making the A-aron jokes anymore?

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

Maybe in the traditional sense…..

yeah right

So this is the answer to the question “What do we do with this box of ‘World’s Greatest Uncle’ cups that we found behind Best Buy?”

Game Time Decision

GO FOR IT, especially if the wife is on board
And cannot wait for the *****VIDEO***** or recap of this.

Sharkbait

Seconded.

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

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ArmedandHammered
ArmedandHammered

If it all goes bad, just say it was the blaxito’s idea.

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

If it all goes bad it depends on who dies; he could be absolved in this case.

Rikki-Tikki-Deadly

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Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

Some presents seem cool at first then just go wrong.

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Sharkbait

Solid analysis. You should go for it. You’ve got backup (presumably) in the Mrs. so that should soften any kind of blowback if it fails.

ballsofsteelandfury

I only have one question: do you have other gifts for them or is this it?

I think the joke will go over better if you have something else to give them, no matter how small it is.