Partner and I celebrate the nineteenth anniversary of our first date this week (I tell that sordid tale here, and quantify it here, but note that we are up to 19 years, 6 cars, and 5 high schools now). And by celebrate, I mean we talk about it and smile and remember how stupid we were, and how glad we are that our stupidity turned into something really awesome. No gifts, no special meal. Just retelling old personal jokes and the State of the Union Address. One joke in particular is strikingly appropriate to a remembrance of Pete Seeger, who died yesterday. This joke is a dialogue, initiated randomly, usually when working on a household repair or home improvement project.
A (calmly, with distraction): I wish I had a hammer.
B (equally distracted, but polite): What would you do with a hammer?
A (with a shrug): I’d hammer in the morning.
B (attention still diverted): Would you hammer any other time?
A (nonchalant): Oh sure, I’d hammer in the evening.
B (mildly interested): Where would you hammer?
A (dismissive): Oh, all over.
B (concerned): What would you hammer?
A (with sudden increase in volume and exuberant gestures — jumping onto the table with arms flung wide is not out of the question here): I’d hammer out LOVE between my sisters and my brothers aaaaa-AAAAAAA-ALLLL over this LAAAAAAND.
I never said we weren’t ridiculous. Now, where did I put that hammer?