I may be a bad influence

by Caleb Reading

My best friend has a five-year-old. He’s a good kid, but there’s not much to talk to him about, and he always wants to talk and ask a bunch of questions and try to tell jokes he heard at school. So a conversation I got roped into yesterday went like this:

Him: “Why is six afraid of seven?”

Me: (I know the punchline but I’ll play along) “Why?”

“Because seven eight nine. Is that funny?”

“Kind of.”

“Why is seven afraid of ten?”

(This one I haven’t heard) “I don’t know.”

“Neither do I. What is ten afraid of?”


“Bears? Why?”

(channeling Stephen Colbert) “Because bears are vicious killing machines.”

“Even Winnie the Pooh?”

“No, he’s a cartoon bear. They’re okay.”

“But if he were a real bear?”

“Then he’d be a vicious killing machine.”

“Then, then . . . I would beat him up!”

“That’s a good boy.”