The Long Joke
Sometimes, you have to hang in there
So once upon a time, i.e. 1982–1983, I was in a Geometry class. Wherein I ran a really, really awful joke for most of the school year.
As anyone who has taken Geometry knows, the theorum is central to Geometry.
Pronounced “Theer-um”, like “serum” with a lisp. This is important.
They are not, ever, for any reason, pronounced “THEE-OR-UM”. That’s right out. Unless you’re me. And an asshole.
From late August until about April, I called them “thee-or-ums”. Relentlessly. Straightfaced. Without any sign it even occured to me I might be saying the word incorrectly.
Every time, every time I said “theorum” that way, my Geometry teacher twitched. A little harder every time. Mind you, I came up with reasons to say “theorum” as many times as possible. So twice a day in an hour, five days a week.
FOR SEVEN MONTHS
I was relentless, I was ruthless. I never hinted at saying “theorum” correctly. By mid-April, everyone in the room flinched every time I started to talk at all, because they knew what was coming.
Finally, like the next to last week of April, the teacher finally snapped.
John. The word is pronounced “theer-um”. Not “thee-or-um”. It has never been pronounced “thee-or-um”, it never will be pronounced “thee-or-um”, and one would think that after almost a year of hearing everyone else pronounce it correctly, YOU MIGHT GET THE HINT!
He looked like he was about to have a breakdown.
With a smile like the good lord himself was giving me a handjob, I said:
No thilly, therum’s what you take when you get thick!
You mean that since…August…you have been saying it wrong…deliberately, frustratingly, maddeningly wrong just to push me into correcting you so you could make that…joke?
Well yeah. I didn’t think it would take this long, but in for a penny!
I’m going to go take a nice walk outside. It’s a beautiful sunny day, not too hot, I’m going to take a nice 5–10 minute walk. And when I come back, if you ever pull that shit again, I swear to god that I will personally shove you through a keyhole the hard way. I wouldn’t even get arrested. No one would ever blame me.
He really looked like he was about to cry.
Totally worth it.
Oh, I didn’t stop there. Ask my wife, my son, my friends…when it comes to bad jokes, I will work for days, months, fuck, years to pull one off. It’s really my contribution to evil.
I have no idea why I’ve not been murdered, dug up, brought back to life and murdered again, over and over. See? God loves me!