David Bruce: The Funniest People in Families, Volume 2 — Children and Teenagers

Children and Teenagers

• The family life of a minister can be hectic. In one such family, the father had to travel to preach in a different city, the mother had to drive the older daughter to college in a different state, and only their seven-year-old daughter would be at home, in the company of a babysitter. Contemplating the not-at-all-unusual activity as various family members prepared for their trips, the seven-year-old asked, “Daddy, how did a family like us ever get together in the first place?”

• Fanny Brice was famous as a comedian (one of her most famous characters was Baby Snooks) and singer (one of her most famous songs was “My Man”). Although she had no need to steal when she was a youngster, she often stole—but was generous with her spoils. Fanny sometimes stole money to buy gifts for neighborhood children. Once, Fanny even used her mother’s charge account at a shoe store to buy five pairs of shoes for needy neighborhood children.

• Humorist H. Allen Smith’s wife was not above trying to get a good deal. She and her son once took a train trip. Although her son was seven years old, she was determined to pass him off as five in order to get the lower fare. Unfortunately, when the train conductor came to get their tickets, her son was reading the front page of The New York Times. As instructed, he looked at the train conductor and asked in baby talk, “Is ooo duh tun-dutt-er?”

• Yoki, Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.’s daughter, wanted to go to an amusement park called Funtown, but she was turned away because of her race. At the time, her father was in prison because he was fighting for civil rights. Yoki asked why he was in prison, and her mother replied that he was fighting for the right of people to go wherever they pleased. Yoki said, “Good. Tell him to stay in jail until I can go to Funtown.” Hearing this, Reverend King laughed.

• Because of her job, Beth Joiner, a children’s dance teacher in Georgia, is very aware of the romantic lives of her young pupils. For example, whenever there is a movie Friday afternoon at school, her students tell her with whom they will be going. Once, a long succession of students told her about the boys they were going with, and the last student said, “I’m going with Edwin. I don’t really like him, but he’s the only one left.”

• Sometimes life is like a cartoon. When he was a youngster, Peanuts creator Charles M. Schultz stood in line at a movie theater which had advertised that the first 500 children buying a ticket would get a free Butterfingers candy bar. When he arrived at the ticket booth, he was informed that the theater had run out of candy bars. Mr. Schultz figures that he must have been the 501st child in line.

• When movie director Alfred Hitchcock was six years old, he was naughty, so his parents sent him to the local jail with a note for the police officer in charge. The officer took the note, read it, then locked young Alfred in a cell. After five minutes had passed, the officer released young Alfred and said, “This is what we do to naughty boys.” For the rest of his life, Mr. Hitchcock was terrified of the police.

• A small child attended a tea party at which G.K. Chesterton, author of the Father Brown stories, was present. Her parents were excited that their daughter would meet the great man and told her that she could learn something from him. After the tea party was over, they asked their daughter what she had learned. She said, “He taught me how to throw buns into the air and catch them in my mouth.”

• When she was seven years old, Sammy Fancher Thurman rode a pony that decided to run away. It galloped, lost its footing, and fell and rolled over on top of her. Sammy’s father ran over to her and asked, “Are you all right?” She answered, “I’m OK, but my pony isn’t. He’s got to learn some manners.” She then started training the pony to obey her. Later, she became a star rodeo competitor.

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Copyright by Bruce D. Bruce; All Rights Reserved

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