Children’s Joke

There was a little kid who took a shower together with his parents. When they were in the shower the little kid looks up and see his mothers chest. So he asks, “Mommy what are those?” and she says “Oh those are my flashlights” and then the little kid looks down a sees his mother’s…uh… you know down there and asks her “Mommy what is that?” and she says “Oh that’s my barn”. Then the little kid turns to his father and sees his…you know and asks him “Daddy what is that?” and his Dad says “Oh that’s my horse”. So after their shower the little kid wants to sleep in bed with his parents for the night and they say “Okay”. So the little kid is in bed with them and he goes to sleep, but he hears some noise so he wakes up and shouts ” Hey Mommy, turn your flashlights on! The horse just went in the barn!”

My informant said that she first heard this joke when she was in 1st or 2nd grade. All of the kids at her school knew this joke and they would all tell it over and over again.  She remembers thinking it was so funny back when she first heard it, now it only makes her giggle a little. She says that she didn’t really get what the joke was referring to until recently, but thought it was funny before because the little kid in the story didn’t know what certain body parts were called and referred to them as those actual objects. “Like when he tells his mother to ‘turn her flashlights on’, you obviously can’t turn your boobies on like flashlights”. My informant also noted that because the joke involved a persons’ “private parts” it could not be repeated in front of adults. “Because adults usually get mad, when you tell jokes like that. So we would only tell it to other kids”

I believe that this joke, like many other obscene children’s jokes, are funny for different reasons to different subgroups within the folk group of children. Younger children find the joke funny because of the little kid’s ignorance and his use of the words to describe what he sees. Older children find this joke funny because they get what the joke is implying, which is sexual intercourse.  The older children also find it funny that when they repeat this joke to younger children the younger children don’t really get it and are laughing for the wrong reason.