The best joke I never planned.

Last year on April 1st, when he picked me up from the evening train from Munich, I took Oliver to a nearby hotel bar for a sundowner. After we ordered our drinks, I handed him a gift bag overflowing with colored tissue paper. He pulled out a bundle and unwrapped this book:

"One Man, One Book: Certain things in life that a man should know."

I had my life list, I told him and I knew he had one too, at least in his head. And since he hadn’t written one down, I explained, I thought I would give him a book of ideas to inspire him.

Then I told him to open it to a particular page and read the entry. As he flipped through the pages, I handed him a pen, telling him that he could already check something off.

He took the pen and his eyes dropped to the page. Reaching the bottom, I saw his brow furrow a little. I saw him read it again, the little crease getting deeper.

He stared at the page, and then looked up at me, bemused… or perhaps insulted?

Whatever it was, this was not the expression I was expecting at all. I took the book from him and looked at the page he had read.


I’d intended for him to look at this page:

Maybe I should have included a helpful arrow.

But instead he’d read this page:

(Translation: How to fake an orgasm.)

And that’s how I told him the first time I was pregnant.

(Translation: How to father a child.)


8 responses to “The best joke I never planned.

  1. Congratulations. What a fabulous story.

  2. Congratulations!

  3. Btw, I am your local expert on toxo, including the specialist tests that occur only in Scotland or Palo Alto. If you’d like to chat about it, drop me a line.

  4. Pingback: Afterward (Or: I guess the joke was on me). | Still here, Still foreign

  5. wait. the first time? uh oh.

  6. @Jen – I thought it was a great story too. Once the dust settled, I also regretted the loss of this tale to tell.

    @G – i’ve got plenty to learn about toxo and hope I know at least how to best defend against it, so I’m curious for any tips you may have.

  7. Pingback: Bookend bumper crop. | Still here, Still foreign

  8. Pingback: So What Happened Next? | Still here, Still foreign

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