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Heard any good jokes lately?
“Where does a sheep go for a haircut in New England?” Also, 7 other things worth knowing today.
"Sarcasm is the lowest form of wit," I once told an especially sarcastic and yet concisely spoken friend at work back in the 1990s, when I was an intern at the very first media company lucky enough to have me.
"No," she said. "Puns."
It was a nice line but decades later, I get the last laugh. I'm a dad, and I tell a lot of Dad Jokes, and many Dad Jokes are all about puns—the badder, the better, in fact.
It's that some days, alongside a plea for free readers to please (pretty please) consider upgrading to a paid subscription, I run bad Dad Jokes at the start of the version of the newsletter that goes to free subscribers.
Why? Because money makes the world go 'round, and helps me to keep Understandably.com afloat, and recruit additional contributors—and also not stare at my shoes or change the subject when people ask:
"Hey Murph, how's it going with that newsletter you spend so much time on?"
The running joke behind the jokes is that the only way not to have to see the Dad Jokes each day is to become a premium member. That way, you don’t have to guess, say, “Where does a sheep go for a haircut in New England?” before reading the rest of the newsletter.
Wait for it ...
Wait for it ...
Wait for it ...
"To the baa baa shop."
I admit I came up with this whole idea after a few glasses of wine one evening, and I started doing it because it made me laugh.
But then, plot twist! The Dad Jokes started to develop a following!
“Thank you for the newsletters you write. You give me hope in such a weary world. (And a laugh with the dad jokes….I LOVE DAD JOKES). I can’t pay you at this point but hope you have enough to sustain your gift to share with others.”
“I'm using this coleslaw pun for my Monday is Pun Day! Good one!👏😄”
“First off.... GREAT JOKES.”
I'm glad people like them, but what strategic incompetence on my part! (Good initiative, poor judgment! As my daughter likes to say when she's mad at me: "Bad Bill Murphy Jr!" )
We’re talking about highly loyal, valued readers—the very people I hope might consider the ol' upgrade—and they write to me saying how much they love the Dad Jokes, and even suggesting new ones.
Yet, I've explicitly said that if they pay to get the newsletter, they won't get the Dad Jokes anymore. D’oh!
Now, in truth, this isn't really that big a problem; it's more something that amuses me day after day—and that I was really looking forward to sharing at some point. Truly, I have never been more confident that Understandably.com is working—and that it will continue to grow.
Premium subscribers: Starting when I get back from vacation next month, we're going to really start adding bonuses that you'll appreciate.
And, free subscribers—sure, I would be grateful if you would consider the premium version—but I also really do appreciate having you here, period.
Plus, some people do sign up anyway, even if they like the Dad Jokes. Here's a reader from yesterday (shared with permission):
I don't like the news in general, but I do like being informed. Your newsletter provides comedy, compassion, and credible sources (you like that alliteration?) which allows me to push down my anxiety about reading current events.
My goal was to read your newsletter for 6 months free before paying for a subscription, but I think I'll jump in today. :) Thanks for your hard work...even the Dad Jokes, which by the way, I share with my adult daughter in an effort to annoy her. Keep up the great work!!!
So, it’s a comment thread Friday, and I'm going to put some of the “best of the worst” bad Dad Jokes we've used in this little feature so far in the comments.
Then, I'm going to ask you to add your best jokes—bad, dad, or otherwise—as well.
Whoever comes up with the best one—let's say the one that is "upvoted" by the most other readers—gets a special shout-out in Monday's newsletter. Plus, if you're a premium subscriber, a special bonus prize that I'll have to figure out over the weekend.
7 other things worth knowing today
The first estimate of Q2 GDP announced on Thursday indicated a 0.9% decline. With the Q1 report, that means the first half of 2022 has seen negative growth, even if the second quarter was a slight improvement on the first. There’s a good chance we’re in a recession, but here’s why we can’t be sure yet. (Forbes)
Home sales are slowing down, and some of the pandemic era's hottest "Zoomtowns" — sleepy areas where remote workers pushed up real-estate prices — are already seeing price drops. But with home prices at record highs, this was a market overdue for cooling off. (Axios)
A Chick-fil-A restaurant in North Carolina faces a backlash after it suggested on social media that volunteers should work its new drive-thru express in exchange for food (Hendersonville Times-News)
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser has requested the activation of the D.C. National Guard to help with migrants who are arriving by bus to the nation's capital. Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott began chartering buses to send migrants to D.C. and other so-called "sanctuary cities" earlier this year. (NBC Washington)
Nicholas Sandmann, the teen who appeared in a viral video in an apparent confrontation with a Native American elder in 2019, has lost his defamation lawsuits against several media companies. A federal judge struck the cases filed by Sandmann against The New York Times, CBS News, ABC News, NBC Universal Media, Rolling Stone, and Gannett on Tuesday, court documents show. Sandmann says he plans to appeal. (Business Insider)
All those years ago, I spent a fairly stressful summer studying for, and taking (and passing!) the bar exam. We wrote the essays by hand in old school blue books. Here we are in 2022, and things have "advanced" to the point where you write everything on a laptop, but the software keeps crashing. (Bloomberg)
Actor and director Tony Dow died at 77 after a battle with cancer. He was best known for playing Wally Cleaver in the iconic series "Leave It to Beaver." (CBS News)
Thanks for reading. Photo credit: My lovely wife. Want to see all my mistakes? Click here. See you in the comments!