“Some of them I can’t tell, they’re too dirty. You gotta’ watch it because some people are pretty prissy eh?” said Christine Baxter, 86, the Great Northern Retirement Home’s secret reservoir of scandalous jokes.
Once and a while, the retirement home’s residents get together for a ‘Joke-Telling’ social event in one of the lounges.
SooToday attended one of these events on Wednesday and witnessed Baxter telling joke after joke in a charming Austrian-Canadian accent, making the residents crack up with laughter.
Baxter told SooToday how she got into joke telling:
"I was born in Graz. Remember where Schwarznegger is from? Same place. When I was 17 I moved to Saltzberg. In Europe, when you move from one town to another they look at you like you’re a criminal. I couldn’t find a job as a dressmaker so I went and worked in a waffle factory. They made waffles, candies, and bon-bons — not lousy ones, real good ones. Funny enough, I made more money doing that then as a dress maker. Me and my friend got to know all the jobs in the factory because they would use us wherever and whenever someone was missing. So we moved from one floor to the other and as we went around somebody would tell a joke and they started to realize I would remember them. So every floor I went, I went with a new joke. So, stupid me, I told the jokes and I never forgot them. I can’t tell some of them (Baxter leans and talks low, with a smile on her face) — they’re terrible.... When I came to Canada I learned English in school and I had a very proper English teacher who was a professor. If she heard me talk the way I talk now (telling jokes) she’d have a bird."
Here are some of the jokes Baxter told on Wednesday (the ones we can print):
- A group of old women were on a bus they rented with a driver and during the trip they would occasionally go up and hand the driver a handful of almonds. The bus driver was happily snacking on these almonds but eventually, after the fifteenth handful or so he asked, “these are great, but are you sure you have enough to give me? Why don’t you eat them yourselves?” “Oh we can’t eat those,” said the old lady. "They’re too hard for our teeth.” “So why did you bring so many?” asked the driver. “Well,” she said,” we like to suck the chocolate off them.”
- A woman went to Louisiana and she saw all these shoes made out of alligator hides and she decided she wanted a pair so she asked a seller, "How much are they?” “They’re $500,” he replied. “Oh my god, they’re too expensive for me,” she said. “Why don’t you go into the swamp and catch an alligator —there’s lots of them — and you can get your own shoes?” So after work the seller went by the swamp and sure enough the woman was there with a shotgun. There was this big alligator coming and the woman shot at it, then dragged it out of the water and flipped it upside down. She looked disappointed. The man saw her throw the alligator into a pile of other freshly-shot alligators that she had beside her. “You’ve got so many alligators, and now you caught another one even, why are you disappointed?” he asked. The woman looked at the man and said ‘This one didn’t have any shoes either.’
- Little Annie was in first grade and the teacher was teaching the kids about whales. "It’s a big animal, but it cannot swallow a human," said the teacher. Little Annie replied, “But teacher, the bible says a whale swallowed Jonah.” "Nope," said the teacher, "it’s not true. Whales can’t do that.” “When I get to heaven I’m going to ask Jonah if he was swallowed by a whale" said Annie. The teacher said, “Well, what if he’s in hell?” Little Annie thought for a moment before saying, “Then you can ask him."
- This Irish lady was flying home after a vacation to America where she had done a lot of shopping. On the airplane there was a priest sitting beside her. “Oh father, can you help me? I bought this brand new expensive industrial-sized electro-hairdryer for my grandmother, and I’m over the allowable customs limit and I haven’t got the money to pay taxes. Could you hide it under your robe?” The priest said he’ll do it but warned that he will not tell a lie. The plane landed and the lady and the priest went through customs. The customs officer asked the priest, “Father do you have anything to declare?” The priest replied, "From the top of my head to the belt around my waist I have nothing to declare.” The customs officer thought it was a strange answer. “What do you have to declare from below your belt?” asked the officer. “Well,” said the father. “I have this marvelous oversized contraption. It’s just for women, and it’s never been used before.”
- A man hated his wife’s cat so one day he drove 20 blocks away from home and tossed it out the window of the car. When the man came home the cat walked up the driveway. So, the next day he drove the cat 40 blocks away before tossing it out. Sure enough, when he returned home, the cat was there. The next day, determined, the man drove the cat out of town, over a bridge, past the forest, through winding country roads and up into some hilly area and threw the cat out there. Hours later he phoned his wife and asked if the cat was there. She replied yes. Frustrated, the man said, “well can you put him on the phone — I’m lost.”
- A guy went to church hungover but had fallen asleep. The priest noticed so he told the congregation in a calm voice “anyone who wants to go to heaven please stand up" and everyone in the pews stood up. “Good” said the father and every sat back down. The priest then shouted, “OK, anybody who wants to go to hell stand up NOW!” and he clapped his hands. The sleeping man, startled, suddenly woke and shot up out of his seat. The man looked around the room, confused, and said, “Father, whatever it is we’re voting for it’s only you and I who are for it.”
- A guy opened his door one day and a dog stood outside. He bent down to pet it and the dog, who looked exhausted, just walked past him, right into the house, and laid on the man’s couch. After a while the dog gets up and leaves. The next day, around the same time, the same thing happens. The dog coming in and napping goes on for weeks and the man starts to wonder what this dog’s story is. One day, he attached a note to the dog’s collar that read 'This dog comes to my house and sits on my couch every day. If you are the owner, please let me know the dog’s name and what his story is by attaching a note.' The next day the dog comes back with a response attached to his collar: 'Hi, I’m the dog’s owner. His name is Fido. He lives in a home with four children in it and he comes to your house every day to take a rest. Could I come with him tomorrow?'
- Two friends were drinking and one of them said, “I have to move but I can’t because all the rentals are so expensive. The one friend said, "Well, I have an outhouse that you can rent for next to nothing” The destitute friend was so broke that he agreed and the next day he moved into the outhouse. A few months later the landlord friend asked the other, “so how do you like the place?” “Oh it’s wonderful,” replied the renter friend. “I even sublet the basement.”
The Great Northern Retirement Home is holding a silent auction and Strawberry Shortcake Social. Proceeds of these events go to support resident activities, like purchasing refreshments for their 'Tell-a-Joke' event. The silent acution is on now at the retirement home and people can submit their bids until the draw on Nov. 8. The Strawberry Shortcake Social is on Nov. 4, from 1:30-3 p.m.