Wednesday, March 28, 2012

April Fool's Day program for the Madeira Beach Rec Center

Great seeing the Madeira Beach Rec Center at Gulf Beaches today. Forget Easter -- April Fool's Day is right around the corner so the subject was funny stuff at the library.

  • I read two favorites, The Boy Who Cried Ninja by Alex Latimer and Chicken Butt by Erica Perl. (Chicken Butt is sooo inappropriate, but amazingly, none of you kids seemed offended.)
  • I showed some joke books and informed my visitors that they're almost impossible to find, hidden between sports, magic and poetry, so if you're looking for joke books in a library, just ask the librarian.
  • I passed out some jokes. See full list below.  I gave them ten minutes to read them and practice them. BEFORE I passed them out, I should have read them one or two knock knock jokes myself. It was important to model the reading of a joke to them. I let them trade jokes in for ones they really liked, I let them practice on each other in whispers, and I told them it was important when they read one to punch up the pun so their listeners would get it. It was really fun.  Everyone wanted to read, some wanted to go twice, and even the little ones who really couldn't read their simple jokes were reading away. It was important for me to stand by their sides and play the straight man for them.  (Which dinosaur is the smartest? Me:  Which dinosaur is the smartest?) This makes sure everyone can hear and attention stays on the reader.
  • I talked about an April Fool's Day joke I had made: a bottle of nail polish tipped over onto a piece of wax paper so that it looked like it had spilled on the counter. I talked about jokes and April Fool's Day stuff.
  • Drum roll. I told them the camp counselor, Carrie, had offered to let me throw a pie in her face. We had talked about it before and I told her that really, she would tip it up into my face while I stood there with the pies ready, my arms at my side. But she didn't evidently trust me (!!!) and I told the kids I had to take Ms. Carrie and give her a talking to. I reassured her and the pie landed in my face. I must say, she was very timid about execution.  A pie -- and then another -- in the face is quite an experience. Always remember to bring a change of clothes that day. Lucky I had a clean shirt.
  • We made a craft of trick rings. The girls used some large foam hearts I had, but the boys had to cover wooden beads with tinfoil. Then insert a pipe cleaner through the bead hole. This is your new "ring" and goes on the outside of your hand. On the inside of your hand, on the palm side, you put a small piece of sponge, and hold that in place with the rest of the pipe cleaner as you twist it closed. Then practice your trick routine.  For girls, show off your beautiful ring, "Look what I made in craft!" take the other person's hand, and then give them a W-E-T squeeze. For boys, say, "I have the ring of power! Feel my powerful grip, and then give them a W-E-T squeeze."
This was a GOOD TIME!!!

Knock, knock.
Who’s there?
Yeast who?
Yeast you can do is laugh at this joke
Knock, knock.
Who’s there?
Tibet who?
You want Tibet on who it is?
Knock, knock.
Who’s there?
Beth who?
Beth wishes on your graduation.
Knock, knock.
Who’s there?
Meg who?
Meg up your mind.
Knock, knock.
Who’s there?
Cosmo who?
You Cosmo trouble than anyone I know.
Knock, knock.
Who’s there?
Kenya who?
Kenya please keep quiet in there. I’m trying to sleep.
Knock, knock.
Who’s there?
Mile who?
‘Mile, I’m going to take your picture.
Knock, knock.
Who’s there?
Wanda who?
Wanda buy some candy?
Knock, knock.
Who’s there?
Donut who?
Donut be so dumb? You know very well who I am.
Knock, knock.
Who’s there?
Lettuce who?
Lettuce in and we’ll be good.
Knock, knock.
Who’s there?
Justin who?
Justin case I don’t see you, happy birthday!
Knock, knock.
Who’s there?
Owl who?
Owl be your best friend if you open the door.
Knock, knock.
Who’s there?
Spook who?
Spook-etti with meatballs is my favorite food.
Knock, knock.
Who’s there?
Ooze who?
Ooze gonna open the door?
Knock, knock.
Who’s there?
Oscar who?
Oscar what she wants for dinner.
Knock, knock.
Who’s there?
Leggo who?
Leggo the door – I’m trying to get in!
Knock, knock.
Who’s there?
Weirdo who?
Weirdo you think you’re going?
Knock, knock.
Who’s there?
Yah who?
Ride ‘em, cowboy!
Knock, knock.
Who’s there?
Gorilla who?
Gorilla cheese sandwich for me, please.
Knock, knock.
Who’s there?
Phil who?
Phil up the tub with warm water. I’m taking a bath.
Knock, knock.
Who’s there?
Voodoo who?
Voodoo you think you’re talking to?
Knock, knock.
Who’s there?
Boo who?
Oh, don’t cry, it’s only me.
Knock, knock.
Who’s there?
Annie who?
Annie body wanna play with me?
What do you call a worried dinosaur?
A nervous Rex. (wreck)
How do you stop a charging dinosaur?
Take away his credit card!
What do you call a tyrannosaurus rex when it wears a cowboy hat and boots?
Tyrannosaurus Tex!
Did you hear the joke about the dinosaur egg?
It cracked me up!
What do you call a dinosaur that never gives up?
A try-try-try-ceratops.
What do you get when you cross a dinosaur with fireworks?
What do you call a fossil that doesn’t want to work?
Lazy bones.
What do you do when a dinosaur sneezes?
You get out of the way!
Why did the dinosaur put on a bandaid?
He had a dino-sore.
Why doesn’t the T.rex skeleton attack museum visitors?       
She has no guts!
Which dinosaur is the smartest?
What dinosaur loves pancakes?
What do monsters read in the newspaper?
The Horror-scope.
What happened to the two mad vampires?
They went a little batty.
What do you get if you cross a long-fanged, purple-spotted monster with a cat?
A town with no dogs.
How do you talk to a giant?
Use big words.
What do rabbits sing to each other once a year?
Hoppy Birthday.
What do you call a bear with no teeth?
A gummy bear.

The Why, Where, When and How of Taking a Pie to the Face

Why did I take a pie to the face? Children's libraries are getting to be very serious places these days. I'm supposed to be focusing on common core standards, 7 days 7 ways of literacy, work centers... I was so confused that when designing my program, I thought I would just go the easy way with what I knew.

And take a pie to the face.

Why a Pie?
Ummm, duh, it’s a great attention getter? If you’re planning any event, like a Boy Scout meeting, a staff training session, even a party or a shower, think about getting everyone to loosen up a little bit with an explosive piece of nonsense like a pie throw. It’s marvelous street theater, and can change the mood of these stultifying occasions from dreary to amazing in…the blink of a pie.

Who Gets It?

Key to the joy of pie throwing is the reason behind it. Above is a picture of Johnny Carson taking a pie. He did so on his show. He was the host. The boss. By taking a pie, the joke was on him, white and creamy. It’s funny when the person in authority takes a pie.

Last year I had hired a local comedian to do a show teaching kids how to tell jokes. During her act she announced that I had agreed to take a pie, to show how it’s done. Beforehand, she had worked out the scenario. I would stand beside her and protest and she would remind me firmly that I had agreed. Seemingly, to the kids anyway, I instead tipped the pie she held out into her face. Her act = her pie.

This year, I invited a group of kids from the local recreation center in for a storytime with their rec leader. I was the host. I took the pie.

The kids ate it up. The librarian gets a pie.


This part is pretty simple. Shaving cream, whipped cream or Cool Whip, a pie plate or an aluminum foil pie pan.

A word of warning. Your carpeting will need to be shampooed afterwards.


As amateurs with bad aim and no chance of an off camera retake, here's what worked best for us.
  1. Work out the scenario. Who's going to get the pie, and who's going to throw it. Make up your intro.
  2. When the audience has gathered, stand side by side and deliver your intro. I did my pie throwing as part of an April Fool's storytime. You could do it for any reason at all, but just make sure you set it up so the audience is expecting the other person to get pied.
  3. The pie receiver picks up the pie and stands next to the pie thrower. The pie receiver explains that the thrower is going to get the pie, for whatever reason. The thrower can protest, roll eyes, look wise, whatever.
  4. The receiver is standing with the pies held out, one on each hand, arms at a 90 degree angle away from her body. The thrower simply tips the pie, by taking the receiver's hand, directly into the receiver's face. The receiver protests, and the thrower tips the other one.
  5. Wait for the wonderful big laugh to subside.

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