Silly jokes

by Swim

What are your favorite silly jokes? This one still cracks me up:

A skeleton walks into a bar. Bartender says, “What’ll ya have?” Skeleton says, “Gimme a beer…and a mop.”

Gets me every time.

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122 thoughts on “Silly jokes

  1. This one is idiotic, but I laughed a lot when I first heard it.

    A string walks into a bar with a few friends and orders a beer. The bartender says, “I’m sorry, but we don’t serve strings here.”

    The string goes back to his table. He ties himself in a loop and messes up the top of his hair. He walks back up to the bar and orders a beer.

    The bartender squints at him and says, “Hey, aren’t you a string?”

    The string says, “Nope, I’m a frayed knot.”

  2. Personally, I find the “impatient cow” joke hysterical, when delivered correctly.

    But my all-time favorite joke has nothing to do with the joke itself. When DD was 3-4 and starting to figure out humor (or not), she would make me do a particular knock-knock joke over and over and over again:

    Knock knock
    Who’s there
    Orange
    Orange who?
    Orange banana!

    And then she would just dissolve into peals of hysterical giggles. Silly me, I tried to explain the “orange” joke, repeatedly, and she just flat-out rejected my silly notion and claimed that “orange banana” was much, much funnier, while dissolving into giggles again just thinking about it. So now I can’t think of any kind of knock-knock joke without remembering that and smiling. She was such a bundle of overflowing joyfulness at that age,* and that joke just brings it all flooding back.**

    *when she wasn’t a bundle of overflowing rage, but that’s another story.
    **conveniently, the passage of time has improved my memory of the periods of overflowing happiness and smoothed over my memory of the periods of overflowing rage.

  3. Help! Imminent laundry emergency! Our washer just conked out – of course mid-cycle so full of water. Should I try to have fixed or go straight to buying new? And if I buy new should I go straight to Speed Queen or get something else?

  4. LfB – your mention of the passage of time is springing hope in me. DS1 flip flops between overflowing joy and overflowing rage. I have to keep telling myself that it’s a stage and we can get through it. (yesterday was an overflow of rage. He ended up in his brother’s crib for safe containment and I ended up sobbing in the hallway. Happy Valentine’s Day!)

    I took 3 days off this week. I got rid of our old furniture, cleaned the house, read my book (while resting on a stack of old couch cushions under a giant blanket), and got new living room furniture. We dealt with 1 snow day and very over-stimulated, partied out boys yesterday. I almost need another vacation…

    On topic, one of my favorite jokes is showing its age now… hopefully this crowd gets it… (shortened to type… it’s one of those jokes you tell like a great bar story)

    Anyway one day a farmer looks out at the field during a large storm. He sees the cows have tipped over and the bulls are swaying back and forth. So he goes out, gets the cows to stand and the bulls to stop swaying. This happens again and again. Finally, after a week of storms and righting cows and bulls, he finally asks the bull – “why is it that when there’s a storm the cows fall over but you bulls just sway back and forth?” The bull politely responds – “We bulls wobble but we don’t fall down.”

    If you need help, I will provide later as to not spoil the fun.

  5. L – if your washer is older than 5 years, I’d probably get a new one. And if you’re like WCE and do laundry like it’s a side hustle, get the Speed Queen. I’m doing quite fine with my Whirpool Cabrio, but we don’t have the same laundry needs!

    Can you drain the water with a sump pump or shop vac?

  6. “Should I try to have fixed or go straight to buying new? And if I buy new should I go straight to Speed Queen or get something else?”

    If your washer is out of warranty, just get a new one. The parts are expensive and hard to come by. The new Speed Queen doesn’t have anywhere near the reliability ratings of the old one. I have a Maytag front loader that runs at least ten loads a week, got it in August and it’s worked fine so far.

    Since I typed that I am waiting for it to just give up and die.

  7. @L: our did the exact same thing last weekend (right after we’d bought the car!), and I decided against the Speed Queen based on the agitator and thus lower capacity. I think we got whatever matched our dryer (Cabrio) with the biggest capacity — although I then forgot the dryer was grey and got a white washer. I don’t think I like the controls as much; there’s something I like about turning the knobs and such. But it seems to be working fine. Honestly, they all seem to be interchangeable in terms of reliabiilty and performance now; 80% good reviews, 20% bad, and it’s a crap shoot which one you get.

  8. Rhode – thanks. I have no idea how old it is since it was inherited when we bought the house. It’s a fisher and paykel (which is not supposed to be great re: reliability anyway).

  9. L,

    Is there any error code? Have you tried to google the make, model and symptoms? Have you unplugged it, waited 30 seconds and plugged it back In?

  10. It might be the drain pump, which might be $150 for the part, and who knows how much hassle to replace. You’re a partner in a law firm. What’s your hourly rate? I bet the financial calculus weighs in favor of buying a new washer rather than a) trying to fix it yourself, or b) trying to round up and pay a handyman who can do it for you.

  11. When our dryer had an issue recently we did as Rhett suggests, ultimately determined the complexity of the likely fix was more than we were up to (just a part replacement but a good bit of disassembly to get to it), and were able to have someone come by and fix it for well less than $100. So I wouldn’t despair of a fix.

  12. Is the impatient cow knock knock the one I know as interrupting cow?

    Knock knock
    Who’s there?
    Interrupting cow
    Interrupting cow wh—
    MOO!

  13. This shaggy dog story has been going around the internet:

    A couple of years ago, one night, I was about to propose to my girlfriend when my roommate Joseph barged into the room out of nowhere, tripped and fell over, breaking a glass table with his face. Totally ruined the mood. Now, I didn’t know Joseph THAT well, don’t even remember where he was from, but let’ just say I put my plans on hold to help him through his injuries.

    Joseph had gotten big glass shard in his eye, making him completely blind in that eye. He was walking around with one of those cotton pads on his eye for a couple of months. Then suddenly, he disappeared, along with my girlfriend

    Apparently they’d bonded during the time after his injuries, and eloped together , left me behind without as much as a note. I tried to track them down, but never could.

    In conclusion, if it hadn’t been for cotton eye Joe, I’d have been married a long time ago. Where did you come from, where did you go? Where did you come from, cotton eye Joe?

    That version was off Reddit btw https://www.reddit.com/r/Jokes/comments/8xgyii/a_couple_of_years_ago_one_night_i_was_about_to/

  14. One day a man walks into a bar and to his amazement, he finds a tiny person playing a tiny
    piano. Stunned the man asked the bartender where he got this amazing person. The
    bartender replied that inside the closet there is a genie that will grant him a single wish.

    The man dashed into the the closet and as the bartender said, there was a genie inside.
    Without hesitation the man wished for a million bucks, but instead 1 million ducks
    instantly appeared. Infuriated the man stormed to the bartender and screamed
    “I think your genie is hard of hearing, I asked for a million bucks but instead I got a million ducks.”

    The bartender shook his head and replied, “You’re telling me… Do you really think I asked for a 12 inch pianist?”

  15. No one can fix a Fisher paykel cheaply. Whirlpool cabrio upright works great for me. Just get both a whole house surge protector if you havent already and one of the 10 dollar single outlet protectors for belt and suspenders. When the power goes off it is touchy on the reboot but I have figured it out.

  16. “Have you unplugged it, waited 30 seconds and plugged it back In?”

    And if this doesn’t work, unplug it, wait several minutes, then apply a short to the two blades of the power plug for a few seconds (while it is still unplugged), then plug it back in again and try again.

    And if that doesn’t work, unplug it and leave it unplugged while you figure out your next steps (including googling for a reset procedure). Then, after having been unplugged at least an hour or two, plug it in and try again.

  17. This is my favorite lawyer joke because the humor depends on a very lawyerly way of looking at the world, rather than just on the idea that lawyers are terrible, are sharks, etc.

    An old man was on his death bed. He wanted badly to take all his money with him. He called his priest, his doctor and his lawyer to his bedside.

    “Here’s $30,000 cash to be held by each of you. I trust you to put this in my coffin when I die so I can take all my money with me.”

    At the funeral, each man put an envelope in the coffin. Riding away in a limousine, the priest suddenly broke into tears and confessed that he had only put $20,000 into the envelope because he needed $10,000 for a new baptistery.

    “Well, since we’re confiding in each other,” said the doctor, “I only put $10,000 in the envelope because we needed a new machine at the hospital which cost $20,000.”

    The lawyer was aghast. “I’m ashamed of both of you,” he exclaimed. “I want you to know that my personal check for the full $30,000, payable to the deceased, is in that coffin!”

  18. @HM: The current washer was L, not me (mine went a week or so ago).

    “Is the impatient cow knock knock the one I know as interrupting cow?”

    Yes. I like impatient cow better, because “interrupting” totally signals what is going to happen, whereas with “impatient” I was expecting some sort of play on “patient” and so got to enjoy the surprise.

  19. I’ve always liked this one too (not a lawyer joke):

    St. Peter stood at the Pearly Gates, waiting for the incoming. He saw Jesus walking by and caught his attention. “Jesus, could you mind the gate while I go do an errand?”
    “Sure,” replied Jesus. “What do I have to do?”
    “Just find out about the people who arrive. Ask about their background, their family, and their lives. Then decide if they deserve entry into Heaven.”
    “Sounds easy enough. OK.”
    So Jesus waited at the gates while St. Peter went off on his errand.
    The first person to approach the gates was a wrinkled old man. Jesus summoned him to the examination table and sat across from him. Jesus peered at the old man and asked,
    “What was it you did for a living?”
    The old man replied, “I was a carpenter.”
    Jesus remembered his own earthly existence and leaned forward. “Did you have any family?” he asked.
    “Yes, I had a son, but I lost him.”
    Jesus leaned forward some more. “You lost your son? Can you tell me about him?”
    “Well, he had holes in his hands and feet.”
    Jesus leaned forward even more and whispered, “Father?”
    The old man leaned forward and whispered, “Pinocchio?”

  20. “there’s something I like about turning the knobs and such.”

    The ones with real switches and knobs are typically easier to fix, especially these days when online sources make it much easier to find replacement parts.

  21. What may be the first printed joke in English:

    In a certain town, a widower wooed a widow to have a wed as his wife, and at last they were betrothed. But when a young woman, being a servant with the widow heard about it she said to his mistress:
    “Alas, mistress, what have you done?”
    “Why?” said she.
    “I have heard say,” said the maid, “that you are betrothed and will marry this man.”
    “What of it?” said the widow.
    “Alas,” said the maid, “I am distressed for you because I have heard say that he is a dangerous man, for he lay so often and knew so much carnally his other wife that she died of it. I am afraid in case the same thing should happen to you.”
    The widow thought, then smiled and said: “Forsooth, I would not mind being dead. Is there not but sorrow and care in this world?”

    You can read more at https://www.historyextra.com/period/loved-to-death/ – I was introduced to it by the Oxford Book of Humorous Prose which I highly recommend to the sort of person who would like to read humorous prose collected from the last half-millenium.

  22. L,
    1) Call your local independent store to have a repair person sent out. Drain pump and motor are likely causes since it quit full of water.
    2) When my washer died full of water, I put the sopping clothes in a basket, scooped the water out to avoid mildew, soaked up the remaining water with old towels and went to a friend’s house with my basket of sopping stuff to use her washer.
    3) I don’t think Speedqueen is right for you because the agitator is harder on clothes and the new ones have lower reliability.

    Speed Queen is the right choice for mothers whose twins don’t night-time potty train till age 6 and frequently wash waterpoof mattress covers. (I am not f&*k(&g going to the laundromat every time I need to wash a waterproof mattress cover.)

    If you buy a new washer, make sure it can handle waterproof mattress covers. My kids play soccer in inches of mud and water, DH digs drainage trenches in our clay soil and hunts. I sometimes scoop teaspoons of sediment from the bottom of my Speed Queen. Low water washers don’t do well with that much dirt.

    My professional attire consists of shirts and (usually colored) jeans which I replace if they wear out due to intense washing. Your clothes sound like they are worth more effort to maintain/preserve.

  23. My professional attire consists of shirts and (usually colored) jeans which I replace if they wear out due to intense washing. Your clothes sound like they are worth more effort to maintain/preserve.

    L’s clothes doubtless are, but she has three kids who probably don’t all wear Eileen Fisher to school.

  24. I was at the eye doctor this morning and some very Southern ladies were manning the desk.
    In came a patient and they discussed if they should ask about her name. They decided yes, it was Jolene. They were big Dolly Parton fans and I thank Milo for posting that song some time ago.

  25. Thank you, Louise — that song is a total earworm, and now it has once again implanted itself in my head, for probably the entire weekend. . . . ;-) (LfB)

  26. Dolly Parton just sang “Jolene” at the Grammys the other night (with her goddaughter Miley Cyrus). Here is the video (along with the rest of the Dolly tribute; Jolene starts at about 1:34).

    I love Dolly!

  27. Regarding the washer – You can guesstimate its age by how long you have used it. You can google the model and get a little info. Under warranty? Yes, get a repair person out. Over 10 year – get a new one. The parts will otherwise be hard to find and expensive.

  28. Finn is right that there is often a googlable reset procedure for most washers. But see above regarding Fisher Paykel

  29. Dr: your dad’s been in a coma for 9 days. We are running out of things to try.
    Me: reaches for thermostat
    Dad: [opens one eye]

  30. Arrgh. Started gathering tax documents, and the first brokerage I logged into didn’t have the 1099 yet.

  31. DS has a date on Monday and wanted help with figuring out where to take her. He didn’t want DW or DD there because “they always make it weird.” The best I can come up with is bowling (the place also has laser tag and an arcade) or Dave and Busters.

    Anyone have any ideas?

  32. DD, my daughter likes to go this golfing place where you can hit golf ball off the elevated putting green.

  33. Cassandra, it’s supposed to be 23 and snow on Monday so anything outdoors won’t work.

  34. Thanks all! I did try turning it off and on again (tm IT Crowd) before I had to run out on kid errands/spices/children’s museum. I think it is probably either the motor on the agitator, or the drain pump, since when I turn it on it makes a buzzing noise like the motor is trying to work, but nothing happens. No error code, just unstoppable beeping.

    WCE, thanks – most of my work clothes don’t get washed, only dry cleaned (but not often, I use vodka to extend the life in between washings…shhh), but all of the kids’ stuff and DH’s and all of my non-work stuff gets washed.

  35. That sounds great! Plenty of things to do in case conversation runs a little dry.

  36. All these totebag kids dating makes me think wedding and grandparenting topics will soon be mainstays here!

  37. We hosted a birthday sleepover for seven (additional) 9-10 yo girls last night. Yikes.

    But, actually, it all went smoothly. My DD (the middle one) likes her sleep, and by 11 pm was criticizing the two or three guests who were still awake. They all slept in the basement, either on the sectional couch or floor.

    Everyone was picked up by a little after 9 this morning, and the house was quiet again.

    DW got the sense that one mom thought 9 am was a bit too early for a Saturday morning.

    Oh well. We needed them gone. :)

  38. Whatever their faults, I will give Mom and Dad credit that they let me host endless sleepovers. I know we kept them awake. There was one little clique I was in that had sleepovers almost every weekend in junior high, and my parents hosted more often than was probably fair. In the mornings we’d get frozen toaster waffles and orange juice and they’d all peddle off home, though often we’d all meet up again later in the day at the mall.

  39. @Milo – I have heard stories about girls that age being up until 4am, texting their parents in the middle of the night, etc. so I’m glad it went pretty well.

    DS has no interested in sleepovers. We’ve just done the kind where kids come over until 10 or 11 and then everybody goes home.

  40. One time, at a largish sleepover birthday party for my friend Margaret, this other girl got homesick and just walked home in the middle of the night. In the morning Margaret’s mother practically had a heart attack wondering what the hell happened to her.

  41. JFC.

    I was telling DW, I did a ton of “sleepovers,” but it was usually one on one. I had maybe two or three really good friends at any one time, and it was at either of their houses. It would very rarely be more than two of us, and we just weren’t all that excited about staying up super late.

    She said it’s different with girls

  42. DH is so uncomfortable having the kids not be in their own beds at night. He was driving me crazy, so I said let’s just make a no sleepover rule. When DD is invited (just a few friends), she eats dinner at the friends house and I go get her home by around 9.45. DS had a couple of sleepovers with the neighbor kids, they were doing a backyard tent sleepover. At 10 pm he just came home and went to bed.
    Many girls parents, just take the bunch of girls out to early dinner, come back home, have cake and you pick by 9 pm.

  43. The worst part of getting the kids together is the scheduling. Every weekend is booked for someone or the other.
    DD’s friend’s Mom had to
    move her birthday party to the weekend after her birthday because many couldn’t attend. Now, DD has a conflict and she could attend the original date but not the alternative.

  44. Our boys have zero interest in sleepovers, which I’m perfectly fine with. We all need our rest on the weekends to catch up from these full weeks.

    We test drove the Mercedes GLC today. It’s more than we really want to spend for a 3rd car, but Mercedes touts its safety features so much, and it’s an IIHS top safety pick, so we were willing to give it a shot. LfB, didn’t you drive it recently, or did you drive the bigger model? The GLC is the smallest SUV Mercedes makes.

    I absolutely loved it, and if we were shopping for a car for just me, and I didn’t need a third row seat, it’s hard to imagine anything would top it. But I was really disappointed that the safety features weren’t more aggressive. Everything can be turned off (e.g., active lane warning, steering assist), and I found it impossible to trigger the collision warning although I tried (the salesman loved me…). In my Yukon the collision warning and lane warnings are super sensitive, so I expected more from Mercedes. It definitely felt like a car for an experienced driver, not a car that would be a great shared family car.

    Next week we are going to look at the Subarus – Forester and Crosstrek. I think the Crosstrek will be smaller than we want to go, but I’m hoping the Forester checks all the boxes.

  45. DD had a sleepover when she was round 8 or 9 with about 10 girls. DD was out cold by about 10 while the rest of the girls were running around like maniacs all around her. Most of them were asleep by 11, but a couple were still. I’d go down to check on them periodically and hear them whispering “shhh, he’s coming!”

  46. I always had sleepovers with 3-4 other girls. That’s about it. We would stay up super late… maybe 2-3a. Then out and home by 10a. We only hosted once, but the others had houses set up for sleepovers. Finished basements like Milo’s.

    Anonymous- we love our Outback with eyesight. I’m pretty convinced we’ll buy more Subarus. You can turn off everything (and you need to if you take the car to a car wash because the eyesight will think the car is under attack) but we just leave it all on all the time. DH named it Argus after the multi-eyed Greek God.

    Tomorrow we are testing DS1 wanting to be in the water. We may set him up for swim lessons this summer but we have no clue if he’ll even like the pool. Wish us luck!!

  47. Is National Honor Society worthwhile?

    DD meets the eligibility requirements, but isn’t planning to apply because she doesn’t see the benefit, and TBH I don’t see it either, but DW thinks she should only not apply unless she has a really good reason.

  48. Is 6:33 WCE?

    I love my Mazda CX-9, big enough for all the people and the dog, small enough for city driving. I might just be happy because there are warm seats and steering wheel. I do find the safety features to be a big step up from my 1 year old Toyota.

    The suburus always seem to sacrifice comfort for performance. I’ve had a forester and my dad has had a few outback’s. They’re nice. But never niiice. The Mazda is niiice.

  49. I don’t think WCE would be considering a 3rd car, nor would I think she would be test driving a Mercedes.

    Do you still have your GM sedan?

  50. IME 9A pickup is way too early for older girls’ (teens) sleepovers. It might be noon before everyone was gone.

  51. 9 is early, but I was always so relieved when every kid was gone. We’ve done a handful of sleepovers after a bday party with a bunch if girls. The sleepovers with large groups of local friends were not fun because of too much drama and late nights. The camp friend sleepovers are so easy because they’re so used to living together and working stuff out on their own. I’m glad that we are beyond that stage and now the sleepovers are just one or two people.

    We’re on the way to the airport. I wasn’t sure if we would make it due to complicated elder care issues with in laws. DH has cousins are taking over for this week. They’re like sisters to him and we’re really fortunate that they’re helping his family. We’re trying an all inclusive so it’s going to be very easy because we don’t plan on ever leaving the resort.

  52. Tomorrow we are testing DS1 wanting to be in the water. We may set him up for swim lessons this summer but we have no clue if he’ll even like the pool. Wish us luck!!

    Here’s hoping he takes to it like a little fishie! It’s a good way for kids to burn energy.

    I’m betting 6:33 was Lark.

    And I meant “pedal”, not “peddle”, although that would be funny. I have a cold, don’t criticize me.

  53. I think the 6.33 is Lark as well.

    Finn – kids school makes it seem like National Honor Society really an honor and the kids that are in it are the top bunch. I suppose these same kids must qualify for NMF and NMSF. If my kids can get in, I don’t see why not apply.

  54. Finn, yes, the Buick Century turned 160k this weekend. I got it a new driver’s side master window switch this fall because the driver’s side window would not stay rolled up, and having a window that stays up in the winter is an important feature in a vehicle. $35 and ~10 minute + internet research time fixed the problem so it’s not time to retire the car yet.

  55. My DS didn’t apply for NHS because of the service hours requirement. It was higher than what he already had to do for school, and he didn’t feel like adding more hours without a clear benefit. There may have been one or two other requirements but I can’t remember now.

    On our neighborhood Facebook group one mother wanted to connect with other mothers whose children had not been selected. She made it pretty clear that she thought it was some sort of concentrated effort to exclude whatever subgroup her child was a member of (and I have no idea if that is race, religion, country of origin, sport, hobby or whatever) but she was ready to raise Hell. The helpful parents on the page all declared that their children got in, so it was obviously a fair process, and that her child probably didn’t meet the good character requirement or didn’t get a good recommendation. It was… interesting.

  56. @Finn: I do think NHS is worth it, as it’s another box checked. Depends on how competitive the schools; I suspect the super-highly-ranked ones will care more about the GPA/test scores than the membership (i.e., being more-than-qualified is more important than being a member), but if she is looking for something like an honors college at a state school, it might be a little more of a distinguisher. Plus if she gets involved, that would give her an opportunity for a leadership role and various service projects, if she doesn’t have other opportunities for those.

    @6:33 Clearly Lark: Yes, we drove the smallest Mercedes SUV — I also liked it quite a bit (though not as much as the Volvo in the end). DH liked it because of the very thing you hate: while we love the active crash avoidance stuff, he *detests* the ones that are going off all the time (and I do too, because you end up tuning them out). He liked that the Mercedes generally stayed quiet unless he was about to do something really stupid. But I can’t tell you about 3rd seat options, as we were happy not to be limited to those any more.

    @Milo: I feel your pain. I still remember DD’s 8th birthday, when I had given in and invited the whole class (school AND daycare) and rented the big shelter in the park, and then it rained all day, so we had 20+ girls stuck in my house. All I can say is, thank God it wasn’t a sleepover. ;-) (LfB)

  57. My kids aren’t dating, fwiw. Even for prom, my daughter has her one friend (boy) who is her “date,” but he is also partnering another friend (girl) on prom court, and daughter and boy friend are each bringing another (sophomore girl) friend as their one permitted guest. So . . . haaah? Anyway, she and this boy are definitely friends rather than romantic. The boys that try to clumsily flirt with her she seems to fight with. And my youngest, I may have mentioned, seemed to be squiring half a dozen girls to the freshman-sophomore banquet, but again, not a date. And my oldest likewise seems to hang with friends rather than date.

    Rocky, apart from the fact that there was no mall where I was, sometimes I get the impression we had the same teen years.

  58. My oldest has a youth group event at the roller skating rink, so that is where I sit. I’m racking my brain, but I don’t think I’ve been inside a roller rink since 7th grade. At some point during that year, a new girl named Jessica came to our school. She was nice, and cute, and fun, and she almost immediately took a liking to me. She conveyed her attraction through the appropriate channels (“Jessica thinks you’re cute. If you ask her out, she’ll say yes.”)

    So I did, and she did, and we spent two weeks talking on the phone, holding hands when the opportunity presented itself, and exchanging notes. The second Friday night we made plans to go to the roller rink, each of us going with a larger group of friends.

    Tragically, when we were there, Jessics got one good look at my friend from down the street, a year older in eighth grade and much better looking than me, and she had her friend tell me that she was breaking up with me. So that was my cruel introduction to dating. I felt totally crushed.

    To his credit, Chris told Jessica to get lost. And then she was crushed, and I can still remember her crying her eyes out at a table in the snack bar area. And Chris telling me “this sucks, but you’ll be OK.”

    I never remember talking to Jessica after that, and I think she was gone by high school. In hindsight, I think she had a game plan for the new school similar to how some people go to prison. Find a boy immediately. Pick someone who seems nice and is within easy reach. Move up from there.

  59. Totebaggers who have gone through the college-application process with your kids: Can I get your thoughts on one of our favorite topics — High School math?

    Background: In our district, math tracking begins in 8th grade when the highest math kids are placed in Algebra 1, while the rest of the kids do another year of “general” math. The track for the high-level kids is then Geometry in 9th, Algebra 2 in 10th, pre-Calc in 11th, and AP Calc in 12th. The track for the rest of the kids is one year behind (so pre-calc in 12th is the last math class).

    DS (currently in 9th grade) missed the 8th grade Algebra cut-off by a few points, so he did general math in 8th. He is in Honors Algebra 1 this year in 9th. Kids who do well enough (B+ or above) in their first semester of Algebra 1 are invited to double-up Honors Geometry and Honors Algebra 2 in 10th, if they want to get back on the calculus track.

    DS did well enough first semester to be eligible for the doubling up next year. But he and I are torn about whether he should do it. He got a B+ first semester (not an A or A-), so it was enough to qualify him, but he’s not exactly knocking it out of the park math-wise. He doesn’t have the natural math ability that a lot of other Totebag kids seem to have. My gut tells me that he might struggle with two simultaneous math classes. He isn’t keen on going into engineering, which It think is appropriate, given his interests and skill set.

    OTOH, he’s a well-rounded kid who so far has excellent grades in his other (honors) classes, so although he’s not going to be competitive for a Harvard or a Stanford, he could potentially be competitive for, say, a decent liberal arts college, or a state flagship, or maybe some honors program somewhere. I worry, though, that if he doesn’t take the more challenging math curriculum, he might put himself out of the running for these opportunities.

    So, the question: How much is he putting himself at a disadvantage in terms of general college admissions (not engineering programs) if his terminal math class is Pre-Calc, vs. Calculus? Is it better for a kid like him who was close to not qualifying to double-up on math classes to just try to do really well in one class at a time, rather than try to juggle two?

    Or am I just waaaaaay overthinking this? (Sorry for such a long post.)

  60. Aw, Milo, I feel terrible for your 7th grade self. At that age, you think you’ll never get over stuff like that. Glad you ended up finding someone way better than Jessica!

  61. Yes, 6:33 was me. And my post was confusing – we definitely don’t need a 3rd row for this car we are shopping for now because I’m keeping my big car I have now.

    @ NoB, I may be in the minority in this group, but I think it’s more important for him to maintain high grades than it is to double up in math, when it’s not his natural inclination, and make fine but not as good grades.

  62. On my current car there’s no tuning out the driver assist features, because it doesn’t just tell you, it takes action. For example, if I’m on highway and try to change lanes without a blinker on, my seat vibrates, but the steering wheel also resists and puts me back in my own lane. Once I turn on the blinker then it releases and lets me do it. Or, if a car in front of me brakes suddenly, my car flashes a red light on the windshield but also starts to apply the brakes itself. Not dramatically but enough. Those are the kinds of features I want in the car we’ll have DS learn on. I was really surprised the Mercedes didn’t have them. But, as I told DH, this is the whole point of test driving cars – you can read all about them but it doesn’t tell you how they react under real driving conditions.

  63. NoB,
    Geometry is a weird class — some schools do it in just one semester. DS2 completely missed it because of our move after his freshman year (he taught himself with a borrowed geometry book). And it is so unrelated to Algebra that doubling up is not out of the question for a strong student. But based on what you’ve posted, I’d look into a summer school or online geometry course for this summer instead of doubling up, and then only if your DS is totally on board and wants to get on the calc track.

    Like many selective schools, our university does have a “Calculus?” question on the applicant evaluation form. They also expect that the applicant has taken the most challenging courses available in each of the core subject areas. It’s not clear whether that makes a difference on the margin for a given student, especially one who is not planning a math-based major.

    IMO, the payoff for doubling up is just not worth the cost for a student who isn’t particularly strong in math and is himself torn over whether he wants to make the effort.

  64. NoB – we were too young and immature and scared for anyone to bear any real blame for their actions. Life wasn’t easy for her; her parents had gotten divorced, iirc.

    And you kind of have to admire the moxie of her plan.

  65. NoB – is he on the advanced track in English or history or science ? I think my kids school recommends doing well in the classes you can manage instead of floundering by taking too many higher level classes and then getting poor grades. It’s the overall work load matched to the student’s capabilities.

  66. NoB –
    My eldest DS, who was national merit commended (so, smart, but not Einstein) chose to/with our blessing and encouragement – take many non-AP classes and non honors math. He stayed on the calc track but didn’t do it honors version. He went to state flagship, graduated in 4 years and at 23 is out of the house and completely off the payroll. We decided it was better to get good grades in a solid load of classes than middling grades in an impressive set of classes. Now, at this point we weren’t shooting for a selective school, so ymmv. We are a state school kind of family. My ROI has been spectacular with a state school education. I know, not very totebaggy, but just a vote from the side of ‘there are many paths’.

  67. The GLC is the smallest SUV Mercedes makes.

    That would be the GLA.

    The GLC is one class higher.

    I find it interesting that you objected to the Mercedes not generating false alarms. You’re an actual potential buyer and in the core buying demographic and your impression is so very different from all the car magazine/car blog guys who report on and review various vehicles. Some of them will object to not being able to defeat some “electronic nanny” so they can drift on a track. Um…how many actual buyers give a shit about that?

  68. The Active Brake Assist can be activated and deactivated as and when the driver pleases. Additionally, it can be set to one of three modes, “Early”, “Medium” and “Late” – each of which determines the sensitivity of the driver assist programme.

    I assume the default is medium. If they set the default to early the bloggers/car journalists would crucify them.

  69. NOB, another consideration is what would your DS not be able to take if he doubled up on math? Would having 2 math courses keep him from taking an elective he is really interested in, or create a conflict with foreign language or something else?
    We found that college applications usually have a “is there anything else we need to know” question where the student can explain some gaps, such as scheduling issues (my kids couldn’t take 4 years of foreign language because our school only offers 3, that sort of thing).
    In general I don’t see an upside for your son doubling up on math next year. As Sunshine said, there are many paths.
    I’m also encouraged how well my sons’ friends did who did not take everything available (the friend who used state flagship as a springboard to Yale law school, for instance, only took the bare minimum of math, and because I hang out here, I was sure his life would be scarred by that decision and he would never amount to anything. I was wrong.)

  70. I agree with this:

    @ NoB, I may be in the minority in this group, but I think it’s more important for him to maintain high grades than it is to double up in math, when it’s not his natural inclination, and make fine but not as good grades.

    And this:

    We decided it was better to get good grades in a solid load of classes than middling grades in an impressive set of classes.

    Unless you think he might seriously want to go to a competitive engineering school, and it certainly sounds like you don’t think that will be his path, he’ll be just fine going through pre-calc with good grades.

    No offense meant towards anyone, but spending time here can really warp your perspective on what kids actually need to do to get into most colleges. It’s much less than the discussions here would have you think.

  71. The Subaru dealership recently gave me a Forester as a loaner while the Outback was being services. I have never been in a vehicle with such panoramic visibility. I kept thinking it would have been a great car for the kids to learn to drive, because OMG you could see so much all around you!

  72. Thanks for the advice so far — keep it coming!

    “NoB – is he on the advanced track in English or history or science ? ”

    He is in honors Bio and Social Studies this year, and has placed into Honors Chemistry and Social Studies for next year. He wasn’t in honors English this year, but based on his performance so far, he’s placed into Honors English for next year. Says he definitely wants to go the AP route for History, but isn’t sure about other classes. So overall I’m not that concerned, but what I’m getting hung up on is Scarlett’s comment (which I have heard from others) that “They also expect that the applicant has taken the most challenging courses available in each of the core subject areas.” If DS could have challenged himself with the double-math in 10th grade leading to Calculus in 12th, but chose not to, is that a huge strike against him? Or might it be OK if he did Honors math each year through 12th, but only through the pre-Calc level?

    One more point, if it makes a difference: If he chooses the non-calculus track, he could double up math classes in 12th grade and do pre-Calc along with Statistics (AP or regular level). He seems very interested in a Stats class.

  73. “I kept thinking it would have been a great car for the kids to learn to drive, because OMG you could see so much all around you!”

    That’s one of the main reasons I picked this car. I also like the Crosstek because it’s smaller but the visibility is not as good.

    NHS is a good thing, but not necessarily a game changer and the politics of getting in can be a PITA.

    NoB — If your son is aiming for a top tier school then as Scarlett mentioned not having taken the most challenging course work in high school could be a ding against him. But otherwise he should do what feels comfortable and I agree that higher grades would be a better overall goal.

  74. I wouldn’t bother with 2 math classes. Calculus is overrated and is primarily a gatekeeping course for majors your son likely isn’t interested in. I used trigonometry for the first time in years last month.

    Two math classes for someone who doesn’t love math would be like two PE classes for me.

  75. No one has mentioned this to NoB; perhaps you are all just waiting for me to do so:

    What’s the difference in peer groups if he bridges to the honors track vs if he doesn’t?

    My guess is that the honors classes will be largely populated by academically striving kids, and that sort of peer group could potentially pull along a bright kid that might not be so ambitious academically without such peers.

    If the choice boils down to B student in honors vs A student in non-honors, I would tend to favor the honors class for the peer group.

  76. “I think my kids school recommends doing well in the classes you can manage instead of floundering by taking too many higher level classes and then getting poor grades.”

    My guess is it’s not such a cut and dried choice for NoB’s DS.

    Keep in mind that “doing well in classes” means different things to different people. Some would consider a solid B to be “doing well;” while others might consider that to be floundering. OTOH, I’m sure that everyone agrees that struggling to get a D means floundering.

  77. The paths NoB described are similar to those at my kids’ school, except at my kids’ school, all kids start Algebra in 8th grade. Honors kids finish Alg I in 8th grade, then move to Geom, Alg II, pre-calc, and calculus.

    There are multiple bridges to the honors path for kids that miss the initial on-ramp. Doubling up, as NoB’s DS is considering, is one, but I think the more common is to take a math class during summer school. NoB, is that an option?

  78. I think one reason DD doesn’t want to bother with NHS is that the application requires that she get a couple of teacher/advisor/etc recommendations.

    She’s already doing stuff that would cover all or most of the service requirements, e.g., she’s already doing peer tutoring.

  79. NOB
    I agree with the posters saying great grades are most important, taking the most challenging courses available, and determining what , truly, would be gained from doubling up. Unless you kid looooves math. The B+ notwithstanding. I think one math/year is enough. Except maybe for future math majors.

  80. Btw
    My handle was populated on my phone and the posting was instant just now in my msg to NOB.
    now gone. Fred

  81. It’s much less than the discussions here would have you think.

    I’ve recently been working with some 20 somethings from various levels of major and university. And I can state that the Finn method gets you 20% more money for 50% longer hours. In addition to much higher levels of stress and less job security.

    It’s really quite sobering to see it up close.

  82. Finn — I’m not worried about the peer group. At DS’ school, for Algebra 1, Algebra 2, Geometry, and Pre-Calc, there are three levels (listed highest to lowest): Honors, College Prep 1, and College Prep 2. He’s placed into Honors Geometry for next year, and if he does decently enough (B or higher) in that class, he can place into Honors Algebra 2 for 11th grade. Similarly, if he gets a B or higher in A2, he can place into honors pre-Calc senior year. The demographics of our HS are such that I think the kids at the Honors level are serious and motivated enough that they’d be a positive influence on DS, not a negative one.

    As for summer school, I don’t think there’s any way DS would spend his summer going to school for anything. He wants to get a job and make money. He’s already submitted a resume to Market Basket (the supermarket that everyone in our area goes to). (And if I may brag, I have to say that his resume, which he did entirely by himself off a template he found online, was really well done.)

  83. Finn — I’m not worried about the peer group.

    Yeah, it sounds like he’s in enough other honors classes that his peer group will be just fine.

    I’ve recently been working with some 20 somethings from various levels of major and university. And I can state that the Finn method gets you 20% more money for 50% longer hours. In addition to much higher levels of stress and less job security.

    It’s really quite sobering to see it up close.

    And as you’ve mentioned before, only a third of Americans have a college degree to begin with.

  84. “As for summer school, I don’t think there’s any way DS would spend his summer going to school for anything. He wants to get a job and make money. He’s already submitted a resume to Market Basket (the supermarket that everyone in our area goes to)”

    Good for him.
    One way to stand out in the application pile is to spend your summer working at a supermarket. Seriously. No one does this. And there are so many great essay topics there.

  85. NoB, given that he’s in Honors/AP for most of his other courses, one possible reason I can think of that he might want to catch up is if most of his crew is on the calculus track and he wants to catch up with them.

    The other possible reason is if he wants to take AP Physics C.

    Other than that, I think he’ll be fine with 4 years of honors math. He can still take two years of AP science either way.

  86. “if most of his crew is on the calculus track and he wants to catch up with them.”

    DS has two really close friends. One is on the calculus track and is taking all his classes at the honors level. The other is in no honors classes at all. What they have in common is (1) they are both nice kids, and (2) they both love to play Fortnite. DS is very open to friendships across the educational spectrum, as long as the kid in question is nice and plays Fortnite.

  87. @NOB – From everything you’ve posted here, it sounds like your DS is a great kid on the right track. I don’t think I’d push him to double up or take summer school given his interests

  88. “(And if I may brag, I have to say that his resume, which he did entirely by himself off a template he found online, was really well done.)”

    This is a 9th grader? Your work here may be done.

  89. Finn, have you ever thought that you have the causation backwards with your son’s peer group? Maybe his group was academically motivated because of him, or they joined him because of his academics, rather than he became motivated because he joined a motivated peer group. In other words, maybe he’s a leader, not a follower, and would have done just as well with any other peer group.

  90. “Tomorrow we are testing DS1 wanting to be in the water. We may set him up for swim lessons this summer but we have no clue if he’ll even like the pool. Wish us luck!!

    Here’s hoping he takes to it like a little fishie! It’s a good way for kids to burn energy.”

    RMS – DS2 was the damn fish. DS1… not so much. We are trying again next week, and told him what we expect. A couple of things (1) lots of people at the Y’s family swim time during the winter, so lots of stimulation (2) we did get him in, albeit he clung to DH. He did get wet, but didn’t want to try the stairs. He kept saying “next time”, so we told him that next week we will go again. This is quasi-sorta how we got him over his fear of other things. We are debating parent/child swim classes for both of them now. Hopefully by summer, DS1 will be able to get in the water without a parent so grandma (who can’t swim) can take him when DS2 is in daycare.

  91. @NOB – From everything you’ve posted here, it sounds like your DS is a great kid on the right track. I don’t think I’d push him to double up or take summer school given his interests

    Agree 100%.

    You’re an actual potential buyer and in the core buying demographic and your impression is so very different from all the car magazine/car blog guys who report on and review various vehicles.

    The other thing I cared very much about, that Mercedes did not deliver on, was a knowledgeable salesman. He had no idea how to scroll through the settings, how to set temperature control, etc. He sent me a follow up e-mail telling me he figured out the settings issue for the lane departure, but how is it possible he didn’t know that off the top of his head?

    And, this will surprise no one, but even though I was the one doing all the talking, the salesman directed 100% of his conversation at DH. To the point where DH said, you need to talk to her, not me, she’s the one who will be driving this car. ?!?!?!

  92. @NOB – From everything you’ve posted here, it sounds like your DS is a great kid on the right track. I don’t think I’d push him to double up or take summer school given his interests

    Agree 100%.

    You’re an actual potential buyer and in the core buying demographic and your impression is so very different from all the car magazine/car blog guys who report on and review various vehicles.

    The other thing I cared very much about, that Mercedes did not deliver on, was a knowledgeable salesman. He had no idea how to scroll through the settings, how to set temperature control, etc. He sent me a follow up e-mail telling me he figured out the settings issue for the lane departure, but how is it possible he didn’t know that off the top of his head?

    And, this will surprise no one, but even though I was the one doing all the talking, the salesman directed 100% of his conversation at DH. To the point where DH said, you need to talk to her, not me, she’s the one who will be driving this car. ?!?!?!

  93. Mercedes did not deliver on, was a knowledgeable salesman.

    I was so impressed with the Tesla kid. He knew EVERYTHING about the car. I think the biggest reason is he’s an employee of Tesla vs. the Mercedes salesman who is an employee of a franchised dealer who (apparently) could give two shits.

  94. DS is very open to friendships across the educational spectrum, as long as the kid in question is nice and plays Fortnite.

    My DS is very similar.

  95. Lark – You just listed 2 of the reasons I detest buying cars, and therefore don’t do it frequently. In many cases, I knew MORE than the salesman (and it was always a man!). And they always talked to DH. I’m the one with the checkbook, so make your pitches to me.

  96. I can understand the salesman not knowing all of the settings off the top of his head because these cars are so complex now. But the correct response is “let me get someone to help”.

    When we bought the Outback two years ago, they set up a time to have someone come to our house a few days later to go through everything with us. It’s just way too much to try to show it all at the time of purchase, or when you are still shopping.

  97. I can understand the salesman not knowing all of the settings off the top of his head because these cars are so complex now.

    I don’t think I agree with this. Cars are definitely complex, but from Mercedes to Mercedes, they’re not that different. The basic control function is the same.

    When we bought the Outback two years ago, they set up a time to have someone come to our house a few days later to go through everything with us. It’s just way too much to try to show it all at the time of purchase, or when you are still shopping

    DH did the same with his car when he bought it, but the person that did that lesson was the salesman that he’d worked with while looking at the car. He was incredibly knowledgeable – more like what Rhett describes with Tesla. I am truly surprised the Mercedes guy wasn’t better trained (or didn’t figure it all out on his own – seems like they have lots of downtime on the lot).

  98. I guess I have more leniency in situations like this. But again, my issue would be that he didn’t get someone who did know and could provide the information to you.

  99. When we went to check out the Nissan Leaf, we were handed off to a sales guy who they referred to as their Leaf specialist, and he was indeed able to answer all our questions and explain a lot of things we hadn’t known about from just online shopping.

  100. I think it was Fred that mentioned that I should ask to work with a female salesperson if available when I was looking for new BMWs. I ended up with a guy that my neighbor worked with and he was great. The only time that he spoke to DH instead of me was when DH said that he found XYZ price at another dealer.

    I think buying a Mercedes or a BMW is more complicated than it should be vs. other brands. There are too many models and then even more choices within each model. My salesperson has worked at this dealer for ten years and he still didn’t know all of the features. The manufacturers keep introducing new features on some models and not other models.

    I’ve mellowed a lot about math and APs etc since my friend lost her son that was a junior to cancer. He died last year and they are so different now with their younger son. Their son was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer around Memorial Day of his sophomore year. At first, they stressed about his grades -especially in Chem because they didn’t want him to fall off the honors track. He was going to miss the SAT2, regents and have incomplete labs. It was the principal that told them to try to focus on his treatment vs. college. This college thing is not important enough to delay treatment until July. This whole thing became a moot point because he got so sick, but it just shows how out of control this process gets in some communities.

    I know they make fun of this in Crazy Rich Asians, but I just want DD to be happy. I don’t want her to be so stressed out and give up many things to have a remote chance at gaining entry to one of these schools. I’ve learned a lot from the posts that many of you have shared about your children as they transition from school to careers. It’s really helpful to hear about different experiences vs the craziness that can happen in NY metro.

  101. Here, one of the kids we know has been accepted to BU, BC and Chapel Hill. Deferred from Scarlett’s school. There may be some other acceptances that I don’t know about.
    They looked at Cornell where the father is an alumnus. Parents grew up in the Northeast.
    Parents are hoping he goes to Chapel Hill – easier on the wallet is how they described it.
    Here cost is a big factor. Also, I have discovered that there are scholarships for a bunch of sports, so if you are a decent student and play at a decent level, you never know where you can end up.

  102. Louise I am not Lark but unless there is an desired or obscure program of study at BU, there is zero reason to choose it over UNC. As for BC, the only reason I can think of to choose it is if a Catholic college is a priority. And even then its non sports reputation and post college contacts are in our limited region.

  103. “For example, if I’m on highway and try to change lanes without a blinker on, my seat vibrates, but the steering wheel also resists and puts me back in my own lane.”

    This makes me wonder about what happens when you need to take sudden action to avoid something, e.g. swerve to avoid something that falls from a truck in front of you.

  104. Louise I am not Lark but unless there is an desired or obscure program of study at BU, there is zero reason to choose it over UNC
    LOL

    This makes me wonder about what happens when you need to take sudden action to avoid something, e.g. swerve to avoid something that falls from a truck in front of you.

    In my car it’s probably better to hit the object than to try to swerve around it, given the rollover risk.

  105. The Corolla has the steering assist but it only kicks in if you are drifting. If you make a sharp move it doesn’t. And it’s really pretty easy to steer through if you need to.

  106. This makes me wonder about what happens when you need to take sudden action to avoid something

  107. It was the principal that told them to try to focus on his treatment vs. college.

    I was surprised at the support I got from the school when DS was sick. I realized that the administrators had dealt with this before with varying outcomes. Being a religious school, they prayed for him, which I knew they did for others, but to be on the receiving end was something I couldn’t imagine. I am truly grateful for the kindness of the school community. And I never thought I would feel this way.
    DS has a kid in his grade who is a cancer survivor, she was out most of the seventh grade.

  108. @Louise – I think a lot of parents & kids would rather have their kids closer to home too. And kids are fine with a smaller, regional alumni network because they don’t really plan to move cross-country either. That’s why some of the HSS that are nearby are more popular around here than the NE or Pacific Coast ones.

    BTW I was the Anon at 8:44am, but I just realized that the handle got lost.

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