In COVID times, it’s tough to find any kind of respite from the stress of daily life. With most of our favorite activities canceled indefinitely, it’s important to find some kind of joy wherever we can. One Maryland man has taken it upon himself to bring a little bit of laughter into the lives of his neighbors in the form of his “Bad Dad Jokes”, because, you know – laughter is the best medicine (unless you’re actually sick).
A couple of weeks into the maddening uncertainty of quarantine, even Tom Schruben, a generally optimistic man, was losing a bit of his spark. His wife heard that a friend had started posting dad jokes in her front yard, and thought a bit of humor might be just the thing to revitalize her husband’s cheerful demeanor. Tom figured it wouldn’t hurt to try (and humoring your wife is almost never a bad idea), so he posted a joke on a whiteboard, in the middle of his lawn across from a busy walking path. Within the first hour, a passerby stopped to look at the joke Tom had written and laughed – and “Tom’s Bad Dad Jokes” was born.
Tom is in his fourth month of telling Bad Dad Jokes and has no plans of stopping any time soon. He is reminded daily of the huge impact his jokes have on his community and beyond, which makes posting his daily jokes both exciting and rewarding. Tom explains, “Many people have stopped to tell me that it has become an important part of their day. I have gotten letters of thanks in the mail and a woman taped a note to my sign saying how she walks past each day and likes the sign because it makes her think of her father who loved bad puns. She takes a picture to share with her friends and she said it puts a smile on many faces.”
Coping during stressful times is nothing new to Tom, who has dealt with more than his share of grief in life. After losing two of his six children, Tom realized just how important it is to not only keep going but to do so in a way that makes life worth living. Tom leaves us with an important reminder about the power of positivity: “Something that I have learned through my grief is that happiness is in large part a choice that each of us makes – sometimes you have to push to find it in yourself – and sometimes small gestures, even silly ones can make a big difference.”
Here are some of our favorites from “Tom’s Bad Dad Jokes” collection to help you reach your daily groan-laugh quota: