Tuesday, March 14, 2023

Laughing list

Day π of 31 at TWT!
"When you're married to an engineer on Pi Day, this is what happens to the store list!

Before I look closely at the picture my mom has texted, I'm already giggling. My dad's grocery store lists are famous in our family for the many dad-jokes (they're called that for a reason, right?!) he writes to himself each week. 

Growing up, I always loved glancing at the battered memo cube note resting as I'd walk by the kitchen counter, just to see what jokes Daddy had left for himself so far. 

Scrawled in his characteristic all-caps engineer handwriting would be well-loved abbreviations, dad-jokes, and misspellings-that-might-be-jokes-or-just-real-engineer-misspellings:





I have always imagined him nose-laughing to himself as he writes them and then again as he walks through the store, crossing items off on top of his towering pile of coupons. 

So it's no surprise when the picture in my mom's text shows "pot pies" in her handwriting, with an "x" through the word "pies", corrected to "π's" in my dad's handwriting. 

Pot π's. Of course. I can just see him, gleefully crossing out my mom's word and triumphantly replacing it with the pi symbol, just to entertain himself (while probably hoping she'd notice). 

Giggling, I instinctively scrutinize the rest of the photo and notice a line in his bold uppercase that reads "P'CHS / P'AIRS / D'STICKS". 

Does he really think "pears" is spelled "pairs?" Or is that part of the joke? I giggle again. Clearly that apostrophe is a joke, and Drumstick ice cream bars have nothing to do with peaches or pears, so he must've only added that on this line to make it funnier! I shake my head and smile. 

I can just see him, crinkling his eyes and emitting those characteristic short sniff-bursts to himself as fellow shoppers wonder what's funny about his shopping list. 

I'm sure an added benefit is that he knows my mom will smile when she's adding items to the list, but if there's one thing that's clear from how much he laughs at his own jokes, my dad is a big believer in making yourself laugh. It's one of the things I love most about him: whether it's a silly store list or the "trash man" song he sings (to the tune of "Batman") while running around the house to take each room's small trash cans out on trash night, he makes life more fun. 

Nobody else would be able to decipher his list if they wanted to help buy groceries, but I'm sure nobody is as happy on a mundane trip to the store either. If you want a little more joy in your life, just consider adding some "CLEAN-NECKS" to your list the next time you're running low on facial tissues!


  1. I do not know your dad, but I love his "dadisms" as I would call them. And, I am SURE your mom smiled as she looked at his creative spellings and humorous take on a "needs" list! GREAT post!

  2. Your dad's jokes are hilarious, and I love the pi one for today. Laughter does help you live longer.

  3. Oh, your dad sounds like a sweet crack up. It's always fun to get to know people like him.


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