THE PING PONG JOKE
A joke by Justin Harriman
            While hanging out at the local YMCA a young pregnant woman went into labor. A doctor was called for over the loud speaker and one shortly arrived an in a leisurely manner began to prepare for the birth. The delivery went off without a hitch, but as the doctor was handling the baby he dropped it, with only an injury to the doctor’s pride. As the doctor bent over to pick up the fallen babe a ping pong ball fell from his breast pocket, as he had just come from playing ping-pong, and struck the baby boy in the forehead. This was Michael’s first encounter with the ping pong ball. Seeing as how this ball was the proverbial bottle of wine that christened the baby into the new world, the mother kept it. At the age of one the bright young boy began to walk, on his third step he tripped on a ping pong ball and did not walk again for 3 weeks. Only months later after hearing his mother tell the story of his birth many times, young Michael said his first words: “ping-pong”. At the age of three he was strapped in the back seat of his mother’s minivan when she seemed to be taking entirely too long in the grocery store. In danger of dying of heat exhaustion young Michael grabbed a nearby Ping-Pong ball, for one was never far from his side, and threw it with utmost accuracy at the window lock button on the front console. With the windows unlocked the boy was able to operate the power window and get fresh air. His mother returned shortly. This was only the first time a Ping-Pong ball would save his life. At four he attempted to insert a ping pong ball into his nose. He failed, but afterwards blew the biggest bugger of his life. When Michael was five years old he swallowed a ping pong ball on a dare from his father. This he was successful at with only mild choking difficulty. At the age of 6 Michael won his first game of ping pong, defeating in a close match a 28 year old mentally handicapped man, better known as his father. At 8 he was entering Ping-Pong tournaments for children and was dominating the field of competitors. After one of his most brutal victories Michael’s father was making a rare appearance in the cheering section. So naturally he hit the ping-pong ball towards his father in a celebratory manner. His father choked and died on that Ping-Pong ball, seeing as how he lacked the capacity to dodge, swallow, or regurgitate the fatal orb. Devastated by this tragic incident Michael went on an eight year hiatus from competitive ping-pong, though he still practiced passionately in the privacy of the YMCA and site of his birth. When he was nine there was a rash of ping pong ball thefts at the YMCA which led Michael to begin producing personalized ping pong balls. On each ball was printed his name and address. Later these balls would be sold at auction for thousands of dollars. At the age of twelve Michael finally noticed in his fecal matter the ping-pong ball he had swallowed in his youth. This discovery forced Michael to go to the hospital for radiological testing to see if any damage had been done by the ball’s passing. Upon examining the MRIs, the doctor noticed an unusual amount of swelling in Michael’s appendix. The appendicitis would surely have killed Michael had it gone unchecked. At the age of sixteen while playing at the YMCA Michael received word of the presidential motorcade that was to pass by the window shortly. In his excitement he hit the ball entirely too hard, whereupon it bounced off three walls and went out the window. Just as the motorcade was passing the YMCA the sphere rolled under the left rear tire of the president’s limo. The resulting sound so much resembled a gunshot that the president dove back into his car, narrowly avoiding the bullet of the assassin that was taking aim at his head at that exact moment. During the resulting investigation, michael’s personalized ball was seen as the one thing that saved the presidents life. He was contacted and awarded the Medal of Honor, the only civilian to ever receive this award. At the ceremony the President challenged Michael to a game of ping pong in the oval office. Michael made quick work of the president, beating him in straight sets. The President appointed him to a spot on the United States ping pong team. He played along side of Forrest Gump and quickly shot to number one in the international rankings after defeating his famed teammate and moving on to win the international ping pong cup at the age of 20 (by which time the war was over). On his twenty-first birthday he became of legal drinking age. At a very young age he had vowed never to drink, because it was his grandmother’s alcoholism that had produced his father’s retardation. He did manage to fit in at college parties however in that he was an obvious natural at the game of beer-pong. Although he would have honorably drunk if he ever lost, he never tasted defeat. In college he studied aerospace engineering but spent most of his time trying to develop a dimpled ping-pong ball to allow for superior play. Little did he know that his design would be used in the distant future to adapt ping pong to be playable on the moon colonies. Michael graduated in the middle of his class and went on to be a sales rep for a company that produced personalized ping pong balls. He supplemented his income by playing competitive ping-pong. When he retired from both at the age of 45 he taught ping pong lessons at the local YMCA. At the age of 68 while he was giving one of his best students a personal lesson he had a heart attack and died.