The Joker in our Pack – Friday Fictioneers, March 2023

Copyright Liz Young

Birthday parties were the total pits; his need to entertain was almost manic.

“Your Dad’s real cool,” my friends would say, falling about laughing. 

“He’s a real dork,” I’d think, cringing as he performed his latest party trick.  I just wanted a father like other kids had, someone you could respect.

“You shouldn’t have encouraged him,” I told my mother years later, “he became totally ridiculous.”

She glanced towards the faded photograph of Dad in his army uniform, before fixing me with a gently reproachful gaze. 

“If he hadn’t made people laugh,” she whispered, “he would have made them cry.” 

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A re-tread from ten years ago – have I really been doing this for so long? The answer is even longer. And likewise for Rochelle, the trusty leader of Friday Fictioneers. Thank you, Rochelle.

About Sandra

I used to cruise the French waterways with my husband four or five months a year, and wrote fiction and poetry. Now I live on the beautiful Dorset coast, enjoying the luxury of being able to have a cat, cultivating an extensive garden and getting involved in the community. I still write fiction, but only when the spirit moves me - which isn't as often as before. I love animals, F1 motor racing, French bread and my husband, though not necessarily in that order.
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42 Responses to The Joker in our Pack – Friday Fictioneers, March 2023

  1. neilmacdon says:

    And yet her friends thought he was great.


  2. ellenbest24 says:

    As children we see parents as embarrassing. While unbeknown to us , others wish they had our parents. I liked this a lot. Thank you.


  3. Dear Sandra,

    When I joined FF eleven years ago next month, you were one of the pillars of the group who welcomed me. Thank you…I think. 😉 Love this story. I think my dad was a little like the father in your story. Humor is often born out of pain. Still a good read.




  4. elmowrites says:

    This is beautiful, Sandra. A perfect FF story with such depth in the 100 words.



  5. Dale says:

    Isn’t it often the case? The child of the parent thinks he/she is lame and is embarrassed by them whilst their friends love them.
    And, as Mum said, better to make them laugh than cry.


  6. msjadeli says:

    You really got me with that last line 😦


  7. James McEwan says:

    I think children tend to feel embarrassed about their fathers, simply because they feel their friends might judge. But as a father , who cares. Just enjoy the moment. I like the sentiment turn at the end.


  8. It makes me wonder what I did to embarrass my sons. I’m afraid to ask. It might be a long list. 🤔


  9. granonine says:

    True for so many war vets. My dad was not a joker or entertainer, but he could tell a great story–just not about the war!


  10. dorahak says:

    Laughter to hide the tears! They say comics are the saddest people in the world. However true that may be, your tale bears it out beautifully.


  11. Embarrassing as he may have been, the alternative would have been sorrowful. A lovely story, Sandra.


  12. Liz Young says:

    A valuable lesson to learn about your dad, evenif it was a bit late.


  13. If he did not make them laugh, he would make them cry.


  14. Bill says:

    A first for me. Ten years or ten days, an excellent story, Sandra. Not all dad’s are humorous. Too bad.


  15. And you still do it well.


  16. athling2001 says:

    Lovely story. It’s amazing how events change as we age.


  17. kittysverses says:

    Oh! I enjoyed the story, especially the last line. 🙂


  18. poetisatinta says:

    Lovely – I think we are often embarrassed by our parents when we are children and even when we are older too! ❤


  19. Nobbinmaug says:

    Comedy and goofiness often come from a place of deep pain. It’s often better than the alternatives.


  20. plaridel says:

    daughter had a great comeback.


  21. Lovely. It’s funny that the parents who think they’re cool are actually embarrassing to the children. Really can’t win.


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