A little more than two weeks ago, journalist and writer David Drucker passed away. As his son, Daniel, went through his father's possessions, he found a mysterious text file on his dad's computer. It was titled 'Jokes.txt,' and it contained phrases such as 'More birds on that side' and 'Brick the camel.' No explanation was given for the seeming non sequiturs.
Daniel knew that his dad had had a fondness for bad jokes, and he figured that these phrases must be punch lines to jokes his Father was a fan of. So he enlisted the curiosity of strangers to help him make sense of it all. Daniel took his problem to Metafilter, a website that allows its users to ask and answer questions.
Daniel's post, "Last Time, You Didn't Have Holes in Your Feet," referencing one of the punch lines, became a hit on Metafilter, as strangers began to fill in the blanks for the jokes' punch lines. In fact, within four hours, 30 of the 31 punch lines had jokes to set them up.
One user named Elsa suggested that if Daniel's father had been outside with someone and had seen a flock of ducks flying in a V formation, he might have asked, 'You know how sometimes one side of the V is longer than the other?' The other person would then answer, 'No, why?' And he would reply, 'More birds on that side.'
Elsa also wrote, "I caught my own much-missed father with that gag several times. My sorrow for your loss, and thank you for that happy memory."
The other jokes are similarly silly, and some could be deemed a bit inappropriate, but they nevertheless serve as reminders of David Drucker's personality for his son and people who never knew him personally.
In addition to providing the setups to the jokes, people have been leaving their condolences for Daniel and sharing fond memories of their own fathers.
Daniel told the Atlantic magazine that his dad was not a joke teller in the traditional sense but that "he was a deeply funny guy who always had something clever to say."
Daniel found over half a gigabyte of material of his dad's, and he's still looking through it all.
[Related: First Christmas for Reunited Father and Son]