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November 13, 2013 2:44 PM   Subscribe


 
Mefites with kids, do they honestly do this? Because I've been around my fair share of nephews and nieces and the like and in my experience this isn't a thing that happens.
posted by turbid dahlia at 2:56 PM on November 13, 2013


A Dialogue With Sarah, Aged 3: In Which It Is Shown That If Your Dad Is A Chemistry Professor, Asking "Why" Can Be Dangerous.
posted by benito.strauss at 2:58 PM on November 13, 2013 [17 favorites]


Mefites with kids, do they honestly do this?

My almost five year old does. Can't wait for his younger sister to pick it up....
posted by ish__ at 3:01 PM on November 13, 2013


I'm pretty good at bullshitting so my kids usually quit asking after awhile.

The key is to use a lot of ten dollar words and breathless runon sentences I've found
posted by Doleful Creature at 3:03 PM on November 13, 2013


Is this a failure-pile-in-a-sadness-bowl answer to zen pencils? The bit is pretty funny, but the comic version is just... disheartening.
posted by ancillary at 3:09 PM on November 13, 2013


That comedy bit is great, but without the laughs it's just bleak bleak bleak.
posted by jessamyn at 3:29 PM on November 13, 2013 [4 favorites]


Also, "why?" is the biggest trick every played. Kids don't care "why". But they discover that if they say "why?" that you keep talking which is really all they want. It's the magic word that keeps grownups entertaining. - GuyZero
posted by 0xFCAF at 3:30 PM on November 13, 2013 [5 favorites]


Metafilter: Without the laughs it's just bleak bleak bleak.
posted by Doktor Zed at 3:30 PM on November 13, 2013 [10 favorites]


Mefite with kids here:

I've been asked why a lot, but never had a kid go on and on like that unless they're just trying to take the piss out of me. When they're being serious, I answer the whys until I get stuck. Then I say, "Let's google it!" and sit down to 1) teach my kids how to effectively research on the internet and 2) learn more about the thing they're asking, myself.

But it's easy, IME, to head off the stream of whys with a change of topic or a question directed at them. Even something as basic as "How was your day" does the trick.

As for the comic, it just made me sad.
posted by weeyin at 3:36 PM on November 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


My son recently figured out that if he asks "why?" and I say "that's a really great question," it means "I don't know."
posted by rouftop at 3:41 PM on November 13, 2013 [2 favorites]




Manga Louis C.K. should team up with Magical Truthsaying Bastard Spidey.
posted by Strange Interlude at 3:44 PM on November 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


I love playing the Why game with my 4 year old niece! I view it as a little battle of wills, to see who gives up first. When I run out of actual answers it's fun to see how much shit I can make up, and I like seeing her wee face change when she realises I've crossed the line from facts to nonsense. Also, I can't really complain because even at my age I like to ask Why?

For example, there appears to be a random frame of a blonde woman with near-naked tits. Why?
posted by billiebee at 4:00 PM on November 13, 2013 [7 favorites]


I always have fun turning the why around - saying, "I think this, but what do you think?" It ends up being a much more interesting conversation for me, because people answer whys in very fun ways.
posted by Deoridhe at 4:16 PM on November 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


When this joke was told on stage, it was deliberately expanded to the point of stupidity to get a laugh. When it is shown as a cartoon, it becomes much more literal.. like it actually occurred. This is why it seems weird - harsh.

I hope they don't make a cartoon from one of CK's other sketches - where he protects his kid in the playground and then thinks about wreaking havoc on a bullying kid. While funny on stage, this would be the stuff of nightmares in a cartoon.
posted by greenhornet at 4:30 PM on November 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


When Mr. C. K.'s humor works, it's precisely because of the exaggeration and the underlying bleakness, IMHO.

I think the comic is great.
posted by Western Infidels at 5:15 PM on November 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


greenhornet, that little fucker Jizanthapus deserves whatever happens to him.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 5:26 PM on November 13, 2013 [4 favorites]


It doesn't happen with my kids, but that's probably because my answers are so long.

Me: "Take an umbrella, it's going to rain today."

Son: "Why?"

Me: "There's a cold front coming down."

Son: "What's a cold front?"

Me: "Well...(8 minutes later)...and so that's how that happens."

Son: "Ok."
posted by Bugbread at 5:37 PM on November 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


The trick is to give a way-too-detailed scientific answer from the very beginning so they're sorry they ever asked.
posted by The World Famous at 5:45 PM on November 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


Yeah, my kid usually asks "why," waits two minutes or so, then interrupts with "dad, you're overexplaining again"
posted by ook at 5:54 PM on November 13, 2013 [4 favorites]


(The cool part though is that he is totally listening for the two minutes before his attention span elapses. Days later he'll randomly pop out with "guess what dad, did you know" and then reel out a practically verbatim recap of some wad of science I (or Beakman, or Dinosaur Train) fed him earlier.

Kids. Their brains are just like what yours would be like if it wasn't all filled up with sex fantasies and alcohol and 80s lyrics and embarrassing moments from junior high)
posted by ook at 6:05 PM on November 13, 2013 [12 favorites]


My answers to "why?" always include sex fantasies, alcohol, 80s lyrics, and embarrassing moments from junior high.
posted by The World Famous at 6:19 PM on November 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


To be fair that is the correct explanation for most things these days.
posted by ook at 6:27 PM on November 13, 2013


ook: "Kids. Their brains are just like what yours would be like if it wasn't all filled up with sex fantasies and alcohol and 80s lyrics and embarrassing moments from junior high)"

Hah, I wish. Kid can remember special attacks and evolutions of every Pokemon, despite never having played a Pokemon game, or even owned a gaming device, but unable to remember the difference between "mammal", "reptile", and "amphibian", and also unable to distinguish between "paper" and "plastic" unless the plastic is clear.
posted by Bugbread at 6:28 PM on November 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


Probably my way of dealing with a niece or nephew asking "Why?" a lot will be to say "I dunno, why's your face so funny?" If one of my brothers or sisters gives me a hard time about it I'll just dob them in to Mum.
posted by turbid dahlia at 6:30 PM on November 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


My son is currently in a "how do you make a...?" phase. I've recently explained how to make a street, car, building, tree, traffic light, floor, and hose. Just to name a few.
posted by stltony at 7:23 PM on November 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


Mefites with kids, do they honestly do this?

Mine don't, probably because of what ook and bugbread say above. They ask a lot of questions, but they're afraid we'll make them work for the answers. The older one is the master of the just-before-bed sly distraction: "Do you really think Gilligan would have stayed single all that time on an island with Ginger & Maryanne?"
posted by sneebler at 7:47 PM on November 13, 2013


"... why?"
"Because of REASONS!" (thank you elizardbits! Now I do the smugwalk...)
"THOSE AREN'T GOOD REASONS!" (She's onto me! Now what?)
"Well, what reasons are good?" (Hah! I win! I think?)
"Because babies are cute, and come from bellies. I have a belly. This..." (holding up filthy blue stuffed bunny) "...is my baby! She came from my belly and her name is Cutie Pie, not Blue Bunny. She thinks stars are beautiful."
"Umm, wow. Those sure are some good reasons."
"... why?"
posted by Slap*Happy at 8:07 PM on November 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


This bit is over the top of course for comedy's sake. It's one of those parenting cliches that you are somehow a failure if you can't answer these questions.
posted by Brocktoon at 8:38 PM on November 13, 2013


Kids do this. Their brains are empty. Think about it. They know nothing, except what they are learning, from scratch. So their brains are incredible learning machines--they suck everything in, and they ask lots, and lots of questions. Answer every one of those questions. If you don't know the answer, try to reason it out--maybe look it up in a book or on the web.

Back when my kids were in a daycare at this woman's house, the woman said that my kids talk like adults because 'you talk to your kids like adults'. She was some kind of anti-intellectual and this was meant to be an insult. She was saying that my kids are weird.

Most importantly, answer all their questions, and volunteer lots of information, because when they become teenagers, when you really want to tell them lots of things, they stop asking questions.
posted by eye of newt at 9:06 PM on November 13, 2013 [6 favorites]


Ditto on the over explaining to circumvent annoying stunt why?s: I also like to draw diagrams to illustrate my explanations. None of my kids did it more than once, because I can go on for a long time explaining shit about cell division and the water cycle. WITH DIAGRAMS.
posted by Kaleidoscope at 11:49 PM on November 13, 2013


The question I hear is "How come we can't go outside in the rain?" And that's when he should have been questioning his assumption that rain means no going outside, because the answer is "You're right. There's no reason at all why we should have to stay inside just because it's raining. Let's get our boots and umbrellas and go." Some of my best walks as a child and as an adult have been walks in light mists, pleasant drizzles, sun showers, huge downpours, dark booming thunderstorms, and bright flashing lightning.
posted by pracowity at 12:38 AM on November 14, 2013


Why? Because I'm a kid. That's my job. (YT)
posted by nevafeva at 1:21 AM on November 14, 2013


Metafilter: filled up with sex fantasies and alcohol and 80s lyrics and embarrassing moments from junior high.
posted by alona at 4:29 AM on November 14, 2013 [3 favorites]


It makes me want to ask him why he performed such a routine in the first place.
posted by nicolin at 8:16 AM on November 14, 2013


The question I hear is "How come we can't go outside in the rain?" And that's when he should have been questioning his assumption that rain means no going outside

But then there wouldn't be a joke.
posted by ultraviolet catastrophe at 8:34 AM on November 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


i saw this comic and it is funny. Are you guys adults h ree? i asked my dad a lot of things. he knows the answers and he is a teacher. i know a lot too for my grade because im TAG. Laters
posted by Colonel Panic at 8:04 PM on November 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


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