The “Don’t Look Up Or Down” Joke

A boy wanted to take a shower with his dad. His dad said “okay, but don’t look down.” Then in the shower he looked down and said “Daddy, what’s that?” HIs dad said “That’s a train.” Then he asked his mom if he could take a shower with her. She said “okay, but don’t look up or down.” He looked up in the shower and said “Mommy, what are those?” She said “those are headlights.” He looked down and said “mommy, what’s that?” she said “that’s a tunnel.” That night, he looked into his parents’ room and said “mommy! Turn the headlights on! The train is going into the tunnel!

I heard this in the late 80s/early 90s. Kids are still telling it, and have been since at least the early 1970s, according to Bronner’s book (at the right), as well as the Knapp’s book (also in the sidebar). I guess it’s sort of a rite of passage for kids newly aware of the “facts of life.” TONS of variations (“the snake is in the grass,” etc).

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  1. Pencil

    similar set up as above but the punchline rhymes: Turn on thehead lights, open the gate, here comes daddy with his Z-28!
    Southern Ohio 1980's


    One variation (you can flesh out the details – so to speak – ) "That's your sailboat," "That's my harbor." "Can I put my sailboat in your harbor?" "No that's reserved for Daddy's battleship!"

    Possibly in the same vein: "Mommy what's that" "That's my brush," then after shaving and another bathtime Oops, "Oh I suppose I lost it somewhere." Then later that day,"Mommy, I found your brush! The maid has it, and Daddy's on the couch with her, trying to put a new handle on it!"

    Both from Stamford, Ct., around 1974/75.

  3. Boo

    We did that joke too!
    Except it was more shopkinal.

    A little girl is walking with her mom.
    She said “What’s that?” (Points to her hat)
    Her mom said “That’s your divingboard, this is my pool” (Her mom points to her hat)
    The girl said “can I put my divingboard in your pool?”
    Her mom said “No, your divingboard can go in your sister’s paddling pool.”

  4. Yuuki

    I heard this in 2002 and cracked up. 1st graders said the DARNDEST THINGS!!!


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