Fathers, please note: Whenever your child says "I'm ready" it is a legal requirement that you say: "Hello, Ready, I'm Dad!"
The telling of extremely lame "jokes" has been a duty for adult males since the first people evolved.
You can even see this in small boys. If you laugh at your son's joke, he will repeat it multiple times, eventually taxing your ability to simulate laughter.
But it is when a male achieves fatherhood that a massive biochemical change takes place, causing him to pretty much limit his utterances to Dad Jokes. Other members of the family have to play their parts, providing set up lines.
And that includes children.
Guys who are not yet fathers can rest assured that your family members will find this totally endearing ("infuriating"), and will show their delighted appreciation by rolling their eyes and palming their faces.
The nature of fatherhood was on this columnist's mind after a reader sent in a recent news story from the Al-Massae newspaper of Morocco.
A professor went to his doctor in the small city of Sidi Slimane for a routine check-up. The doctor did some tests and told the unnamed man (let's call him Professor Sidi) that he was completely sterile, and had been all his life.
This came as a surprise, as Professor Sidi's wife had apparently borne him nine children. A somewhat awkward conversation later took place which must have gone something like this. Sidi:
Wife: "Ah. Right. Oops." Sidi: "Do you have anything to say for yourself?"Wife: "I'm sorry." Sidi: "Hello, Sorry, I'm Professor Sidi!"
This columnist consulted a lawyer who said that paternity fraud is illegal in most countries, including Morocco, but not in England. There, women can legally deceive their husbands about their children unless the man is a member of the royal family, in which case it is a crime under the Treason Act of 1351. There are a lot of laws which only apply to women who marry British royals, and I hope someone has told Meghan Markle.
There is a scientific reason dads tell bad jokes. Mothers have deep verbal relationships with their children, but fathers are unable to do this, so connect on a silly level instead. Daughter-on-the phone: "Dad, I'm busy, can you call me later?" Dad-on-the-phone: "Okay, Later! Speak to you later, Later."
On the downside, many fathers have poor self-awareness and will launch a Dad Joke when people are not in the mood. Such as this conversation that took place in this writer's house the night before writing this column. Daughter: "Can you call Mom's phone? Mom can't find it." Dad: "Sure! Mom's phone! Mom's phone!"
Meanwhile, fathers should prepare a Dad Joke for their deathbeds. Here's a suggestion. Wife: "How do you feel?" Husband: "With my hands!" Wife: [*Rolls eyes*] Husband: [*Dies with a smile*]