Q; Why did little Jimmy get kicked out of the Cub Scouts?

A: He got caught eating a Brownie.

Growing up, even without the Internet, I had way too much access to adult material, explicit and otherwise. My parents, I wouldn’t say they encouraged this, but they were pretty laissez-faire about it. I’d watch R-rated movies on VHS at home, they took me to see them in theaters. When I was three years old, my mom took me and her mom to see Animal House on the big screen. I have no memory of this, just heard the story of us leaving the movie theater at the end, me singing the theme song, my mother mortified. It’s one of those movies you see on TV so many times in the edited format that you forget all the full-frontal nudity of the original release. It’s like seeing National Lampoon’s Vacation uncut and remembering there was an incest subplot.

Sometimes, my dad would take me to the movies on a Sunday and we’d see whatever was playing. One time, we saw A Christmas Story. Another time, we saw Night Patrol, which was a complete rip-off of Police Academy, and somehow worse. He took me to see Andy Warhol’s Frankenstein. Warhol had simply attached his name to an Italian adaptation of the classic tale, which was, at once, soft-core porn and graphically violent. It was in 3-D. At midnight. I was four. I remember it very clearly.

This is not to say my parents were bad people, or even irresponsible. I think they were just blissfully unaware, or wonderfully ignorant. It’s also weird to think, back when I was four, my dad was 27. It’s hard to imagine them as anything other than older than me now.

When I was seven years old and having already shown an interest in standup, someone in the family (not sure who) gave me a copy of Truly Tasteless Jokes. Published the form of a Little Black Book [EDITOR’S NOTE: For those of you born after 1990- back in the day, men who were single and ready to mingle would keep the phone numbers of their prospects written in a little black book] it was quite a collection of dirty and decidedly non-PC jokes, organized by category. There was a chapter of dead baby jokes. A chapter for blondes. A chapter for Poles. I don’t know what Poland did to deserve being thought of as complete morons, but I am grateful I can repeat those old jokes in Sweden, just replacing Poles with Norwegians.

The joke I wrote at the start of today’s entry comes from that book. I remember not completely understanding it at the time. I knew what Cub Scouts were (what you join when you’re too young for Boy Scouts) and Brownies (when you’re too young for Girl Scouts) but didn’t appreciate what eating referred to. I remember figuring it out and then, when retelling it again and again to my peers, I said licking instead of eating. Still works.

That book was popular enough to spawn a few sequels and a ton of knockoffs. If I dug around my old house long enough I’d likely be able to produce a few dog-eared copies. Of all the categories, I think the dead baby jokes stuck with me the longest. Perhaps they’ll lead off future entries.

Anyway, if you’ve ever wondered, “Why is Bussell the way he is?” I recommend finding a copy of Andy Warhol’s Frankenstein. Fast-forward to the scene when – SPOILERS – a very horny Mrs. Frankenstein takes the Creature to bed and he quite literally fucks her to death.