Are You Kidding?

April is National Humor Month, along with a host of other National (plug in the topics) names for the month. For instance, April is also National Canine Fitness Month. So, speaking of humor, what do you call a dog running through the Lacreek District of Pine Ridge Reservation? Fast food!

Celebrated Standing Rock Sioux Tribe author Vine Deloria, Jr., said that when asked by an anthropologist what the Indians called America before the white man came, an Indian said simply, “Ours.”

In the United States, we are celebrating National Safe Digging Month (NSDM). So if you and your loved one are planning a special project this month, like an archaeological excavation in your backyard, be sure to follow the reminder of the Common Ground Alliance, the founder of NSDM, and “call 811 before starting any digging project.”

There are few activities that can strengthen a couple’s relationship more than the two of you sharing the handle of a bucket full of dirt as you carry it back and forth across the lawn from your excavation site to your new garden plot. After all, happiness is a seed-bed from which a couple’s relationship grows. Related to that, Mary Rhudy of Tullahoma, Tennessee describes this exchange between a couple lying in bed. “I’m going to make you the happiest woman in the world,” the man says. “I’ll miss you,” the woman replies. And this, from Brandy Steinhilber of Anchorage, Alaska: “What do you call a chicken who crosses the road, rolls in the dirt, then crosses back? A dirty double crosser.”

If you haven’t heard the news yet, April is National Lawn and Garden Month. Speaking of that type of work, what do you call a resident of Rosebud Reservation who is under a wheelbarrow? A mechanic.

April also is National Welding Month. Welding is the joining together of pieces of metal by heating their surfaces to the point of melting. According to a March 30, 2021, American Welding Society (AWS) press release, “Since 1996, AWS has designated the month of April as National Welding Month to bring awareness to the welding industry and its available career paths.”

A few years ago, National Welding Month culminated with a nationwide team competition, organized by the Bureau of Indian Affairs, for “next generation” science projects that incorporated new welding technologies. The top four teams were invited to the BIA Regional Office in Aberdeen, South Dakota, on the last day of April, to participate in a winner-take-all contest.

The game show-like event was video-recorded in front of a live studio audience. Since April is also National Keep America Beautiful Month, the team from Montana was asked to stay home. The other teams were challenged, in the final lightning round, to propose an audacious yet achievable science/welding project. The Lower Brule team answered first, rocking the other teams with an eye-popping proposal to send a Lower Brule Sioux Tribe astronaut to orbit the moon and return to earth.

The ever-nimble Oglala team quickly convened and sketched out a viable plan to send a newly-wedded couple on a year-long honeymoon to Venus and back. Because April is also National Couple Appreciation Month, they took what many believed was an insurmountable lead in the competition.

But the team from Cheyenne River Reservation still had a chance! They worked frantically on a proposal and just before their allotted time expired, the team proudly announced its breathtaking proposal to send four Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe welders on a roundtrip to the sun!

Even before the team members stopped celebrating what they believed was the winning proposal, the judges buzzed in with a follow-up question: Since the sun is so hot, how could the welders and their spacecraft survive the journey? The CRR team huddled briefly and then answered: the trip would take place at night.

In his ground-breaking book, Custer Died for Your Sins, Vine Deloria, Jr. wrote “the more we [Indians] try to be ourselves the more we are forced to defend what we have never been. The American public feels most comfortable with the mythical Indians of stereotype-land who were always THERE. These Indians are fierce, they wear feathers and grunt. Most of us don’t fit this idealized figure since we grunt only when overeating, which is seldom.”

Which reminds us of this from Laura Williams of Volcano, Hawaii: What did one burp say to the other burp? “Let’s be stinkers and go out the back way.”

Finally, we leave you with a new word not found in dictionaries: Rezercise, which means the involuntary health regime of walking in the rez when your car is broken down.

Happy April!