I can’t prove it, but my father invented the
That’s What She Said joke.
His first documented use was during
our naturalization ceremony, mixing up
the she and said in his broken English
but still making the judge laugh
when he asked my father
if he was ready for something so big
Another instance was when a teacher
told my father that I was too different
and not quite fitting in.
Or when a wealthy family
complained that the pizza
he had delivered in the rain
just wasn’t hot enough.
A trick my rabbi taught me
is that when you receive bad news
pretend the sender is a popular
Michael Scott adjusts his tie
and takes a sip out of his “World’s
Best Boss Mug.” We stare at each other
a long time. This is the episode where
he doesn’t want to be the first to talk,
Michael Scott hates to disappoint people.
Finally, he tells me that my father
has cancer. He tells me, This is the worst,
he offers me a hug and I hold back tears
before staring directly into the camera.
In this office, I don’t know what else to say
turning toward Michael Scott,
in his white coat, I mumble
Grief is just really hard
and he whispers back softly
as if he is reciting a prayer
That’s what she said.