"I was surrounded by

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"I was surrounded by monsters and they were scary," Mike was telling Katie. "But I took out my Henway and they all ran away."

Katie, who's in the second grade, was incredulous. "What's a Henway?" she asked.

"About six pounds," Mike answered.

Katie just looked confused. She doesn't always get the jokes she might if she had English-speaking schoolmates.

So Mike tried to explain that 'what's' can also mean 'how much does.' Then Tod told the joke, only he had a Penfor to scare away the monsters. The joke fell flat again. Humour is a subtle business, even when the jokes are bad.

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