Father hits dad joke jackpot with birth of son on Labour Day
DIGBY, N.S.—Patrick Turpenstein always worried his serious nature would hold him back from being a fun dad. But that all changed at 6:39 a.m. on Labour Day at Digby General Hospital: when Turpenstein's first son popped out, so did his very first dad joke.
"I saw my son's head emerge and without thinking I just shouted at my wife, 'It's Labour Day – literally!' I could tell she would have laughed if she weren't screaming in agony."
Turpenstein said he then ran from the delivery room, telling renditions of the joke to every single staff member and patient who would listen.
"I'll never forget looking into his blue eyes for the first time and seeing him smile the most rewarding smile," Turpenstein said, referring to the only conscious patient he could find in the intensive care unit. "I said to him, 'My wife thinks our wall calendar is an instruction manual – she read it was Labour Day so she went into labour!'" Turpenstein paused to laugh for a full minute at his own joke.
"I could tell the patient would have laughed really hard if he weren't actively vomiting. And, I mean, isn't bringing laughter to strangers what being a dad is all about?"
Meantime, Turpenstein's wife, Aisha, lay alone in a hospital bed holding their unnamed newborn son.
"It would be nice if Patrick were here to meet our baby," Aisha said. "But I understand it's a lot to take in. I had a living human emerge from within my loins, and Patrick came up with a mildly amusing play on words. It's a big day for both of us."
"I just never really thought of Patrick as a funny guy," Aisha said. "I guess I still don't."
In the maternity ward waiting room, Turpenstein stood in front of the television and addressed the room's six occupants.
"In honour of Labour Day, my wife was pushing for a full eight hours, stopping only for her lunch break at noon," he said. No one laughed, and one man asked if someone could take Murdoch Mysteries off mute.
I just never really thought of Patrick as a funny guy. I guess I still don't.
"Of course, she made sure our baby was out the door by five!" Turpenstein made a "ba-dum-pum-ching" sound effect and was immediately led off the makeshift stage by a doula.
No longer in front of an audience, Turpenstein revealed what he planned to say to the son he had yet to meet. "I'll say, 'Son, do you know why Labour Day is longer in Canada than in the US? Because of u!!!!" Turpenstein loudly applauded himself.
"I tried that one out on a surgeon I flagged down in the emergency room," he said. "I'm sure she would have laughed if she hadn't just told that family there was nothing she could do for their uncle."
Turpenstein then approached the maternity ward front desk and asked if he could pre-schedule a C-section for his wife for Mother's Day 2019.
"If we can time this conception just right, think of all the jokes I could add to my dad repertoire," Turpenstein said as the receptionist phoned security. "I can't wait to share these precious moments with my son, watching him laugh at my Labour Day jokes again and again for years. Ah, well. Guess I should go meet the little guy."
The hospital estimates that of the average 12 births it sees each Labour Day, at least four of the involved dads are more concerned with finessing their puns than meeting their newborn children.
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