Daily jokes from 5-year-old Pitt Meadows boy turns into charity fundraiser

·3 min read

Why do bees have sticky hair? Because they use honey combs.

Tristan Kennedy, 5, shared that joke and more than 100 other knee-slappers outside his home in Pitt Meadows, B.C., this spring in an effort to brighten up the days of his neighbours during the pandemic.

For 155 days straight starting in April, Kennedy and his mother Naya Kohout searched for jokes and then shared them at the end of their driveway, with the setup written up and posted on one side and the punchline on the other.

"The idea was that you would see the set-up for the joke as you started walking past our house, then have the 30-feet until you reached the answer to ponder it," said Kohout.

Naya Kohout
Naya Kohout

What became a neighbourhood fixture was only supposed to happen once, but when their mail carrier caught Kennedy setting up the first one and asked what he was doing, the boy suggested it would be a daily offering.

"I wanted to make everybody smile," Kennedy said.

Kohout said they heard that people were making a point to walk past their house and see what the daily joke would be.

"If we were just inside our house playing Lego or something in the living room, we could hear people reading the joke out loud and then laughing," Kohout said.

Naya Kohout
Naya Kohout

Tristan's joke book

Despite hearing a few groans from those bemoaning the dad jokes, the response was so positive they asked passersby if they would be interested in a book of jokes.

Kohout says the demand was there, so they put together an offering.

To date, they have sold more than 120 books, and raised more than $1,200, which they are donating in equal parts to the Ridge Meadows Senior Society and the Friends in Need Food Bank.

"It just made sense that we would be able to donate the proceeds of the book to charity to continue to make people smile, and to continue to try and have some positive impact with all the negative stuff that was going on," Kohout said.

Naya Kohout
Naya Kohout

Kennedy has the day off school on Monday so Kohout is taking him down to each organization to hand deliver the cheques.

As it turns out, news of the daily jokes had already reached the executive director of the Ridge Meadows Seniors Society when Kohout approached them about donating.

"I knew right away what she was talking about," said Maria Perretta, whose son's daycare teachers would frequently take the kids on a walk to see the joke of the day.

"A different child got to read the riddle each day and they would all try to guess the answer. I would hear all about it when I returned home from work," Perretta said.

"I'm also sure it warmed many other local residents' hearts too, and gave them something to look forward to on their daily walks for fresh air."

Though the family stopped posting the jokes when Kennedy started Kindergarten, they hope to continue selling the books and raising more money for the two local charities.

The books can be requested for $20, plus $5 in shipping for out of town orders from tristansjokebook@shaw.ca.