THE NEIGHBORHOOD JOKESTER
She’s become known as the neighborhood jokester of Kasson. And her intentions are harmless in wanting to bring smiles to people on the receiving end of her jokes.
Alex Buresh loves to throw out question and answer jokes on index cards for people who walk by her residence next to the downtown area at 503 W. Main St.
“I like telling jokes and making kids smile,” said Buresh, a freshman at Kasson-Mantorville High School. “I’ve always kind of liked jokes.”
The fun started innocently enough in early 2017 when Buresh and her mother were watching a segment on TV about an artist who crafted tiny mouse doors around a city. “Around that time I had to do a passion project, and I thought it would be a good idea,” she said.
Buresh went to work and ordered a small mailbox on-line. She made a door before painting and decorating it. She also designed a “Jokes in Here” sign to put next to the display.
And, no joking, the next part was easy. Buresh bought a pack of index cards and wrote out one joke on each card. She filled her mailbox and soon the neighborhood jokester was in business.
The neighborhood joke box has caught the attention of people walking by going about their own business. Buresh attracts attention from the little tykes at Just Like Home Daycare Center located near-by.
She puts out mostly children’s jokes. Buresh says she stays away from one-liners and knock-knock jokes. She finds a wide array of jokes from multiple sources, including the internet and a box of joke books she has collected over the years. “If I hear one, I’ll usually make note of it,” she said.
Some of her classics include: “What do you call a fake noodle?” Answer: Unimpasta. “What do you call a fake noodle?” Answer: An irrelephant. “What do you call a man with no body and just a nose? Answer: Nobody knows.
Buresh said her love for jokes has developed over the years of growing up at home. “We’ve always had kind of a funny household,” she admits. “Someone is always laughing. My dad is really funny.”
The teenager insists she has nothing to gain from being the neighborhood prankster. “I just want to make other people smile,” Buresh said.
She usually loads up the box with about 150 joke cards. On this particular fall day when the DCI came by, the box was empty and Buresh had to go scrambling to find more joke cards.
Besides writing jokes down for people to grab, Buresh isn’t known to shy away from telling jokes. “I’ll go up to my friends and we’ll be talking when I throw in a joke somewhere,” she said. “I like making a lot of puns.”
Buresh is usually caught rattling off funny jokes, but she’s also told her fair share of anti-jokes, which is a type of indirect humor that involves the joke-teller delivering something which is intentionally not funny or lacking in intrinsic meaning. “They are the ones that are so corny or awful that they are funny,” she explained.
She also likes spreading nerdy jokes.
The young jokester didn’t share this fact, but her mother, Julie, pointed out she has been honored in the past with the Biggest Ham Award at K-M.
“She likes to share her spirit with other people,” said Julie. “She has always been clever, and she has been drawn to jokes and things that make people laugh.”
Julie is proud that her daughter found something fun to do for others. “It is a perfect project for her. I think it fits Alex perfectly,” she said.
Buresh’s humor has even caught the attention of folks at school. “I’ve had multiple people like teachers and lunch ladies at school say something,” said her sister, Annie. “It’s creating quite the conversation.”
Alex is involved in speech class at K-M. She has used some of her joke-telling abilities to bring humor into her speeches in the past. She found that people often laughed during her speeches.
Buresh acknowledges that some people aren’t always happy, making the need for jokes even more important. “It could just keep them happy,” she said of her joking around. “A corny joke could brighten their day and change their mood completely,” she added.
In addition to speech, Buresh plays soccer and is involved with drama club, AFS, youth orchestra, band and choir.
When asked what kind of student she is in the classroom, Buresh replied, “I’m an average student.” Her mother quickly chimed in from another room and asked out loud, “Did I hear you just say you’re an average student? She is a straight A student.”
One of the family dilemmas is that they are planning to move to Berne within the next few months. They’re worried about what such a move could do to Alex’s reputation as the neighborhood jokester.
“We’re hoping the new owners will keep up with the jokes,” Julie said. “We’ll knock off a few dollars if they keep the jokes,” she said with a smile.
Alex added, “I told my parents I want to meet the people buying our house. If they can’t refill it, I can come and refill the jokes.”
She eventually would like to crack more people up by adding joke boxes in other places. “Anywhere that’s a common place to walk by,” Buresh said.
One thing is for sure. The neighborhood jokester hopes to continue cracking people up with her light-hearted humor.