It was going to be a lemonade stand, but COVID-19 quashed that idea.
Instead, six-year-old Callaghan McLaughlin is dishing out jokes to neighbours and passersby from a table on his front lawn at Cadboro Bay.
“What do you call a bug that is bad at football?” Callaghan asks. “A fumblebee!”
Or for the more aquatically inclined: “Where does a trout keep his money? A river bank!”
Those are some of Callaghan’s favourites.
His mom, Kelsea McLaughlin, was looking for a safe way to keep her social son engaged with the world amid physical-distancing measures that are keeping people mostly at home.
It’s also a great way to put a smile on faces in a time when many are feeling increased anxiety.
“The more times we see our community laughing and engaging, safely of course, the more it gives that little boost we collectively need right now,” McLaughlin says.
Callaghan heads out each morning for about an hour around 9:30 a.m. and sets up his stand with a homemade sign advertising his drive-by or walk-by joke stand.
McLaughlin says Callaghan takes a lunch break and comes back out for a couple of hours around 1 p.m.
If you happen to stroll by outside of his operating hours, you might find an “on break” sign at the stand.
“Sometimes he keeps an eye on the stand while bouncing on the trampoline,” McLaughlin says.
Callaghan reads a joke book to gather material and occasionally, he learns a joke from someone else. Hearing a new joke is his favourite part of the gig.
Despite his affinity for making people laugh, Callaghan doesn’t think he’ll become a comedian when he grows up. Instead, he wants to be a scientist or an engineer.
“But funny too,” he says.
Callaghan says he’s not the funniest in the family, though. He gives that title to his dad. “My mom says she’s too tired to be funny,” he says.