This is a cartoon drawing that brings to life an in-joke shared by family members during the holidays. Erin C. from Sarasota, FL requested this drawing of two St. Bernard dogs with one wearing a red sweater. Here is what Erin asked for which explains this drawing in more detail:
“Every other year or so growing up, my family would take a road trip to North Dakota to visit my grandmother. Often times we’d “swing by” Texas to pick up my dad’s twin sister and our cousin, Kris. Cousin Kris is an only child and the only cousin within a 10-year age span of me and my two siblings, so we were all especially close. One year on our road trip, my older sister and Cousin Kris told me this “joke” to see if they could get me to laugh: “A St. Bernard was wearing a red sweater and his mom walked in and said, ‘I thought you were wearing a green sweater.’” My sister and Cousin Kris laughed hysterically as they told the “joke” and I thought, not wanting to be the little sister who didn’t get it, I better laugh too. They finally let me in that the punchline is the joke isn’t funny and the point is to see if they could get you to laugh (even though the “joke” made no sense).
I was hooked—I’m in on the joke! I wanted to try it and we decided our parents made the perfect people to pitch. A sweet and happy man, my dad’s stone-cold response was still, “That’s not funny. I don’t get it.” We never did get him to join in on the giggles that trip, no matter how many times we repeated the red sweater/green sweater one-liner.
However, to this day, every Christmas when someone walks through the door in a red sweater, you can hear a Barker family member say, “I thought you were wearing a green sweater!” Almost 30 years later, the joke makes us all laugh until we cry. We lost our aunt, my dad’s twin, to brain cancer a few years ago and our Cousin Kris serves as a missionary in Indonesia, so we aren’t able to visit as often as we used to. The “St. Bernard Joke” is now an old inside family joke that may not fill the hearts of those around us as we try to explain it anew each year, but warms ours beyond measure and sparks a happy memory of togetherness.”