Several fits of uncontrollable giggles later, I suspect that this small ritual was much more entertaining for us than the game actually ever was.
Then there was "Music Man in a Garbage Can" - sung in a twangy, country style, shared between my best friend and me in high school. This originated from a junket downtown, where we witnessed what we believed to be the first musical trash receptacle - only to discover there was a homeless man strumming his guitar from behind it. "Music Man in a Garbage Can" later evolved into a different inside joke, applied to Philsy when we were first dating and... well... his apartment was messy, let's just say. In case you aren't in the loop, Philsy is a composer. Dots connected.
Just a side note: I've managed to type for 20 minutes now with a fresh manicure and not shmuck it. Go me!
Back to the subject. Philsy and I have had more inside jokes than I can remember over the last eight years. "Hoodle" is a nickname for a breakfast sandwich; the origin of the word is Wheedle, courtesy of the brilliant documentary Spellbound. "Don't give him the part what you taste" - spoken in a Quebecois accent - came from one of Philsy's childhood friends.
On the subject of Quebecois accents: five years ago when I was visiting Philsy's cottage in QC for the first time I started working on a funny little character with a bad Quebecois accent - sort of a 'wild and a crazy guy', but with French Canadian flare. It's important to note, that I talk in my sleep - and it wasn't long before Frenchie made a late night appearance. Philsy made a point of writing down exactly what I said: "You can take one, if you want one. Or you can say yes, or no, or yes, or no, or crazy."
Inside jokes aren't necessarily limited to just two people, or even a small group. Internet meme's, like ICANHAZCHEEZEBURGER have brought together large groups. "Give him the stick" "Porkchop Sandwiches" and "Who wants a body massage?" came from a hilarious bunch of re-voiced GI Joe infomercials on YouTube. It's an amazing testament to the power of social networking when you're sitting on the bus, and over hear someone say:
Inside funny is the birthplace of all funny, in one way or another. Jokes and gags need to go through rigorous testing before they are presented to the world - and naturally, we start with those closest to us and then branch out. Venues like Twitter are a great challenge to hit hilarity in just 140 characters.
And remember, sometimes a good old fashioned fart joke is all you need.