My son was being obnoxious, so I looked at him and said "That's one." He just stared blankly at me, with no apparent remembrance of his early childhood training (whatever you do, don't let mama reach three!). So I told him a joke to explain:
There was a couple who had reached their 50th wedding anniversary, without ever having been heard to argue. At the party, several people wondered how the couple had managed to stay so loving for so long. Finally, someone went up to Herb and asked him, "How did you manage to stay married for 50 years without ever having a fight?"
Herb smiled, and said that when he had first gotten married, he and his wife had taken a wonderful honeymoon to the Grand Canyon. While there, they decided to take the mule ride down into the canyon. Herb's wife rode down first, and Herb followed behind where he could see and admire his beautiful bride.
Unfortunately, the mule that Herb's wife rode on was a little frisky and had a tendency to kick. After a couple of bumps, Herb's bride got off the mule, walked around to look it straight in the eyes, and said "That's one." Then she got back on the mule and continued down the trail.
The mule behaved for a little while, but soon was back to playing tricks. After the mule suddenly stopped and refused to go on, Herb's wife got back off the mule, walked around to look it straight in the eyes, and said "That's two." Then she got back on the mule and continued down the trail.
Herb watched this in amazement. It was astounding and fascinating that his bride had such self assurance. After a little while, the mule started to act up again and tried to rush down the last bit of the hill without regard for his rider. Herb watched his bride get off the mule again, walk around to look it straight in the eye, then she pulled out a gun and shot the mule dead.
Herb was appalled. How could she so carelessly kill an animal? His wife calmly looked at him and said "That's one."
Herb finished his story with the explanation that he never quite had the nerve to let her count any higher than that.
Just about the time I finished this joke, I noticed my daughter had come into the room. She was clearly upset.
"My aunt shot a mule?!" she demanded.
Apparently she walked into the middle of the joke, and assumed that the Herb in the story was her Uncle Herb.
She better hope her Aunt doesn't read this, or she'll be on "One!"