Calling Robin Swann a poodle wasn't one of Sammy Wilson's best gags. The health minister's reply that he always considered himself "more of a Jack Russell" was a wise and witty response which made the DUP MP look silly.
Swann is no stranger to employing self-deprecating humour, but the fact that Wilson went after him in the first place shows a striking lack of political acumen. Levelling serious criticism at the health minister is one thing, but branding the man handling a pandemic that has killed over 1,000 people here as a breed of dog is incredibly ill-advised.
It shows no grasp of where the public mood is at. Robin Swann is the most popular minister in Stormont by a country mile. A LucidTalk poll last month found that 75% of people thought he was doing a good or great job - almost the same number that said Sammy's colleague Peter Weir was doing a bad or awful one.
That overwhelming endorsement of Swann is spread right across the spectrum - unionist and nationalist, Catholic and Protestant, male and female.
Picking a fight with him, in the most juvenile manner imaginable, is foolish. Not even the grassroots DUP people I spoke to in recent days were amused.
Regardless of Sammy's jibes, Swann is right to choose caution over recklessness in easing lockdown restrictions. We have sacrificed too much to squander the gains we've made against this virus.
The health minister is certainly not above criticism. His department's inadequacy in protecting the elderly in care homes in the early days of the pandemic was shameful.
This month, some residential homes still had unvaccinated old folk in their 80s and 90s who have fallen through the gaping holes in the system.
The health authorities have repeatedly failed to prioritise them - despite pledges to the contrary - and why that is so is beyond me.
Sammy also had a swipe at "the unaccountable chief medical officer". Just like the health minister, Dr Michael McBride is most certainly not above criticism or scrutiny.
But when you have travelled on planes and trains, while a killer virus is on the rampage, with your mask in your pocket or dangling from an ear, you are not really in a position to be arraigning others.
The public deserves level-headed debate about how we defeat Covid and escape lockdown. It doesn't need cheap shots and petty put-downs.
Sammy has always prided himself on being a man of the people, in touch with the public mood. I just can't work out why he is now getting it so wrong and inflicting such massive political damage on himself and his party. It's a godsend for the DUP's rivals in East Antrim and elsewhere.
Arlene Foster hasn't taken action against her MP because her leadership is hanging by a thread. She said that his tweet was "certainly not language I would have used". She advised that, when tweeting, it sometimes might be better to type it out, and then press the delete button.
Such a weak admonishment is hardly going to restrain Sammy or any of Arlene's recalcitrant MPs.
Last year wasn't a great one for the DUP, but the first two months of 2021 have been even worse.
There's a school of thought that, come late spring, the party will start putting its house in order and pulling together as the de facto campaign for next year's Assembly election starts.
How much long-term damage has been done by recent disunity remains to be seen. Switching 'strong and stable' back on again will be no mean feat, but it's certainly not impossible for the party to recover.
In the meantime, the DUP would be best advised to scrap the stunts and act sensibly. Clowning around on Covid doesn't cut the mustard. The old jokes just aren't funny anymore.