Tarzan's Tripes Forever, and Other Feghoots

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Frank Buck

Category: Rated G


Did you ever hear the one about Frank Buck? Frank Buck was the greatest animal trapper that ever lived. He trapped animals for zoos, for circuses, for side shows, for almost anything. During his long career he made quite a name for himself as the greatest animal trapper that ever lived.

One day, like many men, Frank Buck reached the age of sixty-five and decided to retire. So, our hero bought himself a little farm in Louisville, Kentucky and settled down to live out his remaining years in the peaceful surroundings of rural Louisville.

Not quite. He had just settled down and was sitting out on his back porch when the phone rang. It was the San Diego Zoo. The zoo keepers said to Frank Buck, “Mr. Buck? This is the San Diego Zoo. We realize you’ve led a long and busy life, and you deserve a peaceful retirement as much as any man on earth, but there’s this one unusual animal we need, and you’re the only man we know that can get it for us. It’s a hornless rhinoceros.” Well, Frank Buck (being in retirement and all that) naturally argued a little, but finally consented to get this hornless rhinoceros for the San Diego Zoo.

So, the next day he went down to his boat on the shore (this was before the days of airplanes), sailed across choppy seas, and landed in Africa, where he went a hackin’ and a choppin’, and a choppin’ and a hackin’ through the jungles of Africa ’till he met Tarzan Lord of the Apes. Now Tarzan was painting stripes. However, you couldn’t tell whether they were white stripes on a black zebra, black stripes on a white zebra, or black and white stripes on a clear zebra. So Frank Buck went up to Tarzan and said, “Tarzan, I hate to bother you while you’re so busy, but there’s this one unusual animal I need. Would you happen to know the whereabouts of a hornless rhinoceros?” Now Tarzan, being so busy and all that, naturally was a little upset. But he put down his brush, pointed to a bush, and said, “Ugh!” And ‘lo and behold, out walked this hornless rhinoceros!

So, Frank Buck captured the hornless rhinoceros, thanked Tarzan (who had, by this time, gone back to painting the zebra), and went a hackin’ and a choppin’, and a choppin’ and a hackin’ back through the jungles of Africa, back down to his boat on the shore (this was before the days of airplanes), sailed back across choppy seas, and landed in America. The next day, he delivered the hornless rhinoceros to the San Diego Zoo, and went back into retirement on his little farm in Louisville, Kentucky.

Well, three days later Frank Buck was sitting out on his back porch when the phone rang. This time it was the Chicago Zoo. The zoo keepers at the Chicago Zoo said, “Mr. Buck? This is the Chicago Zoo. We hate to bother you, seeing as you’re in retirement and all that, but there’s this one unusual animal we need and only you can get it for us. It’s a short-necked giraffe.” Well, Frank Buck (being in retirement and all that) naturally argued a little, but finally consented to get this short-necked giraffe for the Chicago Zoo.

So the next day, he went down to his boat on the shore (this was before the days of airplanes), sailed across choppy seas, and landed in Africa, where he went a hackin’ and a choppin’ and a choppin’ and a hackin’ through the jungles of Africa ’till he met Tarzan. Now, Tarzan was painting stripes. However, you couldn’t tell whether they were black stripes on a white zebra, white stripes on a black zebra, or black and white stripes on a clear zebra.

So, Frank Buck went up to Tarzan and said, “Tarzan, I hate to bother you while you’re so busy, but there’s this one unusual animal I need. Would you happen to know the whereabouts of a short-necked giraffe?” Now Tarzan (being so busy and all that) naturally was a bit peeved, but he put down his brush, pointed to a bush, and said, “Ugh!” And ‘Lo and behold, out walked this short necked giraffe!

So Frank Buck captured the short-necked giraffe, thanked Tarzan (who had, by this time, gone back to painting stripes), and went a hackin’ and a choppin’, and a choppin’ and a hackin’ back through the jungles of Africa, down to his boat on the shore (this was before the days of airplanes), sailed across choppy seas, and landed in America. The next day, he delivered the short-necked giraffe to the Chicago Zoo and went back to retirement on his little farm in Louisville, Kentucky.

Well, three days later, he was sitting out on the back porch when the phone rang. This time it was the Smithsonian Zoo. The zoo keepers said, “Mr. Buck, we realize you’re in retirement and all that, but there’s this one unusual animal we need, and only you can get it for us. It’s a trunkless elephant.” Well, Frank Buck (being in retirement and all that) naturally argued a little, but finally he consented to get this trunkless elephant for the Smithsonian Zoo.

So the next day, he went down to his boat on the shore (This was before the days of airplanes), sailed across choppy seas, and went a hackin’ and a choppin’, and a choppin’ and a hackin’ through the jungles of Africa ’till he met Tarzan. Now Tarzan was painting stripes. However, you couldn’t tell if they were black stripes on a white zebra, or white stripes on a black zebra, or black and white stripes on a clear zebra. So Frank Buck went up to Tarzan and said, “Tarzan, I hate to bother you while you’re so busy, but there’s this one unusual animal I need. Would you happen to know the whereabouts of a trunkless elephant?” Now Tarzan, totally peeved, broke his brush over his knee, threw the brush into the bushes, pointed to a bush and hollered, “Ugh!” And, ‘Lo and behold, out walked this trunkless elephant!

So Frank Buck captured the trunkless elephant, thanked Tarzan (who had by this time picked up a chipmunk and was painting with its tail), went a hackin’ and a choppin’, and a choppin’ and a hackin’ back through the jungles of Africa down to his boat on the shore (this was before the days of airplanes), sailed across choppy seas, and landed in America. The next day, he delivered the trunkless elephant to the Smithsonian Zoo, and went back into retirement on his little farm in Louisville, Kentucky.

Three days later, he was sitting on his back porch when the phone rang. However, this time it was a wrong number. So the next day, Frank Buck had his phone disconnected and lived happily ever after. Moral: …

Tarzan stripes forever.

3 ResponsesLeave one →

  1. Lance M

     /  April 14, 2010

    This is a close version of a joke told by a friend of mine in the late 70’s – early 80’s.
    I thot it was original to her.
    Would love to find out the origin of this.

  2. Bob Costa

     /  April 29, 2011

    It sounds like the story told by Johnny Weismuller to folks that pestered him as he painted all those boring stripes.

  3. Dee Clifton

     /  July 16, 2017

    My late spouse used to tell a version of this Shaggy dog, back in the eighties and nineties. But his included a green or blue Cockatoo, ( which shouldn’t have been found in Africa.) Also it included “Frank Buck picked up the * insert animal name here* from the edge of the clearing; it was a very small.. * insert animal name here.* ” It also didn’t have anything about a wrong number or disconnected phone. When we went to the San Diego Zoo I had him pose near the information about ” King Tut” and took his picture by the sign. For many years the Zoo’s official greeter was a Cockatoo brought to the Zoo by Frank Buck.

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