Picking Up Ascent

This sent to us by Chris Cole who says, “(Courtesy of ‘Uncle Jaybird’s Storytime’, a popular shaggy dog feature doneby a southern California disc jokey on KFI in the late 1960s… sent in by some equally demented listener…)”

In the Alps there was a treacherous mountain which had never been successfully scaled. No one who attempted to reach the summit had ever returned. Only once had a battered and broken climber crawled back into the village at the foot of the peak. As he lay there dying, he told a story about of a race of little mountain people they’d encountered, called Clowntons, who, he said, were not to be trusted at all. Then the poor climber breathed his last.

With this newfound information a new climbing team was quickly assembled and set off to reach the summit. At one point, high in the clouds, they came to a fork in the trail. Sitting there was a Clownton (in typical Apline garb — lederhausen, hat and all). The trails quickly disappeared in the thick clouds. The team leader asked the Clownton what he was doing there. The Clownton replied that he was a guide; that one trail led to the summit, but the other led right off the edge of a 500 foot cliff, which was were the other climbers met their gruesome fate. The lead climber demanded to know which trail led to the top. The Clownton pointed to the one on the right. The leader smiled, turned to his team, and promptly led them down the other trail. Unfortunately, in the thick clouds they never saw the edge of the cliff until they had already fallen off it, plunging to their deaths.

As the echoes of their screams slowly faded away, the Clownton sadly shook his head and said to himself, “After all these years, you’d think they would have learned by now to mind every Clownton!”

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