All posts tagged History

A Hun-ting We Will Go…

Another synaptic sputtering from Chris Cole.


It seems that the impending approach of Attila the Hun’s horde caused a rather timid Friar in a local monastery to have a crisis of faith and to flee the monastery. In spite of that he eventually ended up being captured by Attila’s troops anyway and was imprisoned in one of their nearby garrisons, just over the hill from the monastery itself.

The Abbott of the monastery went about the countryside asking if anyone … Read the rest...

Why a Bed of Roses Can Turn Into a War of Roses

This is an original by Bob Levi.


Everyone has heard the expression “Make Love, Not War” but few know how it originated. It seems that the adage lost something in the original translation from Russian.

In 1812 when Napoleon’s Army retreated from Russia, a Russian General was caught by his wife in the bed a beautiful French courtesan. He pleaded that his wife should forgive him by saying, “Making this whore is not love.” The wife shot him.… Read the rest...

Arthur-it Is

Another self-inflicted tale by Chris Cole.


It seems rather well-known that in King Arthur’s Court the Royal Jester provided the verbal wit and humor. The Court Jester was pretty much free to pop-off whenever he felt like it. When it came to story-telling, however, the King decreed a rather unusual way to announce the daily appearance of the Royal Storyteller. All the King’s courtiers knew a story was about to be presented when out strode the Royal Mime carrying upon … Read the rest...

Enough’s Enough, Hun

This is from Chris Cole.


It seems that after the formerly-tame Attila the Hun’s wife, Ruth, died, he was transformed and thus became utterly ruthless. (Of course!)

As a result, when his horsemen needed spear-chucking practice, Attila would choose one of his least-needed slaves to serve as the hapless target, placing him up against the back wall of the stable. Whenever Attila set out on one of his slave-selecting sprees it spread terror among anyone in his path.

Once all … Read the rest...

Leer Jest

From the endlessly inventive Chris Cole.


Many a student of Shakespeare has heard Mark Antony’s funeral oration for the slain explorer Julius Caesar. Few are aware, however, of Mark’s “executive assistant”, a very buxom lady friend named Aphrodesia, who was ever at his side during public appearances. She had the habit of dressing somewhat provocatively and of being a bit flirtatious. Hence, all the red-blooded men (which, let it be said, included most of them) in the crowd often looked … Read the rest...

Ancient Histroy (Two Tales)

Randy Cassingham makes his living publishing an excellent newsletter (This is True) extracting bizarre and interesting events from the news media. These two tales are particularly shaggy examples of his work.


ANCIENT HISTORY: Oedipus, the mythological Greek figure known for killing his father and marrying his mother, should probably be known for something more common, argues Robert Allen, editor of “Pocket Fowler’s Modern English Usage”: road rage. That’s right, he says, road rage is not a modern phenomenon. “It it … Read the rest...

Shaggy Texas History

By Alan B. Combs


The reactors for the South Texas Nuclear Project went online in 1988 and 1989 in Matagorda County near Houston. Having gone through the seemingly mandatory processes of construction cost overruns, operator malfeasance, and subsequent lawsuits, this project one day may be able to help in our country’s energy crisis. Perhaps.

However, this tale is more about the political problems involved in creating a nuke in the first place. The first question one asks is, “Where shall … Read the rest...

The Pilot

This old classic was posted on “Goatboy’s Funny List” [goatboy@goatboy.net] and on the groaners listserv. I remember it from my teens.


A World War II pilot is reminiscing before school children about his days in the Air Force. “In 1942,” he says, “the situation was really tough. The Germans had a very strong air force. I remember,” he continues, “one day I was protecting our bombers and suddenly, out of the clouds, these fokkers appeared.

At this point, several of … Read the rest...

A Bad Case of Indigestion?

This is from Alice Collins [AlicefromLA@webtv.net]. Thank you.


The Ides of March are upon (upun?) us and I see you don’t have the one about how Caesar’s murder really took place. It seems it took place right after breakfast. Caesar is walking to the Forum, and he meets Brutus.

Brutus says, “Good morning, Caesar.”

Caesar says, “Good morning, Brutus.”

Brutus asks, “Have you had breakfast yet?”

Caesar answers, “Yes, I have.”

Brutus then asks,”What did you have?”

Caesar answers, “Oh, … Read the rest...

Bad Pharmaceuticals

The following exchange took place a few years ago on that virtuous (or was that virtual) bar, alt.callahans. Here we feature John Barnstead followed by Magus Firecow.


Pernicious the Musquodoboit Harbour Farm Cat tsk tsks sadly at the misinformation willfully propagated by this no doubt well-intentioned morality tale (a tale formerly included in this collection): imagine ANYONE considering being made a MOUSE to be a PROMOTION (in anything but the advertising sense of that word…). He meows mournfully, which, being … Read the rest...

Problems in New Russia

This was updated from a pun by Terry Tallis originally published in PunAmerican Newsletter.


With the break-up of the Soviet Union and the upheavals in Russia leading to new found openness, some members of the government decided to break with tradition and clean up some of the memorials and exhibits around Red Square.

When they opened the Lenin mausoleum for the first time, they found him caked with filth from years of public display., and it was extremely odiferous.

This … Read the rest...

The Spy

A version of this tale is in Himie Koshevoy’s “Treasure Jest of Best Puns.” A similar version has been attributed to Bennett Cerf.


Wolff Kissinger was a spy. He was the bane of the Nazis during the war, for although they sought him everywhere, they were never able to lay a hand, bullet or poisoned dart on him. The reason was that Wolff was a master of disguise.

Once he was an old flower woman, calling out her posies in … Read the rest...

Spies of Life

This is one of the better ones. It is by Ted Brett from his book “Don’t Book a Judge by His Cover”. It was posted to the groaners listserv.


During the most intensive days of the cold war, the Central Intelligence Agency undertook a recruitment drive to booster its ranks and try to rectify the Soviet intelligence advantages.

During the initial interviews, two candidates appeared particularly promising. Wayne and Amber were a brother and sister team. Although their fervor and … Read the rest...

Texas Independence

This was posted on the groaners listserv.


Texas makes us think of the old slogan “Remember the Alamo.” It seems that during that famous battle, Col. Wm. B. Travis, the guy in charge of the whole thing put his wife, of all people, on the battle line. She was shot by the enemy, shattered her patella, and had to be removed from the front line. After the fighting was over, she divorced her husband, and … sued for Alamo knee.… Read the rest...

Sportscaster Abe

From Stan Kegel, the author is unknown.


If Abe Lincoln were alive today, he would have become a baseball announcer before starting a career in politics, I can hear him announcing in his strong voice, “Yes folks, the Yankees were once in this game But that was four scores and seven errors ago.”… Read the rest...

History Decontructed

This is modified from a Frank and Ernest cartoon by former punster of the year, Bob Thaves.


In addition to what we normally hear in history class, the famous early-19th century French general was not only reponsible for a revolution in military strategy, but also he helped develop certain pieces of weaponry such as the hand grenade. The only problem occurred when a friend asked him what would happen if one of his weapons was detonated on the kitchen floor. … Read the rest...

Foo, man, chew

Charlotte H. reminds us of this old classic.


This is a story about the famous Chinese general Fu Man Chu who went to invade Siberia during the winter. One of the defending Siberian generals had spies who would run up into the mountains, spy on the Chinese, and return with messages about the state of the invaders. During one night, there was a terrible snow and ice storm, and the renowned Chu was said to have died from the cold.… Read the rest...

Irish Prisoners

During World War II, the captured Allied agents of Stalag 15 were attempting yet another daring prison break. On this particular night, Major O’Roarke and Lieutenant Flanagan were chosen to try to cut their way through the bars of the East gate.

They were hard at work when the siren sounded, and the floodlights caught them in the act. As the German officer led them away, O’Roarke said, “We were so careful. How did you ever catch us?”

The German … Read the rest...

Monster Tale (The Beast of London)

This is an olde tale. This updated and expanded version was posted by Stan Kegel on the groaners listserv.


. The Beast of London

By the 15th century, the Templar Knights had disappeared, but deep in the bowels of the British Museum in a case well sealed and protected lies a strange memorial to their impact on the city of London.

London of the early 12th century was on its way to becoming an impressive city, but its life and … Read the rest...

Alexander TG

Himie Koshevoy has a version of this story in his “Treasure Jest of Best Puns.”


When Alexander The Great was waging war on the entire known world of his time, it chanced that he received a slight spear-wound on his wrist. Wrapping an old cloth around it, he continued the battle. After victory was his, one of his aides noticed that the dried blood on the rag around Alexander The Great’s wrist was lining up on it in such a … Read the rest...

William Penn

The famous Statesman, William Penn, had two old aunts named Natalie and Ellie who were great at baking pies. But, alas, they got greedy and raised the prices up and up until all the people in Quakertown were talking about those pie-rates of Penn’s aunts.… Read the rest...

Darius the Mede

Once there was a conference of scholars investigating ancient history. They were considering the nationality of King Darius, mentioned in the Bible as Darius the Mede. Some of those present took the different view that Darius was actually from Persia. Tempers began to flare, until one wise professor said, “Let’s not argue this! After all, one man’s Mede is another man’s Persian.”… Read the rest...

The Ten Best Stressed Puns of 1991

Puns voted by the members of the International Save the Pun Foundation to be the ten best stressed puns posted in the Pundit’s pages in 1991.


A scarcely reported incident of the Desert Storm conflict grew out of the U.S. military’s orders that chaplains assigned to the field would have to wear vestments bearing a desert camouflage pattern.

Fortunately, the chaplains found a liturgical supply house that not only carried the required garments but also, anticipating a quick victory for … Read the rest...