All posts for the month August, 1996

Go West, Young Man

The golden spike had been driven, thereby , indicating the completion of the first transcontinental railway. Now, it would be possible to enter a train on the East Coast and travel directly to the West Coast. Several different companies joined in enthusiastic competetion for pasengers to ride from the New York to San Francisco. However, they had not counted on one complication — the company that made the passenger cars had manufactured the seats with those skinny-bunned Continentals in mind. … Read the rest...


I first heard this in Pharmacy School in the 1960s from one of my professors who (out of class) used it as an example of how *NOT* to pronounce the name of a certain class of drugs. This one appears a lot on the internet. I have modified it to reflect the original flavor of when I first heard it.

This shaggy dog story is about the thirsty bear who walked into a bar. As he sat down, a dog … Read the rest...

On The Most Wanted List

I am afraid it is true that I have seen several versions of this one.

The Israeli police were looking for a man named Joseph, wanted for looting in the port city of Haifa. The suspect was described as the son of a Barcelona ex-nun and a German father. He was a former flutist, and he worked occasionally as a farmer.

In short, he was “A Haifa-lootin’, flutin’ Teuton, son-of-a-nun from Barcelona, part-time plowboy Joe.”… Read the rest...

Missing Child

A very poor woman gave birth to identical twin boys, but she could not afford to keep them, so she arranged to give them up for adoption. Unfortunately, the agency could not keep them together, and one boy was adopted by a Mexican family and the other by an Arab family. The Mexican family named their boy ‘Juan’. The Arab family named theirs ‘Amal’.

The years passed, and the woman found herself wondering whatever happened to her two boys. “They … Read the rest...

In The Days of Old, When Knights Were Bold…

The author of this story is unknown. A very different tale with a similar punchline is Feghoot XXXIX by Reginald Bretnor writing under the name of Grendel Briarton.

The realm of King Arthur was sorely beset by the encroachments of the Saxons. Sadly, there were few Knights left to fight them. King Arthur, despairing the probable downfall of Camelot, turned once again to Merlin, his friend and wisest advisor.

“Merlin, I fear that this time even your great resources will … Read the rest...

NASA’s Plans

An early variant of this far flung tale is in Himie Koshevoy’s collection.

There are new plans in the works to build a self-sustaining space colony. At first only people would be sent to the station, followed by vegetation, then animal life. The first animal to be sent up will be the cow, since it can provide milk for the babies born on the colony. The plans are to have an entire shipment solely of cattle — it will be … Read the rest...

Another Monk’s Tale

Various versions of this story have been bouncing around the internet for the last few years.

After Robin Hood died, Friar Tuck decided to buy a flower shop. Just a week after opening, he discovered that some of his plants were wilting because of bad ventilation. He asked his best friend George to put new vents in for him. George did this and charged the friar five dollars.

A week later the Friar was discouraged to find even more flowers … Read the rest...

Chess Mavens

This one is younger than many, but it has had a lively existence, so far.

During the recent Karpov-Kasparov world chess championships they came to an adjournment and left for their hotel. In the lobby of the hotel several chess enthusiasts could be heard bragging, “I could beat Karpov with no problem”.

“Oh yeah, I could beat both of them at the same time.”

“That’s nothing, I could beat both of them blindfolded!”

Finally, the hotel manager had had enough … Read the rest...

The Barber

This is from Stan Kegel. The author is not known.

Abe Cohen was a very successful barber whose tonsorial shop happened to be located next store to a bowling alley. Cohen became enamoured with the sport and was determined to get his score over 200 so he began spending more time bowling than barbering. He had started a game with 6 consecutive strikes one afternoon when the political boss of the county tracked him down and demanded an immediate shave. … Read the rest...

At The San Diego Park

There are so many versions of this one, it must either be a classic, or among the most stolen shaggy dogs.

Last year the San Diego Wild Animal Park opened its first dolphin exhibit. Although the exhibit was open for public viewing, its primary purpose was to save a rare species of dolphin found in the Indian Ocean.

Breeding was obviously an important part of the program, but initially the dolphins wouldn’t cooperate. After trying and failing in several attempts … Read the rest...