Tarzan's Tripes Forever, and Other Feghoots

The Web's Original Shaggy Dog Story Archive


Shaggy Beatles

Category: Puns, Rated G

By Brian P. Combs

I think the odds are good that something similar to this is already in the system, but I couldn’t find it.


It’s funny how fate works. Were it not for a minor mistake, the greatest rock band of all time, The Beatles, might never have formed.

You see, even in grammar school, Paul McCartney showed impressive abilities in organization and scheduling. In the late 1950’s, as a minor, he was employed as the shipping manager for a trucking company in Liverpool.

These were the days before office computers, and the scheduling of shipments was all done by hand. McCartney was able hold all the information in his head: where pickups needed to be made, what trucks and drivers where available, what was being delivered, and where it needed to go.

His designs for packing and loading increased the amount a truck could carry by 37%. He could sort all this data in his head as well, finding the optimal route for everything. This saved the company huge amounts of money, and they rewarded him handsomely, especially for one of his few years.

The commercial advantage McCartney’s abilities gave the trucking company led to incredible growth, and the size of the contracts the company worked grew concordantly. Unfortunately, so did McCartney’s ego.

The complexity of the job was growing exponentially with the company’s growth. McCartney wouldn’t admit it to anyone, but the trucking company’s needs was beginning to surpass even his great abilities. Mistakes began to be made, shipments were misdirected, and efficiency suffered. The company was growing so quickly and had such a great reputation, however, that no one noticed.

Eventually, the trucking company signed a contract with an automotive manufacturer. The car company was experimenting with the build-to-order concept (unfortunately, a few decades too early). Car parts were produced at a number of factories throughout Great Britain, and then shipped to regional centers for custom assembly.

The business concept was very successful (for a little while) and the account grew to over 50% of the trucking company’s business. Meanwhile, the company’s cash reserves had dwindled due to costs of growth and reduced efficiency from the increasingly overwhelmed McCartney.

You probably aren’t surprised to hear that disaster struck. Incorrect parts ended up all over the place, and worst of all, McCartney packed the parts poorly. The windows and windshields were placed below the engine blocks, and were found to be sand upon arrival.

The car maker, which relied so heavily on its just-in-time part delivery, was mortally wounded. The trucking company, which had grown so quickly, didn’t have sufficient liability insurance. The resulting lawsuit drove them under. McCartney was out of a job.

McCartney was crushed by the experience. His confidence in his business acumen was shattered, and he didn’t even want to think about his days at the trucking company.

His fancy turned to music. Then he met John, Ringo and George, and The Beatles were formed. History was made.

Once the band was established, McCartney’s confidence slowly returned. Eventually, as musicians are wont to do, he began to reflect on the experience and write a song about it. The song was….

The Wrong and Grinding Load

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