So these two guys. . . .

Two hunters from Minnesota get a pilot to fly them to Canada to hunt moose. They bag six big ones.

As they start loading the plane for the return trip, the pilot tells them the plane can take only four of the moose. The two lads object strongly. “Last year we shot six, and the pilot let us put them all on board.  He had the same plane as yours.

Reluctantly, the pilot gives in and lets them load all six. However, even with full power, the little plane can’t handle the load and goes down a few moments after takeoff.  Climbing out of the wreckage, one Minnesotan asks the other, “Any idea where we are?” The second replies, “Yah, I tink we’s pretty close to where we crashed last year.”

Honk if You Love Peace and Quiet!

I can’t take credit for these examples of “lexiphilia” but I can be given credit for selecting the ones that made me laugh the hardest.

I just got lost in thought. It was unfamiliar territory.
42.7 percent of all statistics are made up on the spot.
99 percent of lawyers give the rest a bad name.
I feel like I’m diagonally parked in a parallel universe.
I wonder how much deeper the ocean would be without sponges.
Remember half the people you know are below average.
Despite the cost of living, have you noticed how popular it remains?
Atheism is a non-prophet organization.
He who laughs last thinks slowest.
The early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.
I intend to live forever – so far so good.
Borrow money from a pessimist – they don’t expect it back.
Love may be blind but marriage is a real eye-opener.
Experience is something you don’t get until just after you need it.
Success always occurs in private and failure in full view.
The colder the x-ray table the more of your body is required on it.
The hardness of butter is directly proportional to the softness of the bread.
To succeed in politics, it is often necessary to rise above your principles.
Mondays are an awful way to spend 1/7th of your life.
A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
Change is inevitable except from vending machines.
Plan to be spontaneous – tomorrow.
Why are there 5 syllables in the word “monosyllabic”?

So this Guy

So there’s this single guy living at home with his father and working in the family business.

When he found out he was going to inherit a fortune when his sickly father died, he decided he needed to find a wife with whom to share his fortune.

One evening, at an investment meeting, he spotted the most beautiful woman he had ever seen. Her natural beauty took his breath away.”I may look like just an ordinary guy,” he said to her, “but in just a few years, my father will die and I will inherit $200 million.”

Impressed, the woman asked for his business card and three days later, she became his stepmother.

Women are so much better at financial planning than men.

Baskin’ Robins

Two large robins were sitting in a tree. It had been raining hard and they were hungry. The pair looked down and there on the ground were dozens of large thick worms. One looked at the other and gave a nod – “let’s go” he said in robin language.

The two flew down and began devouring worm after worm after worm. The sun came out and it warmed. And the pair ate more and more worms until they finished the feast.  They smacked their beaks and tried to launch. But the two had eaten so many worms that they could not get off the ground. “Let’s just sit here in the sun and rest” said the one. The other – eyes glazed over nodded in agreement and sat back to rest in the warm sunlight.

Meanwhile a huge alley cat was skulking through the bushes. He saw the two robins and slowly crept — and pounced. He ate both birds with a smile. “I just love baskin’ robins” he thought.

So this Guy

So this guy sticks his head into a barbershop and asks “how long before I can get a haircut?”

The barber looked around the shop full of customers and says “about two hours.”  The guy left.

A few days later, the same guy stuck his head in the door and asked “how long before I can get a haircut?”   The barber looked around the shop and said “about three hours.”   The guy left.

A week later, the same guy stuck his head in the shop and asked “how long before I can get a haircut?” The barber looked around the shop and said “about an hour and a half.”  The guy left.

The barber turned to his friend and said “hey, Bob, do me a favor, follow that guy and see where he goes.    He keeps asking how long he has to wait for a haircut but he never comes back.”

A little while later, Bob returned to the shop laughing hysterically.   The barber asked “so, where does he go when he leaves?”

Bob looked up and wiped tears from his eyes and said . . . .

Your house!”

So this Guy. . . .

So this guy is up delivering a speech to a large group of people. He begins to rant “All lawyers are jerks!”  [Or you may select your own epithet]

From the back of the room a guy raises his hand and yells “I really take offense at your words.”

The guy giving the speech asks “are you a lawyer?”

Absolutely not,” the guy says defensively. “I’m a jerk!”

Lawyers do get a bad rap from the public.  In a 2013 Pew research poll, lawyers ranked at the bottom of ten professions.  Only 18% of responders felt that lawyers contributed “a lot” to society’s well being.  And that’s down from 23% in 2009.  In a December 2013 Gallup poll on “Honesty/Ethics in Professions,” lawyers were at the bottom of the list — just above members of Congress, lobbyists and car salesmen.  While there are a lot of good lawyers, I tend to think that much of the criticism of lawyers is deserved.   We don’t police the profession as we might and. . . .  wait . . . shhhh. . . .sorry – gotta run!  I hear a siren. . . . .       

The Best Medicine

On March 14, 2005, I delivered a paper to The Chicago Literary Club titled “The Best Medicine.”  The paper is a mildly academic study of the history, styles and benefits (even healing power) of humor. See http://www.chilit.org/Papers%20by%20author/Petersen4.htm   

Joseph Addison – the 17th Century English writer – said “man is distinguished from all other creatures by the faculty of laughter.”  Sigmund Freud in his The Joke and its Relation to the Unconscious states that “jokes” release us from traditional inhibitions which make up the veneer of our personalities.  Ol’ Sig’s book also contains a host of jokes, puns and one-liners. His book ain’t Planes, Trains and Automobiles but it’s worth a look. . . .  

Historically, the earliest known “smile” is etched on the lips of a statue of Ebbeh – a Mesopotamian factotum who lived in 2400 B.C. (Ebbeh now resides in the Louvre).  Four centuries later, we enter Biblical times.  While there were no Old Testament comedians, the word “laugh” (or “laughter”) makes its debut in the Book of Genesis.  When Abraham and Sarah are told they will have a son, both fall on their faces – laughing.  Perhaps that is why their son was named “Isaac” which in Hebrew is “He [or God] laughs.”  The word “laugh” or its derivations appear 43 times in the Bible (with only 6 of those in the New Testament).  The Koran chronicles 16 uses of the word but most relate to the faithful laughing at the inglorious fate of unbelievers.  The Veda in Hindu text records the word “laugh” 8 times.   In Buddhist tradition, he “Laughing Buddha” was supposedly a real person – a wandering happy Zen monk named Pu-Tai who lived around 1000 A.D. 

The first stand-up comedian was Aristophanes (see post of 8/28/11) who was known for his political jabs.  He would lurch out on stage smeared with wine playing the Emperor – Cleon.  It didn’t go over well with Cleon. . . . . The first joke book was The Philogelos (“Laughter Lover”) “published” in the 4th Century A.D.  It was a collection of 264 jokes.  One depicts a chatty barber.  “How shall I cut your hair” he says to his customer.  “In silence” the man responds.  Some things don’t change. . . . .    

So this guy. . . . .

Two guys are in an airplane flying at 35,000 feet. Suddenly there’s a loud “BANG.” The pilot comes on the intercom “Ladies and gentlemen, we have just lost one of our four engines. We have three other engines and it is no problem to fly.  But we’ll be about one hour late getting to our destination.”

A little while later – another loud “BANG.” Captain comes on “Folks, we have lost a second of our four engines. But this plane can fly on two. But we’re going to be about two hours late getting to our destination.”

A few minutes later, there is another huge “BANG.” The captain comes on the intercom and says “Ladies and gentlemen, I’ve never had this happen but we’ve lost a third of our four engines. This plane is designed to fly on one engine so we’re fine.  But we’re going to be about three hours late getting to our destination.”

So the one guy turns to the other and says “Man – if we lose that fourth engine, we’re going to be up here all day!”

   

The Poor Canary

A small canary was under the weather and went to the doctor. “Doctor,” the small bird said “I don’t feel so well.”
Well take off your feathers and let’s have a look.”

The doctor examined the small bird, sighed and said “I have bad news for you. You have a canarial disease. It’s chirpes. And it’s untweetable.”

Joe Miller’s Joke Book

I always wanted to be a stand up comedian — but I just don’t have the legs for it. . . .

I love good jokes.  Comedy.  The Three Stooges (“are you kidding Petersen?”).  The Honeymooners.  Seinfeld.  I love to laugh.   Belly laugh.  The person I’d like most to have dinner with?  Aristophanes (see post of August 28, 2011).  My favorite funny movie?  “Planes Trains and Automobiles.”  Rent it.  Please!  Or maybe it’s “Airplane.”  Or “Young Frankenstein.”  Or “The Pink Panther.”  Humor is a great medicine (see post of July 28, 2011). 

While Aristophanes was the first stand up comedian in about 400 B.C., the first book of jokes wasn’t published until 1739.  It was Joe Miller’s Joke Book, then known as Joe Miller’s Jests or The Wit’s Vade-Mecum.  Joe Miller (1684-1738) was an English actor who played a large number of humorous/comedic parts.  When Miller died, a chap named John M0tley (1692-1750) published Joe Miller’s Jests in 1739.  It was a collection of contemporary and ancient witticisms.  The first edition had 247 numbered jokes. 

A famous teacher of Arithmetick who had long been married without being able to get his Wife with Child.  One said to her ‘Madam, your Husband is an excellent Arithmetician.’  ‘Yes, replies she, only he can’t multiply.'”   (That’s number 234) 

Joe Miller was referred to by Scrooge in Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol (1843) (“Joe Miller never made such a joke as sending [the turkey] to Bob’s. . . .”). 

Maybe after I croak, someone will write a book “The Renaissance Hombre’s Joke Book.”  I have a card file full of them!  Yeah. . . . .