It's All In The Book 06-01-13
- IT'S ALL IN THE BOOK 06-01-13
THE WITCHING TIME OF FRIGHT
There was a woman "of a certain age," and age had not been kind to her. In fact, her appearance caused some to call her a witch, a fact she eventually turned to her advantage.
You see, the woman had seen both Hannibal Lecter movies and decided she would emulate his example. But unlike cannibal Hannibal, the woman ate only men and also wouldn't eat her victims raw. Instead, she cooked them, part by part, in her skillet.
When the police eventually arrested her, she claimed, "I'm a witch. Cannibalism is part of my religion. You can't put me in jail for following my religion." Her defense partially succeeded, and instead of being sent to jail, she was banished from America.
She picked a faraway country to live in, hoping she could settle down unrecognized. Renouncing witchcraft, she joined a missionary church, led by a pastor named Pease, and became active in the church's chief activity.
But despite her hope for a new life, unmarred by recognition of her former activities, she hadn't been living there long when she encountered a new neighbor who, on crossing paths with her, expressed displeasure at having her for a neighbor.
Surprised, she asked, "Do you know who I am?"
The neighbor replied, "You're a banned old hag, you're a guy-frying hag, and for Reverend Pease may you save."
"The Witching Time of Fright" by Cynthia MacGregor from "The Ants Are My Friends" by Richard Lederer & Stan Kegel (�2007)
"You're a grand old flag, you're a high-flying flag, and forever in peace may you wave." from "You're a Grand Old Flag" by George M. Cohan, from"George Washington, Jr." by George M. Cohan (�1906)
@. Used for centuries in the sense of "each at the price of," the now-ubiquitous @, or at-sign, has recently taken on the locative sense of "at," especially in e-mail addresses. The @ predates the dawn of e-mail, by almost five hundred years, on Florentine trade documents dating back as far as 1536.
Informally and playfully, @ has taken on various names in other languages:
� Chinese little mouse
� Danish a trunk
� Dutch little monkey tail
� Finnish meow meow
� German cinnamon cake
� Greek little duck
� Hebrew elephant's ear, strudel
� Hungarian worm
� Korean sea snail
� Russian: dog
"@" from "Amazing Words" by Richard Lederer (�2012)
AN UNUSUAL RESCUE LINE
Two men, who had recently become friends, were looking to add some excitement to their life. One of them, a successful businessman, had a sailboat at the local marina. The other, a simple banker, had never been on a boat in his life. The businessman decided it would be great fun to introduce his banker friend to the art of sailing.
They launched the boat on a sunny afternoon and sailed out into the harbor without incident. There was a steady breeze and relatively calm waters. They sailed to and fro enjoying the experience together.
Unfortunately, the bank er had a lapse in his attention and failed to duck as the boom swung round. As a result, he was knocked into the water and began thrashing about.
The banker's businessman companion grabbed a life preserver and prepared to throw it to him. But, since the businessman didn't know if the banker could swim by himself or was in need of personal assistance, he called out: "Before I throw this to you can you float alone?"
"Of course!" the banker yelled back, his face showing signs of confusion. "But this is one hell of a time to be talking business."
"An Unusual Rescue Line" from "Groan And Bear it" by Gary Younglove (�2010)
THE GRANDFATHER CLOCK
Harvey's grandfather clock suddenly stopped working one day, so he loaded it into his van and took it to a clock repair shop. In the shop was a little old man who insisted he was Swiss but had a heavy German accent.
He asked Harvey, �Vat sims to be ze problem?�
Harvey said, �I'm not sure, but it doesn't go �tick-tock, tick-tock� any-more. Now it just goes �tick...tick...tick.� �
The old man said, �Mmm-hmm!� and stepped behind the counter where he rummaged around a bit. He emerged with a huge flashlight and walked over to the grandfather clock.
He turned the flashlight on, and shined it directly into the clock�s face. Then he said in a menacing voice, �Ve haf vays of making you tock!�
"The Grandfather Clock" from "Punzoli" by Gilbert Krebs (�2012)
In the 28th Century, Ferdinand Feghoot always took passage on spaceships from Argol. Their discipline was rigidly based on Terran naval tradition. Indeed, Argolian law compelled every captain, on assuming command, to identify himself absolutely with some sea-going hero of Earth, actual or legendary.
One wore an eye-patch, another a false wooden leg; some carried harpoons, spyglasses, or belaying pins; they wore pea-jackets or goldbraided coats, and uttered such phrases as "Yo-ho-ho!" and "Damn the torpedoes!"
On a trip to Argol itself, Feghoot met a young captain whose only peculiarity was his habit of sounding the ship's klaxon several times whenever they made planetfall. He explained that he was warning his crew of temptations aground, as many blasts of the klaxon as there were loose women per thousand of population.
Feghoot approved, and was shocked when the captain, on arrival at Argol, was placed in arrest for having no Terran prototype. Gladly undertaking his defense, he explained to the Court about the temptation index and warning.
"And what," sneered the Prosecuting Officer, "has all this to do with the great heroes of Terran seas? Nothing whatever!"
You are wrong," replied Ferdinand Feghoot. "Throughout your whole fleet this splendid young man is known as Captain Horatio Hornblower!"
"Feghoot 60 "by John F. Moore from "The Collected Feghoot" by Reginald Bretnor writing under the pen name Grendel Briarton (�1992)
SHAGGY DOG STORY
Back in the Middle Ages, before we had shaggy dog stories, if you can imagine such a terrible state of affairs, there was a young midget who wanted desperately to be a knight. He didn't want to be just any knight. He wanted to be a knight of King Arthur's Round Table.
His friends laughed when he told them of his secret desire. In spite of the ridicule, he persisted and managed to gain an audience with King Arthur.
After hearing his request, King Arthur said, "You're too small. You couldn't even mount a horse, let alone kill a dragon or rescue a damsel in distress."
The midget said, "Yes I can, just let me try!"
"Well, it won't hurt to give you a chance, I guess," King Arthur admitted. "If you can rescue a damsel in distress or kill a dragon, I will make you a knight."
The midget, of course, had a plan. He needed a big dog. He searched high and low until he found just the right dog, a great big shaggy St. Bernard which was just the right size for him to ride. He took the dog to the local cobbler.
Can you make me a saddle so I can ride this dog?" he asked.
The cobbler chuckled and said, "Sure, compared to the full size saddles I usually make that would be easy."
Next the midget went to the local blacksmith. "Do you have any plowshares you could make into a sword and a suit of armor for me?" he asked.
The blacksmith replied, "Certainly. You are so small only one plowshare would do the trick."
The blacksmith measured him carefully and told him to return a week later. When the midget returned, the armor fit perfectly and the sword was sharp as a razor in its scabbard.
Early the next morning, the midget saddled up his big shaggy dog and rode off into the deep, dark forest looking for either a damsel in distress or a dragon to slay. He rode and rode and rode all day, but found neither damsel nor dragon.
By late afternoon he was really discouraged. He became frightened when he heard thunder in the distance and saw a huge rain cloud rapidly approaching. He knew if it rained on his new suit of armor it would rust so that he would never get it off.
He whipped the shaggy dog into a gallop and began searching for shelter.
Eventually, he saw a little thatched hut ahead in a clearing. He rode the dog into the clearing, reined him to a halt, jumped to the ground, and clattered up to the door. He pounded on the door with all his might.
A little shriveled-up lady came to the door, opened it just a crack, and exclaimed: "What's a knight like you doing out on a dog like this?"
"Shaggy Dog Story" from "Shaggy Dogs have Punny Tales" by Gene Child (�1992)
THE SPICE OF LIFE
In an ancient kingdom named Kale, a king was very proud of his agricultural pursuits. He was particularly proud of his huge expanse of vegetables and herbs, which he grew to feed his people and provide income for his kingdom.
Equally proud of this field of vegetables and herbs was the king's young son. He often went out to the fields and helped with the planting and harvesting. So taken with these vast fields of herbs was the young man, that he often simply went out and stared at the crops of sage, rosemary, parsley, dill, pesto, and thyme.
Obviously, the young heir to the throne knew that all he surveyed would one day be his, and he made a habit of standing in awe at the vast expanses of herbs and spice plants.
One day, the queen was looking for her young son, and she asked the king where their son was.
The king, himself just having returned from the fields, was able to answer quickly: "I have left my food prince in the stand of thyme."
The Spice Of Life"" from "Punning For Your Life" by Ted Brett (�2002)
Compiled by Stan Kegel skegel@...
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