While I’ve always—and I do mean always—been a “class clown,” I’ve never been much of a joke teller. Mostly because I have trouble remembering them. I don’t mean the punch line. If I can remember the joke, I can remember the punchline. It’s generally the entire joke I can’t remember!
Which is somewhat odd considering all the joke books I read in my younger days and all the comedians I’ve enjoyed in my older days (RIP George; you were the greatest of them all).
The mind being the associative wonder that it is, sometimes some part of a conversation triggers an association, and that surfaces a joke from my mental archives (think Damian Lewis’ memory library from Dreamcatcher).
And sometimes when a new joke I’ve really liked is fresh in my mind, I go around telling it to everyone. Which takes some doing, liking a joke that much. As I said, I’ve been reading joke books and following comedians a very long time, so it takes something a bit special to impress me. Most new jokes are just variations of old jokes.
But I heard one recently that cracked me up… and managed to be a truly new joke. Maybe it’ll have the same effect on you. Plus, it’s Friday and time to start goofing off. So without further ado, I give you…
The One About the Dead Duck
A very distraught woman brings her limp and lifeless duck to the vet. The duck’s not breathing and doesn’t react to any attempts to stir it. It certainly appears to be, in fact, a dead duck. (And, no, this is not a re-take on the old Monty Python Parrot sketch; I wouldn’t do that to you.)
After a careful examination the vet tells the woman, “I’m very sorry, but your duck is dead.”
“Are you absolutely sure,” protests the unhappy woman? “Are you sure he’s not in a coma or something?”
“I’m quite sure, madam, that your duck is dead,” answers the vet.
“But maybe there’s something you haven’t found. Maybe he’s hibernating or something. Isn’t there anything you can do to be completely sure,” begs the woman.
“Very well,” says the vet, and he leaves the room, only to return moments later with a black Labrador Retriever dog. The dog puts its front paws up on the examination table and sniffs the duck for a while. Finally he looks up at the vet with a mournful face, shakes his head silently and walks out of the room.
The vet then leaves the room again, but this time he returns holding a Calico cat in his arms. He puts the cat on the exam table, and the cat carefully inspects the duck from head to tail. Finally the cat looks up at the vet, shakes it head, leaps down from the table and leaves the room.
“Well, madam, that settles the matter. Your duck is definitely dead, no question about it,” says the vet.
The woman is, of course, heart-broken, but she finally accepts the vet’s word that her duck is dead. The vet then turns to his computer, punches a few keys and prints a bill, which he, as gently as possible, hands to the miserable woman.
When the woman looks at the bill, she gasps and exclaims, “This is for 820 dollars! That’s an awful lot of money just to tell me that my duck is dead!”
The vet replies, “Yes, I’m sorry about the cost. If you had taken my word originally that your duck was dead, it would have only been 20 dollars.”
“But with the lab test and the cat scan, I’m afraid it’s 800 dollars more.”