Tag Archives: jokes
A question for a Monday:
After three grueling math theory posts (which I’m sure you all read very carefully and are fully prepared for next week’s pop quiz), it’s Friday and time for some fun. Here is a trio of very old jokes about the afterlife. They’re so old they may have gone around the loop to being new again, at least for anyone under the age of mumble-mumble.
As I write this post it occurs to me that I don’t hear many jokes anymore. Comedians have stand-up routines, and there are funny quotes, and lots of funny videos and gags and images… Maybe I’m just out of the loop, but it seems like people don’t tell jokes that much anymore. Pity!
I’ll have to look into that. In the meantime, enjoy (and have a great weekend):
A couple lived near the ocean and used to walk the beach a lot. One summer they noticed a girl who was at the beach pretty much every day. She wasn’t unusual, nor was the travel bag she carried, except for one thing: She would approach people who were sitting on the beach, glance around furtively, then speak to them.
Generally, the people would respond negatively and she would wander off, but occasionally someone would nod and there would be a quick exchange of money for something she carried in her bag. The couple assumed she was selling drugs and debated calling the cops, but since they didn’t know for sure they just continued to watch her.
After a couple of weeks the wife asked, “Honey, have you ever noticed that she only goes up to people with boom boxes and other electronic devices?” He said he hadn’t. Then she said, “Tomorrow I want you to get a towel and our big radio and go lie out on the beach. Then we can find out what she’s really doing.”
The weather has been gorgeous the last couple days, so the idea of sitting at the computer hasn’t been appealing. Plus, it’s occurred to me that I’ve just ended 29 years of sitting at a computer. My original plan was to spend this first retirement month getting solidly back into blogging again, but my brain is rebelling. It would rather just putter around for a while, enjoying life.
I do try to do what the voices in my head tell me. They seem to know what they’re talking about (at least, they’re quite convincing). I have managed to post more this month than any month so far this year, so I’m off to a fine start.
But I’m not going to work at much more this month unless the muse strikes me.
There is such a thing as a shaggy dog story. It’s a story that winds on for as long as the teller can spin it. Eventually, as the audience gets ever more restless, the “joke” ends with the most banal and trivial of non-punchlines. The longer the telling, the more pointless must be the punchline.
Old dogs notoriously can’t be taught new tricks, but perhaps that’s because they’ve learned the tricks they care to learn and aren’t interested in jumping through new hoops.
This little tale is not a shaggy dog story, but about wise old dogs…
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…
I have a sign in my cube:
It garners two reactions. Some people just walk away puzzled. Some people look puzzled for just a moment and then they crack up.
You may have heard the punchline, “Ready when you are, Mr. DeMille!” Sometimes it’s abbreviated to, simply, “Ready when you are!” It’s dubious that it ever happened, and it’s not a parable—there’s no moral behind it. But it is a pretty good joke! In fact, it’s one of my favorites, and I’ve used the punchline many times.
For your dancing and dining pleasure, here it is:
Cecil B. DeMille (known as “C.B.”), the famed producer and director of cinematic biblical epics, was directing a massive battle scene that involved a vast set filled with thousands of extras and animals. The climactic scene involved a massive dam bursting and flooding a valley, washing away the battle and destroying the very large, very expensive set. (And don’t worry, the extras and animals were all stunt extras and stunt animals; no harm came to any person or creature.)
Even in the days of Hollywood’s great wealth and indulgence, it would be possible for only one ‘take’. There was no way to rebuild such a huge set. (And, of course, this was long before the days of CGI, so everything had to be actually built.)
So C.B. covered himself by having the final scene filmed by four cameras. Each camera was in a slightly different location. Walkie-talkies allowed the director to communicate with each one.
The moment came, and the scene went off without a hitch. Everything went perfectly!
The dust settled, the water drained away, the extras and animals were all checked to ensure they were okay. The set, the dam and the valley, were completely destroyed (as expected), and there was no chance the scene could ever be repeated again.
Mr. DeMille picks up the first walkie-talkie and checks with the first cameraman to see if he filmed the scene successfully.
“No, I’m sorry Mr. DeMille, I’m afraid not,” comes the reply, “There was a piece of film caught in the gate and it blocked most of the image. I’m afraid we didn’t get anything you can use.”
That causes C.B. some concern, of course, but he had three other cameras, so he picks up the second walkie-talkie and asks the second cameraman if the scene was filmed successfully.
“Oh, Mr. DeMille,” comes this reply, “I’m so sorry, but it turned out the battery pack was dead, and before we could hook up another, the scene was over!”
Now C.B. is starting to really worry. Two out of four cameras missed the scene, and he’s down to the last two. His heart pounding, he picks up the third walkie-talkie and contacts the third cameraman.
The reply caused sweat to break out on his forehead, “Mr. DeMille, I’m very, very sorry, but the film loader put the film in wrong, the film didn’t run and we got nothing.”
At this point C.B. is in full panic mode. Hands shaking so badly he can hardly work the fourth walkie-talkie, he calls the last cameraman. To give himself a chance to calm down he starts by asking a few questions.
“Have you checked the film gate to make sure it’s clear,” he asks? “Oh, yes, Mr. DeMille, it was the first thing we did,” comes the reply! This makes C.B. feel there is hope.
“And have you checked the battery pack to make sure it’s charged,” asks DeMille? The reply was heartening, “My assistant did that while I was checking the gate. Fully charged!”
Thinking this might work out after all, C.B. asks the final question, “How about the film, was it loaded correctly?”
Comes the immortal reply, “I checked that myself! We’re ready when you are, Mr. DeMille!“