The animal kingdom had become overpopulated.
The lion, being the head of the animal kingdom, made a decree: A joke telling contest would be held at the end of the week. The tortoise, unanimously agreed upon as being the fairest of all the animals, was appointed as the official judge. The rules were simple: tell your joke to the tortoise, and if he laughs, you can stay, but if he does not, you are banished. The competition would continue until the population of the kingdom was reduced in half.
All the animals spent the rest of the week preparing. Never before in the animal kingdom had so much original content been created. Jokes upon jokes were imagined, tweaked, and committed to memory. The animals worked tirelessly, until finally, the joke telling day came.
All the animals were gathered in a great assembly. Before animals were chosen at random to present their jokes, an offer was extended to any animal who thought they had a truly exception joke. The zebra volunteered almost immediately. It was not very often that he got to go first at anything because of that whole pesky "Z" thing. Additionally, he felt that his joke was quite funny, and wanted to make sure that he got a chance to present it to the tortoise before the tortoise was tired of laughing.
He nervously approached the podium, and presented his material. It was short, sweet, and had an excellent punchline. To the zebras relief, the whole animal kingdom erupted in a roar of laughter, and it fact, it took several minutes for everyone to calm down...
...except for the tortoise. Without emotion, he just stared back at the zebra. The zebra was shocked, the rest of the kingdom astonished, but sadly, everyone knew what this meant. The zebra was escorted away, never to be seen from again.
It came time for the second animal to give his joke. Again, they polled for volunteers, and after some hesitation, the chimpanzee raised his hand. The chimp figured it had a good repertoire of making others laugh, and while the tortoise was apparently a tough crowd, he figured he probably had a decent shot. He had worked hard on this, and had about a five minute act.
The chimp's animatedly presented his finest material. It was a bit song, a bit dance, and a ton of humor. The kingdom chuckled throughout the act, but when the chimp dropped his final punchline, the kingdom went berserk. Never before had such a funny joke been told: the whole act, while funny in itself, was the perfect setup to the final line. This was not a joke, it was a work of art.
Once everyone had again calmed down, all eyes were on the tortoise. He was unmoved. The chimp was astonished, the kingdom flabbergasted. The chimp was escorted away.
At this, no one dared to volunteer. Two masters of the craft were just set away. How could anyone compete? There was silence across the animal kingdom. Everyone felt the weight of the impending doom that was their fate. There were no more volunteers, their only hope was to not be called. All they could do was wait.
It was then than the bison was called. He lumbered up to the front. He took a big gulp; he knew he really wasn't good at joke telling anyway, and was pretty sure that he was destined to fail He hesitated, stuttered, stammered, but presented his joke to the best of his ability anyway. When the punchline was delivered, (or at least what seemed to have been whatever punchline there could have been at such a scenario,) there was a collective moan over the kingdom.
The joke, was it even a joke? was horrible. Everyone knew that he would be escorted away to his...wait, what? The tortoise! He began to chuckle. Not just a "heh" chuckle, this was a real chuckle. Not a chuckle, this was a lough! Then more and more! He was laughing so hard he was having a hard time catching his breath. How could this be? Did the tortoise have some strange sense of humor? Why was he laughing at this? Was he senile? The kingdom was sent into confusion.
Finally the lion interjected. "SILENCE!" he shouted. He addressed the judge: "Oh wise and fair tortoise, why is it that you find the bison's joke so humorous, but none of the other animals' jokes?"
"What Bison?" replied the tortoise. "I was laughing at the zebra's joke!"
A man was in New York on a business trip and decided to head to a bar for a drink. Standing outside the bar was a nun holding a tin cup.
As the man threw a few bucks into her cup the nun launched into a long tirade about the evils of alcohol. She went on and on about how alcohol was tearing apart the fabric of society, how it was the root of all the city's problems.
Slightly annoyed at having to listen to the nun, the man told her, "Listen sister, I work hard for my money and sometimes at the end of a long day I like a drink or two. That doesn't make me a bad person. I have a wife I idolize and two wonderful kids at home. I provide for my family, I volunteer my time to several local service clubs and I contribute regularly to various charities. Yet you stand here and condemn me just because I drink the occasional glass of scotch!"
The nun was slightly taken aback and replied, "I see your point my son and I apologize if I offended you, but alcohol is such a powerful demon that all who consume it are doomed..."
"Look there you go again," said the man, "How can you make such a sweeping statement. Have you ever even TRIED alcohol?"
"Of course not!" gasped the nun, "The evil alcohol has never touched my lips."
"Do you really think that one glass of booze can change you from a devout nun to some kind of evil degenerate?"
"Well, I really don't know ..."
"I'll tell you what, come into the bar with me and I'll buy you a drink. One drink. I'll prove to you that "evil" is not inside the glass, it's inside the person."
"Oh I could never be seen going into such a den of inequity, it's out of the question. However, your comment about evil residing in the person rather than the glass is quite intriguing. I must admit you've aroused a curiosity in me."
"Well let's go inside and settle this"
"No, my son, I could never enter such a place... but how about this. Take my tin cup with you and fill it with this "scotch" you mentioned. Bring it out to me and I'll try it."
"You're on!" said the guy.
The nun removed all the change and handed him the tin cup. He went into the bar and said to the bartender, "Two scotch on the rocks, and could you put one of them in this tin cup please"
The bartender sighed and said, "Is that darn "nun" out there again!?!"
One dark night in Dublin, a fire started inside the local chemical plant. In the blink of an eye, it exploded into massive flames. The alarm went out to all the fire departments for miles around. When the firefighters appeared on the scene, the chemical company president rushed to the fireman in charge and said, "All our secret formulas are in the vault in the center of the plant. They must be saved. I will give 50,000 pounds to the fire department that brings them out intact."
But the roaring flames held the firefighters off. Soon more fire departments had to be called in as the situation became desperate. As the firemen arrived, the president shouted out that the offer was now 100,000 pounds to the fire station who could bring out the company's secret files. But still, the firefighters could not get through.
From the distance, a lone siren was heard as another fire truck came into sight. It was the nearby rural township volunteer fire brigade, composed mainly of old men over 65. To everyone's amazement, that little run-down fire engine roared right past all the newer sleek engines that were parked outside the plant. Without even slowing down it drove straight into the middle of the inferno.
Outside, the other firemen watched as the old timers jumped off right in the middle of the fire and fought it back on all sides. It was a performance and effort never seen before. Within a short time, the old timers had extinguished the fire and had saved the secret formulas. The grateful chemical company president announced that for such a superhuman feat he was upping the reward to 200,000 pounds and walked over to personally thank each of the brave firefighters.
The local TV station caught the thank you on film and asked the chief, "What are you going to do with all that money?"
"Well," said Paddy, the 70-year-old fire chief, "the first thing we're gonna do is fix the brakes on that bloody fire truck."
A fire started on some grasslands near a farm.
The county fire department was called to put out the fire.
The fire was more than the county fire department could handle.
Someone suggested that a nearby volunteer bunch be called. Despite some doubt that the volunteer outfit would be of any assistance, the call was made. The volunteers arrived in a dilapidated old fire truck. They rumbled straight towards the fire, drove right into the middle of the flames! The firemen jumped off the truck and frantically started spraying water in all directions. Soon they had snuffed out the center of the fire, breaking the blaze into two easily-controlled parts.
Watching all this, the farmer was so impressed with the volunteer fire department's work and was so grateful that his farm had been spared, that right there on the spot he presented the volunteers with a check for $1,000. A local news reporter asked the volunteer fire captain what the department planned to do with the funds.
"That ought to be obvious," he responded, wiping ashes off his coat. "The first thing we're gonna do is get the brakes fixed on our fire truck!"
Around the beginning of the 20th century, a society lady runs into the employment office one day and demands a maid "right now".
It seems she's having a dinner party that night and her maid quit.
The guy in the agency explains that all the girls he has right now have just gotten off the boat from Ireland. They're untrained. The lady says she'll train the girl but needs someone right away.
The agency man asks for volunteers and Molly comes forward. She agrees to go and be trained.
Well, the dinner party comes and goes and, although some of the guests seemed to disappear now and then, everything works out just fine. Molly does a great job. The next morning, the lady's walking down the upstairs hall and sees Molly in one of the guest rooms. Looks like she's making the bed but she's just standing there.
Curious, the woman walks in and looks over Molly's shoulder. There on the bed lies a condom.
The lady turns bright red and tries to laugh it off. "Why Molly," she says, "Surely you have those in Ireland, don't you?"
Molly swallows nervously and says: "Surely we do madam, but we don't skin 'em!"
A senator is visiting a primary school. In one class, he asks the students if anyone can give him an example of a "tragedy." One little boy stands up and offers that, "If my best friend who lives next door is playing in the street when a car came by and killed him, that would be a tragedy."
"No," the Senator says, "That would be an ACCIDENT."
A girl raises her hand. "If a school bus carrying fifty children drove off a cliff, killing everyone inside ... that would be a tragedy."
"I'm afraid not," explains the Senator. "That is what we would call a GREAT LOSS."
The room is silent; none of the other children dare volunteer.
"What?" asks the Senator, "Isn't there anyone here who can give me an example of a tragedy?"
Finally Little Johnny in the back raises his hand. In a timid voice, he says: "If an airplane carrying a Senator was blown up by a bomb, *that* would be a tragedy."
"Marvelous!" the Senator beams. "And can you tell me WHY that would be a tragedy?"
"Well," says Johnny, "because it wouldn't be an accident, and it certainly would be no great loss!"
NASA was interviewing professionals to be sent to Mars.
Only one could go and they could never return to Earth.
The first applicant, an engineer, was asked how much he wanted to be paid for going.
“A million dollars,” he answered, “because I want to donate it to M.I.T.”
The next applicant, a doctor, was asked the same question.
He asked for $2 million. “I want to give a million to my family,” he explained, “and leave the other million for the advancement of medical research.”
The last applicant was a lawyer. When asked how much money he wanted, he whispered in the interviewer’s ear, “Three million dollars.”
“Why so much?” asked the interviewer.
The lawyer replied, “You convince them I'm the best candidate. I’ll give you $1 million, I’ll keep $1 million, and we’ll send the engineer to Mars.”
Being shellfless entails volunteering at the relief center during disaster.
Little Johnny's Father
Little Johnny was in class and the teacher announced that they were going to try something different to help everyone get to know each other a little better, and to help with their spelling.
She explained, "I want you to stand up and give us the occupation of your father, spell it, and say one thing he would give us all if he was here today."
The first student raised her hand to volunteer.
"Marcy," the teacher said. "You may go first."
Marcy replied, "My father is a banker. B-A-N-K-E-R and if he was here today, he would give us all a shiny new penny."
The teacher said, "Very nice, Marcy, who wants to go next?"
Kevin stood up and announced, "My father is a baker. B-A-K-E-R and if he was here today, he would give us all a freshly-baked cookie."
"Very good," the teacher told Kevin.
Jeff was next, and he said, "My father is an accountant. A-K, no wait, A-C-K, no..."
Before he could attempt to spell it once more, the teacher cut him off and told him to sit back down and to think about it for a while. When he thought he knew how to spell it, he could stand back up and try again.
Little Johnny raised his hand in excitement hoping to be acknowledged by the teacher.
The teacher called on little Johnny to go next.
Johnny said, "My dad is a bookie. B-O-O-K-I-E and if he was here today, he would give us all 20:1 odds Jeff will never be able to spell "accountant."
It was a sunny day in Rome when the Pope decided that he wants all the Jews out of Rome. Of course, there was a huge protest from the Jewish sector.
So the Pope decided he will give them a chance. He invited them to send their greatest mind for a religious debate with him. If the Jewish man won, the Jews could remain living in the city. If the Pope won, the Jews had to leave. At the Jewish community, they realized that they had no choice. They looked around for a champion who could defend their faith, but no one wanted to volunteer. It was too much responsibility, what if they failed? The only one willing was an old man named Moishe.
Being old, he decided he had less to lose. "I've seen and done it a lot in my life. I'm not afraid." he said. He asked only for one addition to the debate. Not being used to saying very much, he asked that neither side be allowed to talk. The Pope accepted this, thinking it a wise decision and will prevent them from repeating the same old arguments.
The day of the holy debate came. Moishe and the Pope sat opposite each other for several minutes, contemplating each other.
Then the Pope raised his hand and unfurled them to show three fingers. Moishe looked back at him and raised just one finger.
The Pope waved his finger in a circle around himself. Moishe pointed to the ground where he sat emphatically.
The Pope pulled out a wafer and a glass of wine. Moishe pulled out an apple.
The Pope stood up and said, 'I give up. This man is too good. The Jews can stay!'
An hour later, the cardinals were all around the Pope asking him what happened. The Pope said: 'First I held up three fingers to represent the Trinity. He responded by holding up one finger to remind me that there was still one God common to both our religions.
Then I waved my finger around me to show him that God was everywhere and will wherever they go from this place. He responded by pointing to the ground, showing that God was also right here with us, judging us always.
I pulled out the wine and the wafer to show that God absolves us of our sins. He pulled out an apple to remind me that we are born with original sin.
The man had an answer for everything. What could I do??'
Meanwhile, the Jewish community had crowded around Moishe, amazed that this old, almost feeble-minded man had done what all their scholars had insisted was impossible! 'What happened?' they asked.
'Well,' said Moishe, 'first he said to me that the Jews had three days to get out of here. I told him that not one of us was leaving. Then he told me that this whole city would be cleared of Jews. I let him know that we were staying right here.'
'And then?' asked a woman.
'I don't know,' Moishe shrugged. 'He took out his lunch and I took out mine.'