Posted by: jockmackenzie | August 10, 2009

Speaking – Joke Telling #11

ATT00002My favorite kind of jokes are the ones with the surprise ending. While the fish doesn’t see the humor, I’ll bet he was surprised.

THE JOKES I HAVE INCLUDED ARE SUPPOSED TO BE TOLD. WHAT THE STUDENT SAYS IS NOT LIKELY TO REPLICATE EXACTLY WHAT IS WRITTEN ON THE PAGE – BUT IT SHOULD APPROXIMATE THE WRITTEN WORD. I ENCOURAGE TO STUDENTS TO ADD VOICES, TO ALTER WHERE NECESSARY, TO ADD (A BIT) OR DELETE DETAILS. THE WHOLE IDEA IS TO TELL A BIT OF A STORY.

Lyle was a Texas border guard who worked at the Mexican border for his entire career. For a long period of time, he had one particular Mexican, a man whose name was Jesus (hey soos) who frequently crossed the border with a wheelbarrow filled with straw.

Lyle suspected Jesus was bringing something illegally into the United States, something hidden in the straw. Lyle tried everything to figure out what Jesus was smuggling. Lyle jabbed at the straw with a pitch fork but found nothing. Another time, Lyle felt around in the straw with his hands – still nothing. When that didn’t work, he made Jesus dump the straw on the ground and replace it handful by handful into the wheelbarrow. On that day, at least, there wasn’t anything but straw in the wheelbarrow.

No matter how hard he looked or what he did, Lyle could never discover if Jesus was smuggling something across the border. Eventually, Lyle retired. Some years later he bumped into Jesus who, he discovered, had also retired. Lyle was still curious so he asked Jesus, “Can you tell now, after all the years of my searching through the straw, what it was that you were smuggling across the border.”

Jesus smiled and said, “Wheelbarrows.”

* * *

There was an old Russian man who loved to smoke cigarettes. He and his wife fell on hard times when the man lost his job.  Things got so bad that he could not afford to buy cigarettes. His wife was a wonderful woman and knew what an evil addiction smoking could be so she came up with a plan.

She found an old blanket and she loosened the thread in one corner and pulled away enough material to knit a pair of mittens. She told her husband to take the mittens to the market to trade for a few cigarettes.

Delighted, the old man found someone in the market who gave him five cigarettes for the pair of mittens. He would smoke half or a third of a cigarette per day and save what was left. Some days he would just look at his cigarettes and not smoke at all.

Of course, the five cigarettes didn’t last forever and he would ask his wife to pull out some more wool and knit another pair of mittens. He would return to the market, and the same man would trade him five more cigarettes.

This went on for quite a while. Eventually, only a small handful of wool remained. It was obvious there wasn’t enough to knit a pair of mittens. The man was almost in tears. But his wonderful wife said she’d do what she could and she managed to knit one mitten. She knew it wasn’t a pair of mittens but she encouraged her husband to take the one mitten to the market and see what he could do.

The old Russian returned from the market with a huge smile on his face  – and a whole package of cigarettes.

His wife couldn’t believe it. She said, “All this time you have traded a pair of mittens and you get only 5 cigarettes. Now you take just one mitten and you come back with an entire pack. How can this be?”

Her husband shrugged and said, “The man I trade with was overjoyed. He told me his wife only needed one more mitten’s worth of wool and she could complete the blanket!”


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