|A tour group stopped
at the Tower of London, and were given the chance to try out some of the
ancient armor. Two men - one from Prague and another from Athens took up
the opportunity. One donned a slightly damaged suit of plate armor and
the other chain-mail, while the rest of the group crowded around. But in
the full suits, the onlookers couldn't tell one from the other.
"Is that the Czech wearing the plate armor?" asked one tourist.
"No," replied another, "The Greek has the broken plate, and the Czech is in the mail."
Rotted away, but still clever, they hid on the island and awaited rescue, and the locals never did get their hands on the treasure.
And that's how the story of the little people got started in Ireland - the leper Kahn's and their pots of gold.
Cunning though diseased, the Kahns were never fooled by those who tried to trick them out of their pots of gold by swapping them for an empty pot - thus the saying: "You cannot change a leper's pots".
It was a wondrous piece of artwork - He had bulging muscles, and imposing stance, and of course his famous giant hammer.
But most important of all, the eyes in his fierce-looking face were made of two giant rubies that glittered with a brilliant red color.
Of course, the two leading archeologists on the dig were both determined that they should be the one to have their name listed against the discovery, and pretty soon the argument was intensifying to the point where the rest of the team, despite being exhausted after the day's work, started to gather round to watch.
The two of them continued squabbling for some time, and they provided the others with a great source of amusement for the evening, and by the time they finally gave up and called a truce, everyone else was feeling quite refreshed by the entertainment.
As the crowd dispersed, one junior digger turned to his friend, and said:
"Well, that was a fight for Thor eyes."
Not wanting to challenge the bakeries directly, he turned to his aunts and asked their advice. But when they had heard the story, the two old ladies were so incensed over the situation that they offered to bake 100 pies themselves, and sell them for 2 cents lower that any of the bakeries were charging.
It was a roaring success. Their pies sold out quickly, and very soon they had managed to bring down the price of all kinds of pastry in Philadelphia.
In fact, even to this very day, their achievements are remembered as the remarkable Pie rates of Penn's aunts.
The new device that is receiving so much attention is called the "bee nut". It is a fastening attachment that allows a player to adjust the head on their club to any angle, thus saving the need to carry a bagful of clubs. Thus, for example, a player can use the same club to putt with as they used to get out of the sand trap.
Golf clubs with this modification are selling quickly, and players everywhere are taking golfing picnics, so they can try their new "bee-nut putter sand-wedge".
They argued about it for hours, until finally, another fellow stepped in, and was finally able to stop the argument.
He managed to convince them that both rivers were equally impressive, because, after all as everyone knows - The Miss. is as good as the Nile
So, the team is assembled for practice one Saturday afternoon. It's the middle of winter, and even for England, it's cold and it's wet. The pitch is a muddy swamp, and the players decide that they simply can't play in these conditions.
So they go to the club-house for a bit, but they very quickly get bored. And then one of the players has a bright idea: Why don't we all go over to William's house? William Shakespeare is doubtful, but they persuade him, and pretty soon, the whole squad is relaxing in his living room.
Well, they're rugby players, and true to the stereotype, they all quickly get drunk, and of course, they come up with the even better idea - of having their rugby practice in the house ("well, it's a big house, after all"). William has also been drinking, so he's easy to persuade this time, and after moving some furniture out of the way, they get down to the serious business of practicing their sport.
Meanwhile, not far away, the King has just had a great idea for a play, and dispatches a messenger to summon his favorite playwright.
Well, the messenger arrives at the house, and he can hear this enormous commotion from inside, with shouting and crashes, and he thinks that William Shakespeare must be getting attacked. He braces himself, and crashes through the front door... and lands directly in the path of two groups of large hairy rugby players.
The messenger is pinned to the floor for a while, and he can't move. He does manage to free himself momentarily, before getting trapped again, up against a wall. Finally, he escapes, and returns to the palace as quickly as his mangled body will allow.
The king takes one look at him, and gasps. "What happened to you?" he asks.
"I think," said the messenger, "that I got caught between a ruck and a bard's place."
When the circus started losing money the owner started selling off animals and equipment to help meet expenses. He called the lion tamer into his office.
"I'd really like to keep you on, because you keep the circus going," the owner said. "But I've had to sell your lions because they cost too much to feed. Still, you're good, and we need you, so if you can come up with an act with what we have left, you've got a job."
"Well, I do need a job," the lion tamer said. "What animals do you have left?"
"Well, to tell you the truth," the owner said, "the only animal I have left is my faithful old Basset hound. I'd never sell him!"
"I'll take him," said the tamer.
So the lion tamer worked with the Basset hound and taught him the entire lion act. The dog caught on right away, but there was a problem: no way was the lion tamer's head going to fit into the dog's mouth.
"My foot will fit," the lion tamer said, so he tried it, and sure enough the dog picked that up too.
Opening night, the lion tamer did the act with the Basset hound, and the crowd loved it. They'd never seen anything like it before. At the end of the act, when the lion tamer put his foot into the dog's mouth, the crowd went wild.
"Encore, encore!" the crowd yelled.
Well, the lion tamer hadn't thought of an encore before, so he thought to himself, "If one foot is good, two is better."
So he stuck his other foot into the dog's mouth. Well, the two feet together are almost as big as the dog's head, so the dog was choking and gasping, and finally out of self-preservation, he clamped his jaws shut, biting off the lion tamer's legs at mid-calf.
And the moral of this story?
Don't put all your legs in one Basset.
Happily, one of the natives offered a solution. He held up for all to see a large jungle insect which looked like some sort of mantis.
"The insect always points North," he said. "I will leave you now but if you follow the pointing insect, you can find your way out without me."
The explorers were happy to follow the insect. Indeed, it maintained a steady heading at first and they seemed to be making progress. Then a day passed. Then another one passed. The huge insect began to twitch and shake ever more erratically.
They knew that they were lost.
"Forget it!" one of them shouted in frustration. "This insect is mad! It's insane I tell you! It points every which way and we're lost. This is hopeless!"
"How can you tell that?" the others asked. "How can the insect be mad?"
"Can't you all see?" he cried...... "It's non-compass-mantis."
What isn't so well known is the story of the single fish that decided to be different. One day he swam away from his protective anemone, in search of some other hiding place.
A first, he swam into a small crevasse in the rock, but he very quickly swam out of there, chased by an eel. Then he decided he could hide inside a shell, so he found a nice big one that he liked, but had to retreat from the crab that had got there before him.
Finally, exhausted, he swam into the coral beds, and hid among the brilliant colored fern-like fronds of the corals.
The next day, when he hadn't come back to the anemone, some of the other fish decided to go out and look for him. The hunted everywhere for him, but they couldn't find him. Eventually, just as they had given up, they heard him calling to them. They looked around, but they couldn't see him anywhere - he was perfectly hidden by the coral.
Finally, he showed himself, and they tried to persuade him to come back home, but he refused - the coral was too good a hiding place to leave.
"After all," he said, "with fronds like these, who needs anemones?"
One day, the handyman lost his wrench in the tall grass while he was working outside. He looked and looked, but it was nowhere to be found. As it was getting dark, he gave up for the night and decided to look the next morning.
When he awoke, he went outside, and saw that his dog had eaten the grass all in the area, around where he had been working, and his wrench now lay in plain sight, glinting in the sun.
Going out to get his wrench, he called the dog over to him and said, "A grazing Mace, how sweet the hound, that saved a wrench for me."
The first voyage of the immense vessel came. Thousands of people on board - mostly the rich and famous, and of course, a large crew to cater for their every need.
As the ship set off, no-one realized that her fate was just around the corner.
She flew around the galaxy, visiting several resort planets, before heading towards her last solar system. As she arrived, everyone found themselves looking in horror as the star exploded in front of their eyes - a supernova.
Of course, everyone was killed, and although search parties spent several years looking, nothing was ever found of the great ship, except for a single twisted, half-molten chunk of metal that had come from the toolkit of one of the ship's engineers.
The chunk of metal was put on display in a museum dedicated to the memory of the ship.
It became known as the Star-Mangled Spanner.
Back in Roman days, as you may know, slavery was part of life. People went to slave markets to buy and sell slaves from all over the known world.
One particular slave market holder became well known for his special promotional contests - people would come from all over the Empire to win one of his slaves.
His most popular contest was a game where you had to try to throw a coin into a Roman urn. If you've seen pictures, you'll know that these urns have very narrow necks, so the game was quite challenging, but if you succeeded, you would win a slave from the market, so the prizes were good.
One day, a fairly poor woman returned from the market with a slave. Her husband immediately berated her for spending so much money to buy a slave, but she told him that she had won the contest, so it had only cost a single penny.
"After all," she said "You've always told me that a penny urned is a penny slaved."
At first glance, it looked like a picture of normal oak tree, in the middle of a wilderness, but if you looked closer, you could see that it was a very surreal painting: The tree's trunk was actually made of fire, and it's branches were made of ice, clouds and earth.
"What is it?" asked Watson in awe.
"It's an element tree, my dear Watson," said Holmes.
The aim of the game is to see who can get the poor animal to go over the edge with the least amount of effort.
Of course, these days people aren't so keen on blood sports, and the animal rights people wouldn't like it either, so it's changed from a cliff into a small shallow pit that the rodents are pushed into.
This in turn has made it much easier to get the animals to jump, to the point where, with a properly trained rarie, it takes barely a touch to get it into the pit.
The sport is mostly based only in Ireland, but they do get the occasional overseas competitor. Recently, they had a fellow come all the way from Australia to take part.
During a break, he mentioned that he'd had a eighteen hour journey to get there.
"But I guess I always knew it would be a long flight," he said. "After all, it's a long way to tip a rarie."
Now they decided to compile a family history, a legacy for the children. They hired a fine author. Only one problem arose: how to handle that great-uncle who was executed in the electric chair. But the author said not to worry, he could handle that section of history tactfully.
When the book appeared, the family turned to the section on Uncle George. There, they read "George Smith occupied a chair of applied electronics at an important government institution, was attached to his position by the strongest of ties. His death came as a real shock."
Upon hearing the sailor's lame explanation for his tardiness, the officer ordered the sailor, "Take this broom and sweep every link on this anchor chain by morning or it's the brig for you!"
The sailor began to pick up the broom and commence performing his charge. As he began to sweep, a tern landed on the broom handle. The sailor yelled at the bird to leave, but it didn't. The lad picked the tern off the broom handle, and tossed it out of his way. The bird left, only to return and light once again on the broom handle, and was once again tossed overboard.
The sailor went through the same routine all over again, with the same result. He couldn't get any cleaning done because he can only sweep at the chain once or twice before the blasted bird returns.
When morning came, so did the chief petty officer, to check up on his wayward sailor.
"What in the heck have you been doing all night? This chain is no cleaner than when you started! What have you to say for yourself, sailor?" barked the chief.
"Honest, chief," came the reply, "I tossed a tern all night and couldn't sweep a link!"
One day, Quasimodo decides that he wants to go on a holiday - he hasn't left the city in years - so he gives his brother a ring and asks if he'd like to come over to look after the bells at Notre Dame for a week. The brother decides that this is a great idea. Nice change of scenery, and all that, so he packs a couple of bags, and heads off to Paris.
When he arrives, the first thing to get to him is the size of everything. He's used to the little church bells, and the size of Notre Dame cathedral and it's bells are a little awe-inspiring.
Quasimodo leads him up to the belfry. "The bell-cords rotted through years ago," he says, " so I have to ring the bells from up here."
"How do you do that?" asks his brother (not really sure he wants to know the answer).
"Well," says Quasi, "I run at the bells, and hit them with my head like this...". So he bashes the nearest bell with his forehead, and it makes a beautiful (and loud) ring.
After a few demonstrations, the brother decides to have a go. He runs up towards a bell, smacks his head against it, and it makes a lovely ring, but unfortunately, it also gives him concussion, and he staggers around the belfry for a moment before falling out, down, down, down to the pavement below.
Quasimodo is understandably upset, and as he peers over the edge, he can see a crowd of people gathering around the scene.
"Who is it?" says one.
"I'm not sure, but the face rings a bell," says another.
"Yes - he's a dead ringer for Quasimodo," says a third.
"No. I think it's his brother," says the second person, "I had a hunch he was back."
They were the first roller coasters.
Back in those days, the disks were made of iron, and they would bet on whose disk would roll the farthest.
They called them ferrous wheels.
She decided to confront the Queen over the issue, and arranged to get herself invited to an event which the Queen was also due to attend.
So a couple of months later, there they were at a very high class tea party. Rich people everywhere. Bo started looking around for the Queen. Sure enough, there she was. It was time for the confrontation!
She marched up to the Queen, and demanded an answer.
Elizabeth responded haughtily: "Some wear old fur to reign, Bo."
"Holmes what is it?" cried the stupefied Watson.
"A lemon entry, my dear Watson."
Many hundreds of years ago, there was a tribe of people who worshipped pine trees.
Everything they did was based around pine trees and pine wood. They built their homes from pine logs; they ate off pinewood plates... Everything.
But the part of the tree that they were most fixated with was the green pine branches. These were used as ceremonial fans, similar to the way the Egyptians used palm leaves (although not as effective.).
Then, one day, they had their first contact with a missionary monk. Being hospitable people, they invited the monk into their village, and after a while when he had been there some time, he started explaining to them why his religion was better.
It didn't take long for him to convert the entire village, and they so started to get rid of the trappings of their old wooden faith. The first things to go were the ceremonial fans.
So you could say, it was "Out with the pine fan, in with the friar."
One of their customs when they beat another tribe was to take the most prized possession of the enemy's chief.
One time, after a particularly fierce battle they defeated a rich tribe, whose king had a prized solid gold throne.
Our warlike tribe took the throne, and put it in the loft in their chief's house. Unfortunately, the throne was much too heavy to be kept in a loft in a grass house, and it fell right through the ceiling, onto the chief, killing him instantly.
The Moral of this story is...... People who live in Grass Houses shouldn't stow thrones!
A frog goes into a bank, and hops up to the loan officer.
The loan officer says, "My name is John Paddywack. Can I help you?"
The frog says, "Yeah, I'd like to borrow some money."
The loan officer finds this a little odd, but gets out a form. He says, "Okay, what's your name?"
The frog says, "Kermit Jagger."
The loan officer says, "Really? Any relation to Mick Jagger?"
The frog says, "Yeah, he's my dad."
The loan officer says, "Okay. Ummm...do you have any collateral?"
The frog hands the loan officer a pink ceramic elephant and says, "Will this do?"
The loan officer says, "Hmmm...I'm not sure. Let me go check with the bank manager."
The frog says, "Oh, tell him I said hi. He knows me."
The loan officer goes back to the manager and says, "Excuse me, but there's this frog out there named Kermit Jagger who wants to borrow some money. All he has for collateral is this pink elephant thing, I'm not ever sure what it is."
The manager says, "It's a knick-knack, Paddywack. Give the frog a loan. His old man's a Rolling Stone."
The lion quickly pounced on the man reading the book and devoured him.
Even the king of the jungle knows that readers digest and writers cramp.
"Oh, it doesn't come from leaves," remarked his friend, "they brew it from Koala fur."
This so intrigued the expert that he booked a flight to Australia the next day. After his arrival, he hired a guide to take him deep into the Outback to the town of Mercy. Once in town, he found the only pub, and ordered a cup of the mysterious beverage.
The cup was placed before him. He spent many moments noting the color, the aroma, and the viscosity. He took a small sip. It was good! He then followed with a big mouthful, and was suddenly gagging and spitting, clutching at his mouth.
"What is this?" he exclaimed, holding up a handful of what appeared to be short, coarse threads.
"Oh, that's Koala fur," replied the bartender.
"You mean to tell me that you don't strain out the fur?" asked the expert, incredulous.
"Of course not," replied the bartender, "The Koala tea of Mercy is never strained!"
An Indian chief had three wives, each of whom was pregnant. The first gave birth to a boy. The chief was so elated he built her a teepee made of deer hide. A few days later, the second gave birth, also to a boy. The chief was very happy. He built her a teepee made of antelope hide. The third wife gave birth a few days later, but the chief kept the details a secret. He built this one a two story teepee, made out of a hippopotamus hide. He challenged the tribe to guess what had occurred. Many tried, unsuccessfully.
Finally, one young brave declared that the third wife had given birth to twin boys. "Correct," said the chief. "How did you figure it out?"
The warrior answered, "It's elementary. The value of the squaw of the hippopotamus is equal to the sons of the squaws of the other two hides."
The latest celebrity on television is a Russian, going by the name of Rudolph, who has taken the weather forecasting world by storm. He seems to have an incredible and uncanny knack of not just getting the forecast correct, but being amazingly accurate, sometimes even being able to tell where the rain will fall down to the nearest mile or so.
His fame was enhanced by his personality - being Russian, he had some unique turns of phrase. He was also a fanatical communist.
One day, one of his younger fans was watching with his parents. Young James turned to his mother, and asked "How does he manage to get the weather forecast so good?"
His mother thought for a bit and said, "I'm not sure, but one thing's for certain - Rudolph the Red knows rain, dear."
There once was a Chinese cabinetmaker who kept his precious woods in a shed behind his shop. One day he noticed that some of his wood was missing and on the floor of the shed there were the prints of small bare feet in the sawdust.
The next night the cabinetmaker hid in the shed and waited. Toward morning he heard a noise. Lighting his lantern, he saw a strange sight; a bear on stilts holding some wood. The ends of the stilts were carved into the shape of small feet.
The cabinetmaker of course shouted, "STOP, boy foot bear with teaks of Chan!"
Recently, the Minnesota Orchestra was doing Beethoven's Ninth under the baton of Milton Katims.....
Now at this point, you must understand two things: First, there's a quite long segment in this symphony where the bass violins don't have a thing to do. Not a single note for page after page. Secondly, there is a night club right across the street from the Minnesota's Orchestra Hall, rather favored by local musicians.
It had been decided that during this performance, once the bass players had played their parts in the opening of the Ninth, they were to quietly lay down their instruments and leave the stage, rather than sit on their stools looking and feeling dumb for twenty minutes. Well, once they got backstage, someone suggested that they trot across the street and drink a few brews.
After they had downed the first couple rounds, one said, "Shouldn't we be getting back? It'd be awfully embarrassing if we were late."
Another, presumably the one who suggested this excursion in the first place, replied, "Oh, I anticipated we could use a little more time, so I tied a string around the last pages of the conductor's score. When he gets down to there, Milton's going to have to slow the tempo way down while he waves the baton with one hand and fumbles with the string with the other."
So they had another round, and finally returned to the Opera house, a little tipsy by now. However, as they came back on stage, one look at their conductor's face told them they were in serious trouble. Katims was furious! And why not? After all...It was the bottom of the Ninth, the basses were loaded, and the score was tied.