Cumberland Times-News

Columns

December 28, 2013

If you’ve heard seven, you’ve heard them all

I get to read my buddy Maude’s column before you do (and before she gets to read mine), and she sometimes provides a spark of inspiration.

Her efforts today reminded me of a conversation I frequently have with some of my contemporaries.

It has to do with the fact that although we have heard most of the existing jokes, in one form or another, we still have the fun of inflicting them upon younger folks who haven’t heard them.

Legend has it that there are only seven basic jokes. Having spent four years in high school riding in football, basketball and track team buses, I have heard virtually all versions of them.

A friend of mine is a retired Navy chief, and he heard the same jokes on shipboard that I did on those buses. It is our impression that jokes take about 30 years to make it from the Atlantic coast to the Pacific coast and back again, because that’s the frequency with which we hear them.

Here, then, is a story I last remember telling my old friend Frank Calemine one day while we were out hunting or fishing, and that’s been a good 30 years.

I heard a version of it not long ago, so like a homing pigeon it has found its way home again.

A farmer is down on his luck after his crops had failed due to a drought and is telling a neighbor about his woes.

The neighbor has an idea.

“You know that sow of your’n?” he asks. “Why don’t you take her down the road and innerduce her to that boar hog of Old Man Zigafoose’s? You’ll get some piglets out of that, and piglets bring good money.”

The farmer brightens up for a moment, but then his face clouds over.

“How’m I gonna do that?” he asks the other man. “My truck’s broke down and I ain’t got no money to fix it.”

“You got a wheelbarrow, ain’cha?” the neighbor asks, and the farmer says he does.

Soon as the farmer gets home, he calls Old Man Zigafoose and makes the necessary arrangements. Old Man Zigafoose says all he needs out of the deal is one of the piglets.

Next morning, the farmer is up bright and early. He goes to the shed, fetches the wheelbarrow and heads to the sow’s pen.

Bear in mind that this sow has been eating well — even if nobody else on the farm has.

It takes the farmer a bit of coaxing and heaving to get the sow into the wheelbarrow, and then he faces the task of manhandling her down a bumpy and rutted dirt road to Old Man Zigafoose’s place, a mile or so away.

The journey is downhill, which means the farmer has to keep putting on the brakes to keep the wheelbarrow from running away ... only there are no brakes except those he was born with. The return trip is, of course, uphill — and that requires considerable shoving and grunting on the farmer’s part.

Anyway, the sow and the boar are introduced to each other and quickly become friends.

The farmer returns the sow to her pen and the wheelbarrow to the shed, then goes into the house to take a hot bath and have dinner.

Next morning, he looks out the window and sees the sow alone in her pen.

“Damnation,” he mutters. “They ain’t no piglets. I reckon it didn’t take.”

You’re probably thinking the same thing I’m thinking. Since we’re both on the same page, we’ll let it go at that.

The farmer gets dressed, goes to the shed and gets the wheelbarrow, takes it to the sow’s pen and farmerhandles her into it. Down the road they go to Old Man Zigafoose’s.

The boar immediately recognizes his new buddies and is happy to see them.

Next morning, the scene plays out again: No piglets. And it’s the same every morning for a week. After a couple of days, the farmer just leaves the wheelbarrow in the sow’s pen.

Finally, it happens that the farmer finds that he can’t get of bed. Everything from the top of his head on down hurts. He hurts in places he didn’t even know he had.

So he calls to his wife.

“Look out the window,” he says, “and tell me if they’s any piglets.”

“Ain’t no piglets,” says his wife, “but the sow is in the wheelbarrow waitin’ on you!”

——————

I would be remiss if I didn’t tell you about Cathy and Harry, our friends who come to visit the captain and me at Gettysburg, and their daughters.

Daughter Sarah told us she has pretty much gotten over a penchant for laying her chapsticks out in a row, arranging them in an order that would be of no significance to anyone but her.

“I just put them in a jar, now,” she said.

Cathy used to move Sarah’s chapsticks around now and then, just to mess with her.

We had heard about Sarah, but never got to meet her until earlier this year.

Cathy told us, “You probably thought she was our made-up daughter.”

No, I said. Hannah is the made-up daughter. That would be the Diva Princess — age 15, or DP-15 for short. She will become DP-16 right around the time I become JG-66.

DP-15 had discovered makeup when we got together earlier this year (which makes her the made-up daughter). She seems to be concentrating on her eyes, but is doing it well. Not overdoing it.

I told her that a number of years ago, the style people thought they would try to get men interested in using makeup.

Other than appealing to some of the metrosexuals — look it up if you need to — the idea went over like a (flatulence event) in church.

“Goldy,” said DP-15, “I could give you a complete makeover, if you like.”

“Honey,” I told her, “you didn’t bring enough equipment to do that.”

1
Text Only
Columns
  • We concur We concur

    We’re certain that Donald Rumsfeld, who served as Secretary of Defense under Presidents Gerald Ford and George W. Bush, echoes what many Americans feel about the complexity of filing income tax returns.
    When he filed his return, Rumsfeld sent the following letter to the Internal Revenue Service:

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Library week

    Public libraries remain one of the best uses of taxpayer dollars. They are open to all. Young or old, poor or wealthy, residents can use computers and read current magazines and newspapers. Compact discs featuring a wide variety of music and
    movies on DVD may be checked out in addition to novels and other books.

    April 13, 2014

  • Terps need to move and move quickly

    The good news is Maryland will never have to play another basketball game in the Atlantic Coast Conference. Goodbye, good riddance, sayonara, smell ya, no more of you, stay classy, we won’t let the door hit us on the way out.
    Until we see you in court.

    April 13, 2014

  • Sunday hunting Sunday hunting

    Legislation that increases hunting oppportunities on Sundays in Garrett, Allegany and Washington counties has passed the Maryland General Assembly and reached the governor’s desk.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • You’ll never guess who the real hero was (He was six feet tall and bulletproof)

    Most folks know about the 20th Maine’s bayonet charge that repulsed the Rebels at Little Round Top because they watched the movie, “Gettysburg.”
    Capt. Gary and First Sgt. Goldy post ourselves a hundred yards or so away from where it happened in real life. Tourists frequently ask us how to find it.

    April 13, 2014

  • Early morning lunar eclipse this Tuesday

    For the first time since 2011, our area may see a total lunar eclipse as the moon will pass through the Earth’s deep shadow.

    April 13, 2014

  • Big bucks How many deer on Green Ridge?

    A study completed in 2013 by a master’s degree candidate at the University of Delaware showed that there are 20 to 30 deer per square mile on the Green Ridge State Forest, including some pretty darn nice bucks.

    April 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • Then again, he’s manager of the Yankees, and I’m not

    I went to bed confused Wednesday night, which in itself is nothing new. But having
    watched most of the Orioles-Yankees game, including the final three innings, earlier
    in the evening, then watching the late Baseball Tonight before I turned in, I was under the impression that the Yankees had won the game when I was pretty sure before watching the show that the Orioles had won.

    April 11, 2014

  • Who knows how many times she poisoned him?

    My dad used to say that if tobacco and coffee tasted as good as they smelled, the world would be a better place.

    April 5, 2014

  • Rusty writes about the nature of doghood

    I am a dog.
    Therefore I bark.
    I don’t understand why it is so hard for humans to understand this.
    I mean, there are certain things that come with the territory, right?

    April 5, 2014