Cumberland Times-News

Jim Goldsworthy - Anything and Everything

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.”

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Jim Goldsworthy - Anything and Everything
  • He was here long before Duck Dynasty

    July 27, 2014

  • He means well, and this time they spared his life

    Our pal Phil is the only re-enactor certified in writing by both the Lee and Custis families to portray Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee (whose wife was Mary Anna Custis Lee). When he’s in uniform, he generally stops at the bottom of the path that leads to the summit of Little Round Top, salutes Capt. Gary and First Sgt. Goldy and asks permission to join us. (Get it? Generally ... General Lee?) We always return his salute and grant him permission, in part because he’s our friend and also because the real Lee never got to see what it really looks like from up there. (Get it? Grant ... Grant? U.S. Grant? Real Lee ... really? OK. I hear you. That’s enough. Seriouslee.) Phil gets a kick out of being able to sneak up on us while we’re distracted by tourists.

    July 20, 2014

  • They’d have fallen like Autumn leaves

    So there we were, minding our own business (at least momentarily), leaning against the cannon at Little Round Top.

    July 13, 2014

  • Better read that french fry before you eat it

    People give me otherwise-insignificant items they hope will amuse or inspire me. I appreciate this. I’m always glad for free entertainment, which as Goldy’s Rule 33 says is everywhere. All you have to do is wait and it will come to you. Also, I have been writing columns for 37 years and embrace inspiration anywhere I can find it.

    July 6, 2014

  • The moose is loose, and it’s coming for you

    So how would you like to look out your kitchen door window onto your porch and see a moose looking back at you from close range?

    June 28, 2014

  • There are some debts you can never repay

    Today’s column will be relatively short, as my columns go, for reasons that should become apparent, and I thought long and hard before writing it.

    June 21, 2014

  • It could have saved the county a lot of money

    Random thoughts sometimes occur to me when I least expect it, usually when my brain has become tired.
    When I voice these thoughts at work or in other places, people may tell me, “Goldy? It’s time for you to go home.” Yes, ma’am.
    Here are two random thoughts of recent vintage:
    • If Bugs Bunny were an Emergency Medical Technician, would that make him a MedicHare?
    • If Daisy Duck got a job driving for United Parcel Service, would she be an UPS-a-Daisy?
    I wouldn’t blame you if you think that sounds Goofy — or Daffy.

    June 15, 2014

  • These two were part of the Not Top Ten

    Occasionally, at this time of year, I see reference to a “class orator” or a “class speaker.”

    Nothing wrong with that — people can call such things whatever they want, as far as I’m concerned — but it makes me wonder. Have “valedictorian” and “salutatorian” become politically incorrect, and I didn’t notice? It may come as a surprise to you, but I really have not kept up with what is politically correct or incorrect. That’s what people tell me, anyway. With some of them, it actually seems to be a compliment.

    June 8, 2014

  • Coming soon to a highway near you?

    People say to me, “Goldy? Can I ask you a stupid question?”

    In theory — and theory only — the correct response is: “The only stupid question is the one you don’t ask.” Not so much. There ARE stupid questions, some of them so stupid that to call them stupid is to damn them with faint praise. Other questions are — on the face of it — legitimate questions, but shouldn’t be treated as such ... not if you subscribe to the same philosophy that I do: Free entertainment is everywhere; all you have to do is wait, and it will come to you.

    June 1, 2014

  • This was a skill that proved very useful

    The Belmont Park stewards have decided to let California Chrome wear his nasal strip during the Run for the Carnations. Nasal strips usually are worn by people who snore and may have saved numerous marriages. It helps the Triple Crown hopeful to breathe, and some twolegged athletes wear nasal strips for the same reason. In this case, Chrome’s nasal strip may keep him from (wait for it) ... losing by a nose.

    May 25, 2014

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