Provided by James R. Martin, Ph.D., CMA
Professor Emeritus, University of South Florida
1. A magician worked on a cruise ship in the Caribbean. The audience was different each week, so the magician allowed himself to do the same tricks over and over again. There was only one problem: the captain's parrot saw the shows each week and began to understand how the magician did every trick. Once he understood, he started shouting in middle of the show: "Look, it's not the same hat!" "Look, he's hiding the flowers under the table." "Hey, why are all the cards the Ace of Spades?" The magician was furious but couldn't do anything. It was, after all, the captain's parrot. One day the ship had an accident and sank. The magician found himself on a piece of wood in the middle of the sea with, as fate would have it, the parrot. They stared at each other with hatred but did not utter a word. This went on for a day and then another. On the third day, the parrot could not hold back: "OK, I give up. Where's the boat?
2. Hello, is this the FBI?" "Yes. What do you want?" "I'm calling to report about my neighbor Billy- Bob Smith! He is hiding marijuana inside his firewood." "Thank you very much for the call, sir." The next day, the FBI agents descend on Billy-Bob's house. They search the shed where the firewood is kept. Using axes, they bust open every piece of wood, but find no marijuana. They swore at Billy Bob and left. The phone rings at Billy-Bob's house. "Hey, Billy-Bob! Did the FBI come?" "Yeah!" "Did they chop your firewood?" "Yep." "Merry Christmas Buddy"
3. We were dressed and ready to go out for the New Years Eve Party. We turned on a night light, turned the answering machine on, covered our pet parakeet and put the cat in the backyard. We phoned the local cab company and requested a taxi. The taxi arrived and we opened the front door to leave the house. The cat we put out in the back yard, scoots back into the front door. We didn't want the cat shut in the house because she always tries to eat the bird. My wife goes out to the taxi, while I went inside to get the cat. The cat runs upstairs, with me in hot pursuit. Waiting in the cab, my wife doesn't want the driver to know that the house will be empty for the night. So, she explains to the taxi driver that I will be out soon, 'He's just going upstairs to say Goodbye to my mother.' A few minutes later, I get into the cab. 'Sorry I took so long,' I said, as we drove away. 'That stupid bitch was hiding under the bed. I had to poke her with a coat hanger to get her to come out! She tried to take off, so I grabbed her by the neck. Then, I had to wrap her in a blanket to keep her from scratching me. But it worked! I hauled her downstairs and threw her out into the back yard!
4. Did you hear about the psychic amnesiac? He knew in advance what he was going to forget.
5. A man calls a friend and says, "If someone comes to your front door saying they are checking for ticks due to the warm weather, and asks you to take your clothes off and dance around with your arms up, do not do it! This is a scam!" His friend replies, "I wish you had told me this yesterday!"
6. If banks are so good with numbers, why are there always eight windows and two tellers?
7. A woman was in a grocery store looking at the frozen turkeys but couldn’t find one big enough. She asked the stock boy, “Do these turkeys get any bigger?” “No ma’am,” he answered, “They’re all dead.”
8. “At one time the economy got so bad that when my secretary told me my broker was on the phone, I had to ask, Stock or pawn?”
9. A couple had a tomcat that went out every night to prowl around and chase after female cats. He would always return bloody and battered, ears torn and fur shredded. Finally, his owners took him to the vet and had him neutered. The cat lay low for a few weeks before going out again one night. Later that night his owners were surprised when he came home without a scratch on him. When they asked him how he did it, the cat responded, “It was easy, now I’m a consultant.”
10. A cop pulled a man over who was driving with a car full of penguins. The cop told the man he that he would have to take the penguins to the zoo. The man agreed and the cop let him go. The next day the cop pulled the same man over with the same penguins in his car. The only difference was this time the penguins were wearing sunglasses. The officer said, “Sir I told you to take these penguins to the zoo.” The man said, “I did, today we’re going to the beach.”
11. What’s the difference between a recession and a depression? In a recession your neighbor is out of work. In a depression you are out of work.
12. Confidence: What you start off with before you completely understand the situation.
13. People in cars cause accidents. Accidents in cars cause people.
14. A man walked into a bookstore and asked the clerk, “Can you direct me to the self-help section?” “Sure,” she replied, “but wouldn’t that defeat the purpose?”
15. A man at a play couldn’t hear the actors’ dialogue over the constant chatter of two women sitting in front of him. He tapped one on the shoulder and said, “Excuse me, I can’t hear very well.” “I should hope not” the woman replied, “This is a private conversation!”
16. The only people who listen to both sides of an argument are the neighbors.
17. Give a person a fish and you feed them for a day. Teach a person to use the Internet and they won't bother you for weeks, months, maybe years.
18. Health nuts are going to feel stupid someday, lying in the hospital, dying of nothing.
19. The young man from Mississippi came running into the store and said
to his buddy, "Bubba, somebody just stole your pickup truck from the parking
lot!" Bubba replied, "Did y'all see who it was?" The young man answered, "I
couldn't tell, but I got the license number."
20. A man in North Carolina had a flat tire, pulled off on the side of the road, and proceeded to put a bouquet of flowers in front of the car and one behind it. Then he got back in the car to wait. A passerby studied the scene as he drove by, and was so curious he went back and asked the fellow what the problem was. The man replied, "I got a flat tahr." The passerby asked, "But what's with the flowers?" The man responded, "When you break down they tell you to put flares in the front and flares in the back. I never did understand it neither."
21. A trooper pulled over a pickup on I-65 in Tennessee, and he asked, "Got any ID?" The driver replied, "Bout whut?"
22. In Texas the Sheriff pulled up next to the guy unloading garbage out
of his pick-up into the ditch. The Sheriff asked, "Why are you dumping
garbage in the ditch? Don't you see that sign right over your head." "Yep,"
he replied. "That's why I'm dumpin' it here, cause it says: Fine For Dumping
23. What happens when you play country music backwards? Your dog comes back, you get your truck back, and your momma gets out of jail.
24. An old Sailor and an old Marine were sitting at the VFW arguing about who'd had the tougher career. "I did 30 years in the Corps," the Marine declared proudly, "and fought in three of my country's wars. Fresh out of boot camp I hit the beach at Okinawa, clawed my way up the blood-soaked sand, and eventually took out an entire enemy machine gun nest with a single grenade. "As a sergeant, I fought in Korea alongside General MacArthur. We pushed back the enemy inch by bloody inch all the way up to the Chinese border, always under a barrage of artillery and small arms fire. "Finally, as a gunny sergeant, I did three consecutive combat tours in Vietnam. We humped through the mud and razor grass for 14 hours a day, plagued by rain and mosquitoes, ducking under sniper fire all day and mortar fire all night. In a firefight, we'd fire until our arms ached and our guns were empty, then we'd charge the enemy with bayonets!" "Ah," said the Sailor with a dismissive wave of his hand, "Lucky bastard, all shore duty, huh?"
25. An American history teacher was lecturing on the Puritans and asked the class, “What sort of people were punished in the stocks?” A voice from the back of the room responded, “The small investor.”
26. A man went to the library and asked the librarian if she could help him find a book on suicide. The librarian replied, “Certainly not, you won’t bring it back.”
27. After purchasing a canvas signed “Picasso,” an art dealer traveled all the way to Cannes, where Picasso was working in his studio, to discover whether it was genuine. Picasso cast a single look at the canvas and announced, “It’s a fake.” A few months later the dealer bought another canvas signed “Picasso.” Again he traveled to Cannes and after a single glance Picasso grunted, “It’s a fake.” “But cher maitre,” expostulated the dealer, “it so happens that I saw you with my own eyes working on this very picture several years ago.” Picasso shrugged, “I often paint fakes.”
28. A gorgeous young woman asked the manager of a designer boutique, “May I try on that dress in the window?” “Go ahead,” the manager replied. “Maybe it will attract business.”
29. A man was in a supermarket when a sexy blonde waved at him and smiled. Unable to place her he said, “Sorry, do you know me?” She replied, “I may be mistaken, but I think you might be the father of one of my children.” After thinking about it a minute he replied, “Are you that stripper from my bachelor party?” “No,” she replied, “I’m your son’s teacher.”
30. An anthropologist visited a Native American reservation to interview an old chief. “Chief Two Eagles,” the researcher said, “you have observed the white man for over 90 years. You’ve seen his progress and failures over these many years.” The chief nodded that it was so. The anthropologist continued, “Considering all of your observations, where do you think the white man went wrong?” The chief replied, “When we had the land, there were no taxes, no debts, and plenty of buffalo and beaver. Medicine was free, women did all the work, and men spent all day hunting and fishing, and all night making love to their wives.” The chief leaned back and said, “The white man went wrong when he thought he could improve on a system like that.”
31. Two teenagers were arrested for the possession of marijuana. At the police station they were told that they were entitled to one phone call. An hour later a man entered the station and asked for the teenagers by name. The sergeant said, “I suppose you are their lawyer.” “Nope,” the man replied. “I’m just here to deliver their pizza.”
32. A judge asked the jury if anyone needed to be dismissed from jury duty. One man stood up and said, “I’d like to be dismissed because my wife is about to conceive.” The judge responded, “I think you mean deliver, but either way I agree you should be there.”
33. A stockbroker died and went to heaven. Saint Peter said, “I will give you a choice of where you want to spend eternity - in heaven, or in hell. I offer you a chance to sample each place for a couple of days before you make your decision. The stockbroker spent the first few days in heaven where everything was peaceful and the people were friendly and polite. Next he went to hell where the devil answered the door and welcomed him in. He looked around and found he was in a continuous party with naked women, gambling, music and liquor. The next few days were the best he had ever experienced. He went back to heaven and told St. Peter that heaven was boring and he had decided to spend eternity in hell. St. Peter wished him luck and sent him back to hell where once again the devil answered the door. The stockbroker looked around, but this time there were no naked women, gambling, music or alcoholic beverages. Instead he saw fire and brimstone, torture and despair. So he asked the devil, “What’s going on, why did you lie to me? The devil responded, “You’re someone to talk. Yesterday you were a prospect. Today you’re a client.”
34. A man owned a farm in Kansas. The Department of Labor got a tip that he was not paying legal wages to his employees. An agent went to the farm to interview the man and said,”I need a list of your employees and how much you pay them.” The farmer said, “I have a ranch hand that I pay $600 a week plus room and board. I have a cook that I pay $400 a week and she gets room and board. Then there’s the half-wit that works 18 hours a day. I pay him $10 a week plus chewing tobacco.” The agent said, I need to talk to the half-wit.” The farmer replied, “You’re talking to him.”
35. A blackjack dealer and a player with a thirteen count were in a Las Vegas casino arguing about whether or not it was appropriate to tip the dealer. The player said, “Whether I get good cards, or bad cards, it’s not the dealer’s fault. So why should I tip him?” The dealer said, “When you eat at a restaurant you tip the waiter, so you should tip me.” “Okay, but the waiter gives me what I ask for.. I’ll take an eight.”
36. A downtrodden old man walked into a restaurant and ordered the breakfast special. When the waitress brought the order, he looked at her and said, “I’m old, tired and lonely. How about a kind word?” She leaned over and whispered, “Don’t eat the bacon.”
37. Two skeletons were talking in a anatomy professor’s closet. One said, “What are we doing just hanging around in this dusty closet?” The other one responded, “I don’t know. If we had any guts we would get out of here.”
38. Every time a man’s neighbor came to his house he asked to borrow something. So the man told his wife that he had figured out how to stop him. When the neighbor came over and said, “Are you going to be using your power saw today, the man answered, “I’m sorry, but I will be using the saw all day.” His neighbor replied, “In that case, would you mind if I borrowed your golf clubs.”
39. A man from New York was vacationing on the sunny Mediterranean island of Malta. Even for a New Yorker the traffic was chaotic so he asked his hotel concierge why it was so disorderly. The concierge replied, “Well in some countries they drive on the left side of the road. In others they drive on the right side of the road. Here we drive in the shade.”
40. A tenant complained to his landlord. “The people in the apartment upstairs are really annoying. Last night they stomped on the floor until midnight.” The landlord asked, “Did they wake you?” “No,” replied the tenant. “Fortunately I was up playing the tuba.”
41. A judge told a defendant his ruling was, “Twenty days or two hundred dollars.” The defendant responded, “I’ll take the money, your Honor.”
42. A group of people and a cute little dog were waiting on a street corner for the light to change. One man said to another, “Does your dog bite?” The other man said, “No.” So the first man reached down to pet the dog, and the cute little dog bite him. “Ouch!” the wounded man screamed. “I thought you said your dog didn’t bite.” The other man responded, “That’s not my dog.”
43. Several woman were talking about their eating habits. One said, “I’m a light eater.” Another woman said, “You must be kidding.” The first woman responded, “I’m not kidding, the minute it gets light, I start to eat.”
44. A beggar had a reputation for not being very smart. When someone offered him a choice between a dime and a nickel, he always took the nickle. One day a man told him that he should choose the dime because it was worth twice as much as the nickle. The beggar said, “I know, but if I chose the dime, people would stop making the offer.”
45. A man mailed his photograph to the Lonely Hearts Club. A few weeks later he received a response, “We’re not that lonely.”
46. A man explaining a dream to a friend. “I dreamt that all I could eat were marshmallows. I became obsessed with marshmallows. I ate marshmallows until there were no more marshmallows on earth. When I woke up, my pillow was gone.”
47. A man drowning in the river next to a park screamed, “Help, I can’t swim! I can’t swim! An old man, sitting on a bench next to the river said, “Neither can I, but I’m not hollering about it.”
48. How do you know when its time to diet? “When you step on the scale and the message reads, One at a time please!”
49. How do you improve the taste of salt? “Sprinkle a little on your french fries.”
50. A woman explaining her mood swings to her snobbish neighbor said, “When I get down in the dumps, I buy myself some new clothes.” Her neighbor replied, “Oh, so that’s where you get them.”
51. A young married couple took their six-month old baby to the movies with them. When they entered the theater they were advised that they would be asked to leave if the baby cried, but their money would be refunded. An hour into the movie the wife asked her husband what he thought of the movie. He said, “It’s terrible. Worst movie I’ve ever seen!” She said, “I agree, pinch the baby.”
52. Exhausted by his life’s hectic pace, the swinger determined to take a leisurely drive across the country. At first the pastoral sights pleased him but by the time he got to Kansas, he was dying for some action. Pulling into the only gas station in a small town one Saturday evening, he asked the attendant, “Is there any night life in this town?” “Not any more,” the native replied. “She moved to Chicago.”
53. A sign on a Texas Savings and Loan branch office read, “Nine to five.” A customer called the office to ask why they were not adhering to the indicated hours on the sign. The clerk on the other end of the phone informed the caller that, “Nine to five refers to the odds that we will be open on any particular day.”
54. A woman ordered a fancy floral arrangement for the grand opening of her new business. Unfortunately, there was a mixup and she received an arrangement that read, “May you rest in peace.” Although the woman was furious, she calmed down when the florist reminded her that there was a funeral home with her arrangement bearing the words, “Good luck in your new location.”
55. A cowboy appeared before the Pearly Gates. St. Peter asked him, “Have you ever done anything of particular merit? “Well, I can think of one thing,” the cowboy offered. “On a trip to the Black Hills in South Dakota, I came upon a gang of bikers who were threatening a young woman. I told them to leave her alone, but they wouldn’t listen. So, I picked the biggest, ugliest, most tattooed biker and smacked him in the face, kicked over his bike and ripped out his nose ring. Then I told them all to back off or...! St. Peter was impressed and said, “When did this happen?” The cowboy responded, “A couple of minutes ago.”
56. A man saw an ad from a used-car dealer in the Sunday newspaper offering a car plus a blonde for only $950. He hurried down to the lot the next day and after confirming the details, bought the car. As he was ready to go, the manager whistled and a tall, gorgeous woman came out of the office and climbed into the car. The man drove off and parked the car a few blocks away. “How about a kiss?” he asked. “Sure, she replied, “that’s part of the deal.” He drove off again but stopped a few minutes later, smiled sheepishly and said, “How about a squeeze?” “Sure,” the blonde said amicably, “that’s part of the deal.” Feeling deliriously lucky, the man leaned over and whispered something in her ear. “Oh no,” she cried, “You got that when you bought the car.”
57. Early politicians required feedback from the public to determine what the people considered to be important. To obtain information they sent their assistants to local taverns, pubs and bars. They were told to ‘go sip’ some Ale and listen to people’s conversations and political concerns. Many assistants were dispatched at different time. “You go sip here, and you go sip there.” The two words ‘go sip’ were eventually combined when referring to the local opinion, and thus we have the term ‘gossip’.
58. In the old days a common entertainment included playing various card games. However, there was a tax levied when purchasing playing cards, but only applicable to the Ace of Spades. To avoid paying the tax, some people would purchase 51 cards instead. Yet since most games require 52 cards, these people were not considered to be very bright. As the saying goes, “They weren’t playing with a full deck.”
59. At local taverns, pubs and bars, people drank from pint and quart-sized containers. A bar maid’s job was to keep an eye on the customers and keep the drinks coming. She had to pay close attention to who was drinking from ‘pints’ and who was drinking from ‘quarts’. And that is the origin of the phrase, ‘mind your Ps and Qs’.
60. Many years ago people took baths much less frequently than we do today, perhaps only twice a year. Women kept their hair covered and men shaved their heads (to prevent head lice). Wealthy men wore wool wigs that were cleaned by baking them in the shell of a loaf of bread for 30 minutes. This would make the wig big and fluffy, hence the term “big wig”. So today we often use the term “here comes a big wig” when someone wealthy and powerful is about to arrive.
61. Before cameras, if someone wanted an image of themselves it had to be sculpted or painted. Some paintings of George Washington showed him standing behind a desk with one arm behind his back, while others showed both legs and both arms. Prices charged by artists were not based on how many people were to be painted, but by how many limbs were to be included in the painting. Hence the expression, “It’ll cost you an arm and a leg.”
62. A woman told her friend that she had been a member of a support group for procrastinators for about a year. Her friend asked, “What do you do at the meetings?” The woman responded, “I don’t know. We haven’t met yet.”
63. Some little known laws: A doctor’s written prescription is required to take a bath in Boston. Singing out of tune is against the law in North Carolina. Wearing suspenders is illegal in Nogales, Arizona. Anyone over the age of eighty-eight in Idaho Falls, Idaho, is not permitted to ride a motorcycle. It is illegal to set a trap for a mouse in California without a hunting license. It is unlawful to whistle on Sunday in Louisiana. In Connecticut, the law states that if you are a beaver, you have a legal right to build a dam. It is illegal to eat peanuts in church in Massachusetts. In Knoxville Tennessee, it is illegal to lasso a fish. Indiana has a law against taking a bath in the winter.
64. Some real estate terms explained: Unobstructed view - No trees. Handyman’s dream - Owner’s nightmare. Water property - Swamp. Land alone is worth the price - The house is worthless. The house alone is worth the price - Small lot next to tavern. Historic with charming porch - Don’t lean on the railing. Secluded home - No paved road in. Needs finishing touches - Needs roof. Rustic appeal - Outdoor plumbing.
65. As a passenger ship passed by a small island, a bearded man could be seen shouting and furiously waving his arms. “Who is that?” a passenger asked the captain. “I have no idea,” the captain replied. “But every year when we past by he goes crazy.”
66. The wife of a university theater director was asked by one of her clients what her plans were for an upcoming weekend. She said, “I think I’ll watch my husband’s play.” “Oh really,” the client said. “How many do you have?”
67. A juggler was in route to his next performance when he was stopped by a cop. “What are these matches and lighter fluid doing in your car?” the officer asked. “I juggle flaming torches.” the juggler replied. “Oh yeah?” the cop said. “Let me see.” The man stepped out of the car and began to juggle the blazing torches. A couple driving by slowed down to watch. “Wow,” the driver said to his wife. “I’m glad I stopped drinking. Look at the test they’re giving now.”
68. A skeptical man went to see a fortune teller. “Ah,” the old woman murmured as she gazed into her crystal ball. “I see you are the father of two children.” “That’s what you think,” said the man scornfully. “I’m the father of three children.” “No,” the fortune teller replied, “that’s what you think.”
69. A man subscribed to an investment advisory service. He wrote to tell them that he had followed their advice to the letter and as a result had lost all his money. The letter continued, “You said to contact your office if problems arose and you would tell me how to act. Now I am broke. How should I act?” A short time later he got a letter from the service that read, “Act broke!”
70. A man who was trying to save some money put a picture of a piece of cheese into the mousetrap. The next morning, when he looked at the mousetrap, he found a picture of a mouse.
71. Deep within a forest a little turtle began to climb a tree. After hours of effort, he reached the top and jumped into the air waving his little legs, then crashed heavily to the ground. The little turtle tried again while a couple of birds watched his sad efforts. Finally, one bird turned to the other, shook her head and said, “Dear, I think its time to tell him he’s adopted.”
72. An explorer was leading a group through the jungle when they heard the sound of drums. At the next village, the leader stopped a native and asked him to explain their meaning. “Bad, real bad when drums stop!” he said before running off. The drum beating continued. The safari leader asked another native about it. “Bad, real bad when drums stop!” he said. A few minutes later the drums did stop and all the expedition members became panicked. The leader grabbed another villager and demanded to know the situation. “Bad, real bad that drums stop,” he blurted. “Now chief’s wife sings.”
73. A loan company couldn’t get a fellow named Adams to pay off his car loan. So they sent him a letter, “Dear Mr. Adams: What would your neighbors think if we came and repossessed your car?” A week later the company received their letter back. Scrawled across the bottom was a note that read, “Dear Sirs: I checked with my neighbors and they think it would be a lousy trick. Sincerely, Henry Adams.”
74. An Indian asked a bank for a $1,000 loan. The banker asked, “What kind of security do you have?” The Indian replied, “Got 200 horses.” That seemed more than satisfactory, so the banker granted the loan. Two months later, the Indian returned to the bank, took out a roll of bills, counted out $1,000 plus interest, and turned to leave. The banker remarked, “Wait a minute. You’ve got quite a bit of cash there. Why don’t you let us take care of your money?” The Indian turned and said, “How many horses you got?”
75. A wealthy old woman lost her cat, so she placed an ad in the local newspaper offering a $5,000 reward. After a few days with no replies, she stopped by the newspaper office and asked for the advertising manager. “He’s not in.” the office boy replied. She asked, “What about the assistant manager?” The boy replied, “He’s out too.” “My goodness, is everyone out? she asked.” The boy looked at her and said, “Yes Maam! They’re all out looking for your cat!”