All in the family

May 23, 2023

A little turtle climbed up the trunk of a tree. She crawled along a branch to the end, then she jumped off and fell to the ground with a thud.

She walked back to the tree trunk, climbed up, crawled along the branch to the end, and jumped and fell to the ground again.

Again the little turtle walked over to the tree trunk, climbed up, crawled along the branch to the end, and jumped, with the same result.

In a nearby tree a couple of pigeons were watching. After a while one said to the other, “Honey, don’t you think it’s about time we tell her she’s adopted?”

Cattle call

May 2, 2023

Two police officers arrived at a farm, having received a tip that the owner was involved in an illegal marijuana-growing operation. They told the farmer they needed to inspect his property.

“Fine,” said the farmer. Pointing to a fenced-in area, he added, “Just stay away from that field.”

One of the cops flashed his badge and said, “See this? It means we’re allowed to go anywhere we want. Understand?”

“Yes, sir,” said the farmer, and he went about his chores. Soon afterward, he heard screams of terror and saw the two officers in the field he’d told them to avoid, running for their lives with the farmer’s bull in hot pursuit.

Immediately the farmer threw down his tools, ran to the fence, and shouted to the officers, “Your badges! Show him your badges!”

Senior moments

March 3, 2023

Jack’s wife, concerned about his declining cognitive health, made an appointment for him with a geriatric specialist. 

Jack asked the doctor how they determine when someone should be put in an old age home.

“We have a simple test we use,” said the doctor. “We fill a bathtub with water, then we offer the person a teaspoon, a drinking glass, and a bucket, and tell them to empty the tub.”

“Oh, I get it,” said Jack. “A normal person would use the bucket because it’s bigger than the teaspoon or the glass.”

“No, a normal person would pull the plug,” said the doctor. “Would you like a bed near the window?”

❧  ❧  ❧  ❧  ❧

An elderly lady was giving directions to her grandson, who was coming to visit with his wife.

“I’m in apartment 12T,” she said. “When you get to the front door of the building you’ll see a big panel. Push button 12T with your elbow and I’ll buzz you in. When you get inside, the elevator will be on your right. Get in the elevator and hit 12 with your elbow. When you get out of the elevator, my door will be to your left. Hit the doorbell with your elbow.”

“That sounds simple enough,” said her grandson. “But why am I hitting all these buttons with my elbow?”

“What?” said Grandma. “You mean you’re coming empty-handed?”

❧  ❧  ❧  ❧  ❧

Three brothers had each started a business, and as all three businesses prospered, the brothers became wealthy men. One day they talked about the gifts they planned to give their mother for her eightieth birthday.

The first said, “I bought a beautiful mansion for her.”

The second said, “I bought her a limousine and hired a chauffeur to drive her wherever she wants to go.”

The third said, “Remember how Mother used to love reading her Bible, before her eyesight failed? Well, I bought her a parrot that recites the entire Bible. Mother will only have to name the chapter and verse, and the parrot will recite it.”

Shortly after her birthday, the mother sent each son a thank-you note.

“Dear Milton,” she wrote to the first son, “The house you gave me is so big, I feel lost in it. I live alone, so what do I need all these extra rooms for?”

“Dear Gerald,” she wrote to the second son, “I am too old to travel. I stay home most of the time, so I rarely use the car, and the driver is a real pain in the neck.”

“Dear Baxter,” she wrote to the third son, “You alone have the good sense to know what your mother likes. The chicken was delicious.”


A horse of a different color

February 8, 2023

An oldie but goodie.

❧ ❧ ❧ ❧ ❧

An out-of-towner drove his car into a ditch in a remote area. A local farmer saw him and came to help with his horse, Buddy. He hitched Buddy up to the car and yelled, “Pull, Nellie, pull!” Buddy didn’t move. 

Then the farmer hollered, “Pull, Buster, pull!” Buddy didn’t respond. 

Again the farmer commanded, “Pull, Coco, pull!” Still no response. 

Then the farmer said, “Pull, Buddy, pull!” Buddy easily dragged the car out of the ditch. 

The motorist was appreciative but curious. He asked the farmer why he called his horse by the wrong name three times. 

The farmer replied, “Buddy is blind, and if he thought he was the only one pulling, he wouldn’t even try.”

Parva leves capiunt animas

January 31, 2023

If you’re just an ordinary schlub who would like to sound erudite and scholarly, nothing does the trick quite like sprinkling your conversation with Latin phrases. Here are some that you’re sure to find useful in common everyday situations:

Magister Mundi sum.
I am the Master of the Universe.

Sentio aliquos togatos contra me conspirare.
I think some people in togas are plotting against me.

Si hoc legere scis nimium eruditionis habes. 
If you can read this, you’re overeducated.

Mellita, domi adsum. 
Honey, I’m home.

Totum dependeat.
Let it all hang out.

Recedite, plebes! Gero rem imperialem!
Stand aside, plebians! I am on imperial business!

Quo signo nata es?
What’s your sign?

Caesar si viveret, ad remum dareris.
If Caesar were alive, you’d be chained to an oar.

Quantum materiae materietur marmota monax si marmota monax materiam possit materiari?
How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?

Noli me vocare, ego te vocabo.
Don’t call me, I’ll call you.

Nullo metro compositum est.
It doesn’t rhyme.

Non curo. Si metrum non habet, non est poema.
I don’t care. If it doesn’t rhyme, it isn’t a poem.

Fac ut gaudeam.
Make my day.

Braccae illae virides cum subucula rosea et tunica Caledonia-quam elenganter concinnatur!
Those green pants go well with that pink shirt and plaid jacket!

Sic faciunt omnes.
Everyone is doing it.

Non calor sed umor est qui nobis incommodat.
It’s not the heat, it’s the humidity.

Utinam barbari spatium proprium tuum invadant.
May barbarians invade your personal space.

Fac ut vivas.
Get a life.

Utinam coniurati te in foro interficiant.
May conspirators assassinate you in the mall.

Fac me cocleario vomere.
Gag me with a spoon.

Te audire no possum. Musa sapientum fixa est in aure.
I can’t hear you. I have a banana in my ear.

In vita priore ego imperator Romanus fui.
In a previous life I was a Roman Emperor.

Utinam logica falsa tuam philosophiam totam suffodiant.
May faulty logic undermine your entire philosophy.

Si hoc signum legere potes, operis boni in rebus Latinus alacribus et fructuosis potiri potes.
If you can read this sign, you can get a good job in the fast-paced, high-paying world of Latin.

Catapultam habeo. Nisi pecuniam omnem mihi dabis, ad caput tuum saxum immane mittam.
I have a catapult. Give me all the money, or I will fling an enormous rock at your head.

Sentio aliquos togatos contra me conspirare.

Sunday funnies

November 13, 2022

It had been a slow day at the pearly gates, and St. Peter was on the verge of nodding off when suddenly a man appeared. He was rumpled and tattered and not very steady on his feet. St. Peter looked him over skeptically.

“Have you ever done anything of particular merit?” he asked.

The man thought it over.

“Well, I can think of one thing,” he said. “I saw a bunch of punks who were harassing a young woman. I told them to leave her alone, but they wouldn’t listen to me, so I went up to the biggest one of them and busted him in the chops and yelled, ‘Now, back off!’”

“Impressive,” said St. Peter. “When did this happen?” 

The man looked at his watch and said, “About five minutes ago.”

Monday chuckles

October 24, 2022

A young city dweller with a high-pressure job needed a break and a change of scenery, so he decided to go for a hike in the mountains. He followed a path by a sparkling mountain stream, and was soon whistling happily as he felt the stress of the city melting away.

After a while, he chanced upon an isolated log cabin near the banks of the stream. A bearded old man sat in front of the cabin, smoking a pipe. He greeted the young man and invited him to stop and rest for a spell.

The two were soon engrossed in conversation, the old man regaling the young man with stories of his life in the mountains. As the sun sank lower in the sky, the old man invited his guest to stay to supper, and the young man accepted.

The mountain man served up a simple but satisfying supper of venison, potatoes, and gravy. When they had finished eating, the city man thanked his host, and offered to help wash the dishes.

“Don’t have running water,” said the old man.

The young man, thinking there must be a pump or well nearby, asked the mountain man how he washed his dishes.

“River gets ‘em clean,” said the old man.

“Oh, of course,” said the young man, gathering up the plates. “I’ll take them down there.”

“No need,” said the mountain man. He went to the cabin door, whistled loudly, and shouted, “River! Here boy!”

Dissenting adults

October 19, 2022

An oldie but goodie.

❧ ❧ ❧ ❧ ❧

Elmer and Doris, an elderly couple on a fixed income, went to the state fair every year. At the fair was a helicopter pilot offering rides for fifty dollars, and every year Elmer said to Doris, “I’d really like to ride in that helicopter.”

Every year, Doris replied, “Elmer, that helicopter ride costs fifty bucks, and fifty bucks is a lot of money.”

One year Elmer said, “Doris, I’m 85 years old. If I don’t ride that helicopter now, I might never have another chance.”

As usual, Doris replied, “Elmer, that helicopter ride costs fifty bucks, and fifty bucks is a lot of money.”

Overhearing the couple, the pilot said, “I’ll tell you what. I’ll take you both for a ride. If you can get through the entire ride without speaking a word, I won’t charge you, but if you say anything, it will cost you fifty dollars.”

Elmer and Doris agreed, and up they went. The pilot did all kinds of crazy maneuvers, but not a word was said. He did every daredevil trick he knew, trying to get a reaction, but neither of his passengers uttered so much as a peep.

When they landed, the pilot said, “I’m really impressed. I did everything I could think of to get you to say something, but you didn’t.”

Elmer replied, “Well, to tell you the truth, I almost said something when Doris fell out, but you know, fifty bucks is a lot of money.”

Sunday funnies

October 16, 2022

An oldie but goodie.

❧ ❧ ❧ ❧ ❧

A wealthy man nearing the end of his life was distraught because he had worked so hard for his money, and he wanted to take it with him when he died. He prayed and asked God about it.

“Sorry,” said God. “Rules are rules.”

But the man begged and pleaded, and eventually God gave in.

“All right, you win,” said God. “I’ll make an exception. You can bring one suitcase.”

Overjoyed, the man took his largest suitcase, filled it with gold bars, and set it beside his bed.

Soon afterward, the man died and arrived at the gates of heaven. St. Peter welcomed him, but when he saw the suitcase he said, “You can’t bring that in here.”

The man explained that he had special permission from God. St. Peter was skeptical, but went to check the story out. After a few minutes he returned.

“You’re right,” he said. “God says you’re allowed one suitcase. But I’ll have to check its contents before letting it through.”

St. Peter opened the suitcase to inspect the worldly goods that the man had considered too precious to leave behind, and said in astonishment, “You brought pavement?”

Any way you slice it

October 12, 2022

Jack, a notoriously bad golfer, hit his ball off the first tee and watched as it sliced to the right and disappeared through the open window of a nearby house.

Figuring that was the end of it, he took another ball from his bag and played on.

On the eighth hole, a police officer walked up to Jack and said, “Did you hit a ball through a window back there?”

Jack admitted that yes, he had.

“Well,” said the cop, “it knocked over a lamp and scared a dog, which ran out of the house and onto the road. A driver swerved to avoid hitting the dog, and she crashed into a tree and her car is totaled. And all because you sliced the ball.”

Jack felt terrible. “I’m so sorry,” he said. “Is there anything I can do?” 

“Yes, there is,” said the cop. “Try keeping your head down and close up your stance a little.”


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