Source: Jacob M. Braude, Human Interest Stories
--Genius: "Can't understand why you failed in business."
Friend: "Too much advertising."
Genius: "What do you mean-too much advertising? You never
spent a cent in your life on advertising."
Friend: "I know, but my competitor did."
--An Irishman holidaying in New York went into a drug store and asked
for a small tube of toothpaste. When the assistant passed him the tube,
he noticed it was marked "Large."
"I'd rather have a small one," said the Irishman.
"Listen, bud," said the assistant, "in this country toothpaste comes in
three sizes-Large, Giant, and Super"
--A man lost a valuable dog and advertised in a newspaper offering $500
for it, but got no replies. He called at the office."
"I want to see the advertising manager," he said.
"He's out," said the office boy.
"Well, how about his assistant?"
"He's out too, sir."
"Then I'll see the editor."
"He's out, sir."
"Goodness! Is everybody out?"
"Yes-they're all hunting your dog."
--"Why, look here," said the merchant who was in need of a boy,
"aren't you the same boy who was in here a week ago?"
"Yes, sir," said the applicant.
"I thought so. And didn't I tell you then that I wanted an older boy?"
"Yes, sir. That's why I'm back. I'm older now."
--Henny Youngman used to tell of the time he was ejected from an antique
shop. "All I did," he said, "was walk in and ask 'What's new?'"
--An Irish drill sergeant was instructing some recruits in the mysteries
of marching movements. He had great difficulty in getting one fellow to
halt when the command was given. After explaining and illustrating
several times, he approached the recruit, sized him up silently for a
couple of minutes, and then demanded his name.
"Casey sir," was the reply.
"Well, Casey, did ye iver drive a mule?"
"An' what did ye say whin ye wanted him t' stop?"
"Whoa," answered Casey.
The sergeant turned away and immediately put his squad in motion.
After they had advanced a dozen paces he bawled out at the top of his
voice: "Squad halt! Whoa, Casey!"
--When Stephen Leacock was asked by ambitious would-be authors to impart
his magic formular for writing success, he would reply, "It is not hard
to write funny stuff. All you have to do is procure a pen and paper,
and some ink, and then sit down and write it as it occurs to you."
"Yes, yes," the would-be writer prompted.
"The writing is not hard," Leacock would conclude, "but the
occurring-that my friend, is the difficulty."
--A grizzled old banker, who pioneered in a small Western town, was
being interviewed on the subject of his successful career.
"How did you get started in the banking business?" queried the inerviewer.
"It was very simple," repliedthe banker. "I put up a sign reading: BANK.
A man came in and gave me $100. Then another came in and handed me $200.
By that time my confidence had reached such a point that I decided to
put in $50 of my own."
--A group of girls were boasting of the rank of their repspective families.
They had passed from clothes to personal appearance, then to interior
furnishings, and finally to parental dignity. The minister's girl boasted:
"Every package that comes for my papa is marked D.D."
"And every package that comes for my papa is marked M.D.," retorted
the daughter of the physician.
The followed a look of contempt from the youngest of the party,
"Huh," she exclaimed, "every package that comes to our house is marked C.O.D."
--An American businessman, visiting in Mexico, watched an Indian making
pottery vases. He asked the price. "Twenty centavos each."
"And for 100?"
The native thought it over, the answered: "That will be 40 centavos each."
The American thought the Indian was making a mistake in his quotation
of the price, so he tried again. "And if I bought 1000 all alike?"
"All alike? One thousand? Well, then they would cost you 60 centavos apiece."
"Impossible! Why, you must be insane!"
"It could be," replied the Indian. "But I'd have to make so many all
alike, and I wouldn't enjoy that. So you see, you would have to pay
me well for my work as well as for my boredom."
--Boss: "Integrity and wisdom are essential to success in this business.
Integrity means when you promise a customer something, keep that
promise even if we lose money."
New employee: "And what is wisdom?"
Boss: "Don't make such promises."
--The timid boys entered the village hardware store. The gruff proprietor
said to the oldest, "What do you want, Zeke?"
"A dime's worth of BB shot, please."
The old man climbed a ladder, brought down the shelf box that contained
the air-rifle shot, made up the packet and returned the box to the shelf
above. Then he asked the second boy, "What do you want, Tim?"
"A dime's worth of BB's, please," was the meek answer.
"Why didn't you say so before?" said the old man irritably, as he went
for the ladder again. He made up the packet as before, and then
turned to the third.
"And do you want a dime's worth of BB's too?" he demanded.
"No," replied Joe hesitatingly.
The old man climbed laboriously to the shelf again and deposited the box
of shot. Then he returned to the counter.
"Well, my boy, what do you want?" he demanded of Joe.
"A nickel's worth of BB shot," said Joe.
--"I had a terrible argument with the electric company over our bills,"
she told her husband when he got home from work.
"Who won?" he asked.
"We compromised. They don't get any more money, we don't get any more electricity."
--"Darling," scolded the mother. "You shouldn't always keep everything for
yourself. I have told you before that you should let your brother play
with your toys half of the time."
"I've been doing it," Darling replied. "I take the sled going
downhill and he takes it going up hill."
--"Well, thank goodness they're giving up on this bill-this says it's
their final notice."
--The first aid specialist, instructing a class of Girl Scouts, asked:
"Why does a surgeon wear a mask while performing an operation?"
One little girl replied: "So that if he makes a mess of it,
the patient won't know who did it."
--"Your heart is quite sound. With such a heart you ought to live to be seventy."
"But, doctor, I am seventy."
"There! What did I tell you?"
--"Doc," he said, "if there's anything wrong with me, don't give me a
long scientific name. Say it so I can understand it."
"Very well," the doctor agreed, "you're lazy."
"Thanks, doc, now give me the scientific name so I can tell my boss."
--A doctor examining an attractive new patient, beamed,
"Mrs. Atherton, I've got good news for you."
The patient said, "Pardon me, it's Miss Atherton."
"Oh," said the doctor. "Well, Miss Atherton, I've got bad news for you."
--"But, doctor," said the worried patient, "are you sure I'll pull through?
I've heard of cases where the doctor has made a wrong diagnosis, and
treated someone for pneumonia who has afterward died of typhoid fever."
"Nonsense," spluttered the affronted physician. "When I treat a patient
for pneumonia, he dies of pneumonia."
--"Sir," said the timid employee, "my wife said I was to ask you for a raise."
"Good," said the boss. "I'll ask my wife if I can give you one."
--He was a very cautious man, who never romped or played.
He never smoked, he never drank, nor even kissed a maid.
And when he up and passed away, insurance was denied.
For since he hadn't ever lived, they claimed he never died.
-The court: "Why do you wish a new trial for your client?"
Lawyer: "On the grounds of newly-discovered matter, your honor."
The court: "And what's the nature of that?"
Lawyer: "My client has dug up $500 that I didn't know he had."
--For more than six months a salesman had been calling on the buyer for
a certain firm, but the buyer never bought anything. After each interview
the salesman would say, "Thank you very much. I wish I had fifty
customers like you."
Mystified, the buyer finally said, "Look here, I don't mind your coming
in here every week or two and showing your samples. I buy nothing, but
you always say the same thing-'Thank you very much. I wish I had fifty
customers like you.' Why do you make this statement?"
"Well," replied the salesman, smiling, "right now I have about
two hundred customers like you. I really do wish that I had only fifty."
--A customer goes into a pet store and points to a large dog and asks:
The proprietor says, "$50."
The guy points to a medium-sized dog and asks: "And how much is that one?"
"$100," replies the pet store man.
"Well," the guy persists, "how much is that little teeny weeny
dog in the corner?"
"That one is $200," the proprietor says.
The guy gets and alarmed look on his face. "How much will it cost me
if I don't buy any dog at all?"
--Ollie M. James.
--In the good old days, a king and queen were so fond of their court
jester they often had him as their sole dinner guest. On one such
occasion, the jester asserted: "An apology can be worse than an insult."
"Either you prove that," remarked the royal host, "or I'll have you beheaded."
After dinner his royal highness happened to bend over. WHAM! The
jester landed a lusty kick on the royal pants, then quickly cried:
"Pardon me, Sire. I thought you were the Queen." --Alex F. Osborn-
--A young man was deeply in love with a beautiful girl. One day she told
him that the next day would be her birthday, and he laughingly said
he would send her a bunch of roses, one for each year of her life.
That evening he wrote to his florist, ordering twenty-four roses to
be sent to the young lady on the first delivery the following day.
The proprietor of the flower shop, looking over the mail in the morning,
said to his salesman:
"Tom, here's an order from young Mr. Higgins for twenty-four roses.
He's a mighty good customer; let's give him a break and put in an extra dozen."
And the young man never did find out what made the young lady so angry with him.
--A scorpion, being a very poor swimmer, asked a turtle to carry him on
his back across a river. "Are you mad?" exclaimed the turtle. "You'll
sting me while I'm swimming and I'll drown."
"My dear turtle," laughed the scorpion, "if I were to sting you, you
would drown and I would go down with you. Now where is the logic in that?"
"You're right!" cried the turtle. "Hop on!" The scorpion climbed aboard
and halfway across he river gave the turtle a mighty sting. As they
both sank to the bottom, the turtle resignedly said:
"Do you mind if I ask you something? You said there'd be no logic in
your stinging me. Why did you do it?"
It has nothing to do with logic," the drowning scorpion sadly replied.
"It's just my character."
--A man was giving a government clerk information for filling out a
required form. When the clerk came to "Nationality" he said,
"You're French, aren't you?"
"No, English," replied the citizen. "Both my father and mother
"But you were born in France," protested the clerk.
"What's that got to do with it?" demanded the exasperated citizen.
"If your dog had puppies in a stable, you wouldn't call them horses."
--An old story tells of a father who, in guiding his son, told him to drive
a nail into a post every time he did an evil thing, and to withdraw one
nail each time he did a good act. The son did so, but regretted he could
not pull out the nail holes. So with the record of every life. We may
amend, change our program, turn over a new leaf-but some flaws remain.
Habits long continued become hard to break. The nail holes stay, and
they remind us of bad decisions.
--The man was charged with assault and battery. Throughout the cross-examination
he maintained he had merely pushed his victim "a little bit."
"Well, about how hard?" asked prosecuting counsel.
"Oh, just a little bit."
"Now," said counsel, "for the benefit of the judge and jury, will
you please step down here and, with me for a subject, illustrate
just how hard you mean."
The defendant descended and approached the waiting counsel.
When he reached him the spectators were amazed to see him slap the
lawyer in the face, seize him bodily, and finally, with a supreme effort,
lift him from the floor and hurl him prostrate across the table.
Turning from the bewildered counsel, he faced the Court and
explained, mildly, "Your lordship and gentlemen, about one-tenth that hard!"
--One of two women riding on a bus suddenly realized she hadn't paid her
fare. "I'll go right up and pay it," she declared.
"Why bother?" her friend replied. "You got away with it-so what?"
"I've found that honesty always pays," the other said virtuously,
and went up to pay the driver.
"See, I told you honesty pays!" she said when she returned.
"I handed the driver a quarter and he gave me change for fifty cents."
--Two moving men were struggling with a big crate in a doorway.
They pushed and tugged until they were exhausted but it wouldn't move.
Finally, the man on the outside said, "We'd better give up, we'll never get this in."
The fellow on the inside said, "What do you mean get it in,
I thought you were trying to get it out."
--David, a second-grader, was bumped while getting on the school bus and
suffered a two-inch cut on his cheek. At recess he collided with another
boy and two of his teeth were knocked loose. At noon while sliding on ice,
he fell and broke his wrist. Later at the hospital, he father noticed
David clutching a quarter in his good hand. "I found it on the ground
when I fell," David said. "This is the first quarter I ever found.
This sure is my lucky day."
--In 1812 an English Quaker was disowned for marrying a Unitarian.
It is reported that he was readmitted after having made a declaration
to the effect that, though he could not-out of courtesy to his
wife-say that he repented having married her, he could say he
would not do it again.
--A salesman who was growing nervous about traveling by air went to a
statistician one day. "Can you tell me," he asked, "what the odds
would be against my boarding an aircraft on which somebody had hidden a bomb?"
"I can't tell you until I've analyzed the available data," the
statistician replied. "Come back again in a week."
"Well," the salesman asked on his next visit, "do you have the answer?"
"Certainly," the statistician said. "The odds are one million to one
against your getting on an aircraft with a bomb on it."
"Those are good odds," the sales man mused. "But I'm not sure they're
good enough for me. I travel a good deal."
"Well, if you want to be really safe," the statistician said,
"carry a bomb with you. The odds are one billion to one against your
boarding an aircraft with two bombs on it."
--A fisherman insisted it was time to start fishing even though his
wife protested that he wouldn't catch anything. On his way home after
a day of hard luck, he went to a fish store and said to the clerk,
"Just stand where you are and throw me five of the biggest fish you've got."
The clerk could hardly believe him and demanded, "Why throw them?"
The angler replied, "So I can tell my wife I caught them. I may be a
poor fisherman but I am no liar."
--It is a good thing for the average person to get away from his daily
work once a year. It breaks routine and interrupts old habits. When
he comes back with a refreshed mind, he sees his job in a new light,
and often he finds he can make little improvements…
--A foreign gentleman got into a taxi and looked appealingly at the driver.
"I haven't much good English," he began brokenly, "and I've lost the word."
"You mean you've forgotten the name of the street where you want to go?"
asked the driver.
The man nodded, tapping his head vigorously as though to shake the
missing word loose. Finally he smiled and said,
"Take me to the wife of king street."
The taxi driver lost no time in driving him to Queen Street.
--A farmer was detained for questioning about an elections scandal.
"Did you sell your vote?" the U.S. attorney asked.
"No sirree, not me," the farmer protested. "I voted for that there fella
'cause I liked him."
"C'mon, now," threatened the attorney. "I have good evidence that
he gave you five dollars."
"Well, now," the farmer said, "it's plain common sense that when
a feller gives ya five dollars ya like him."
A vacationer noticed a sign that warned DANGER! BEWARE OF
DOG!, posted on the glass door of a little country store.
Inside the store, a harmless-looking old hound dog was
asleep on the floor by the cash register.
"Is THAT the dog people are supposed to beware of?" he
asked the store manager.
"Yup." The man replied.
The vacationer was amused. "That doesn't look like a
dangerous dog to me. Why the sign?"
"Well," the manager replied, "before I posted that sign,
people kept tripping over him."
After finishing a hard day's work on his own - because his
partner didn't show up - a carpet-layer cleaned up all his
tools and prepared to leave. Patting his pocket, he
realized that his cigarette pack was missing. Looking
around the room, he noticed a small lump in the center of
the carpeting he just finished laying, just about the size
of his cigarette pack. Considering for a minute, he finally
decided to lay a board over the lump and hammer it flat.
Relieved that the lump was no longer noticeable, and that
he wouldn't have to pull the carpet up again, he loaded his
equipment into his truck, and found his cigarettes laying
on the front seat. Just then the lady of the house ran out
to his truck.
"The carpeting looks great," she assured him, "but I was
wondering if you had seen my parakeet?"
Driving home one day, I was going about 20 over the speed
limit. Don't you just know that before long a police car
was flashing red lights behind me. I'd had a few drinks, so
I figured I would just outrun him by flooring the gas
pedal. I hit 70, then 80, 90, 100 miles an hour. When the
speedometer passed 110 and I still hadn't shaken him off, I
decided to give up and pull over. The police officer got
out of the cruiser and approached my car. Leaning down, he
said, "Listen mister, I've had a really lousy day and I
just want to get home. Give me a good enough excuse and
I'll let you go."
Thinking quickly, I said, "Officer, two weeks ago my wife
ran off with a police officer. When I saw your cruiser
following me, I thought you were that cop and that you were
trying to catch up with me to give her back!"
Keep An Eye On Her
A man has to take a business trip overseas so he entrusts
his best friend with the job of keeping an eye on his wife.
If anything out of the ordinary should occur, his friend was
to notify him immediately. After about a week with no
contact, the businessman received a telegram containing
only one sentence.
"The man who comes to visit your wife every night didn't
show up yesterday."
When Kristi got home from school, she proudly told her
father that she got a 100 in school that day. Pleased, her
father told her to sit down and tell him all about it.
"Well," Kristi explained, "I got a 20 in math, a 30 in
science, and a 50 in spelling!"
Walking up to the front door of a big farmhouse, a hobo
knocked lightly on the door until the owner answered. The
hobo said, "Please, sir, could I have something to eat? I
haven't had a meal in days."
The well-dressed homeowner said, "I may have made a fortune
supplying goods to people, but I never give away anything
for nothing. However, if you go around to the back of the
house, you'll fine a gallon of paint and a clean brush.
Paint my porch and I'll give you a good meal."
The hobo headed off to the back of the house and a few
hours later he came back to knock on the door again. The
homeowner was surprised. "Finished already? That's great!
Come on in and sit down, and I'll have the cook bring you a
"Thank you, sir!" the hobo said. "I should tell you though,
that you don't know your cars. That's not a Porch. It's a
"Duane, where's your homework?" Miss Malone said sternly to
the boy, holding out her hand.
"I don't have it," the boy replied. "My dog ate it."
"Duane, I've been a teacher for twenty years. Do you really
expect me to believe that story?"
"I swear it's true!" insisted the boy. "I had to force him,
but he did eat it!"
A fellow stopped at a rural gas station, filled his tank,
and took a break by his car while drinking a soda. As he
relaxed, he watch a couple of men working along the
roadside. One man would dig a hole two or three feet deep
and then move on. The other man came along behind him by
about 25 feet and filled in the hole. The men worked right
past the fellow with the soft drink and went on down the
road. Overcome by curiousity, the fellow headed for the
first man. "Hey there," he said to the men. "Can you tell
me what's going on here with this digging?"
"We work for the county government, " one of the men said.
"But one of you is digging a hole and the other is filling
it up. Isn't that a waste of the county's money?"
"Well," one of the men replied, "normally there's three of
us - me, Rodney, and Mike. I dig the hole, Rodney sticks in
the tree, and Mike here puts the dirt back."
"Yeah," Mike added. "Just because Rodney's sick, that don't
mean we can't work, does it?"
A man wasn't feeling well so he went to his doctor for a
complete checkup. After a long wait for the results, the
doctor finally came back out.
"I'm afraid I have some very bad news," the doctor said.
"You're dying, and you don't have much time left."
"Oh no! I can't believe it!" says the man. "How long do I
"Ten," the doctor says sadly.
"Ten?" the man asks. "What do you mean by that? Ten what?
Months? Weeks? What?!"
A man entered a pet shop, wanting to buy a parrot. The shop
owner pointed out three identical parrots on a perch and
said, "The parrot to the left costs 500 dollars."
"Why does that parrot cost so much?" the man wondered.
The owner replied, "Well, it knows how to use a computer."
The man asked about the next parrot on the perch.
"That one costs 1,000 dollars because it can do everything
the other parrot can do, plus it knows how to use the UNIX
Naturally, the startled customer asked about the third
"That one costs 2,000 dollars."
"And what does that one do?" the man asked.
The owner replied, "To be honest, I've never seen him do a
thing, but the other two call him boss!"
One evening two vampire bats were hanging out in their
cave. One said, "Man, I'm starving! I need to get some
blood!" And he flew out of the cave.
He returned about three hours later with blood dripping
from his mouth. "Where'd you get the blood?" the other bat
"Well, you fly out of the cave, and you see the first tree
on the left?"
"Yes," the other bat replied.
"Well, I didn't."
On the road one day, a man and a woman smashed their cars
together in a terrible car wreck. Both vehicles were
totaled, but fortunately neither person was injured. The
woman said to the man, "Thank goodness we're both okay! We
should celebrate. I have a bottle of wine in my car, so
let's open it and toast the fact that we survived this
The man agreed and the woman opened the bottle of wine and
handed it to him. He took a huge swallow and handed it
back. The woman closed the bottled and set it down by his
car. The man asked, "Aren't you going to take a drink?"
"No," the woman said. "I think I'll just wait for the cops
to get here."
Q: Did you ever wonder why the IRS calls it Form 1040?
A: Because for every $50 that you earn, you get $10 and the
IRS gets $40.
A neutron in a bar has just finished his drink. "How much
do I owe you?" the neutron asks the bartender.
The bartender replies, "For you, no charge!"
Bob stood over his tee shot, adjusting and readjusting his
stance over and over again, making his golf buddy crazy.
Finally his friend said, "What the hell is taking you so
long! Hit the ball already!"
"Give me a minute," Bob replied. "My wife is up there
watching me from the clubhouse and I want to make this a
His friend said, "Man, you don't stand a snowball's chance
in hell of hitting her from here!"
During an interview, the employer said to the applicant,
"In this particular job, it's very important that we hire
someone who is responsible!"
The applicant replied, "Then I'm the one you want! In my
last job, every time something went wrong, they said I was
On a really hot day, four nuns were assigned to paint a
room in their church. After sweating for a few hours in
those black robes, they decided to take off all their
clothes and paint naked. An hour later, someone knocked on
the door of the church.
"Who is it?" they called out.
"I'm the blind man," came the reply.
The nuns decided to let him in since he wouldn't be able to
see them. They opened the door and led him to the room they
were painting. They were surprised when he walked around
the room with no difficulty.
"Okay, sisters," he said, "where do you want the blinds?"
Some Definitions Not In The Dictionary
AQUADEXTROUS (ak wa deks' trus) adj.
Possessing the ability to turn the bathtub faucet on and off with
CARPERPETUATION (kar' pur pet u a shun) n.
The act, when vacuuming,of running over a string or a piece of lint
at least a dozen times, reaching over and picking it up, examining
it, then putting it back down to give the vacuum one more chance.
DISCONFECT (dis kon fekt') v.
To sterilize the piece of candy you dropped on the floor by blowing
on it, assuming this will somehow remove all the germs.
ELBONICS (el bon' iks) n.
The actions of two people maneuvering for one armrest in a movie theater.
FRUST (frust) n.
The small line of debris that refuses to be swept onto the dust
pan and keeps backing a person across the room until he finally
decides to give up and sweep it under the rug.
LACTOMANGULATION (lak' to man gyu lay' shun) n.
Manhandling the "open here" spout on a milk container so badly
that one has to resort to the 'illegal' side.
PEPPIER (pehp ee ay') n.
The waiter at a fancy restaurant whose sole purpose seems to be
walking around asking diners if they want ground pepper.
PHONESIA (fo nee' zhuh) n.
The affliction of dialing a phone number and forgetting whom you w
ere calling just as they answer.
PUPKUS (pup' kus) n.
The moist residue left on a window after a dog presses its nose to it.
TELECRASTINATION (tel e kras tin ay' shun) n.
The act of always letting the phone ring at least twice before you
pick it up, even when you're only six inches away.
The Young Female Teacher
An attractive, young female teacher was giving an
assignment to her 6th-grade class one day, and she reached
up high on the blackboard. She heard one boy giggling and
quickly turned around. "What's so funny, Billy?"
"I just saw one of your garters!" the boy said.
"Billy, get out of my classroom. I don't want to see you
here again for three days!"
She turned back to the blackboard and reached back up
again. Suddenly she heard an even louder giggle from the
front row. Turning around, she said, "What is it now?
Frankie? Why are you laughing?"
"I just saw BOTH your garters!" he giggled.
"That's it!" she yelled. "I don't want to see you for three
WEEKS! Go to the principal's office. Now!" Frustrated, she
dropped her eraser when she turned around and bent over to
pick it up. Hearing laughter, she whipped around just in
time to see Bobby standing up to leave the classroom.
"Where do you think you're going, mister?" she demanded.
"Well, from what I just saw, I think my school days are
Source: Braude, Jacob Morton. Complete Speaker's And Toastmaster's Library.
1. There was a senator who was to introduce another senator as the
principal speaker at a big luncheon in Washington. "What can I say
about you?" asked the first senator. "Oh, be as generous as you like,
" replied the second, "you won't be under oath."
2. When President Theodor Roosevelt was once making a political speech
in Maine he asked if there was a Democrat in the audience. An old
whiskered man rose in the back of the room and said, "I am a Democrat."
Roosevelt then asked him why he was a Democrat, and he said: "I've
always been a Democrat, my father was a Democrat, and my grandfather
was a Democrat." Roosevelt then said: "Then if your father had been
a horsethief and your grandfather had been a horsethief you would be
a horsethief?" "Oh, no," he replied, "in that case I would be a Republican."
3. A high school teacher who had an unruly class and also a sense of
humor came in one morning and found bedlam had broken loose. He slapped
his palm on the desk and lifted his voice. "I demand pandemonium," he said.
A hush fell on the class as though he'd demanded quiet.
"Just proves," this teacher declared, "that it ain't what you say but
how you say it."
4.When Dr. Edith Sitwell and her brother, Osbert Sitwell, we in Hollywood,
they gave a reading of their poems. Osbert Sudenly turned to the audience
and asked: "Can you hear me?"
One man answered: "No."
Osbert replied: "Then pay a little more attention."
5. The story is told of Orson Welles, that he once lectured in a small
Midwestern town before a very sparse audience. He opened his remarks
with a brief sketch of his career. Said he: "I'm a director of plays
and also a producer of plays. I am an actor of the stage and motion
pictures. I write and produce motion pictures and I write, direct, and
act on the radio. I am a magician and painter. I've published books. I play
the violin and the piano." At this point he paused and, surveying his
audience, remarked, "Isn't it a pity there are so many of me and so few of you!"
6. Walking with a friend one day, Fritz Kreisler passed a large fish shop
where a fine catch of codfish, with mouths open and eyes staring, were
arranged in a row. Kreisler suddenly stopped, looked at them, and clutching
his friend by the arm, exclaimed:
"Heavens! That reminds me-I should be playing at a concert!"
7. Artemus Ward used to tell a good story on himself. He was at the time one of
America's leading lecturers and platform personalities. While vacationing
in the South and desirous of keeping in practice, he offered to give a
series of free talks before the inmates of the local prison. The offer was
accepted but his appearance was coolly received by the prisoners. He was
left with the impression that they would have much preferred to be left undisturbed.
Before Ward's second appearance in the series was due, a delegation of inmates
called upon the warden.
"We wish to protest against these lectures," said the spokesman.
"They were not included in our sentences."
8. A speaker talked loud and long, then asked brightly, "Are there any questions?"
A hand shot up. The speaker nodded.
"What time is it?" the listener inquired.
9. A boring lecturer while speaking during a torrential rainstorm said to
his audience, "I'm afraid I've kept you too long."
"Keep right on going," replied a voice from the rear, "it's still
10. A minister, during the course of his sermon, suggested that there would
be a meeting of the Board at the foot of the dais at the close of the sermon.
When it was over, a group collected at the foot of the platform, but one
man looked like a stranger. "You're not a member of the Board of Directors,"
said the minister to him. "Oh, I'm sorry," was the reply, "I misunderstood
you. I thought you said a meeting of those who were bored."
11. Called on for an impromptu speech at a dinner one night a Yale graduate
bethought himself of his alma mater and lauded her by proclaiming that
the "Y" stood for youth, when all might enjoy the benefits of college;
the "A" for the appreciation for all the finer things which college makes
possible; the "L" for that loyalty from which all sincere endeavor stems.
After about an hour of all this he ended with "E" which he said stood for
the efficiency of the graduates of Old Eli.
Out in the audience, one drowsing listener murmured to his neighbor,
"Thank God he didn't attend the Massachusetts Institute of Technology."
12. A prominent politician was due to arrive for a speech in a little western
town. Members of the arrangements committee formed a motorcade to meet
the distinguished man at the edge of town and escort him to the public
hall with proper fanfare.
But there was a mix-up-the speaker arrived by train. The cavalcade came
dejectedly back to town.
After completing his address that evening, the visitor was approached by
the chairman of the welcoming committee.
"Sir," said the chairman, "we're powerful sorry that we didn't have
the opportunity to escort you into our city, but we'll take great pleasure
in escorting you out of it."
13. A college professor opened his speech to a group of club women with this remark:
"I am told that I should begin with a joke, but I know only one that would
be appropriate to tell you ladies, and it has nothing to do with our subject,
so let's get on with the job."
14. The chairman was introducing a speaker who had complained to him in advance
that he would have difficulty because he had left his dental plate at home.
The chairman was prepared to be helpful. He reached into his pocket and
brought forth a set of false teeth which he asked to speaker to try.
They were a bit loose and he handed them back to the chairman who reached
into another pocket and brought out a second set. These were too tight.
The chairman was prepared. He reached into yet another pocket and came up
with a third set. They fit perfectly. The speaker was elated and lost no
time in expressing his gratitude.
"You must be a dentist," he remarked, "and a good one at that."
"No, I'm sorry, I'm not," replied the chairman, "I'm only an undertaker."
15. "Doctor," a wife asked a renowned medical man, "can you tell me why it is
that some people are born dumb?"
"Why-" replied the medical man, "it is due either to some
congenital inhibition of the faculty of articulation, or to some anatomical
deficiency in the organs of vocalization."
"There, now," she remarked triumphantly, glancing at her husband,
"see what it is to have an education? I've asked Henry more than a hundred
times why it was, and all he could say was 'because they're just born that way.'"
A Morning Accident
One day an employee came into work with both of his ears
bandaged. His boss asked him what happened to his ears.
"Yesterday I was ironing a shirt when the phone rang and I
accidentally answered the iron instead of the phone!"
"Well," the boss said, "that explains one ear, but what
about the other?"
"They called back!"