Shaggy Shorts -- Short Punny Stories

     I have picked up here and there a number of short extended puns. I guess one should call them not-too-extended puns. However, some are groaners and worthy of embelishment into true Shaggy Dog Stories -- maybe somday I'll get to it. Many have been e-mailed to me, some have been told to me. If I have attributed something incorrectly here, please let me know and I'll correct it.

Table of Contents

The Cowboy

A tall, weather-worn cowboy walked into a saloon and ordered a beer. The regulars quietly observed the drifter through half-closed eyelids. No one spoke, but they all noticed that the stranger's hat was made of brown wrapping paper. Less obvious was the fact that his shirt and vest were also made of paper. As were his chaps, pants and even his boots, including the paper spurs. Truth be told, even the saddle, blanket and bridle on his horse were made entirely of paper. The sheriff walks in and of course he arrests him immediately -- for rustling.

Frogs 'n Flies

It seems there were two frogs sitting on a lily pad, when all of a sudden, a fly came along. One frog put out his tongue, ate the fly, and started laughing hysterically. Soon the other frog joined in the laughter.

Later in the day, the other frog ate a fly and the two frogs burst out in laughter. As time went on, the frogs enjoyed the flies so much that the sight of a fly would cause them to double up with pleasure (if it's possible for frogs to double up!). But of course, the most pleasure came when the fly was actually eaten.

A third frog hopped up to the first two and asked what was so funny. The first frog answered "Time." "Huh?" asked the third frog. The second frog explained:

"Time's fun when your having flies."

-- Thanks to the Giant Panda

The Little People

An anthropology grad student discovered a remote tribe of very tiny people, only 6 inches tall, known as the Putz. Knowing that nobody would believe him otherwise, he decided to capture some of them and bring them home. So he put several of them in a shoe box and brought them back to the US.

When he got the building where he was to meet with his professor, he decided that the Putz needed some fresh air and sun (after being cooped up in a shoe box for several days) so he left them on the steps to bask in the sun. Wouldn't you know, shortly after he went in, there was a fire in the building, and the alarms went off. All the people came stomping out of the building and smashed all the Putz. Moral: Don't bask all your Putz in one exit.

-- Thanks to Grieg Olson

The Playground

190,000,000 years ago, at the beginning of the Jurassic period, cave children loved to hop onto the back of a friendly Stegosaurus, whose distinctive high-arched body reached twenty feet.

One day, to his parents' horror, a toddler leaped off a precipice, oblivious to the fact that, seconds before, the great beast below had lumbered off. "Poor kid," said his father, shaking his head, "he hasn't got a Steg to land on."

-- Thanks to Grieg Olson

The Safari

A Czechoslovakian hunter and his French partner were in the midst of a safari when they happened upon two hungry tigers, a fierce male and his mate. A furious battle ensued, in which the hunters were killed. After which, each tiger ate a hunter. Far off atop a hill, a sheppard had witnessed the whole battle. He ran home, grabbed his high powered assault rifle, and returned to blow the tigers away. After descending the hill, he first cut open the female tiger, discovering the remains of the Frenchman inside.

"That settles it," said the sheppard, "The Czech's in the male."

-- Thanks to Grieg Olson

The Hated Swami

A butcher got along great with everyone in the neighborhood except a mysterious Swami. They hated each other! One evening, the Swami's pregnant wife had intense cravings for liver, and the Swami had to go into his enemy's shop. "Give me a pound of liver," he said to the butcher's clerk. The butcher whispered to the clerk from the back of the shop, "Here's our chance to get that no-good bum." Pointing to the clerk's thumb, he said, "Weigh down upon the Swami's liver!!!"

-- Thanks to Grieg Olson

Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My!

A king carried environmentalism too far when he prohibited hunting of any kind. Soon the realm was overrun with lions and tigers and bears.

"Oh My!" shouted the people. They revolted and threw the king out of the country. It was the first time the reign was called because of the game.

-- Thanks to Grieg Olson

The Revolting General

There was a Babylonian General who was declared a traitor for leading a revolt. He escaped one night and hid in an old Babylonian ziggurat, or temple, where he expected to find some of his associates.

He searched all over, but couldn't find them! So he figured he had better burn all the secret plans that were hidden in the ziggurat. As soon as the fire was going he threw in the first papers, and he was then promptly discovered and captured.

The moral of the story: WARNING! The searchin' General has determined that smoking ziggurats may be hazardous to your stealth!

-- Thanks to Grieg Olson

The Tale of Zelda and Oscar

The great German actress Zelda had done everything but for one thing; she'd never won an Academy Award. She was known for being terribly temperamental and choosy about her parts, but was also known to soften for the promise of the elusive award.

One day she was called by the great director, Meyer Schmidt, and asked to review a new script he had. She read the script and immediately rejected it. "Iss Nicht my type of script, Meyer, and I'll NOT do it."

"But HONEYKINS," he cried, "It's a WONDERFUL script."

"I didn't say it wasn't Vunderful or goot, but I'll not do it."

"But Sweetiekins, " Meyer continued, "with my direction and your acting and name, it will make us MILLIONS."

"More Geldt I don't need. Ich do nicht like the script."

"But, DARLING, don't you see, with my connections, I can almost GUARANTEE you an Academy Award with a good performance."

Zelda thought a moment then agreed and said: "Oh, I'd LUFF to be an Oscar Veener, Meyer ..."

-- Thanks to Grieg Olson

The Chess Players

There is the story of a group of chess enthusiasts, good friends all, who had a long day of chess matches. Late in the evening these friends went to the lobby of the large hotel where the matches were held, to talk talk a bit and rest. While their chat began quietly it gathered steam and got quite animated. They were telling each other of their successes of the day. One said he had won so many matches, another told of how he had beaten better players than himself. After a while of this, the hotel manager came over and summarily threw them all out, saying, "I can't abide chess nuts boasting in an open foyer".

--Thanks to John Baker

The Bank Robber

The financial situation had been very bad for several months. Because he was out of work and destitute, a young man decided to rob a bank. After days of observation, he chose a small satellite bank facility across the metropolitan area from where he was living. He spent several days planning every move. Late one dark moonless night he picked the lock on the rear door of the bank without difficulty.

He stealthily crept through the bank to the place where he knew the safe stood. Then his troubles began. While trying to pick the lock on the safe, he set off the burglar alarm, but his careful preparation paid off. He had brought along a furniture dolly. He quickly loaded the small safe onto the dolly and rolled it out to his van.

He drove to a friend's house and explained his problem. He asked if, in exchange for some of the loot, he might store the safe in the friend's garage for a few days. His friend assured him: "You can rest assured, your safe is secret with me!"

-- Thanks to Steve Poggio

The Lever

While hiking in the woods, Nate and Sam found this huge rock which had an old iron lever attached to it. Etched into the rock was the following inscription: "If this lever is pulled, the world will come to an end!" Nate wanted to pull the lever and see what would happen, but Sam, being a paranoid pessamist, greatly feared this! He said to Nate that if he tried to pull the lever, he'd shoot him! In a daring attempt, Nate lunged for the lever, and sure enough, Sam shot him! What is the moral of this story? Better Nate than lever!

-- Thanks to Jim Speirs

The History of the LIght Bulb

When Thomas Edison invented the lightbulb, he had trouble selling it. People just didn't trust this "new" way of making light. In order to promote his idea he decided to go around the country installing lights in different towns in order to drum up publicity. While in Oklahoma, Edison stopped by an Indian reservation and offered to put lights in any building they wanted. After much thought the Indian chief decided that he wanted lights in his outhouse, so he could see what he was doing at night. This made him the first man to wire a head for a reservation!

-- Thanks to Jim Speirs

The Whooping Crane

The curator of the Madrid Zoo was particularly interested in endangered species. He was so interested that he had acquired, through legal and sometimes shady dealings, several endangered species for the zoo. The people that visited the zoo were all very intrigued by these animals. Through the curator's efforts, people were becoming much more interested in saving endangered species.

It came to pass that the curator read in the zoological trade journals that there were only 34 Whooping Cranes left in all the world. He was instantly determined that the Madrid Zoo must have at least one before the breed became extinct. By some bribery or other, a Whooping Crane was located and dispatched via air freight, destination the Madrid Zoo. Upon hearing the good news, the curator sent his Special Assistant In Charge of Endangered Species to the Madrid Airport to retrieve the Whooping Crane. Alas, when the bird arrived at the airport, it refused to leave the plane. No amount of coaxing with food would cause the Crane to leave the plane. And so, the broken-hearted Special Assistant In Charge of Endangered Species returned empty-handed to the Madrid Zoo and reported to the curator, "Cranes in Spain stay mainly on the plane."

-- Thanks to Steve Bushore, but I had to elaborate on it, it was too short.

John Tate's Compass

This all reminds me of the unfortunate story of the British entrepreneur John Tate and his compasses. Sometime back in the mid-1800s a small-time British manufacturer named John Tate decided to go into the business of making compasses. He set up a factory, installed the machinery, hired some workers, and began turning out his first compasses. He had just completed his first batch of 500 compasses when someone finally pointed out that he had forgotten to mark which end of the compass was north. The compasses worked fine; you just didn't know which way was north and which was south. Needless to say poor Mr. Tate's compasses didn't sell; Tate went bankrupt, the factory closed, and the workers were laid off. But his memory lives on, since that time any compass where you're not sure which end is north and which is south has been known as a 'Tate's compass'.

The moral of the story, of course, is that he who has a Tate's is lost.

-- Thanks to rec.sport.orienteering (author unknown)

Just a Pain in the Neck

Once there was this Indian who found that every time he bent over to pick up the paddle for his canoe, he'd get this terrible crick in his back. He went to see the doctor the next time he was in town, and the doctor said, "If this happens to you again, simply grasp the paddle with both hands, shove the bottom of the paddle into the ground, and pull yourself up." The next day the Indian was reaching for the paddle when he once again got the crick in his back. Remembering what the doctor had told him, he grabbed the paddle and managed to slowly work his way up it. When at last he was able to stand up again, he was very surprised to find himself up a paddle without a crick.

-- Thanks to Lorrill Buyens

Kids will be Kids

Mother Lion and Father Lion had gone off hunting, and had told their two children not to wander away. However, a couple of small gnus wandered by, and the baby lions could not resist the temptation to try out their own hunting skills. They ran out, chased after the gnus, killed them, and started eating them.

Just as the baby lions were reaching the end of their meal, the parents appeared in the distance. One of the baby lions turned to the other, and said:

"That is the end of the gnus. Here again are the head lions."

-- Thanks to the Giant Panda

Star Wars and Chinese Food

Remember Mark Hamill from Star Wars? He doesn't like to eat in Chinese restaurants. He likes the food fine, but has a lot of trouble using chopsticks. Just when he starts to get really frustrated, this voice whispers in his ear, "Use the Forks Luke."

-- Thanks to Rhudiprrt, Prince of Fur

The Pooped Ump

The recent lock-out of the Major League umpires was making them all grumpy. After a tough day of walking the picket lines, one umpire returned home to find that his young boy wanted to play with him. As the tired ump was sitting in his favorite easy chair, the lad kept trying to crawl onto his lap. The umpire snapped, yelled at the boy and boy ran away crying.

This proves the old adage: The Son Never Sits on the Brutish Umpire.

-- Thanks to Td Striker

The Warship

A few years ago the nuclear aircraft carrier Enterprise was returning to its base at the Oakland-Alameda Naval Base when the ship's captain, misreading the tides, managed to run the carrier aground on the mudflats of San Francisco bay. True story. This event went down in history as being one of the finest examples of grounding the warship you walk on.

Dick Whittington's Cat

Dick Whittington was investigating warring factions of a Chinese secret society. Suddenly, his pet was taken hostage! When Dick reported the abduction to the police, the officers were unsympathetic. "What's the matter," they teased, "Tong got your cat?"

The Stamp Collector

Billy, a nine year old, took up the hobby of collecting stamps. He was very enthusiastic about it until one day his neighbours' kid saw his impressive collection and took up the hobby.

Billy complained to his Dad: "I don't want to collect stamps anymore! Andy has every stamp that I have!"

"Don't be stupid, son", his dad said. "Don't you know that imitation is the best form of philately."

-- Thanks to Murali

A Wildebeastly Problem

There was a small African tribe that had a terrible problem. Every morning a neighboring herd of Wildebeasts would stampede through the village, knocking down cooking pots, smashing water jugs and trampling the vegetable gardens. The Chief had tried everything, with no success. He built fences, but the Gnus ran right through them. He tried having his men scare the herd away but they always came back.

Finally, one morning the Chief woke up and didn't hear the thunder of hooves. He went out, and the Gnu herd was nowhere to be seen. They were gone at last! So, the Chief called all the people of the tribe together, and announed, "NO GNUS IS GOOD NEWS!"

Porpoises and Seagulls

Porpoises in Florida were observed to "age" at a much greater rate than porpoises in Carolina. Biologists noticed that gulls seemed to be associated with the porpoises in Carolina, so they captured a few to send to Florida. These scientists were arrested for transporting gulls across a border for immortal porpoises. Readers' Digest

-- Thanks to Bruce Friend

Ale's Well that Ends Well

Two workmen were sitting in a pub drinking and arguing about which pub they should visit next. "The Rose and Crown's the closest," said the first workman. "No, the Elephant and Castle is closer!" said the second workman. So they decided to go to the Elephant and Castle. On their way to the pub in question, a ferocious lion, which had escaped from the zoo, lunged at them, but was killed by anti-aircraft fire from a search plane overhead. Stepping over the beast's body, they went on to the Elephant and Castle, thereby proving that the shortest distance between two pints is a strafed lion.

-- Thanks to Bruce Friend

The Witchdoctor

A witch doctor kept the members of his tribe in virtual subjugation by means of powerful magic. Whenever one of the tribesmen tried to overthrow him, he would be turned into an apple! One night a group of tribesmen sneaked into his hut, opened his book of magic, learned the apple spell, and turned the witch doctor into an apple!

But the book warned that if the apple ever dried out and changed significantly in weight, it would turn back into the witch doctor, more powerful than ever! So every day the tribesmen placed the apple on a scale to make sure that its weight remained the same. Moral: A weigh a day keeps the doctor an apple.

The Gardeners Dilemma

In the wealthy suburbs of Palm Springs, a strange malady was striking the gardeners on the large estates. They were becoming very morose and depressed, and had to be hospitalized. The first signs of the disease were when they started complaining that the lawns were in terrible shape. A psychiatrist brought in to find out what was happening noticed that there were some gardeners who still remained cheerful and never developed the lawn-hating symptoms. The psychiatrist went over and over this group, trying to find out why they were immune and what they were doing differently. Finally, he noticed that the healthy gardeners always had garden twine in the wheelbarrow, whereas the sick gardeners carried the roll in their pockets. So then the cure was obvious: "Walk on, walk on, with rope in your cart, and you'll never knock a lawn."

A Lot of Bull

Once there was this cattle rancher who, after 3 years, finally found a buyer for his oldest steer Caesar. This new owner happened to be the rancher's closest neighbor, who lived on the other side of the river valley. "Men" the rancher said to his cowhands, "it's time to say our good-byes to this bull, and take him across the river". So the men roped Caesar, and walked him down to the river. They were about to put him on the boat to take him across, but the rancher's youngest nephew, who helped to raise Caesar, said, "Can we take him out for one last munch in his favorite meadow?", with a tear in his eye. The other hands said sure, and led him just off the riverbank for a snack. Well, with the day as nice as it was, all of the hands took a quick nap. 4 hours later, the rancher saw that the bull was still on his property and ran down into the valley. He shouted and cursed at the men to wake them up. Once everyone was standing, he said the beast should have been across long ago, "We've come to ferry Caesar, not to graze him!"

-- Thanks to Kermit

Sausage Puns

I heard about a horrible river dragon that lurked in the waters under the old London Bridge and destroyed passing boats, eating the crews and passengers. Finally, a group of brave knights lured it up onto the banks and, with great loss of life, managed to slay the horrible beast. While After the conquest, Sir Newt suggested that they grind up the foul beast and use it for food in the local orphanage to cut down on the wasteful cost of gruel. Thus Dicken's opening line..."It was the beast of Thames, it was the wurst of Thames."

A German farmer with relatives in the US sent them a package consisting of some pork sausages made from his old pig. When they complained that the package had not yet arrived, he wrote: "Cheer up. The wurst is yet to come."

The King's Gold

Once upon a time there was a king that lived at the bottom of a very tall hill. On top of the hill there was a pot of gold guarded by two golden fingers. One day the king ran out of gold. He thought it would be a good idea to take the gold from the top of the hill. It was a very dangerous job, so the king sent all of the knights in the castle. The knights rode up the hill. As soon as they reached the golden fingers, they died. The king was very sad, but he still needed the gold. The king decided to send the nobles. They rode to the top of the hill. As soon as they reached the golden fingers, they died. This made the king even sadder, but he still wanted the gold. The only people left in the castle were the pages who were training to be knights. The king really, really wanted the gold, so he decided to send the pages. They rode to the top of the hill. As soon as they went through the golden fingers, they got the pot of gold. They took the gold to the happy king. They all lived happily ever after. The MORAL TO THE STORY is: "Let your pages do the walking through the yellow fingers."

-- Thanks to Patricia Wooten

Mercy, Mercy

It seems that the Queen of England visited the city of Mercy Australia on the occasion of their centennial. During the celebration the Mayor offered the Queen a cup of their famous Koala Tea. Upon taking a sip, the Queen remarked " There is a hair in my tea" to which the Mayor replied " Yes - didn't you know? The Koala Tea of Mercy is not strained" !!

The Psychic

This psychic is jailed for false prophecies, but because he is only 4'7" tall and extremely slender, he is able to slip under the bars and make his escape. Newspaper headline the next day? "SMALL MEDIUM AT LARGE"

The psychic is really happy he escaped, and it back in business in a new location. This first customer, however is a plainclothesman who is looking for him. Before the psychic could do anything about it, the plainclothesman hit the psychic with his fist in order to subdue him. The plainclothesman was reprimanded for striking a happy medium.

-- Thanks to David W. Schermbrucker

The Watusi Chief

It was once the custom for Watusi chiefs to be inaugurated on wooden thrones. After the inauguration, the thrones were discarded. However, a certain tribesman, who had been elected chief several times, kept all his old thrones in the top part of his grass hut. One year, the weight of the thrones caused the hut to collapse, killing him. The moral being: He who lives in grass houses shouldn't stow thrones.

--- Thanks to Steve Poggio

Trouble on the Border

Have you heard the one about the tribe of Basques who lived in this valley? They heard that barbarian hoards were approaching, so they decided to lay a trap. They all waited in the hills at the entrance to the valley. When the barbarians passed by, they descended on them. Unfortunately, the barbarians had a lot more experience at warfare than the Basques did, and the Basques got slaughtered.

The moral: Don't put all your Basques in one exit. ---

-- Thanks to Steve Poggio

Down in the Sea

Fred Herring's best friend was Waylon Whale. They always played together. Their friendship was well known all over the ocean. One day Waylon decided that he would like to take a trip to the Gulf of California, but Fred, fearing earthquakes, decided not to go with him but to stay in Puget Sound.

A few weeks later in school, an angel fish class mate of Fred's asked "Do you know what Waylon Whale is doing down there in granola land (land of fruits, nuts, and flakes)?"

"No" replied Fred Herring, "I'm not my blubber's kipper."

-- Thanks to Steve Poggio

Lions and Seagulls

Dr. P. Lumb, quite proud of his academic degrees in genetics, physics, and marine biology. For the past several years, he has been working on a potion that eliminates the aging process. Before he tests it on a human subject, he chooses to test it on an animal with the mental capacities closest to a person, and so picks a dolphin. Within a week, he acquired three such animals.

His experiment is halted through many unforeseen conflicts. First, spies from a rival cosmetic company break into the premises, ransack the lab, and attempt to remove the vital vial of vim and vigor from the vault, but failed. The second problem occurred in solving the first. The doctor cheaply invests in a security system, the King of the Jungle, "Dan the Lion". The reason for this feline's discount was due to his very long cat-naps, which were 10 hours long. The doctor plopped the cat in front of the door and kept him there.

Lastly, the dolphins, after several treatments of the solution, communicated that they were having a craving for large sea birds. Lumb, feeling this was not something to be ignored, ventured into the night, captured some seagulls, and returned to the lab.

He opened the door, stepped over Dan, and suddenly the lights were flicked on by gun-totting police officers, brandishing their weapons toward Lumb. He was arrested for..."transporting gulls across staid lions for immortal porpoises."

-- Thanks to Kermit

--- lets try that one again

I had heard that a scientist was developing an anti-aging medicine derived from the pituitary gland of common seagulls. Because of the similarity in brain complexity, he was testing it on some dolphins that he kept in a swimming pool in his back yard. On the way home from a gull-collecting foray, the radio news announcer said that an old lion had escaped from the zoo. The lion was old and toothless, and did not really represent a threat, as it was probably just looking for a peaceful place to die. Citizens should be on the lookout but not be afraid. When the scientist got home, there one the porch was the lion. It had laid down on his porch and was sleeping peacefully. The scientist had to get his gulls to his dolphins immediately, so he gathered up the gulls, ran up the porch, jumped over the lion, and was arrested for transporting gulls across a stayed lion for immortal porpoises.

-- Thanks to Bruce Friend

A Ninth of Beethoven

A symphony was performing Beethoven's Ninth Symphony and things were getting a bit crazy. In the fourth movement, the lead violin player got some string and tied the conductor's music to the stand. Meanwhile, the basses had been sneaking shots of whiskey through the entire performance and were completely plastered by this point. The bass trombone player looks up from his latest issue of Field and Stream to ask his neighbor what in the world was going on. The guy turns to him and says "Well, it's the bottom of the ninth, the bases are loaded and the score is tied."


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