Stand Up, Stand Up

     For centuries, our ancestors  loved to tell jokes about doctors, lawyers, and priests, authority figures who spoke Latin.  I hope somebody will eventually take my suggestion and do a dissertation on the subject, but for now, they tell you you should never venture on a joke about religion unless you are really sure of your audience.  Be that as it might, here are a few really old jokes, as in previous Monday columns, with their punchlines pushed down to the Answer Section, since these are jokes you MUST have heard a hundred times, perhaps even from the pulpit.

     J1.The revival preacher was warning his audience of the dangers of following the wrong path in life.  “And on Judgement Day,” he intoned, “For Brothersd and Sisters, the wicked, there will be only wailing and gnashing of teeth!”

     A woman in the audience shouted, “I got no yeeth!”

     “Sister,” the preacher shouted, “(          )”

     J2.The preacher continued, moving to new heights.  “Would everybody in this congregation who WANTS to go to hell stand now!” he shouted.  Of course, no one stood up.  The preacher spread his hands.  “Would everyone who truly wants to go to heaven rise?”

     Everyone stood up except a small boy in the front row.  The preacher frowned at him.

     “Little brother,” he called, “Do you NOT wish to go to heaven when you die?”

     “Oh!” said the boy.  “(          )”

     J3.During an art period in Kindergarten, Tommy got very busy with his paper and his crayons.  “What are you drawing?” the teacher inquired.

     “A picture of God,” he replied.

     “But no one knows what God looks like,” the teacher objected.

     “Well,” said Tommy.  “(          ).”

     J4.One Friday, a man walked into the corner café and asked the waitress, “Any whale meat today?”

     “Whale meat?” she demanded.  “No!”

    “Is the shark steak good today?” he inquired,

     She frowned at him.  “We never have shark steak, sir.”

     He sighed.  “Well, then, I’ll have the bacon cheeseburger.  Lord knows (         ).”

     J5.Canute was lost in the forest.  It had started to rain, and night weas falling.  The woods got darker and darker.  The rain became a thunderstorm, and though the lightning gave him a little guidance, it was quickly gone and the thunder made him shake in his hiking boots.  He finally raised his face to the sky and called, “Lord, if it’s okay with you, (          ).”

     J6..The hunter had bagged his limit and was completely out of ammunition when he stumbled into the territory of a large bear.  The bear turned on him, growling, and, knowing he could not outrun the animal, the hunter dropped to his knees to pray, feeling he would at least be killed in a pious posture.  But nothing happened.  Opening his eyes, he found the bear, too, was kneeling, with its paws raised in prayer.

     “I had no idea the animals of the forest did such things,” he said.  “Brother, I’m grateful for your mercy.”

     “Hush,” said the bear, “(          ).”

     J7.In the days of the frontier, an itinerant preacher was striding through the woods from one settlement to the next when he, too, happened upon an angry bear.  He had no gun, but he did have a knife, knowing it would be an uphill battle.  “Lord,” he prayed, “If I am of any real use to You, help me get this knife in the right [place right quick.  And if You don’t feel; you can help me, Lord, (         ).”

     I am aware that you may have your individual ways of seeking ANSWERS, but here are these, if you need them.

    A1.Teeth will be provided!

     A2.I thought you were getting up a bunch to go right now!

     A3.They will now

     A4.I ASKED for fish!

     A5.I’d like a little more light and a little less noise

     A6.I’m saying grace.

     A7.At least don’t help that bear!

          In the days of the frontier, by the way, there were several versions of this story, and I would be remiss in my duties as an archivist of elderly laughs if I did not mention the one in which the preacher prays, “Lord, I try to do Thy work, and if I’m any use to Thee, let me get this knife into the bear’s vitals first thing.  If Thou hast determined that my time on Earth is done, then please do Thou similarly by the bear and let him kill me right away, without my enduring struggle and pain.  And Lord, if Thou’rt neutral in this one, just set Thee down on that stump and Thou’lt see the damnedest fight!”

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