Old Jokes Go On Forever

  And so we come, butternut squash latte, to the klast of our Old Joke Quizzes.  I know there are a lot of jokes we did not cover: the book I wrote way back in, well, the twentieth century, did not make space for really old joke poems, or really old dirty jokes, or any of the rich supply of ancient ethnic jokes.  But we have now reached the last of the jokes in the original book, leaving nothing but the scoring page (useful in the book but not in a series of columns) and the note about the author (you have probably written your own several times over since we started this trek.)

     I have already selected another book tio serialize on Mondays, a little piece of nonfiction which cost me months and many dollars and is now almost wholly obsolete in an era of Interwebs.  Of course, it was obsolete to begin with—that was the point—but…say, which Monday is this, anyhow?  We have a few old jokes to cover before we get to the obsolete material of the next book.

     As usual, the ANSWERS, if at all necessary, will be found below.

J1.”And therefore, we shall see that science has confidently predicted that the universe as we know it will come to its end in a mere three billion years.”

     “Good heavens, Professor!  HOW many years?”

     “Three billion.”

     “Oh, thank goodness.  I thought uou sad (          )”

J2.The great violinist had performed for virtually every audience in the world and, with his skill and vast repertoire, he had enthralled every audience.  Offers poured in, and he made more money than he could spend in a lifetime.  In Sweden, there was a debate over whether to create a Nobel prize for Music just for him, but in the end, they decided to award him the Peace Prize because of the way his performances made people think, and reflect.

     Exhausted, he decided to take a vacation, and booked a flight to Africa, to as remote a spot as he could find, where there would be no audiences, and no temptation to perform.  He took his trusty violin, of course, since an artist must keep practicing his art.

     Against all the advice of the travel agents and guides, he started to go on long walks into the great open savannah by himself.  He wanted to get as far from people as he possibly could and, besides, he enjoyed walking (though he did notice, after a while, that if he wasn’t walking in time to Flight of the Bumblebee, he was stepping along to the rhythm of Turkey in the Straw.)

     One day, it turned hot early, and he felt fatigue building when he was far from any refreshment.  He finished the last swallow in his canteen about the same time he spotted a distant water hole.  He had been warned about drinking the water, but he felt if he just took off his boots and bathed his feet, he would be able to make the trek back.

     He felt much better after just a few minutes, but he felt worse immediately when he heard a rustle in the long grass.  A full grown lion stepped into view, and spotted him at once.  The lion lowered its head and started forward.  The musician reached for his boots but, on second thought, took up his violin case, which was always with him.  Slowly and carefully, he drew the instrument and the bow into view, tucked the fiddle under his chin, and stroked the strings.

     The lion paused as if confused and then, to the violinist’s delight, settled on its haunches, listening to every note.  As the violinist continued the concert, two more lions joined it, followed, to the musician’s delight, but three antelopes, a giraffe, and a mother elephant and baby.  He noticed their heads were all nodding in time to the music, but ignored this, the same way he did when concertgoers started to hum along.  Once again, the power of music had been proven.  He felt he could now retire; he had played successfully before every kind of audience possible.

     This was a good thing, because his retirement came suddenly.  A panther, leaping over the heads of the other animals, landed on top of him and tore him tyo bits.  The elephants trumpeted with anger, the antelopes loped off, and the lion who had come up first roared, “How could you do that?  That was the most beautiful sound I’;ve ever heard!”

     The panther turned and said, “(          )”

J3.And how else could we finish a book of old jokes ecept with

     “Say good night, , Gracie.”

     “(          )”

And now, what you’ve all been waiting for, the last of the ANSWERS.

     A1.three million.


     A3.Good night, Gracie.

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