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So, Is This Any Way to Pump Up the Economy?

Column by Jim Bishop

“Ridin’ along in my automobile … my baby beside me at the wheel …” reminding me that our vehicle is running on “empty.”

“I’m well aware of that,” I reply. “Problem is, we can’t afford to fill the tank. I’m just praying we’ll make it home.”

Chuck Berrily we roll along, watching the price-per-gallon figure increase daily, if not hourly, with a sense of anguish and resignation, perhaps it might temporarily relieve our corporate gas pains – whether (irr)regular, plus or supreme, you decide – if I offer some fuelish additives into your think tank, a few smiles across the miles, as it were …

A hermit in a battered jalopy was stopped for whizzing along at 80 miles an hour. The charge – recluse driving.

The only son of a billionaire was run over by a steamroller. The obituary notice referred to him as a compressed heir (that joke fell flat).

Hear about the preacher who joined the CIA and became a sacred agent? Or about the discouraged bricklayer who threw in the trowel (too many hard sayings, I guess).

Hear about the woman who struck her dressing table with an axe? It was quite a blow to her vanity.

She was suspected of stealing a brooch, but they couldn’t pin it on her.

If you lean over a balcony and cut open a rotten peach, you will see the pitfall (what a fruity observation).

You wouldn’t worry so much about what people think of you if you knew how seldom they did.

Timely prose:

Hickory dickory doc

The mice ran up the clock.
The clock struck one …

The rest escaped with minor injuries.

An ultra-conservative church was about to erect a new church edifice. The building committee, in consecutive meetings, passed the following resolution: (1) We shall build a new church. (2) The new building is to be located on the site of the old one. (3) The material in the old building is to be used in constructing the new one. (4) We shall continue to use the old building until the new one is completed. Pray tell?

Show me a poetic cosmetic salesman, and I’ll show you the Bard of Avon.

A little boy and his younger sister put on their parents’ clothes, knocked on the neighbor’s door and said: “Mr. and Mrs. Brown have come to call.” Taking it in stride, the neighbor lady said: “Do come in, Mr. and Mrs. Brown, and have some refreshments.” After serving two rounds of lemonade, the lady asked: “Would you care for more lemonade?” “No,” replied the little girl, “we have to go home now – my husband just wet his pants.”

Here’s more low-octane laughter …

“Welcome to Pago.”

“I thought it was Pago Pago.”

“It’s not half the place it used to be.”

“So you want to marry my daughter? Can you support a family?”

“Certainly, sir.”

“Good. There are seven of us.”

How about if I OPEC on someone else? These assorted daffynitions, for starters …

Acapulco: singing without instrumental accompaniment.

Airlines: what skywriters make.

Cloudbank: where one cashes a raincheck.

Exchequer: a retired supermarket employee.

Millennium: a thousand years of peace that church people like to fight about.

Nonchalance: a dentist who whistles while he works.

Nonconformist: one who prays with his eyes open.

Poise: The ability to face the guillotine without losing your head.

Schnapps: what a mean Dachshund does.

Scrap iron: giving up spinach.

Skunk: a community scenter; a two-tone kitty with fluid drive.

If you spend too much time in the coffee shop you’ll be latte for work (and maybe provide grounds for dismissal).

I spent a fortune on deodorant before I realized that people didn’t like me anyway. Guess I should have used Ventriloquist Deodorant – I still smell bad, but people think it’s the other guy.

The golfer guessed that his ball landed 20 feet off the fairway. Of course, that was just a rough estimate.

If a judge loves the sound of his own voice, expect a long sentence.
Frank and Ernest (you be frank and I’ll be earnest) are out in the woods hunting, when suddenly Frank grabs his chest and falls to the ground. He doesn’t seem to be breathing; his eyes are rolled back in his head.

Ernest whips out his cell phone, and calls 911. He gasps to the operator, “I think Frank is dead! What should I do?”

The operator, in a calm, soothing voice says, “Just take it easy, and follow my instructions. First, let’s make sure he’s dead.”

There is silence … then, a shot is heard.

Ernest’s voice comes back on the line, “OK … now what?”

Which segues right into our present situation: Here we are, still miles from home, on the roadside, out of gas. At least I finally have my own cell phone and can call for assistance.

Oh, great, the battery’s dead.

Guess I’d better get my 50-year-old, three-speed Phillips English bike out of storage. It’s a no-Schwinn situation.


Jim (Mad Max Motorist) Bishop is fuel of gas as public information officer at Eastern Mennonite University. You can say “tanks a lot” at