[Ads-l] Not So Shaggy, 1919
adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Tue Aug 11 07:06:24 UTC 2015
In 1911 the "Fort Worth Star-Telegram" published an article about the
"shaggy dog" non-joke that was similar in structure to the 1906
article in "The Denver Post".
A banker named W. (Buck) Taylor enjoyed telling and retelling a
pointless tale about a man who was seeking the return of his dog. When
a candidate dog was brought to the man he replied "That is not my dog;
that dog is too shaggy." This punch line was considered very weak.
Mr. Taylor's fellow bankers decided to retaliate with a prank by
placing an advertisement in Taylor's name that offered a reward for a
Date: February 22, 1911
Newspaper: Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Newspaper Location: Fort Worth, Texas
Article: Sidelights on the Bankers
Quote Page 1, Column 5
Whenever anyone in the bankers'
party says "shaggy dog" they all
think about W. (Buck) Taylor of the
Boatmen's Bank, St Louis. Thereby
hangs a tale. In Tuesday's Star-Tele-
gram, there appeared an advertise-
ment on page eight appealing for the
return of a shaggy dog and asking
that it be sent to Buck Taylor at the
Westbrook hotel. At 5 o'clock, two ne-
groes with as many wondering shaggy
dogs tied to long ropes pages Mr. Tay-
lor and showing him the "ad" of which
he had no knowledge, called for the
promised reward. Forty bankers
roared in glee and the St. Louis man
Old Dog Story.
The point is that Mr. Taylor's hobby
is telling a story about a man adver-
tising for a dog and telling the boy
that brought one, "That is not my
dog; that dog is too shaggy." The
story is pointless and the teller tells
it over and over while the party that
has heard it thousands of times ap-
plauds with mirthless laughter. The
hotel incident was a simon pure frame
On Mon, Aug 10, 2015 at 4:26 PM, ADSGarson O'Toole
<adsgarsonotoole at gmail.com> wrote:
> In 1906 "The Denver Post" published an article about P. J. Faulkner
> who told his friends "the story of the shaggy dog". Faulkner insisted
> that the story was very funny, but his listeners were left glum.
> A person named "James Fernorten wanted a shaggy dog". A candidate dog
> was obtained; however, the dog was rejected because it was
> insufficiently shaggy, i.e., "though shaggy some, was not so shaggy!"
> Faulkner thought this punchline was hilarious, but his compatriots
> disagreed, and found the tale humorless.
> Faulkner's listener's retaliated by placing an advertisement in
> Faulkner's name for a "shaggy dog; must be either black or brown, but
> not too shaggy; will pay good price." Faulkner was driven from his
> house by the large number of dogs offered in response to the ad.
The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
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