[Ads-l] Drama Critic Motto: Leave no turn unstoned

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Sun Dec 3 19:16:52 EST 2017

By God, Jim, I think you've got it!

I've noticed that you're not the commenter to refer to these as "shaggy-dog
stories." If this be true of these stories, then I've long suffered from a
mispreapprehension as to what a "shaggy-dog story" is, that it's a long,
usually-interesting story that ends with no point, the joke being on the
listener who has been paying close attention to the story with the
expectation that he will learn a new thing of which he had previously

Back in June of 1950, as I was graduating from grade school, a classmate
with the nickname, "Bo-Jigger", of unknown origin and meaning, asked me
whether I was aware that archeologists working in what was then known as
"Outer Mongolia" had discovered, in the Gobi Desert, a locked box made of
gold and ivory that they thought to to be at 5,000 years old. I wasn't
aware of it. So, Bo took the occasion to run it down to me.

"Blah-blah-blah-blah-blah-blah-blah ... Finally, they were able to get the
box open. And you know what they found in it?!"


"All this bull I'm shitting you."

Years later, in 1961, when I was in the Army, we were sitting around
discussing the various sexual, so-called "jobs," when Greg told us about
the "walkjob," which was new to the rest of us. Then, he mentioned in
passing the "sleevejob."

"You guys don't know what a 'sleevejob' is?! Well, I'll tell you. Tthere
was this guy whose wife promised him something very, very special for the
night of their first - or should that be, "one-year"? - anniversary as a
very special surprise: a *sleevejob*! 'Really?! What is that?!' 'Oh,
please! If I told you, then it wouldn't be a surprise, now, would it?' But
the guy couldn't wait!  He went everywhere trying to find out. But, at the
very mention of the word, 'sleevejob,' he was attacked and beaten to a pulp
by anyone who heard him! But this merely made him strive even harder to
find out!

"Blah-blah-blah-blah-blah-blah-blah ... Then, she told him, 'Now, go take a
shower and wait in the stall till I call you, OK?' 'OK!!!' Every second of
waiting felt like an hour. Finally, she called him, 'John, I'm ready!' John
sprang out of the shower stall! But, in his haste and excitement, he
stepped on the soap, slipped, fell, and broke his neck. He was killed

On Sun, Dec 3, 2017 at 5:21 PM, Jim Parish <jparish at siue.edu> wrote:

> Wilson Gray wrote, snipped:
>> I also have an even vaguer memory of a pun based on "throwing stones" and
>> "glass houses."
> I recall a shaggy-dog story involving a Pacific island ruler who wished to
> hide his ceremonial chair from Europeans, with the punch line "Those who
> live in grass houses shouldn't stow thrones".
> Jim Parish
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

All say, "How hard it is that we have to die!"---a strange complaint to
come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
-Mark Twain

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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