I never realized why I liked Shaggy Dog stories so much until I read that, in its original sense, a shaggy dog story is an extremely long-winded tale featuring extensive narration of typically irrelevant incidents, usually resulting in a pointless or absurd punchline. That sounds like the story of my life. Wouldn’t it be great to have your life story summarized, by some wind-bag in the future, as a shaggy dog story? I would be so flattered. In the meantime, here are some of the better ones going around.
Gemo numerus unus (Groaner number one)
Bob Hill and his new wife Betty were vacationing in Europe, as it happens, near Transylvania. They were driving in a rental car along a rather deserted highway. It was late, and raining very hard. Bob could barely see 20 feet in front of the car.
Suddenly the car skids out of control! Bob attempts to control the car, but to no avail! The car swerves and smashes into a tree. Moments later, Bob shakes his head to clear the fog. Dazed, he looks over at the passenger seat and sees his wife unconscious, with her head bleeding! Despite the rain and unfamiliar countryside, Bob knows he has to carry her to the nearest phone.
Bob carefully picks his wife up and begins trudging down the road. After a short while, he sees a light. He heads towards the light, which is coming from an old, large house. He approaches the door and knocks. A minute passes. A small, hunched man opens the door. Bob immediately blurts, "Hello, my name is Bob Hill, and this is my wife Betty. We've been in a terrible accident, and my wife has been seriously hurt. Can I please use your phone?"
"I'm sorry," replied the hunchback, "but we don't have a phone. My master is a doctor; come in and I will get him!"
Bob brings his wife in. An elegant man comes down the stairs. "I'm afraid my assistant may have misled you. I am not a medical doctor; I am a scientist. However, it is many miles to the nearest clinic, and I have had a basic medical training. I will see what I can do. Igor, bring them down to the laboratory."
With that, Igor picks up Betty and carries her downstairs, with Bob following closely. Igor places Betty on a table in the lab. Bob collapses from exhaustion and his own injuries, so Igor places Bob on an adjoining table. After a brief examination, Igor's master looks worried.
"Things are serious, Igor. Prepare a transfusion." Igor and his master work feverishly, but to no avail. Bob and Betty Hill are no more.
The Hills' deaths upset Igor's master greatly. Wearily, he climbs the steps to his conservatory, which houses his grand piano. For it is here that he has always found solace. He begins to play, and a stirring, almost haunting, melody fills the house.
Meanwhile, Igor is still in the lab tidying up. His eyes catch movement, and he notices the fingers on Betty's hand twitch, keeping time to the haunting piano music. Stunned, he watches as Bob's arm begins to rise, marking the beat! He is further amazed as Betty sits straight up! Unable to contain himself, he dashes up the stairs to the conservatory. He bursts in and shouts to his master: "Master, Master! The Hills are alive with the sound of music!"
Gemo numerus duos
There were three Indian squaws. One slept on a deerskin, one slept on an elk skin and the third slept on a hippopotamus skin. All three became pregnant and the first two each had a baby boy. The one who slept on the hippopotamus skin had twin boys. This goes to prove that the squaw of the hippopotamus is equal to the sons of the squaws of the other two hides.
Gemo numerus tres
Most people don't know that in 1912, Hellmann's Mayonnaise was manufactured in England. The Titanic was carrying 12,000 jars of the condiment scheduled for delivery in Vera Cruz, Mexico that was to be the next port of call for the great ship after New York City.
The people of Mexico eagerly awaited the first delivery and were very upset at the news of the sinking. They were so upset that they declared a national day of mourning which they still observe today.
The Holiday is known, of course, as: Sinko de Mayo.
Gemo numerus quattuor
Evidence has been found that William Tell and his family were avid bowlers. However, all the Swiss bowling league records were unfortunately destroyed in a fire, so we'll never know for whom the Tells bowled.
Gemo numerus quinque
A group of chess enthusiasts checked into a hotel and were standing in the lobby discussing their recent tournament victories. After about an hour, the manager came out of the office and asked them to disperse.
“But why?” they asked, as they moved off.
“Because,” he said, "I can't stand chess-nuts boasting in an open foyer."
Gemo numerus sex (Sex is six in Latin, so don’t yell at me)
These friars were behind on their belfry payments, so they opened up a small florist shop to raise funds. Since everyone liked to buy flowers from the men of God, a rival florist across town thought the competition was unfair. He asked the good fathers to close down, but they would not.
He went back and begged the friars to close. They ignored him. So, the rival florist hired Hugh MacTaggart, the roughest and most vicious thug in town to "persuade" them to close. Hugh beat up the friars and trashed their store, saying he'd be back if they didn't close up shop. Terrified, they did so, thereby proving that only Hugh can prevent florist friars.
Gemo numerus septem
There was a mad scientist, who developed a way of making bottle nosed dolphins live forever. The problem was, they had to be fed a diet of nothing but dead mynah birds. Being a mad scientist, he couldn't exactly get them on the open market, so he stole the birds from the local zoo.
One night, he was at the zoo making his regular "visit". As he was leaving with his bag of mynahs, he saw a lion, sleeping in the doorway he had to pass to leave.
Carefully and quietly, he stepped over the lion, reached the outside, and was immediately arrested. The police charged him with: "Transporting mynahs across a staid lion for immortal porpoises"
Gemo numerus octo
Larry the lobster and Sam the clam were best friends. One day, Sam died leaving Larry all alone. Eventually Larry died and went to heaven. The first person he met there was his old friend Sam.
Sam was doing very well in heaven. In fact, he even had his own nightclub. He invited Larry over for the evening, and asked him to bring his harp. Larry had a terrific time, and sat in with the band on his harp, jamming until the wee hours of the morning.
On his way home, Larry stopped in the middle of the heavenly road, and exclaimed, "Oh no! I left my harp in Sam Clam's disco!"
Gemo numerus novem
A great scientist had a large number of speaking engagements; so many he couldn't possibly get to them all. Being a genius, he decided to clone himself, and have the clone take half the engagements.
This worked out well for awhile, but the clone suddenly started spouting obscenities during several of his speeches. The scientist talked to him, telling him not to act this way, since he was acting as the great man's representative. The clone stopped, but not for long, and was soon using almost nothing but foul language in his speech.
Finally the scientist could take it no longer, and decided to get rid of the evil clone. He brought him up to the observation deck of the Empire State Building, and pushed him off.
When he got down to the ground floor, he was immediately arrested and charged with; Making an obscene clone fall.
Gemo numerus decem
This guy goes into a restaurant for a Christmas breakfast while in his hometown for the holidays. After looking over the menu he says, "I'll just have the Eggs Benedict."
His order comes a while later and it's served on a big, shiny hubcap. He asks the waiter, "What's with the hubcap?"
The waiter says, "Well, there's no plate like chrome for the hollandaise."
Post Scriptum – I added the Latin for a little class