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Shaggy Dogs and the Mann Act - Mo's Journal
March 13th, 2008
04:26 pm

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Shaggy Dogs and the Mann Act
A "shaggy dog tale" is a joke that consists of a long build up and an anti-climactic punch line, which is often a pun constructed by making changes to a common phrase or expression. I loved them when I was a kid. I don't know why I found them funny, since they're really just stupid, but I did.

I knew what the Mann Act was prior to Spitzer's downfall, for two reasons. One is a movie I loved when it first came out, "The Great White Hope." The other is a shaggy dog story whose punchline used the Mann Act. Does anyone remember the joke? All I can remember is that it ends with something about transporting something or someone "across state lions for immortal porpoises." Even that bit makes me laugh but I can't for the life of me remember the joke itself. Anyone?

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From:talktooloose
Date:March 14th, 2008 01:35 pm (UTC)
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A zookeeper has been having trouble with the porpoises in their tank. They are fucking and cavorting non-stop and it's beginning to draw complaints from uptight parents. He hears from other zookeepers that a diet of seagulls can cool their libido so he has some shipped in.

They arrive in a big crate and he's carrying them awkwardly through the zoo when he comes across an obstacle in his path. It is the zoo's tame lion who wanders around freely and harmlessly and has now fallen asleep right in the zookeeper's path. He gets a good grip on his crate of birds and takes a big step over the sleeping feline.

Suddenly, the feds appear and arrest him. What's the charge?

CARRYING GULLS OVER A STAYED LION FOR IMMORAL PORPOISES!
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From:mofic
Date:March 14th, 2008 05:33 pm (UTC)
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That definitely wasn't it, since my porpoises were *immortal* but it's pretty good as such things go.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:April 9th, 2008 01:27 pm (UTC)
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There once was a young man who had just left the doctors office after learning he was dying. He was understandably very upset by the news. He decided to find out what alternatives to medicine might be available and the very same day headed to the city's main public library to investigate further. Tucked away back in a dusty corner was an obviously old book on unusual facts. Searching through it, he stumbled across an entry concerning an account of some immortal porpoises living in Central Africa. Deciding on the spot that this was his salvation, he soon was on his way across the ocean to deepest darkest Africa. Hating to fly, he'd booked passage on an outgoing ocean liner. As the ship neared the coast, he spied some sea gulls nurturing their broods along a craggy cliff. He soon thereafter disembarked and after acquiring enough provisions and equipment for an extended trek, headed into the interior in search of the immortal porpoises. After many days of slogging through interminable jungle, he came upon a clearing and saw what he took to be porpoises swimming within a pool in the center of the clearing. He excitedly rushed up to the pool and asked the porpoises (who amazingly enough could talk and indeed spoke excellent English) for the secret to immortality. One of the porpoises replied that yes they would give him the secret, but he would have to first do something for them. He of course replied with a resounding yes before he even knew what it was. The porpoise continued that they'd had a hankering for some baby sea gulls, which were in obvious short supply in Central Africa, and that they'd give him the secret of immortality if he'd bring them some baby sea gulls. He agreed and remembering where he'd last seem some, but discouraged because he knew it was a long way back, headed back to the coast to get the baby sea gulls. He finally arrived after days of travel and successfully gathered several of the birds without being pecked to death by the angry parents. After safely enclosing them in some cages he'd brought along, he again headed back to the clearing in the jungle. When he finally arrived at the clearing he was dismayed to find that a pride of lions was lounging around the pool blocking all access to the porpoises and appearing to be in no hurry to move on. Frantically pondering what to do he remembered the tranquilizer gun that he'd brought along. Taking it out and loading it, he calmly tranquilized all the lions. Elated he took the cages with the young sea gulls and headed toward the porpoises in the pool. Just as he was about to step over the sleeping lions, a game warden stepped out of the jungle and said to him. "Hold on there you can't do that!" "Why not?" said the man. "Because" said the game warden, "it's illegal to transport young gulls across sedated lions for immortal porpoises!"
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From:mofic
Date:April 9th, 2008 01:50 pm (UTC)
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Thank you, kind anonymous person!
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From:talktooloose
Date:March 14th, 2008 01:36 pm (UTC)
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Also, someone on my flist wrote this morning:

"Yes, it's now been confirmed what everyone suspected all along: Eliot Spitzer is a DEMOCRAT. That's right, when he hires a prostitute, he hires a woman."
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From:mofic
Date:March 14th, 2008 05:34 pm (UTC)
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What about Barney Frank?

Or McGreevey? Although I doubt McGreevey was paying for sex at those truck stops and rest areas...

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From:vorquellyn
Date:March 17th, 2008 08:54 pm (UTC)
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Sorry for being completely unrelated but I found something I thought you might find interesting.

http://www.strangehorizons.com/2008/20080303/howey-a.shtml
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From:mofic
Date:March 18th, 2008 02:47 am (UTC)
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Thank you! This was very interesting. Plus I'm hosting my book club in a couple of months and we'll be reading Stranger in a Strange Land so I might pass this on before Book Club Day. Thanks again.
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