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A bit of this and that...

Posted: October 6, 2011 10:57 a.m.
Updated: October 7, 2011 5:00 a.m.

From the mailbag:

• My friend Waylon Fortenberry of Chesterfield County tells me one of his buddies is a bagpiper who often plays at funerals. Waylon says the man was asked by a funeral director to play at the graveside of a homeless man who had no friends or relatives.

 “As I was not familiar with the area around Mt. Croghan, where the funeral was being held,” the man said, “I got lost and arrived nearly an hour late.

 “The funeral guy had obviously left and the hearse was nowhere to be seen. There were only the diggers left and they were eating lunch.

 “I went to the side of the grave and looked down and saw the vault lid was already in place. I started to play ‘Amazing Grace’ and the workers put down their lunches and gathered around.

 “I played my heart out for this man with no family and friends. After I finished, I headed for the car. Though my head hung low, my heart was full.

 “As I opened my car door, I heard one of the workers say, ‘I ain’t never seen nothing like that before and I’ve been putting in septic tanks for 20 years.”

• The English language has some wonderful collective nouns for various groups of animals.

We’re all familiar with a herd of cows, a flock of chickens, a school of fish and a gaggle of geese.

However, less widely known is a pride of lions, a murder of crows, an exaltation of doves and, presumably because they look so wise, a parliament of owls.

Now consider a group of baboons. They are the loudest, most dangerous, most obnoxious, most viciously aggressive creatures. And what is the proper collective noun for a group of baboons?

Believe it or not, it is a Congress.

That pretty much explains the things that come out of Washington.

• Proof that men have better friends:

A woman didn’t come home one night. The next morning she told her husband that she had slept over at a friend’s house. The man called his wife’s 10 best friends. None of them knew anything about it.

A man didn’t come home one night. The next morning he told his wife that he had slept over at a friend’s house. The woman called her husband’s 10 best friends. Eight confirmed that he had slept over, and two said he was still there.

• An elderly man in Florida owned a large farm that had a pond in the back. One evening he went down to spend a few quiet moments.

He grabbed a 5-gallon bucket to bring back some fruit from the orange trees he’d planted near the pond. As he neared the water, he heard voices shouting and laughing gleefully. As he came closer, he saw it was a bunch of college girls skinny-dipping in his pond.

He made the girls aware of his presence and they all went to the deep area. One shouted, “We’re not coming out until you leave.”

The old man frowned and said, “I didn’t come down here to watch you ladies swim naked or make you get out of the pond without your clothes on.”

Holding the bucket up, he said, “I’m here to feed the alligator.”

Some old men can still think fast.

• From Gilbert Gottfried: “Last night I was having a prison visitation dinner with Charles Manson and in the middle of dinner he turned to me and said, “Is it hot in here, or am I crazy?”

• And finally, poking fun at ourselves as southerners:

-- Did you hear about the guy from Alabama who passed away and left his entire fortune to his widow, but she can’t touch it till she’s 14?

-- Did you hear they raised the minimum drinking age in West Virginia to 32? Seems they want to keep alcohol out of the high schools.

-- What do they call reruns of “Hee Haw” in Louisiana? Documentaries.

--- Did you hear about the $3 million Arkansas state lottery? The winner gets $3 a year for a million years.           

-- A Georgia state trooper pulls over a pickup on I-20 and says to the driver, “Got any I. D.?”

The driver replies, “Bout wut?”

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