Neighbors: Some punny stories from a former Fargo man

A king was running low on cash after years of war. His last great possession was the Star of the Euphrates, the most valuable diamond in the ancient world.Desperate, he went to a pawnbroker to pawn it.The pawnbroker said, "I'll give you 100,000 d...

Bob Lind, Neighbors columnist
Bob Lind, Neighbors columnist

A king was running low on cash after years of war. His last great possession was the Star of the Euphrates, the most valuable diamond in the ancient world.

Desperate, he went to a pawnbroker to pawn it.

The pawnbroker said, "I'll give you 100,000 dinars for it."

"But I paid a million dinars for it," the king protested. "Don't you know who I am? I am the king!"

To which the pawnbroker replied, "When you wish to pawn a star, makes no difference who you are."


If you groaned over that pun, brace yourself, because here are more, sent to Neighbors long ago by Dick Hess, formerly of Fargo. He died some time ago. But belatedly, here are the punny stories he sent in:

Evidence has been found that William Tell and his family were avid bowlers. However, all the Swiss league records were unfortunately destroyed in a fire, and we'll never know for whom the Tells bowled.

A man rushed into a busy doctor's office and shouted, "Doctor, I think I'm shrinking!" The doctor calmly replied, "Now, settle down. You'll just have to be a little patient."

Back in the 1800s, the Tates Watch Co. of Massachusetts wanted to produce other products and, since they already made the cases for watches, they used them to produce compasses. But the new compasses were so bad that people often ended up in Canada or Mexico rather than at the place in the U.S. they wanted to go. This is the origin of the expression, "He who has a Tates is lost."

A Native American chief was feeling very sick, so he summoned the medicine man. After a brief examination, the medicine man took out a long thin strip of elk rawhide and gave it to the chief, telling him to bite off, chew and swallow one inch of the leather every day. After a month, the medicine man returned to see how the chief was doing. The chief, still ill, shrugged and said, "The thong is ended, but the malady lingers on."

The Viking explorer Leif Erickson returned home from a voyage and found his name missing from the town register. His wife complained to the local civic official, who apologized profusely, saying, "I must have taken Leif off my census."

A skeptical anthropologist was cataloging South American folk remedies with the assistance of a tribal medicine man who indicated that the leaves of a particular frond were a sure cure for any case of constipation. When the anthropologist expressed his doubt, the medicine man looked him in the eye and said, "It has often been observed in our tribe that with fronds like these, who needs enemas?"

A salute


Before we close off this column, Neighbors wishes to salute the folks who work for the Internal Revenue Service.

Neighbors just thinks that working there must become a bit taxing at times.

If you have an item of interest for this column, mail it to Neighbors, The Forum, Box 2020, Fargo, ND 58107, fax it to 241-5487 or email .

Opinion by Bob Lind
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