Limerick

A young schizophrenic named Struther,
When told of the death of his brother,
Said: “Yes, it’s too bad,
But I can’t feel too sad —
After all, I still have each other.”

— Anonymous

“The Pig”

http://www.sxc.hu/photo/314407

It was an evening in November,
As I very well remember,
I was strolling down the street in drunken pride,
But my knees were all a-flutter,
And I landed in the gutter
And a pig came up and lay down by my side.

Yes, I lay there in the gutter
Thinking thoughts I could not utter,
When a colleen passing by did softly say
“You can tell a man who boozes
By the company he chooses” —
And the pig got up and slowly walked away.

— Anonymous

Rimshot

Bob Hope once told an audience, “The hotel room where I’m staying is so small that the rats are round-shouldered.”

The hotel manager threatened to sue, so Hope promised to take back the remark.

The next night he announced, “I’m sorry I said that the rats in that hotel were round-shouldered. They’re not.”

Gifted

‘Did you hear the story of the extraordinary precocity of Mrs. Perkins’s baby that died last week?’ asked Mrs. Allgood. ‘It was only three months old, and lying at the point of death, when the grief-stricken mother asked the doctor if nothing could save it. “Absolutely nothing!” said the doctor. Then the infant looked up pitifully into its mother’s face and said—absolutely nothing!’

‘Impossible!’ insisted Mildred. ‘And only three months old!’

— Henry Ernest Dudeney, Amusements in Mathematics, 1917

Rimshot

“I saw a big rat in my cook-stove and when I went for my revolver he ran out.”

“Did you shoot him?”

“No. He was out of my range.”

The Pun Book, 1906

“Curious Signs in New York”

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Image:Mulberry_Street_NYC_c1900_LOC_3g04637u_edit.jpg

One may see in the shop-windows of a Fourth avenue confectioner, ‘Pies Open All Night.’ An undertaker in the same thoroughfare advertises, ‘Everything Requisite for a First-class Funeral.’ A Bowery placard reads, ‘Home-made Dining Rooms, Family Oysters.’ A West Broadway restaurateur sells ‘Home-made Pies, Pastry and Oysters.’ A Third avenue ‘dive’ offers for sale ‘Coffee and Cakes off the Griddle,’ and an East Broadway caterer retails ‘Fresh Salt Oysters’ and ‘Larger Beer.’ A Fulton street tobacconist calls himself a ‘Speculator in Smoke,’ and a purveyor of summer drinks has invented a new draught, which he calls by the colicky name of ‘Aeolian Spray.’ A Sixth avenue barber hangs out a sign reading ‘Boots Polished Inside,’ and on Varick street, near Carmine, there are ‘Lessons Given on the Piano, with use for Practice.’ ‘Cloth Cutt and Bastd’ is the cabalistic legend on the front of a millinery shop on Spring street; on another street the following catches the eye: ‘Washin Ironin and Goin Out by the Day Done Here.’

— Frank H. Stauffer, The Queer, the Quaint and the Quizzical, 1882

Clarke’s Law

Clarke’s Third Law: Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

Benford’s Corollary: Any technology distinguishable from magic is insufficiently advanced.

Raymond’s Second Law: Any sufficiently advanced system of magic would be indistinguishable from a technology.

Sterling’s Corollary: Any sufficiently advanced garbage is indistinguishable from magic.

Langford’s application to science fiction: Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from a completely ad-hoc plot device.