A Gleesome threesome
When people ask me about my favourite jokes, I go into rapid-response mode and say quickly, "Patrick Manning and Basdeo Panday." Regardless of the political affiliation of my audience, I invariably get a laugh. However, recently when someone demanded a "serious" answer, I had to think.
One that I like and use often in my training programmes is about a Trinidadian in New York. He worked in the construction industry putting up skyscrapers. He invariably had lunch with his two best friends, a Barbadian and a Jamaican.
One day, as they sat on a steel girder 50 floors high, the Barbadian opened his lunch kit and saw flying fish and cou-cou. He got angry. "Flying fish and cou-cou again!" he exclaimed. "If I get this one more day, I will throw myself from up here."
The Jamaican opened his lunch kit and found ackee and salt fish. "Ackee and salt fish again," he roared. "If I get this one more day, I will throw myself from up here."
The Trinidadian opened his lunch and found roti and fried potatoes. He shouted, "If I get this one more day, I will throw myself from up here."
Next day, the three men opened their lunches. The Barbadian said in disgust, "Flying fish and cou-cou again!" and jumped. The Jamaican took one disgusted look at his lunch, "Ackee and salt fish again" and jumped. The Trinidadian saw the roti and fried potatoes and he jumped, too.
At the joint funeral of all three men, the widows got together. The Barbadian's widow cried softly, "Ef I know he would do something so drastic, I would have given him something else." The Jamaican widow said, "If hi thought he would do that, I would have given him a homellete instead." The Trinidadian's widow said in frustration, "I can't understand why he do that at all. He used to fix his own lunch."
My second favourite joke is about the bell-ringers of Paris. After the departure of Quasimodo for Disneyworld, a young man went to the Bishop of Notre Dame and said he was the brother of Quasimodo and wanted the job of bell-ringer. The bishop asked the young man to give him a demonstration.
The young man walked to one side of the narrow parapet of the bell tower and ran straight at the huge bell, hitting it head-on. The bell rang loudly. A little dazed, the young man walked to the edge of the platform and again ran straight at the bell. It rang again, but left the young man even more dazed.
Undeterred, he ran at the bell again. This time, he was so disoriented that he overshot the tower and fell far into the street below. By the time the bishop reached the pavement, a crowd had gathered and an officious gendarme asked the bishop, "Do you know this young man?" "No," replied the bishop. "But his face rings a bell."
Following the passing of the unfortunate young man, lo and behold, another, almost identical in appearance, arrived claiming to be the brother of both Quasimodo and the other young man. He demanded an audition. He, too, sprinted at the bell and hit it head-on. He, too, became dazed after hitting the bell. And he, too, fell splat into the street beneath.
By the time the bishop arrived, a crowd had gathered and the same officious gendarme, notebook in hand, fiercely questioned the bishop. "Do you know this young man?" asked the gendarme. "No," replied the bishop, "but he is a dead ringer for his brother."
My third favourite joke is about this family that reared cows and sold the milk for a living. After many years, their bull died and they went and bought a new one, hoping that with its greater youth and virility, the new bull would cause milk production to increase even more. In fact, on that premise, they sought, and got, a loan from the Agricultural Development Bank to buy four new cows and a milking machine.
To their utter dismay, instead of rising, milk production actually declined. While they were unhappy and moaned about the possibility of losing the farm because of the debt to the bank, which was threatening to foreclose on them, the cows were even more unhappy and frustrated.
Eventually, the matriarch who headed the family decided to go to the wise woman of the village. The old lady asked the matriarch to explain the problem.
"Well," she said, "It's the bull. When a cow comes close to him on his right side, he moves away from her. When one comes on his left side, he shifts left, too. When the cow comes in front of him, he moves back instead of forward. When the cow comes behind him, he just jumps and runs away."
The old lady nodded her head knowingly and then asked, "Tell me sister, you bought that bull in Granville?" The matriarch was stunned. "You are really a wise woman," she said admiringly. "How did you know that I bought the bull in Granville?"
The wise woman nodded wistfully, "Because my husband from Granville."
Tony Deyal was last seen saying that politicians are not the only people who talk bull.