|The Back Forty
By Roger Pond
Talk about discouraging. This morning I sorted through 20 year’s worth of columns looking for an idea, and I couldn’t find a single one.
Twenty years of writing and there’s not a useful thought in the whole mess. The closest thing to a poignant perception was a handwritten note at the top of one column.
The note asks, “Is the pig joke too old?”
This query appears on a 1984 column as a notation from my wife, who edited my columns in those days. My wife generally thinks all of my jokes are too old.
The note caught my eye because I heard a comedian tell the same story on TV last week. If it was too old in 1984, it must be ancient by now.
Besides, jokes don’t grow old. Jokes are like sick kids at a wedding reception: They may lose their punch, but they always survive.
Readers may recall that the pig story features a guy driving down the highway when he finds a pig along the side of the road. This man knew nothing about pigs and assumed the critter was lost; so he picked it up.
He gets the pig into the front seat of his car and drives into town, where he finds a policeman sitting in front of the coffee shop. He stops and describes his situation to the cop and asks what he should do with the pig.
“Well there aren’t any pig farms around here,” the policeman says. “But if I were you, I’d take it to the zoo.”
Our Good Samaritan gets back in his car and drives away.
The next day the same policeman sees this fellow driving down the street with the pig still in his car. The officer stops him and asks, “I thought you were going to take that pig to the zoo?”
“I did,” the man said. “And we had so much fun that today I’m taking her to the baseball game.”
So the question remains, “Is the pig joke too old?”
I don’t think so. As long as anyone laughs, it’s not too old.
I learned this from a county agent I used to know. This fellow was full of stories and would never hang up the phone without asking, “Did you hear the one about?”
He worked in several different counties during his 30-year career and always said he could tell the same old stories as long as he found new people to tell them to. Some of his jokes of the day were pretty good, and some of them weren’t.
The one I remember was, “Did you hear what happened to Tammy Faye Baker. The FBI got ahold of her and scrubbed all of that make-up off!
“And just as they suspected, it was poor, old Jimmy Hoffa!”
This farm news was published in the August 23, 2006 issue of Farm World, serving Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan and Tennessee.