The dreaded silly season isn’t quite with us yet but the mildly daft season which precedes it is upon us.
So now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of the party with some shaggy dog stories, which must have originated somwhere by some very clever people who remain unhonoured and unsung. And in some cases unshot.
For instance did you ever hear the one about the mardy eskimo who cruelly felt the cold, so he fitted his kayak with a paraffin heater?
He was busy spearing seals one day when he upset the heater and burned a nasty great hole in the bottom of the kayak. It sank and he drowned.
Sorry about that but shaggy dogs often come to a sticky end.
Anyway, the incident proved beyond all doubt that you can’t have your kayak and heat it.
The next one is named after Pythagoras, whom you may remember was an ancient Greek geezer who was very good at sums.
He heard of three Red Indian (sorry, native Americans) ladies who slept on three different kinds of animal skins.
The first squaw went to sleep comfortably wrapped up in an elk skin.
The second loved her buffalo skin. The third, wife of Uncas the far-travelled, was happy with the hippopotamus skin her old man had brought back from Africa.
Anyway, it came to pass that they all had children.
The first squaw had a daughter, the second had a son and the third had twins.
This enabled Pythagoras to prove beyond doubt that the squaw on the hippopotamus is equal to the sum of the squaws on the other two hides.
We will never know who convulsed his brain working these out. He may had done himself lasting damage.
But my money is on sub-editors on evening newspapers who used to spend most afternoons fomenting trouble for the management – or inventing excruciating puns.
I remember one headline from a big provincial evening. It concerned an Italian skydiver who was found after a very iffy landing to be nissed as a pewt. It declared, memorably, “High Tiddly Eyetie.”
Surely a wordsmith of genius could do something with that in the shaggy dog line?