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Back to the literature page. Last Updated 12/15/00

A Modern Fable

Aesop's fables and other traditional children's stories involve allegory far too subtle for the youth of today. Children need an updated message with contemporary circumstance and plot line, and short enough to suit today's minute attention span.

The Troubled Aardvark

Once upon a time, there was an aardvark whose only pleasure in life was driving from his suburban bungalow to his job at a large brokerage house in his brand new 4x4. He hated his manipulative boss, his conniving and unethical co-workers, his greedy wife, and his snivelling, spoiled children. One day, the aardvark reflected on the meaning of his life and his career and on the unchecked, catastrophic decline of his nation, its pathetic excuse for leadership, and the complete ineffectiveness of any personal effort he could make to change the status quo. Overcome by a wave of utter depression and self-doubt, he decided to take the only course of action that would bring him greater comfort and happiness: he drove to the mall and bought imported consumer electronics goods.

MORAL OF THE STORY: Invest in foreign consumer electronics manufacturers. -- Tom Annau

Making the rounds in Warsaw, 1987

An elderly man stands in line for hours at a Warsaw meat store (meat is severely rationed). When the butcher comes out at the end of the day and announces that there is no meat left, the man flies into a rage.

"What is this?" he shouts. "I fought against the Nazis, I worked hard all my life, I've been a loyal citizen, and now you tell me I can't even buy a piece of meat? This rotten system stinks!"

Suddenly a thuggish man in a black leather coat sidles up and murmurs "Take it easy, comrade. Remember what would have happened if you had made an outburst like that only a few years ago" -- and he points an imaginary gun to his head and pulls the trigger.

The old man goes home, and his wife says, "So they're out of meat again?"
"It's worse than that," he replies. "They're out of bullets."


An older student came to Otis and said, "I have been to see a great number of teachers and I have given up a great number of pleasures. I have fasted, been celibate and stayed awake nights seeking enlightenment. I have given up everything I was asked to give up and I have suffered, but I have not been enlightened. What should I do?"

Otis replied, "Give up suffering."


A doctor calls a patient into his office to give him his test results. "I have some bad news and some worse news," says the doctor. "The bad news is that you only have 24 hours to live."

"Oh no," says the patient. "What could be worse than that?"

The doctor answers, "I've been trying to reach you since yesterday."

Final Exam

Two students taking a chemistry class at the university were doing well in the class and thought they each had a solid "A" grade going into the final. Since they were confident of their grades, they decided to visit another college to party with some friends on the weekend before the chemistry final. Unfortunately, they got back too late to take their final. So they found their professor and explained that they had missed the exam because of a flat tire. The professor allowed them to make up the final the next day. When they returned for the test, the professor placed them in separate rooms, handed each a test booklet, and told them to begin. Opening the small booklets, the students found just one question.

"Which tire?"

"Take me out to the ball game..."

Jimmy and Joe were just about the biggest baseball fans in America. They went to some 60 games a year. They even made a pact that whoever died first would try to return in spirit form Well, Joe finally died one summer night. A few nights later, the sound of his voice woke Jimmy from a sound sleep.

"Joe, is that really you?" Jimmy asked.

"Of course it's me." Joe replied.

"I can't believe it!" Jimmy said. "So is there baseball in heaven?"

Joe's voice came out of the dark. "I have good news and bad news for you, Jimmy. Which do you want first?"

"Go ahead and give me the good news first, Joe."

"There IS baseball in Heaven." Joe replied.

"That's fantastic!" Jimmy said. "What could the bad news be?"

"You're pitching tomorrow night."

Monty Python, "The Book of Armaments"

And St. Attila raised the hand grenade up on high saying "O Lord bless this thy hand grenade that with it thou mayest blow thine enemies to tiny bits, in thy mercy" and the Lord did grin and the people did feast upon the lambs and sloths and carp and anchovies and orang-utangs and breakfast cereals and fruit bats and...

(skip a bit brother...)

Er ... oh, yes ... and the Lord spoke, saying "First shalt thou take out the Holy Pin, then shalt thou count to three, no more, no less. Three shall be the number thou shalt count, and the number of the count shall be three. Four shalt thou not count neither count thou two, excepting that thou then proceed to three. Five is right out. Once the number three, being the third number, be reached then lobbest thou thy Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch towards thy foe, who being naught in my sight, shall snuff it.


Before he became a hermit, Zarathud was a young Priest, and took great delight in making fools of his opponents in front of his followers. One day Zarathud took his students to a pleasant pasture and there he confronted The Sacred Chao while She was contentedly grazing.

"Tell me, you dumb beast," demanded the Priest in his commanding voice, "why don't you do something worthwhile? What is your Purpose in Life, anyway?"

Munching the tasty grass, The Sacred Chao replied "MU". (The Chinese ideogram for NO-THING.)

Upon hearing this, absolutely nobody was enlightened. Primarily because nobody understood Chinese.

The Fishing Trip

Bubba, Jim Bob, and Leroy were fishing out on the lake last November, and, when Bubba tipped his head back to empty the Jim Beam, he fell out of the boat into the lake. Jim Bob and Leroy pulled him back in, but as Bubba didn't look too good, they started up the Evinrude and headed back to the pier. By the time they got there, Bubba was turning kind of blue, and his teeth were chattering like all get out.

Jim Bob said, "Leroy, go run up to the pickup and get Doc Pritchard on the CB, and ask him what we should do".

Doc Pritchard, after hearing a description of the case, said "Now, Leroy, listen closely. Bubba is in great danger. He has hy-po-thermia. Now what you need to do is get all them wet clothes off of Bubba, and take your clothes off, and pile your clothes and jackets on top of him. Then you all get under that pile, and hug up to Bubba real close so that you warm him up.You understand me Leroy? You gotta warm Bubba up, or he'll die."

Leroy and the Doc 10-4'ed each other, and Leroy came back to the pier. "Wh-Wh-What'd th-th-the d-d-doc s-s-say L-L-Leroy?", Bubba chattered.

"Bubba, Doc says you're gonna die."

Big Mike

Looking for a cool one after a long, dusty ride, the drifter strode into the saloon. As he made his way through the crowd to the bar, a man galloped through town screaming, "Big Mike's comin'! Run fer yer lives!"

Suddenly, the saloon doors burst open. An enormous man, standing over eight feet tall and weighing an easy 400 pounds, rode in on a bull, using a rattlesnake for a whip. Grabbing the drifter by the arm and throwing him over the bar, the giant thundered, "Gimme a drink!"

The terrified man handed over a bottle of whiskey, which the man guzzled in one gulp and then smashed on the bar. He then stood aghast as the man stuffed the broken bottle in his mouth, munched broken glass and smacked his lips with relish.

"Can I, ah, uh, get you another, sir?" the drifter stammered.
"Naw, I gotta git outa here, boy," the man grunted. "Big Mike's a-comin'."



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