Thursday, January 12, 2006

Pete Hill, Where Are You?

Pete Hill is a guy my dad used to work with at the really big tire company. I never met him, but I owe him one. Several, actually. Pete apparently enjoyed word play as well as a good long yarn. He combined these into what my family calls 'Pete Hill Jokes.' Granted, the joke part may be a stretch. Here, you decide. (Keep in mind that Pete, and my father, drew these stories out for 20 minutes or more adding details, backtracking and sidetracking until the moment was just right for the big finish.)

(Disclaimer: I too add my own spin on these, as I think you should, so bear that in mind.)

Pete Hill Joke #1:
Once upon a time, a visitor to a European king spun stories about the amazing animals living in a far-away land called Africa. These animals were huge and ferocious and only the best of hunters could hope to survive against them. The king considered himself to be peerless in the realm and so decided that a trip to Africa was in order, posthaste.

Soon, the king found himself in a small village in Africa and there, he met the tribal chieftain. Being of a similar sort of man, they got along famously and the chieftain promised to take the king to the best spots to hunt. For several weeks, the chieftain and the king toured the countryside, shooting away at all the animals and the trees and the grasses and everything else unfortunate enough to move while in their view and the king had the most wonderful time he'd ever had.

Finally, it was time for the king to return to his kingdom and he thanked the chieftain profusely for showing him such a wonderful time. The king proclaimed that he owed a debt of gratitude to the chieftain and anything the chieftain wanted, the king would provide. So the chieftain thought about it for a while and he finally thought of something he really wanted.

The chieftain told the king that he wanted a throne, just like the king had in his courtroom and the king declared that it would be done. As soon as he returned home, he called for the finest craftsmen in the kingdom and ordered the creation of a throne, just as large and ornate and inlaid as his own, to be made for the chieftain.

In due course, the throne was completed and sent off to Africa for the chieftain and when it arrived, the chieftain had it placed in the center of his highest hut... where it promptly went through the floor and crashed to the ground below, in splinters.

The moral of this story: those who live in grass huts should not stow thrones.

What? You were expecting high literature? I love these things, although I have learned to position myself for a quick getaway before retelling them. It's amazing how quickly a crowd can become a mob.

Pete Hill Joke #2:
Once there was a man named Barney. Barney worked for a zoo, cleaning the aquarium walls of the dolphin enclosure and he had done this same job for years and years. Over time, he became very fond of the dolphins in the exhibit and he worried because the dolphins were getting older. He was very sad at the thought that one day, he would lose his dolphin friends.

Then, one morning as he was scrubbing the walls, one of the dolphins swam up to him. Screetch (the dolphin) waited for Barney to notice him and then Screetch spoke! He said to Barney, "You've been a good friend to us, Barney. But we don't want to get old. Would you help us?" And Barney said that of course, he would do anything he could for them.

So Screetch told Barney that the dolphins could live forever if only they had a certain food to eat. The kindly old man said that he would get whatever that food was so the dolphins would never die, and Screetch told Barney that if a dolphin eats a baby seagull, that dolphin will live forever.

Barney finished cleaning the walls and set off on his quest to find baby seagulls for his dolphin friends, and he had many, MANY adventures along the way for a baby seagull is not an easy thing to find, let me tell you! Finally, however, Barney triumphed and hurried back to the zoo with baby seagulls for the dolphins. It had taken a long time and he was worried about the dolphins, so as he rushed through the zoo to the dolphin enclosure, he took a shortcut through the lion cage. As he stepped over a sleeping lion, he was arrested.

The charge: Transporting young gulls over stayed lion for immortal porpoises.

I have others, but I do have to work at some point during the day so I'll save the others for later... when you least expect it and think it's safe.


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