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jim jim at
Wed Jan 7 11:14:50 PST 2015

I haven't heard the ancient joke about the smuggler.

On 01/07/2015 11:00 AM, Rick Moen wrote:
> On Wed, Jan 7, 2015 at 10:17 AM, jim <jim at> wrote:
>> (top posting per Rick's basic message) My
>> underlying motive is to allow others to participate/
>> collaborate. About that, one of my favorite stories is [...]
> Thanks for that.
> Just for laughs, herewith, one of my favourite jokes about Getting
> Things Done.  This is probably one of the oldest jokes in world
> memory, alongside the one about the smuggler whom the border guards
> could never catch.  I've seen the following joke re-cast as a
> Nasruddin joke, as a peasants-of-Chelm joke, etc.
> Once upon a time in China, there lived an Emperor who owned a majestic
> white stallion, the finest beast in all his Kingdom. One night, a
> thief tried to slip in and steal the horse, but was captured by the
> palace guards and thrown into the dungeon.
> The next morning, he was dragged before the Emperor's court. "How dare
> you," bellowed the Emperor, "lay hand on my royal steed! Jailor, put
> this thief to death!"
> Immediately, the thief bowed deeply. "Your judgement is peerless and
> wise, O Emperor," he calmly replied, "but my life is of little value.
> I should offer you a gift before I depart. Your mount is quite a fine
> one, but if your eminence would spare my life for just a year and a
> day, I swear to you I can teach that horse to sing hymns!"
> The court burst in to laughter at that, but the Emperor was intrigued.
> After all, you didn't get to his high position by turning down freely
> offered gifts, no matter how far-fetched they seem. To the surprise of
> all, the Emperor quickly accepted the offer.
> As they were leaving the chambers, the jailor whispered to the thief,
> "You are a fool!"
> "I am a fool?" replied the thief, smiling broadly. "Much can happen in
> a year and a day. The King may die. The horse may die. I may die...
> and maybe the horse will learn how to sing."
> Just for additional laughs, I'll also offer one of my other
> favourites, one especially funny to me given experience as a
> copyeditor:
> The Mongoose Joke,
> If anyone hasn't heard the ancient joke about the smuggler, feel welcome to ask.

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