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 Texas : Features : Columns : "Texas Tales"

Texas Jokes

by Mike Cox
Folks who are really good at conveying ideas and information often do so through story-telling. And if those stories are funny, it’s all the better.
Mike Cox

The other day, a fellow Baby Boomer with a lot of white on not much hair, offered a compliment and then made it all the better with a funny story that more memorably got his message across.

Not in his exact words, but here it is:

An idealistic young English teacher fresh out of college and full of enthusiasm gets a job at a high school in a small Texas town where football scores were better remembered than TAKS percentiles. She drills her students relentlessly on proper grammar. Near the end of the semester, seeking some feedback, she asked her class if they felt that had learned anything.

No one raised their hand so she asked again, assuring them she wanted their honest opinion of her teaching efforts.

Finally, a boy at the back raised his hand.

“Teacher,” he said, “you done good.”

Folks who are really good at conveying ideas and information often do so through story-telling. And if those stories are funny, it’s all the better.

Herewith a sampling of Texas humor you can use to make your own points:

A lynch mob is about to string up three cowboys for cattle rustling. They select a mesquite on the bank of the Rio Grande that looks big enough to hold up a body. When they knock the horse out from under the first cowboy, he’s so sweaty the noose slips off him and he falls in the river and swims off.

Same thing happens when the vigilantes try to hang to the second rustler. When the third cowboy has been placed on a horse and the noose adjusted around his neck, he asks if he can make a final statement. They say sure, and he blurts out: “Just make sure that dang noose is tight. I can’t swim!”

Judge to drunk: “What’s your full name?”

Drunk to judge: “Same as it is when I ain’t full.”

Driving through Texas, a Yankee tourist sees a real, live cattle rancher and stops to talk. “What’s the name of your spread?” he asks, trying to talk like a Texan.

“It’s the Bar Seven, Double O, Rocking J, Flying M,” replies the rancher.

“I bet you have a lot of cattle,” the visitor replies, scanning the landscape on the other side of the barbed wire fence.

“Nope,” replies the rancher, “Not too many of ‘em survive the branding.”

An optimist and pessimist are out duck hunting on the marshes between Port Arthur and the Gulf of Mexico. The optimist, who owns the bird dog, knocks down a mallard. The dog immediately climbs out of the boat, walks across the water, picks up the duck, walks back to the boat and climbs back in.

Soon another mallard sails low and the optimist nails it with equal facility. Again, the dog climbs out of the boat, walks across the water and brings back the duck. After a while, the optimist asks the pessimist if he had noticed anything unusual about his bird dog.

“Yeah,” the pessimist replies, “that dang dog can’t swim!”

A Harvard graduate inherits a large ranch in West Texas. Soon he discovers that someone is rustling his cattle. Further investigation points to the culprit being his neighbor. The Eastern-educated young man says he’s going to confront the adjoining landowner, but a friend warns him that the old cuss might just shoot him if he accused him of branding his calves.

Armed with that information, the aggrieved land owner opted to use some of his education and culture and wrote the following note to the suspected thief:

“Dear Sir: I’d very much appreciate it if you’d do me the favor of not leaving your hot branding irons lying around where my careless cattle can sit on them.”

A cowboy on the old XIT Ranch looked at his pay envelop and found that he had been shorted $2. The waddy complained to the foreman, who reminded him that only two weeks before, he had been overpaid by $2.

“Well,” the drover replied, “I was willing to overlook one mistake. But when it happens two times in a row, I figure it’s time to say something.”

© Mike Cox
"Texas Tales" May 6, 2010 column

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