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TALL TALES & other lies...

24 Oct 98 - 05:12 PM
Bill D 24 Oct 98 - 06:22 PM
Joe Offer 24 Oct 98 - 06:57 PM
The Shambles 24 Oct 98 - 07:35 PM
Bill Clinton 24 Oct 98 - 09:27 PM
Art Thieme 24 Oct 98 - 10:37 PM
BSeed 24 Oct 98 - 10:44 PM
25 Oct 98 - 01:11 AM
BSeed 25 Oct 98 - 03:02 AM
Peter T. 25 Oct 98 - 11:06 AM
Peter T. 25 Oct 98 - 11:14 AM
Art Thieme 26 Oct 98 - 01:47 AM
Earl 26 Oct 98 - 09:57 AM
Art Thieme 26 Oct 98 - 10:03 AM
harpgirl 26 Oct 98 - 04:42 PM
dick greenhaus 26 Oct 98 - 06:27 PM
harpgirl 26 Oct 98 - 07:43 PM
Big Mick 26 Oct 98 - 08:24 PM
Barry Finn 26 Oct 98 - 09:15 PM
BSeed 26 Oct 98 - 09:24 PM
Art Thieme 26 Oct 98 - 10:33 PM
Zorro 26 Oct 98 - 10:34 PM
McMusic 26 Oct 98 - 10:45 PM
northfolk 26 Oct 98 - 10:58 PM
Art Thieme 26 Oct 98 - 11:12 PM
Moira Cameron 27 Oct 98 - 12:15 AM
Ritchie 27 Oct 98 - 04:30 AM
Art Thieme 27 Oct 98 - 11:35 AM
Bill D 27 Oct 98 - 11:38 AM
Art Thieme 27 Oct 98 - 11:50 AM
Bill in Alabama 27 Oct 98 - 11:54 AM
alison 27 Oct 98 - 05:27 PM
northfolk 27 Oct 98 - 09:39 PM
Moira Cameron 27 Oct 98 - 10:26 PM
Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca 28 Oct 98 - 12:32 AM
northfolk 28 Oct 98 - 02:38 PM
Art Thieme 28 Oct 98 - 02:48 PM
harpgirl 28 Oct 98 - 07:08 PM
Art Thieme 31 Oct 98 - 10:22 AM
Art Thieme 31 Oct 98 - 11:56 AM
Joe Offer 31 Oct 98 - 02:14 PM
Art Thieme 02 Nov 98 - 11:17 AM
02 Nov 98 - 02:53 PM
Art Thieme 04 Nov 98 - 04:04 PM
rich r 04 Nov 98 - 10:01 PM
The Shambles 05 Nov 98 - 02:46 PM
Art Thieme 09 Nov 98 - 02:02 PM
Art Thieme 29 Nov 98 - 12:32 AM
Art Thieme 03 Dec 98 - 02:01 PM
Art Thieme 15 Feb 01 - 10:04 PM
Art Thieme 16 Feb 01 - 12:07 AM
katlaughing 16 Feb 01 - 01:17 AM
Naemanson 16 Feb 01 - 08:50 AM
Uncle_DaveO 16 Feb 01 - 11:21 AM
Naemanson 16 Feb 01 - 11:32 AM
kendall 16 Feb 01 - 10:51 PM
katlaughing 16 Feb 01 - 11:01 PM
Mary in Kentucky 16 Feb 01 - 11:24 PM
katlaughing 17 Feb 01 - 12:32 AM
Naemanson 17 Feb 01 - 01:01 AM
Amergin 17 Feb 01 - 02:00 AM
Naemanson 17 Feb 01 - 06:45 AM
Mary in Kentucky 17 Feb 01 - 09:31 AM
Art Thieme 17 Feb 01 - 11:18 AM
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kendall 17 Feb 01 - 03:22 PM
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Abby Sale 20 Feb 01 - 09:23 AM
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kendall 20 Feb 01 - 01:55 PM
Jim Krause 20 Feb 01 - 03:26 PM
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Subject: TALL TALES & other lies...
From:
Date: 24 Oct 98 - 05:12 PM

Click for the 'PermaThread™: List of all joke threads'


TALL TALES---lies told on purpose are a distinctly American (no offense intended Canadians) art form. On the frontier it was a way to belittle the immensity of nature and laugh at the dangers of wilderness life. Johnny Carson used to say, "Whew, it sure is cold today" and the audience used to say, in unison, "How cold was it??" Then Johnny might say something like, "It was so cold I saw a fellow chipping his dog off a fire hydrant!"

(rim shot from the drummer)

So we in this modern world carry on the tradition. Sometimes they're long and drawn out; sometimes just one-liners(as above). Topics like the WEATHER, larger than life BIG PEOPLE & HEROICS (sometimes originally created for advertising purposes like Paul Bunyan), GEOGRAPHY (specific areas generated tales to make living in those places easier--laughing at the hard stuff was essential), FANTASTIC CREATURES AND ANIMALS- (They caught deer on cold nights by putting salt on the rails. Their tongues would freeze to the rails and hold 'em for us.), GENERAL TALL TALES (He was so old his birthday cake set off the smoke alarm. or---My uncle had a wooden leg---from the knee up. His wife died of terminal slivers. or---I see that Captain Hook died today. It was jock itch.)

Yep, some cross the line these days, and one cannot tell 'em from jokes. Exageration and cleverness seem to be the only real criterion.

This started in another thread & I figured it was time to branch off.

Have Fun,

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: TALL TALES & other lies...
From: Bill D
Date: 24 Oct 98 - 06:22 PM

many years ago, the annual liars club contest was won with this one..

"We had a grandfathers clock SO old, that the shadow of the pendelum swinging back & forth had worn a hole in the back of the case"


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Subject: RE: TALL TALES & other lies...
From: Joe Offer
Date: 24 Oct 98 - 06:57 PM

1/5/97 BURLINGTON, Wis. (AP) - A man won the Burlington Liar's Club annual competition last week by reporting a child was so small that his missing-person photograph would be confined to a half-and-half dairy carton.

The organization was established in the 1920s by newspaper reporters fabricating humorous fables for a slow-news holiday. This year's contest attracted about 300 entries from throughout the world, it said.

Stories are judged on how logical and realistic they sound prior to the punch line, club spokesman John Soeth said.

The 1996 winner is John Bertschler, of Ohio.

"He told us about a child that was in his son's grade in school. He was so small that they figured if he was ever lost, his picture would start appearing on cartons of half-and-half," Soeth said.

A person's gotta know about stuff like this, dontchathink, Art? Actually, Art, it may be only in the Midwest that people tell lies for fun. In the rest of the country, people are dead serious about it - they do it for what they call "expediency."
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: TALL TALES & other lies...
From: The Shambles
Date: 24 Oct 98 - 07:35 PM

Is this open to Bill Clinton?


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Subject: RE: TALL TALES & other lies...
From: Bill Clinton
Date: 24 Oct 98 - 09:27 PM

oh, it wouldn't make any difference, as I never was able to tell lies. My long devotion to the public good just sort of makes me compulsively tell the truth in all things. But, thanks for asking, Mr. Shambles


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Subject: RE: TALL TALES & other lies...
From: Art Thieme
Date: 24 Oct 98 - 10:37 PM

Jimmy Carter is a very respected man today---and justifiably so. But during his administration I heard this---probably from a Republican:

Every time Jimmy Carter tells a lie he grows another tooth!


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Subject: RE: TALL TALES & other lies...
From: BSeed
Date: 24 Oct 98 - 10:44 PM

I don't think telling lies for fun is limited to the Midwest, Joe. When I was much younger, I used to lie like hell hoping to convince girls to join me in a little fun. --seed


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Subject: RE: TALL TALES & other lies...
From:
Date: 25 Oct 98 - 01:11 AM

Seed, That's a wholly different form of recreational "lying".

Frank i.t.s.


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Subject: RE: TALL TALES & other lies...
From: BSeed
Date: 25 Oct 98 - 03:02 AM

Right you are, Swamp-dog. As Clinton said "it depends on what you mean by 'is'"--in my post the key word needing definition was "for." Lying for the reason that lying itself is fun vs. lying for the reason that the lying will result in fun. Or maybe the word needing definition is "lying." [lying being the present participle of the verb to lie; laying being the present participle of the verb to screw. pedantically yours, --seed


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Subject: RE: TALL TALES & other lies...
From: Peter T.
Date: 25 Oct 98 - 11:06 AM

A LA RECHERCHE DE BLUES PERDUES, CHAPTER VII

WELL, how I learned to play.... Well, back where I came from we had no instruments, no music, no notes. My daddy had half a C clef that he picked up from a circus carny, but he knew no more what to do with it than a nun in a pickle factory. Anyway, we were out lynching horse thieves one day, and it happened that we were lynching someone real heavy and someone real light, and I got the idea of plucking the ropes, and when I found that they gave off different sounds, apart from the moaning and groaning of course, then I was off. We had lots of horse thieves in those days, and because my daddy worked for the county, we were able after that to arrange them in sequence. They'd string 'em up pentatonic, and I'd pluck away, and the neighbours would dance. Hard times, but good times too.

One day a travelling salesman for Victrola came along the ridge, and sold my daddy a pile of records that he used as collars for his collection of rattlesnakes. He'd just stick their necks through the hole, and they'd be stuck, hissin and carryin on, but causing no harm. Now, every once't in a while one of them rattlers would work its way part of loose, and start chewing with its teeth along the edge of the record. And that's how I first heard Bessie Smith. Soon I got so as I could pivot those rattlers, and give the records a spin around, and with their mouths open as a natural resonator, you got fine sound, fine sound, as good as these CD's today. A whole world of music opened up to me -- Caruso, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Jimmie Rodgers.

But I was telling you about how I learned to play...


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Subject: RE: TALL TALES & other lies...
From: Peter T.
Date: 25 Oct 98 - 11:14 AM

dang this thing. clearin' my throat, I guess, hard work speaking over the lump in my throat as I look across the blue ridges of memory back towards the cold mountains of my first sweetheart, and her hardscrabble washboard...now, where was I?


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Subject: RE: TALL TALES & other lies...
From: Art Thieme
Date: 26 Oct 98 - 01:47 AM

Peter T,

Fangs a lot; we do appreciate it.

Salish Indians, on the coast of Oregon, managed, to capture BIGFOOT! They took him down south & lashed him to a redwood tree. Then they built a huge fire all around him and burnt him to a crisp. The sparks that flew like a huge lit sparkler from his burning body turned to mosquitos as they flew into the air.

And they've been biting the people ever since.


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Subject: RE: TALL TALES & other lies...
From: Earl
Date: 26 Oct 98 - 09:57 AM

Her teeth were so bucked she could eat corn on the cob through a picket fence.


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Subject: RE: TALL TALES & other lies...
From: Art Thieme
Date: 26 Oct 98 - 10:03 AM

She was so thin that when she swallowed a watermellon seed 3 guys left town.


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Subject: RE: TALL TALES & other lies...
From: harpgirl
Date: 26 Oct 98 - 04:42 PM

He was so fast he could turn off the lights and get under the covers before the room got dark


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Subject: RE: TALL TALES & other lies...
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 26 Oct 98 - 06:27 PM

There was this wealthy, well-respected folksinger...


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Subject: RE: TALL TALES & other lies...
From: harpgirl
Date: 26 Oct 98 - 07:43 PM

He was so cheap he would make his kids take off their glasses if they weren't lookin' at anything...


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Subject: RE: TALL TALES & other lies...
From: Big Mick
Date: 26 Oct 98 - 08:24 PM

He was tougher than a cheap steak.


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Subject: RE: TALL TALES & other lies...
From: Barry Finn
Date: 26 Oct 98 - 09:15 PM

He had a dog so fast that as the express train bolted by & set fire to the switches the dog would piss on them as he pass them by to put them out & that was the only reason that the train beat the poor mut. Now can someone tell me about this here mans' cat. Barry


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Subject: RE: TALL TALES & other lies...
From: BSeed
Date: 26 Oct 98 - 09:24 PM

Yo' mama's so fat that she goes through a door one cheek at a time. --seed


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Subject: RE: TALL TALES & other lies...
From: Art Thieme
Date: 26 Oct 98 - 10:33 PM

On the Mississippi River, it got so cold so quick one day that all of the frogs sitting on all the lilly pads got taken by surprise. They jumped but too slow. They got their heads under water qnd the river froze solid. There must've been half a million frogs legs stickin' out o' the ice! We took a lawn mower---harvested 'em----sold 'em to a French restaurant. Made a ton of cash doin' that.

Art


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Subject: RE: TALL TALES & other lies...
From: Zorro
Date: 26 Oct 98 - 10:34 PM

My wife's cooking was so bad that we use to pray after we ate.To punish the children we would make them eat their dinner or they couldn't go to bed.


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Subject: RE: TALL TALES & other lies...
From: McMusic
Date: 26 Oct 98 - 10:45 PM

He was so fast, it was said he was quicker than a hiccup!


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Subject: RE: TALL TALES & other lies...
From: northfolk
Date: 26 Oct 98 - 10:58 PM

Last week, up home, it got so cold, that we had to jump start the beagle to get him to chase a rabbit! It was an unseasonable cold snap that happened so quick that when the mercury in the thermometer dropped, it went down so fast it pinned a rat to the floor.... The slogan at work is that there is NO story that couldn't stand a little improvement...paraphrased, a lie is just as good as the truth if you stick to it....Well I gotta go, it's nearly deer hunting season, and we all got to cleanse our systems of every stray hint of prevarication...don't want to be confused with fishers. One last thought, this thread got me thinking of an old friend, no weight problem with her, she was thin, in fact she was so skinny, her pajamas had just one stripe.


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Subject: RE: TALL TALES & other lies...
From: Art Thieme
Date: 26 Oct 98 - 11:12 PM

Went down to 40 below one winter in Illinois. So cold the chainsaws wouldn't run. My dad needed to cut a tree down for firewood; he took a beaver by the scruff of the neck and stuffed an icicle up it's butt. That got the teeth to chatterin' and we used that old, cold beaver just like a chainsaw. Was better than the chainswaw, actually.


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE SMOKE HOUSE ON THE KYLE (Ted Russel)
From: Moira Cameron
Date: 27 Oct 98 - 12:15 AM

This one's for you, Art. A genuine Canadian Tall Tale.

THE SMOKE HOUSE ON THE KYLE
by Ted Russel
(Recorded by David Parry, in "Wind that Tramps the World.")

Tall are the tales that fishermen tell when their summer's work is done;
Of the fish they've caught and the things they've shot and the crazy risks they've run.
But never did a fisherman tell a tale so tall by half a mile,
As Grandpa Walcott told that night in the smoke house on the Kyle.

With 'baccy smoke from fifty pipes, the atmosphere was blue.
There was many a "Have another, boy!" and "Don't mind if I do!"
'Til somebody suggested that each of us should spin
A yarn about some circumstance he'd personally been in.

Well, then tales were told of gun barrels, bent to shoot round a cliff;
Of men thawed out and brought to life that had been frozen stiff;
Of bart pots carried out by flies; of pathways chopped through fog;
Of Uncle Jim who, barefoot, kicked the knots off a twelve-inch log.

The loud applause grew louder when Uncle Mickey Shea
Told of the big potato he'd grown in Gander Bay.
Too big to come through the cellar door, it lay at rest nearby--
Until, one rainy night that fall, the pig drowned in its eye.

And sitting in the corner, his grey head slightly bowed,
Sat Grandpa Walcott--84--the oldest of the crowd.
And upon his weather-beaten face there gleamed a quiet grin
When someone said, "Hey Grandpa! 'Tis your turn to chip in!"

"Oh, leave me out boys--Oh thanks, don't mind if I do.
Well then, lads, if you'll insist, I'll tell you one that's true.
'Tis a story about jigging squid I'm going to relate,
As happened in Pidgeon Inlet in 1888.

Me, I was just a bed-lubber a-fishing with me dad,
And prospects for the summer was looking awful bad.
The Capeland school was over, and it hadn't been too bright,
And here was August, almost gone and not a squid in sight.

Day after day we searched for squid, 'til dusk, from crack of dawn.
We dug up clams, and cocks and hens 'til even these were gone
And still no squid! 'Til in despair we gave it up for good,
And took our gear ashore and went a-chopping firewood.

One day we were in the woods with all the other men--
A-wondering if we'd ever see another squid again--
And father broke his axe that day, so we were the first ones out,
And as we hit the landing, we heard the women shout:

"Hurry, boys! The squids is in!" so we jumped aboard our boat
And headed out the harbour, the only crew afloat.
Suddenly our keel began to scrunch, like skating over skids.
"Father," says I, "We've run aground!" "My boy," says he, "Them's squids!"

"The Jigger!" says he, "Heave it out!" So quick as a flash I did
And as soon as it hit the water, 'twas grappled by a squid.
I heaved it in, and what do you think, as soon as it hit the rail,
I'm blessed if there wasn't another squid, clung to the first one's tail!

And another one after that one! And so on, in a chain.
I tried to shake them loose, but father said, "You foolish thing!
You've got something never seen before in Newfoundland!
So drop the jigger; grab the string and haul hand over hand."

Well, we hauled that string of squid until our boat could hold no more.
Then we hitched her in the risings and headed back for shore.
The men were coming from the woods--They heard the women's call--
But father said, "Don't hurry boys! We've squids enough for all!"

Well, Uncle Jimmy took the string, and when he had enough,
Neighbourlike, he handed it to Skipper Levi Cuff.
And so, from stage to stage that string was passed the whole night long,
'Til morning found it on Eastern Point with Uncle Billy Strong.

Now, Uncle Billy, thoughtful-like, before he went to bed,
Took two half-hitched of that string round the grump on his stage head.
Next morning, Hartley's Harbour heard the news and up they come
In a trap skiff with three pairs of oars to tow the string back home.

When Hartley's Harbour had enough, later that afternoon,
That string went from place to place until it reached Quirpon (pronounced 'kire-poon')!
Now, just what happened after that, I don't exactly know.
But some do say it crossed the straits and ended in Fort Eau.

Yes tall are the tales that fishermen tell when their summer's work is done;
Of the fish they've caught and the things they've shot and the crazy risks they've run.
But never did a fisherman tell a tale so tall by half a mile,
As Grandpa Walcott told that night in the smoke house on the Kyle.

HTML line breaks added. --JoeClone, 21-Jul-02.


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Subject: RE: TALL TALES & other lies...
From: Ritchie
Date: 27 Oct 98 - 04:30 AM

There were these 3 men and you know how men are they'll brag about anything and obviously after a while it turned into a lying contest...

The American said " Once I saw an airplane crash and by myself, alone, on my own, without anybody's help I managed to run across to the wreckage and drag everybody out one by one and save them all.

"Hey" said the Canadian "That's nothing . I did exactly the same but I had to swim up Niagra Falls to do it"

"That's right " said the Englishman " I saw him !"

love and happiness

Ritchie 'The Flash of Thunder'


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Subject: RE: TALL TALES & other lies...
From: Art Thieme
Date: 27 Oct 98 - 11:35 AM

Moira, That's beautiful! Thanks for posting it. David was a gem. I did pick up that recording on cassette from his wife. Ian Robb published the Parry address to order from in Sing Out after David's passing, but I can't find it now.

ZORRU---Where there's smoke, there's dinner!!

My uncle had a mule and it died one day.So he skinned it. TWO DAYS later he awoke to find the mule walkin' around without it's skin. Seems uncle had been a bit premature in thinking the mule was dead. He solved the problem by tossing a few sheepskins over the sad animal---he fastened 'em with blackberry thorns. That mule is just fine now. Matter o' fact, this year we picked 20 quarts of blackberrys off her---and we sheared 30 pounds o' wool too!


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Subject: RE: TALL TALES & other lies...
From: Bill D
Date: 27 Oct 98 - 11:38 AM

well, I believe everything above...except the one about the wealthy and respected folksinger..(I think Dick Greenhaus is ahead)

Now I am going to turn off this computer and go get some work done and not peek at Mudcat again 'till I'm all caught up with my chores.


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Subject: RE: TALL TALES & other lies...
From: Art Thieme
Date: 27 Oct 98 - 11:50 AM

bird called the pinnacle grouse. Only has 1 leg & 1 wing. Holds on to a dead tree & flies in circles 'til it builds up enough speed to fling itself over to the next dead tree.


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Subject: RE: TALL TALES & other lies...
From: Bill in Alabama
Date: 27 Oct 98 - 11:54 AM

Not unlike the Hoopo Bird of southeast Tennessee, which flies in ever-diminishing circles until it disappears into its own fundament.


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Subject: RE: TALL TALES & other lies...
From: alison
Date: 27 Oct 98 - 05:27 PM

Hi all,

Can we include chat up lines here?

You know the "Mine's this big." and "I can last all night" sort of thing. *grin*

Slainte

alison


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Subject: RE: TALL TALES & other lies...
From: northfolk
Date: 27 Oct 98 - 09:39 PM

Lord god, laddie, I was up on the mighty AuSable, when I heard the thrashing and crashing of another creature rapidly approaching through the dense underbrush. I concealed myself the best I could and watched as the mighty stag of the forests big brother, emerged from the thicket and walked to the waters edge, to sip from the crystal stream. Oh it was a sight so scenic, a small dock, a secluded beach, a mighty river, a huge deer... and just as the animal bowed to drink, a twig or some other debris fell from his antlers, into the stream just as his reflection emerged. With a start he bolted, and as he did he hooked the line from a rowboat in his antlers, and charged off into the forest, dragging a twelve foot aluminum boat behind. This was just too good to be true, so I set up a blind and hunted that very spot for the next few days. On the fourth day a louder noise than the previous event brought me to attention and I quietly waited to see the cause...within minutes, the same mighty buck came into the clearing, and would you believe...pulling the same boat, with a beautiful and contended looking doe sitting right inside it.


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Subject: RE: TALL TALES & other lies...
From: Moira Cameron
Date: 27 Oct 98 - 10:26 PM

For Art, and anyone else who's interested: I think you can order David Parry albums from Borealis Recording Group in Toronto. There e-mail address is: brc@interlog.com

Do you know, some of these stories sound an awful lot like the verses to Martin said to his Man--I say a maid milk a bull, and with every pull a bucket full.

Who's the fool now???


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Subject: RE: TALL TALES & other lies...
From: Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca
Date: 28 Oct 98 - 12:32 AM

Nonsense. We have plenty of liars and tall tale tellers in Canada. Our politics are rich with them. But our liars generally lie about mundane things like not raising taxes or what they are going to do with the budget surplus, rather than about sex. Canadian politicians haven't engaged in sex since one of them got into trouble in Germany in the early 1960's, so if they lied about sex they would lie by saying they actually had some recently.

BTW, Art, I was at The Ark in Ann Arbor, MI last Sunday seeing Archie Fisher. Excellent concert but due to some peculiar city or state law it seemed that everyone present could buy a beer except me. I must have looked too Canadian. Anyway, I happened to look at the row of Ann Arbor Folk Festival posters on the wall and see that you were the MC one year.


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Subject: RE: TALL TALES & other lies...
From: northfolk
Date: 28 Oct 98 - 02:38 PM

FYI-Tim, The Ark operates under a Private club license to sell beer and wine, which allows members to purchase, not non-members, a problem quickly alleviated by paying for a membership, $15.00 single, or going with a member...as for politicians, you can tell when a US pol is lying, his lips will be moving. I have been lucky enough to have attended all but the first two Ark folk festivals, including the early ones that were all day events. Art was the MC at one, and regaled the audience with tales far superior than what we are swapping here...I recollect Art telling of a Beagle he owned that was such a good dog, that when it got on the scent of two rabbits at the same time, it split in two, and ran down both of them!!!


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Subject: RE: TALL TALES & other lies...
From: Art Thieme
Date: 28 Oct 98 - 02:48 PM

Tim,

Yep, that's true. Got to spiel & sing in-between all the performers. Arlo, Doc, John McC., many others. 'Twas fun.I saw Dave & Linda Siglin in Memphis this last Febr. for the Folk Alliance bash. Joe Hickerson & Michael Cooney ane yours truly used to do a night o' song swapping at the Ark every so often...REAL FOND MEMORIES!!!Thanks for reminding me, for sure.

I went to see Archie once with the Clancy Bros.---he only got to do ONE SONG. Many had gone just to hear HIM! was sad. He is a grand artist....Art


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Subject: RE: TALL TALES & other lies...
From: harpgirl
Date: 28 Oct 98 - 07:08 PM

Art,
Did you see any pictures of Anya's tyke? I used to babysit her when she was a wee one....are the Siglin's still playing softball on Sundays? harp


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Subject: RE: TALL TALES & other lies...
From: Art Thieme
Date: 31 Oct 98 - 10:22 AM

I put up the "Split Dog" tale yesterday but it got lost in posting/transmission somehow.

Max, is there a chance it's somewhere on your side? Very sad! Leaves one feeling like Miles O'Brien on STAR TREK whenever he'd kill someone while transporting them somewhere!

Art


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Subject: RE: TALL TALES & other lies...
From: Art Thieme
Date: 31 Oct 98 - 11:56 AM

northfolk--Here's that dog story! But now you'll know---THE REST OF THE STORY!!

I had a farm in Africa!---er, no, that's wrong. Gonna start over.

I had a hunting dog that was such a good hunting dog that we had to close one side of his nose with a clothespin with a little set-screw on it to accomplish that. One day we forgot to put the clothespin on the dog and, wouldn't ya know, that was the very day there were 2 rabbits hangin' out in the old hollow tree! One side of the dogs nose was smellin' one rabbit and the other nostril was smelling the other rabbit. He got the strangest look on his face and all of a suddon, POW---he split himself in two. Half of the pup went after one rabbit and the other half went after the other rabbit! Later, 1/2 came trotting back and licked my left shoe. The other 1/2 came back & licked my right shoe. Well, I grabbed to 2 halves o' my favorite hunting dog and stuck him together--tied him up quick in my shirt 'cauuse I had no bandages with me at the time. I ran home with him and put him in front of the television to keep him entertained. I tuned in ORAL ROBERTS--the healing evangelest. Figured if that didn't heal him up, nothing would! (Once I had an Oral Roberts record, but the hole in the center kept healing shut! We never did get to hear it.)

I fed him every day. Gave him water too. At one point he stuck his head out and ate a hundred dollar bill I'd left on the chair there; really ticked me off.

He sat there healing for 3 years. I know it was 3 years 'cause the Chicago Bulls won their first 3 championships during the time he sat there, and he loved to watch Michael & Scotty, but not Dennis until the day Dennis had a blue dog sculpted into his hair. (Said it was "Old Blue")

Blue got to squiming around so bad that I finally figured it was time to untie my shirt and see how he was doing. V-E-R-R-Y C-A-R-E-F-U-L-L-Y I untied the shirt, opened it up, and let it fall. The dog just LEAPED out o' there---ran around the room so fast he was just a blur. He was up on the walls he was runnin' so fast! When he finally did slow down, and I got a chance to take a real look, I was NOT prepared for what I saw!

Apparently, I'd been in such a hurry to put the 2 halves of him together, that I put him together WRONG!! Oh, he'd healed up fine, but he had healed with 2 legs sticking straight up in the air. The other 2 legs pointed down! He was the strangest looking pup I'd ever seen in my entire life. But he never had to quit chasing them rabbits! He'd run after 'em with 2 legs, and when he got tired, he'd flip over and run on the other 2 legs. That way he could rest one set o' legs while he was running on the other pair. After that, we never knew if he was comin' or goin'. And my uncle used to say that this was the first dog in the history of the world that could bark at both ends!

And if I was in front of an audience of banjo players or singer/songwriters they'd generally be from New York and didn't know a tall tale from a lightbulb joke, and I'd have to stick a punch line on the end to help them know when to react. I'd already set that up by mentioning earlier that the dog had eaten a hundred dollar bill. Then I told them:
Well, I wasn't one to let a hundred dollar bill go without a fight---so I fed him 5 full bottles of mineral oil!! But he couldn't pass it; 'cause it was counterfeit!!!

Now, this tale would get told in many different ways---by me and by others---it depended on the situation. If I was singing for railroad buffs, I'd have Abe Lincoln's funeral train steaming majestically back to Illinois with the body of the slain president. Unfortunately, the train rolls over MY OLD UNCLE'S DOG---splitting him in two!
Today being Halloween, I'd tell it about Lincoln's ghost train, which still can be seen here every Halloween, cutting the dog in half (and cutting off his tail too). Then, later, after the tale is over and done, I'll mention that I KEPT THE TAIL and AFTER THE DOG DIED YEARS LATER, his GHOST cme back looking for the tail. So I took the dog's ghost to the liquor store, 'cause that's where they retail spirits!!!

When Richard Chase, the great tale teller from the Southern mountains, told the tale, he'd have his HAY KNIFE accidentally slice the dog in half. But when I told it that way to young kids, they would generally run out o' the room screaming!

What I needed was a GENTLE way to get the dog in two pieces! And then I heard another separate tale about a hunting dog that was such a good hunting dog that they had to close off one of his nostrils to keep him from chasing 2 rabbits at one time! Now I had a gentle way to split the dog in two!

This is a pretty good example of how the folk process works---the oral tradition!! Sometimes its opportunistic necessity that causes one to change a song or story to fit a given situation or audience---or geographical audience. And that audience only hears the tale told THAT WAY. Whenever they repeat it, the'll try to tell it the way they heard it. Sometimes they'll forget parts of it and "create" on the spur of the moment. That's why it's exciting for me to be involved in the treasure hunt that folk collecting can be, and generally, IS. (This was on the first LP I did for Kicking Mule in the '70s. (Outright Boldfaced Lies--live at the Old Town School of Folk Music) I told it in the middle of the song "Old Blue" so I could stop & rest my hands some. KM-150 -- now owned by Fantasy Records & long gone...

Enjoy (I hope),

Art


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Subject: RE: TALL TALES & other lies...
From: Joe Offer
Date: 31 Oct 98 - 02:14 PM

I hope you didn't have to type that whole thing twice, Art.
Good, though....
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: TALL TALES & other lies...
From: Art Thieme
Date: 02 Nov 98 - 11:17 AM

Joe,

Are you trying to tell me that the story is "dung", "merde", "feces" etc. ??

Utah Phillips, of course, was sayin' that without sayin' it in his great "Moose Turd Pie" tale!! In our house, Carol and I always say, "It's good though" when we want to say to each other that something is really crap while not letting that fact on to someone we don't want to hurt.

Art


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Subject: RE: TALL TALES & other lies...
From:
Date: 02 Nov 98 - 02:53 PM

Yeah, I thought of that too, Art, but I bet Joe has too many nice bones in his body to say that about your neat two dog tail.
As I recall, the guys on the trail all hate to cook, so they make a rule that the next one to complain about the cookin' gets to take over the job. Which works out fine, except for the cowboy who was the cook when the rule came down. So after a while on the job, with the food getting worse and worse, and no one saying anythin', he's getting pretty frustrated. And then, one day as he's cookin' up the soup, he notices all these cow chips, just lying around, not doing anything, and he has an inspiration.
Most of the crew manages to choke down the soup, but the last guy in ladles himself out a bowl and with a howl, spits out his mouthful of soup, and yells, "This soup tastes like s**t!
Everyone turns and looks at him, and he realizes what he's done, and adds, "....good, though."
Blessings,
Barbara


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Subject: RE: TALL TALES & other lies...
From: Art Thieme
Date: 04 Nov 98 - 04:04 PM

BARBARA, JOE---
It sure is easy for me to sound serious as all hell when I'm trying to be funny in this brave new cyberworld. I guess I should've drawn a HUGE SMILE THING.

FOR CERTAIN, I WAS TRYIN' to be funny!!!!

Love to all,

Art


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Subject: RE: TALL TALES & other lies...
From: rich r
Date: 04 Nov 98 - 10:01 PM

One of my my favorite tall tales related by Art concerns the travails of Jim Bridger and the huge snowfall. It's another long one and I don't have it written down. Maybe Art does (hint here) although it is not fair to press Art to enter these lengthy Tomes without Tunes. Given what happend the fissioned fido story that Art fired out and got routed temporarily to some cyber hinter land, I worry that Art might be suffering from a case of tome aim poisoning.

rich r


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Subject: RE: TALL TALES & other lies...
From: The Shambles
Date: 05 Nov 98 - 02:46 PM

Well this is all fine and dandy but I still want to know who was playing on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights. (HUGE SMILE THING).


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Subject: RE: TALL TALES & other lies...
From: Art Thieme
Date: 09 Nov 98 - 02:02 PM

Friday & Saturday & Sunday at Big John's were various bands. Sometimes Mike Bloomfield's own band, sometimes Jimmy Cotton, Then the Goldberg--Miller Band (Steve Miller & Barry Goldberg), or Siegel--Schwall Band------Paul Butterfield Band (with Bloomfield later)---Buddy Guy also & Junior Wells...etc.


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Subject: RE: TALL TALES & other lies...
From: Art Thieme
Date: 29 Nov 98 - 12:32 AM

Someone was lookin' for this thread. Here 'tis!!!


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Subject: RE: TALL TALES & other lies...
From: Art Thieme
Date: 03 Dec 98 - 02:01 PM

My uncle was a really tough ol' bird. He'd swallow raw eggs and then drink 3/4 of a gallon of vigorously boiling water to cook 'em!


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Subject: RE: TALL TALES & other lies...
From: Art Thieme
Date: 15 Feb 01 - 10:04 PM

I could've sworn I stuck the ANNIE CHRISTMAS story in this thread---but I guess not...

Art


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Subject: RE: TALL TALES & other lies...
From: Art Thieme
Date: 16 Feb 01 - 12:07 AM

A.C. is at the Riverboat Songs thread.

Art


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Subject: RE: TALL TALES & other lies...
From: katlaughing
Date: 16 Feb 01 - 01:17 AM

Thanks forsrefreshing this thread, Art! I love reading the various ways you did that dog in two, after first hearing it on your KM album!

Here's a CLIQUEY to Annie Christmas.


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Subject: RE: TALL TALES & other lies...
From: Naemanson
Date: 16 Feb 01 - 08:50 AM

It seems that everybody claims to have big mosquitoes no matter where I go. I listen to their stories and grin to myself. I would never think of contradicting anyone. But I grin when I think of what happened one fall while I was out hunting partridges.

Now you in the south and west of here may call them grouse but they are and always have been partridges since before they were hunted with cartridges. But I'm not one to grouse about names...

Anyway, I was out hunting partridge with the 12 guage side by each. I wandered down the tote road, enjoying the day, confidant that mosquito season was over. As I strolled round a curve in the tote road I stopped in horrified surprise. There in the road was a moose. I could tell right away that the poor thing was in trouble for it had two mosquitoes on it. I could have saved him. People have been known to take down a mosquito with bird shot from a 12 guage but I wasn't gonna try it. You want to be real careful. Mosquitoes charge when wounded.


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Subject: RE: TALL TALES & other lies...
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 16 Feb 01 - 11:21 AM

Speaking of mosquitoes, I'm from Minnesota. Some people laughingly say that the mosquito is Minnesota's state bird, but that's not really true. We do have some awful big mosquitoes, though.

My Grandad had a farm in Koochiching County many years ago, and one day he was out plowing the north forty with a horse-drawn plow when two mosquitoes swooped down and picked up the horse and flew away over the hill with him, dragging the plow behind.

Grandad ran after them as fast as he could, following the furrow left behind, and ran up over the hill. But when he got there they had already eaten the horse, and were pitching horseshoes to see who got the harness!

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: TALL TALES & other lies...
From: Naemanson
Date: 16 Feb 01 - 11:32 AM

Yeah our mosquitoes are pretty big but the blackflies stay pretty small. What they lack in size they make up for in population. It's not unusual to pass the time talking to a cloud of blackflies only to find out that the person inside that cloud is a stranger.


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Subject: RE: TALL TALES & other lies...
From: kendall
Date: 16 Feb 01 - 10:51 PM

I played The Ark once back in the early eighty something. Did it with Sandy Ives, a famous Maine folklorist. If you want to hear a really tall tale, I recommend Beginners Luck by me.It's on my new CD.

I knew a woman who was so fat, she ran away from home, and the cops made her take the truck route.

Mooseturd Pie is an authentic Maine lumber camp song from the Wild River area of western Maine. Jigger Jones was a real Maine tall tale teller. I got the story from Joe Hickerson, formerly of the Library of Congress.

Rodney Dangerfield said his wifes cooking was so bad, the flies in the yard took up a collection to get the screen door fixed.


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Subject: RE: TALL TALES & other lies...
From: katlaughing
Date: 16 Feb 01 - 11:01 PM

My great-granddad really did engineer and supervise the digging of the railroad bed in Glenwood Canyon in Colorado, runs alongside the Colorado River.

My dad just recently told me the story of how he did it in such a fast and thorough manner. Said ole great-granddad uncorked a bottle of good whiskey, threw it down a strategiccally located gopher hole and those gophers had the whole thing dug all the way from Glenwood Springs to Eagle in nothing flat!


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Subject: RE: TALL TALES & other lies...
From: Mary in Kentucky
Date: 16 Feb 01 - 11:24 PM

kat, do you remember that scene in the book The Virginian where the cowboys are telling tall tales? As best I remember, The Virginian suckers Trampas in on his story about frog legs. It seems that the real art of telling a tall tale is to start out with a truth and then gradually get more ridiculous until the listeners know they've been had, but never quite realize when the line is crossed.


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Subject: RE: TALL TALES & other lies...
From: katlaughing
Date: 17 Feb 01 - 12:32 AM

Oh, yes, Mary, I remember it, and I think you are right, that and tell them with deadpan delivery. The way my dad tells it, you never know what hit until a couple seconds after, then BAM! Then, ya scratch your head and say "Now, wait a minute!?"

The story I remember the best from the Virginian, because it had the most impact I suppose, was them swapping the babies at the dance. The Old Goose Egg Ranch still stood in the days when I was growin' up in Wyomin', in fact it was just down the road a bit from where we lived and my big brother had been out there exploring with his buddies. I was quite impressed with that and also with The Virginian Hotel which we travelled past once on the way to Grandma's in Denver. It is in Medicine Bow and still stands and they rent out rooms to this day.

Anyway, mom and dad used to play for dances and I remember first hearing that story when I was about knee high to my dad's pickup truck wheels and being a tad worried everytime I fell asleep at one of those dances. I was sure I'd get swapped, or had already been swapped, as I was the only redhead in the family. For a long time I thought I must've been adopted, then I found out my other grandma had been a red-on-the-head, too.

Then I found out they'd really just washed my hair a lot when I was little with the red clay of the surrounding hills, as they wanted me to fit in, when we moved back to Cawl-ah-ra-duh, which means "red" in Spanish. See, I was the only one not born in Colorado and my family, well....it was a matter of pride, ya see?

kat

(Oh, well, my first tall tale, needs a little work, but it was fun trying!)


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Subject: RE: TALL TALES & other lies...
From: Naemanson
Date: 17 Feb 01 - 01:01 AM

Kendall, have you ever heard the song about how Moosehead Lake came to be? I once heard an old guy sing it up in The County. I always meant to go back and get it from him but my dad told me recently that he has died.

The story goes that there was a feller making liquor out in the back woods. He heard the revenue men were looking for him so he kept moving his still deeper in to the woods.

Well, the stuff he was making was pretty strong. It was so strong that elderly maiden aunts went looking for a man if they happened to walk down wind of the still. It was so strong that it would take the paint off the side of the Bangor & Aroostook locomatives. It was so strong that lumberjacks had been known to get drunk on only one bottle of the stuff.

Anyway, he lit out just ahead of the revenue officers with a wagon load of his liquor and the still. No one knows for sure what happened but there was a most tremendous roar and wind. When the dust settled they found the biggest crater anyone had ever seen. It was already filling with water and they knew it would make a hell of a lake.

They figure he got his wagon hung up and rolled it over. When those bottles broke the explosion had pretty much created the biggest lake in Maine.


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Subject: RE: TALL TALES & other lies...
From: Amergin
Date: 17 Feb 01 - 02:00 AM

Ya know...I am so handsome that the women get in line for five blocks just to take a look at my smile....oh, wait this is a tall tale thread....nevermind...


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Subject: RE: TALL TALES & other lies...
From: Naemanson
Date: 17 Feb 01 - 06:45 AM

No, that's all right, Amergin, you're in the right place. *BG*


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Subject: RE: TALL TALES & other lies...
From: Mary in Kentucky
Date: 17 Feb 01 - 09:31 AM

Once Vikinglass (who used to post here) was driving her son to a school event on a Friday night. They were a tad late, so took the back roads and were driving too fast. There was a small bump or sound, but they saw nothing in the dark. The rest of the evening was uneventful, and they never gave another thought to the sound they heard on that dark country road.

Several days later a woman called on the phone and told Vikinglass that she had run over her $800 Vietnamese pot bellied pig, and she expected some restitution. Vikinglass was toatally shocked, especially since she had an unlisted phone numeber. She asked the woman how in the world she had found her...

Are you ready for this...

The pig squealed.


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Subject: RE: TALL TALES & other lies...
From: Art Thieme
Date: 17 Feb 01 - 11:18 AM

This sounds "tall" but it's probably completely true !

When the first Europeans came to North America, a squirrel could climb a tree on the east coast and jump from tree to tree and not touch ground until it got to the Mississippi River !

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: TALL TALES & other lies...
From: Art Thieme
Date: 17 Feb 01 - 11:23 AM

My uncle broke his leg playing golf. He fell off the ball wash !

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: TALL TALES & other lies...
From: Deckman
Date: 17 Feb 01 - 03:22 PM

"She was so skinny she had to stand twice to make a shadow'

She was so skinny she had to run around in the shower to get wet"

CHEERS, Bob (deckman) Nelson


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Subject: RE: TALL TALES & other lies...
From: kendall
Date: 17 Feb 01 - 03:22 PM

Never heard that one Naemanson.
Traditionally, the tall tale is a product of the inland Mainer. On the coast, the stories are short, pithy and very dry.
Example. my Uncle Curt told me when I was a boy, that he was picking raspberries, and a bear started chasing him. They ran for miles, the bear couldn't catch Curt, and Curt couldn't out distance the bear. Finally, he says, the only way he could get away from that bear was, to run across Bog Lake. The ice was just thick enough to hold him, but, the bear was too heavy and fell through. Did you notice the point where a truth became fiction?
I said "Now Uncle, you said you were picking raspberries, that had to be in mid summer, then you ran across the ice. How can that be? I'm not as stupid as I look."
He says "You're right, you're not as stupid as you look. I just didnt tell you that that bear chased me from July to Christmas." As an example of the dry kind, former Senator, Sec. of State, Ed Muskie told me one that has gotten around pretty well. A Texan was visiting a Maine farmer. He asked "How many acres do you farm? Mainer says "300 acres." Texan says "That all? why,on my spread back home, I can get into my car and it takes me all day to get from one boundry line to the other." Mainer says "Yup, I know how that is...had a car like that once myself."


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Subject: RE: TALL TALES & other lies...
From: Art Thieme
Date: 17 Feb 01 - 11:56 PM

Kendall,

I told that one for years. (I stole it from you !)

Thanks.

Yes, it IS easier to get forgiveness than permission. ;-)

(art)


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Subject: RE: TALL TALES & other lies...
From: kendall
Date: 18 Feb 01 - 08:15 AM

There is no such thing as stealing a story! I long ago gave blanket permission to anyone who wanted to use anything they heard from me. Minnie Pearl told the one about the old maids and the cat.


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Subject: RE: TALL TALES & other lies...
From: Naemanson
Date: 18 Feb 01 - 08:25 AM

Why d'ye look so down, Ezra?

Oh, I had to shoot my dog.

Was he mad?

Reckon he weren't too damned pleased!


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Subject: RE: TALL TALES & other lies...
From: GUEST,Kernow Jon
Date: 18 Feb 01 - 12:52 PM

My grandfather was a ship's carpenter on the old clipper ships and when they docked at Plymouth he used to follow the side of the river Fal all the way through to north Cornwall and then on a way to Bude where he lived. The journey would take two or sometimes three days.

One time he docked in January and the weather was freezing eighteen inches of snow all across the moors on his way home. He'd been walking for about four hours and his toes were nearly numb, grandfather only had on his sailors canvas shoes with the rope soles. He stumbled on some ice and as he put his hand out touched someone deep under the snow. Granddad uncovered the man and found that sadly he was dead. He did however have a good stout pair of brown leather shoes on. Granddad tried to untie the laces and take the shoes off, after all the poor man had no further use for them, but they were frozen solid to his feet. Grandfather thought oh well here goes and took out his ships carpenter's tools and gently sawed through the man's legs. He put the stumps with the shoes on in his bag, covered over the body with snow and carried on his journey.

He got near to Launceston and decided to find a farmhouse and rest up for the night. In those days it was traditional for a farmer and his wife to provide a place to sleep and breakfast for a sailor in exchange for the sailor telling a few stories about his voyages. This is what happened to grandfather. After a few tales the farmer showed him to the barn. Said he would be warm and comfortable there and not to worry about the cow. Grandfather before settling down for the night took the stumps of legs out of his bag, still with the shoes frozen on, and pushed them into the straw. He then covered himself over with straw and went to sleep.

In the morning the farmer came into the barn thought to himself where's the sailor to? Saw the legs sticking out of the straw, pulled on them and finding nobody on the end ran shouting into the farmhouse. Told his wife the cow had eaten the sailor and that they should pack up and leave before they finished up in Bodmin jail.



When granddad woke up he saw the stumps lying there, took off the shoes put them on and they fitted a treat. He went into the farmhouse and found it deserted so he helped himself to a chunk of bread and a pot of ale and sat down to have himself some breakfast. There was a knock at the door and when grandfather looked out the window there was an old man standing there. Grandfather opened the door and told the old man to come in as he looked frozen. He searched around and found some whiskey to give the old man and asked him how he came to be there. Well said the old man I was walking along the track by the Fal when I got so cold I must have passed out. When I came round early this morning someone had stolen my shoes and I had to walk all the way like this. He lifted his trouser legs and grandfather could see he had no shoes and no feet either, just short stumps below the knees.Granddad excused himself on the pretext of getting more whiskey, went out the back door away over the moor and didn't stop till he got safely home indoors.

The funny thing about them old brown shoes is they never wore out, they were passed down to my dad and he gave them to me and they are the ones I'm wearing today...................

I told this tale to the kids at school one day and after it was over one of the lads came up to me and said I didn't know Clarkes made shoes in them days!!
KJ


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Subject: RE: TALL TALES & other lies...
From: GUEST,Naemanson
Date: 18 Feb 01 - 08:18 PM

Once a newspaper feller went looking for the strongest man in the state. He heard of one man living up the Line Road so walked off in search of him. At the first house he came to he saw a man plowing his field by simply pushing the plow through the dirt. He was pretty impressed but when he asked he was told, "Oh no, I ain't the strongest man. He lives up the road."

The reporter walked on. After a while he came to a house where the occupant was splitting firewood. He did it by digging his thumbs into the end grain and ripping the wood into burnable chunks. He was pretty impressed but when he asked the man told him, "Oh no, I ain't the strongest man. He lives up the road."

The reporter walked on. After a while he saw a man reach down and lift up the corner of his house to adjust the rocks supporting the corner. He was pretty impressed but when he asked the man told him, "Oh no, I ain't the strongest man. He lives up the road."

Now the reporter was getting pretty uncertain of this and commented on it rather strongly. "What is it," He finally said, "that he can do that shows he is stronger than you or your neighbors?

"Oh hell," came the reply, "he's the only man who can grab himself by the scruff of the neck and hold himself out at arm's length."

This was funny when I was younger...


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Subject: RE: TALL TALES & other lies...
From: GUEST,cretinous yahoo
Date: 18 Feb 01 - 08:40 PM

When I was a boy, one time the wind blew so hard, it unraveled a crowbar, and, blew two rooster feathers right through a grindstone.


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Subject: RE: TALL TALES & other lies...
From: Art Thieme
Date: 19 Feb 01 - 12:58 AM

My uncle had a wooden leg--------from the knee up. My aunt died of terminal slivers. Every Christmas someone would give him a new garter and a box of thumbtacks.

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: TALL TALES & other lies...
From: Tony in Sweden
Date: 19 Feb 01 - 04:27 AM

We were so poor that, every morning when my father opened the window, the birds would throw in bread.

mvh TC


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Subject: RE: TALL TALES & other lies...
From: GUEST,cretinous yahoo
Date: 19 Feb 01 - 08:48 AM

My great uncle, 91, married a woman 32. He died of long division.


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Subject: RE: TALL TALES & other lies...
From: NH Dave
Date: 19 Feb 01 - 06:53 PM

Someone mentioned Richard Chase a while ago. About 20-30 years ago he put some of the stories and songs he had collected into a book. The copies I had were paperback, cost about five dollars back then, and are now unfortunately out of print.

The various stories were grouped by theme or subject, so he had Jack Tales, Ash Lad tales, tall tales, and songs of the region.

One story I remember, as I used to tell it at campfires, concerns a man hiking through the countryside who got caught in a snowstorm. He'd been climbing this mountain and as the storm got worse he happened upon a cabin beside the trail and went inside to keep warm.

There was a fireplace and some wood so he was able to build a fire and keep warm through the night, but when he woke up at what seemed to be morning it was still dark. He put a couple more sticks on the fire and went back to sleep, and when he woke again they had burned to ash, so he new it had to be morning and started looking around. He tried to open the door, but it wouldn't open, and finally had to climb up into the loft and crawl out of the window there, cause the snow was so high it had completely covered the door.

Well, he looked around at all the snow, and then got our and started walking around looking for some wood and something to eat. As he walked a bit he came upon several small trees that he could cut for wood, one of them almost completely filled with coons(this part is much like one of your tales, Art). He knocked a couple of coons in the head, and began chopping down one of the small trees for fire wood to cook the coon meat. When the tree he had been felling finally dropped, it fell over onto the side of the mountain and started sliding down the mountain. He tried to sink the blade of his ax into it to keep it from sliding, but he was just a bit too slow on the uptake, and missed it. Well you know, the next tree he felled, he was much more careful of, and managed to drop it without losing it the way he had the first, and got ready to return to the cabin with the meat and the wood.

Just as he was turning to go he heard a sliding hissing noise and looked down the mountain in time to see the first tree he had felled sliding back up the mountain towards him. AS he looked out over the side of the mountain he could see that it had slid all the way down the mountain he was on, and up the side of the next mountain, stopped near the top, and began sliding back down towards him again.

This sight so surprised him that he didn't even think about trying to sink his ax into the tree before it began its trip back down the mountain. "Well," he thought, "I've got a couple of coons, and wood to cook them on, so I'd best get back to the cabin and wait until more of this snow melts.", which is what he did.

The next few days went pretty much like the first; club a couple of coons, fell a tree or so for firewood, and return to the cabin, to wait out the thaw. Finally, just about the time he was getting really tired of coon, there was a warm wind one evening and the next morning he could see daylight streaming in the windows of the cabin and he could open up the door. He gathered up his possessions and started on down the mountain. As he passed where he had gotten his food and wood he noticed that what he had thought to be small trees, were really only the tops of trees, sticking up out of the big snow, and he could even see where he had cut a couple of those tops for firewood.

As he kept on down the side of the mountain he noticed that he seemed to be following gully that looked as if it had been cut out by a brook or stream, and that puzzled him a bit since he hadn't seen or heard water on his way up. Finally when he got to the bottom and saw that the cut continued on up the side of the mountain opposite him, it occurred to him that it must have been worn away by that first log he cut down, as it slid first one way and then the other, up and down those two mountains. When he got to the bottom of the mountain, where the gully was really worn deep, he looked into the bottom and saw something sliding slowly back and forth in the bottom of the trench. He reached down and picked it up, and sure enough, it was what was left of the log, all wore down to a sliver.

Now, if you've been telling this in the first person, here's where you reach into your wallet, and pull out a short bit of straight twig which you previously cut, and finish off with, "Well, you know, I picked up what was left of that log and put it in my wallet to keep...best toothpick I ever had...and here it is right now!"

Dave


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Subject: RE: TALL TALES & other lies...
From: Abby Sale
Date: 20 Feb 01 - 09:23 AM

NH Dave: It's a loverly story & you told it well. I still have the paperback (although all of it's glue is missing now.) Chase can be heard telling this & several of the best on - They're intersperced with Clayton & Ritchie singing appropriate songs on the compilation reissue: American Songs of Revolutionary Times & Civil War Era Legacy-International CD.

It includes "1-2-3" which I admit I raised my family on and very effectively - when all knew the story well & I was irked at some continuing misfeasance, I'd scream "one" at the top of my lungs. The point was always well-taken and I never got to "three."


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Subject: RE: TALL TALES & other lies...
From: Naemanson
Date: 20 Feb 01 - 11:08 AM

Do you know what the difference is between a tall tale and a fairy tale?

The fairy tale begins, "Once Upon A Time..." and a tall tale begins, "This is no sh*t..."


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Subject: RE: TALL TALES & other lies...
From: Art Thieme
Date: 20 Feb 01 - 12:30 PM

Abby Sale & all,

My split dog tale that I milked for so many years (and posted here in it's various incarnations) is from Richard Chase. He did it on the LP with Jean Ritchie & P.Clayton that you mentioned. Also, "The Jim Bridger tale" mentioned in this thread earlier was also one that was on that LP as done by R.Chase-- but in 1961 I followed Richard Chase all over the first University Of Chicago Folk Festival just soaking up everything I could. (There were no cassette recorders then--or very few.) Mr. Chase had a long walking stick (really a staff) and "picturesque" clothing---a flowing cape etc. Was always talking about a place called "KINGS X" in Tennessee I think. I don't recall what that place was...

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: TALL TALES & other lies...
From: Naemanson
Date: 20 Feb 01 - 12:37 PM

You know this is a special place. My story of the strongest man comes from the days of my childhood. I haven't thought of it for years.

Then, lurking down the Scottish humor thread, I spotted a request for the punchline to that very story. It seems the poster remembered the story but not the outcome. He'd made his request the day after I posted my story.

There must be a story in that...


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Subject: RE: TALL TALES & other lies...
From: kendall
Date: 20 Feb 01 - 01:55 PM

If anyone is interested, I also wrote a book of humorous tales. It is titled STORIES TOLD IN THE KITCHEN and it is available through Borders Books. $6.00. Some of the tales are on SEAGULLS & SUMMERPEOPLE, a Folk Legacy Cassette.


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Subject: RE: TALL TALES & other lies...
From: Jim Krause
Date: 20 Feb 01 - 03:26 PM

Me: I saw a horse with a broken leg up the road a little ways. Don't you shoot a horse with a broken leg?
Rancher: Nope. We shoot 'em with a shotgun.

Back in the 1870s there was this really bad grasshopper infestation in Kansas. They ate up all the wheat, then destroyed the corn. Matter of fact, it is said that after the wheat and corn were all gone, they would eat the laundry off the clothes lines. Finally, they got so ravenous that they chewed a corner off the Northeastern edge of the state. And that's why to this day, the map of Kansas has that funny looking northeastern boundry where the border used to turn a right angle.

Yo' mama's so fat, she has to have her own zip code.

Well, that's my contribution
Jim


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Subject: RE: TALL TALES & other lies...
From: Naemanson
Date: 20 Feb 01 - 03:42 PM

Where or when does a tall tale become a joke?


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Subject: RE: TALL TALES & other lies...
From: Bert
Date: 20 Feb 01 - 05:58 PM

I would say "When it's not true"


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Subject: RE: TALL TALES & other lies...
From: Art Thieme
Date: 20 Feb 01 - 09:30 PM

I knew a strongman who worked in a carnival. As a part of his show he would squeeze a lemon dry with just one hand. Then he would offer $5,000.00 to anyone who could get even one more drop out of the squeezed lemon.

My uncle did it. (He worked for the I.R.S.)

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: TALL TALES & other lies...
From: NH Dave
Date: 21 Feb 01 - 02:52 PM

&nbs &nbs &nbs &nbs &nbs &nbs I'd suggest, when it happens to somebody other than you.

&nbs; &nbs; &nbs; &nbs; &nbs; &nbs; &nbs; &nbs; Another of Richard Chase's tales concerns a rather friendly lady in a small southern town. Hearing that her husband was leaving home for a day or so on a trip, a local step husband, the man who drops by whenever the husband leaves, stopped by. As he was talking with the lady they heard steps on the front porch. "Quick, hide in this old pickle barrel," she whispered.

&nbs; &nbs; &nbs; &nbs; &nbs; &nbs; &nbs; &nbs; As it turned out, it wasn't her husband, but another admirer, and things were getting right interesting, to the chagrin of the first man, when her husband actually did return home. Without blinking an eye, the second man grabbed the pickle barrel, tilted it onto the rim, and started trundling it out of the cabin, saying, "My missus will be much obliged to you for the loan of this pickle barrel.", as he passed the husband on the porch.

&nbs; &nbs; &nbs; &nbs; &nbs; &nbs; &nbs; &nbs; As soon as he had trundled the barrel down around a bend in the path he stopped, took out his bandanna, wiped his brow, and exclaimed, "Danged if I didn't get out of that 'un pretty slick!"

&nbs;&nbs;&nbs;&nbs;&nbs;&nbs;&nbs;&nbs;He nearly jumped out of his skin when the first fellow replied from down inside the barrel, "Not near as slick as I did!"

&nbs;&nbs;&nbs;&nbs;&nbs;&nbs;&nbs;&nbs; And I don't usually tell that one at Scout Camp.

&nbs;&nbs;&nbs;&nbs;&nbs;&nbs;&nbs;&nbs; Dave


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Subject: RE: TALL TALES & other lies...
From: Little Hawk
Date: 21 Feb 01 - 03:09 PM

One time when I was passing through Ohio I got a chance to drop in on Spaw. We sat in his backyard sipping on mint julips or something like that. After the old fella had relaxed some I steered the conversation around to the subject of showing good taste when posting online.

I pointed out that his constant references to flatulence were offensive to some people. He was quite shocked to hear that. I then went on to say that certain expletives which I shall not repeat here were unsettling to many individuals, and that he should refrain from using them online. Again, he was dumbfounded, and really quite upset that he had unintentionally offended people.

I then capped it by advising him that lying about the size of one's genitalia was a federal offense.

He turned pale, and was speechless for some time.

The upshot of it was, he swore to never do any of those things again and expressed the hope that everyone would overlook and hopefully forgive his past indulgences.

That was back in 1998, and is probably why he's been behaving with absolute decorum ever since...

- LH


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Subject: RE: TALL TALES & other lies...
From: kendall
Date: 21 Feb 01 - 03:43 PM

SPOILSPORT!!


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Subject: RE: TALL TALES & other lies...
From: Naemanson
Date: 21 Feb 01 - 11:03 PM

I think Little Hawk would have had the tallest tale here except it became unbelievable too early in the telling.


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Subject: RE: TALL TALES & other lies...
From: hesperis
Date: 21 Feb 01 - 11:49 PM

Cna somebody fix NH Dave's post? I think he meant  


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Subject: RE: TALL TALES & other lies...
From: GUEST,RickE
Date: 22 Feb 01 - 12:23 AM

Attn: Naemanson:

"Well done!" on anticipating my joke request but... is that it?? In a joke with ever increasing superlatives, one more doesn't have the "McGuffin" or gimmick the joke needs for a truly fine blow-off. Ah, well, this may well be the search for the Platonian ideal of shaggy dog stories. [grin]

Cheers, Rick


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Subject: RE: TALL TALES & other lies...
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 22 Feb 01 - 12:51 AM

Long before I knew her, my wife was a volunteer EMT – Emergency Medical Technician – in the small town in southern Minnesota where she lived. Once when we were driving through that part of the country, she pointed out a certain low-hanging railroad overpass, and told me about a bizarre accident that had occurred there in her day. This was in the time when CB radios were all the rage, and a lot of people were having them installed in their cars, trucks, whatever, and some of them had real long antennas, often installed by people who didn't really know what they were doing. Once a van passed under that overpass with an extra-long whip antenna, much longer than it should have been. The beaded tip of the antenna caught in a bolt-hole in a girder overhead, and it snapped off at the bottom. The aerial had flexed so far that when it broke loose, it went flipping back the other way, and struck a rider on a motorcycle that happened to be following behind the van. The sharp, broken end of the antenna pierced the man through the throat. He was badly hurt, but he survived the accident. They airlifted him to an emergency hospital in the Twin Cities, where they treated his wound. He seemed to be recovering OK, but a week or so later, he developed an infection in the wound that was resistant to all the antibiotics they tried. He finally died of the infection. The particular bacterium that infected him was so rare that it didn't have a name until then, but a name finally caught on because of the accident. Maybe you've heard of it. It's called van-aerial disease.

(When my wife told me that tale, she had me believing it right up to the punch line. I've never yet been able to get her back for that.)


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Subject: RE: TALL TALES & other lies...
From: wdyat12
Date: 22 Feb 01 - 01:58 AM

Sammy

Many years, ago before I was ever employed at Bath Iron Works, things were done differently in the shipbuilding trade. Instead of powder paint spray adhesion there was another more dangerous process for making metal impervious to the elements of the sea. The Harding Plant, a remote fabrication plant in the next county from the main shipyard of BIW on the Kennebec River, was heavily involved in a manufacturing method known as galvanizing.

As the story was related to me, there were three large rectangular lead-lined cement vats of boiling acid, neutralizer, and zinc. You must remember this was in the days before OSHA, so workers didn't know this was bad for them to even breathe the fumes from these witches caldrons.

Sammy was a rigger/crane operator and was perched on the edge of one of these boiling vats directing the load of an overhead crane when suddenly, he faultered and slipped into one of the vats and boiled for a few minutes while his coworkers rushed frantically to extricate him.

Sammy was examined medically with all the latest methods and techniques of the time, blood pressure, temperature, and visual reckoning. The docters all agreed he was a lucky man to survive such an accident even though he sustained third degree burns over his entire body.

Within a few weeks, Sammy surcombed to his wounds and passed away. His coworkers were devistated. They had lost a brother who kept their minds off their tedium with his sense of humor. Sammy could be counted on to pull any union brother out of a temporary slump by just telling one of his tall tales or simple jokes. His loss was deeply felt by all who worked at the Harding plant in the fifties.

By the time I began working at "Hardings," stories of Sammy were common knowledge. Here was a man who sacrificed his life for building ships, a model for us all. In my youth as a shipbuilder, I was so gong ho to beleive in something that I thought we could do anything and I beleived in models like Sammy. Then the weird stuff began happening.

The security guards were the first to report strange incidences late at night when all of second shift had gone home. One guard claimed he heard footsteps on the mezzonine traveling across the ceiling of the floor above him while making his rounds. Another guard swore that one of the overhead cranes started up and traveled the whole length of "B Bay" by itself back and forth. The guard checked the service box for the cranes and it was in the OFF position. In another report all the inteior lights of the plant came on and then went off several times while another guard made his rounds. Workers started noticing that there lunch boxes had been hidden or tampered with. These phenomenon continue sporadically to this day. We just blame it on Sammy.

wdyat12


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Subject: RE: TALL TALES & other lies...
From: GUEST,Gary Owens
Date: 22 Feb 01 - 10:31 AM

Along the south shore of Newfoundland I met an old fellow who, upon my commenting on how thick the fog was that day, replied, "Dat's notting me son - you ain't seen fog 'til you been to Trepassey where I'm from. I ne'er seen me mudder 'til I was eight mont's ol' ! An' wind sir ! We use to tether the chickens on a ca'm day. One time, a real blow come on and we gathered all we could but the ol' rooster was left out overnight. Next morn he was a sight b'y. The tethered leg was straight out to the side li'dat ( standing on one leg, with the other straight out, he leaned over to the laughter of all present ) and there were nare a fether on 'im. So the ol' woman knitted him a pair o' coveralls ( much more laughter from the group ). You t'inks dat's funny, you shoulda seen him wit a hol' o' a hen, tryin' to get the damn t'ings off !!!!


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Subject: RE: TALL TALES & other lies...
From: Art Thieme
Date: 22 Feb 01 - 10:34 PM

NH Dave,

Richard Chase called that story one of the "step husband tales". That's about the husband who steps in when the real husband steps out.

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: TALL TALES & other lies...
From: Naemanson
Date: 23 Feb 01 - 06:58 AM

Rick E, I can't comment on what the blow off line SHOULD have been. To the best of my recollection (never very good on my best days) the story ends just that way.

There are stories that do that. They end with a twist and a wry smile instead of a guffaw of laughter. There are ranges of humor in the old stories and the old timers (some even older than Sandy, Art, and Kendall!) used to tell them not so much for the laugh but to play with the minds of their listeners. Thus, Kendall's story about the bear and the thin ice above is very funny but not so much for the punch line but for the twist that it puts on the listeners' heads. I would bet that at least half of the listeners to that story miss the fact that the narrator started out picking berries and ended on thin ice. Fortunately there is always some alert listener who catches the "mistake" and brings it to the narrator's attention thus opening up the punchline.


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Subject: RE: TALL TALES & other lies...
From: Naemanson
Date: 23 Feb 01 - 07:08 AM

Here's a true story:

Old Lee Thompson was a fishing guide on Duck Lake in Washington County, Maine. He had the camp next door to ours (in Maine a cabin in the woods is a "camp"). He made a good life, fishing in the summer and wintering with his daughter in Florida until he was killed in a car accident on his way south one year.

Anyway he told me the story of a bit of trouble he had when he got out a big steak to thaw. He left it on his kitchen counter and headed for bed. Now he had quite a nice camp, a regular three bedroom house which was unusual in those days. Our own camp was a one room log affair with a wood stove for heating and cooking and bunk beds built into one end.

Anyway, Lee's camp had a screened porch looking out at the lake. You could stand in the kitchen and watch the sun come up over the lake and know that all was right in the world.

Lee laid the steak out on the counter and went to bed. During the night he heard a noise and padded softly out to his porch. There at the door was a bear, sniffing around and wanting that steak. Lee stood for a minute and then crept closer to where the bear stood in the door way. The screen was torn and open. The bear could neither see him or smell him. Lee leaned in close and shouted "BOO!"

The bear, frightened, turned tail and ran. Lee straightened up and then was hit from behind and bowled over as the other bear, the one that was already in the kitchen, ran over him trying to get out! The only cassualty that night was the steak.


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Subject: RE: TALL TALES & other lies...
From: kendall
Date: 23 Feb 01 - 07:45 AM

Bears can be a problem in camps alright. That is a great story Brett.

Years ago, I had a camp on Mopang stream way up in the wilderness of Maine. Every year when I went to it, I found it a shambles because of bear looking for food or girlie magazines. Never left any food around, but, they have lived with humans long enough to know that it is worth a try. I told an old timer about my problem, and he says "Thats simple. bears have their own territory in their part of the woods, and they mark the boundries by stretching as high as they can on a tree, and raking the bark with their claws. If another bear invades this ones territory, he will either be bigger or smaller. If he is smaller, he cant reach that high, so, he leaves. If he is bigger, he will claw the tree ABOVE the first bears markings. When the resident comes by to check, if he sees claw marks higher than his, HE will leave. So, what you do is, take a step ladder and a steel rake, climb as high as you can and rake the hell out of the tree well above the bears markings. I did that, and there hasn't been a bear anywhere near that camp to this day.


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Subject: RE: TALL TALES & other lies...
From: GutBucketeer
Date: 26 Feb 01 - 01:44 AM

If you like tall tales, I just added a book to the Mudcat Auction.

Whoppers, Tall Tales, and Other Lies Collected From American Folk Lore, by Alvin Schwartz.

JAB


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Subject: RE: TALL TALES & other lies...
From: GUEST,Gary Owens
Date: 26 Feb 01 - 11:35 AM

Dear Kendall : Soooo ….. if Yogi himself, being smarter than the average bear, was a Maine black bear, he would simply climb higher and top your rake marks, no ? Then you would have to leave. Or get some assistance from Winnie … and I don't mean "the pooh". Now, don't get your shorts in a twist all you tree huggers. I would never advocate actually shooting a bear unless it was endangering a human. Most times, a few into a tree near him gives him a sense of the fact that you are not keen about his proximty.

I have always found that urine on the claw marks and at the base of the claw tree and the same urine near the camp ( works best if you pick a small evergreen so the wind carries it ) will absolutely preclude bear/camp hassles if the bear is scared of humans in the first place. However, you need to "freshen" the tree at the camp at least once a week from the start of frost until the snow stays on the ground.

In the fall of 1998, there were six black bears living within 2km of my camp. The first trip in at the end of September revealed the claw marks of a young boar on my camp door. The lads laughed heartily when they brought up the fact that I had always told them that urine in the claw marks really impressed a black bear, for much the same reason you suggest the use of a ladder and rake. Anyway, there were calls for me to wait until they got the camera, etc, etc, but, after the laughter was done, some of the lads who were not particularly woodswise began to think about the claw marks and the situation wasn't so funny anymore. Of course, a few of them wouldn't go any distance from the camp, which was great with me because I wanted someone close by for when the bear came to the camp to check out the new sounds and smells. He was along the very next morning and got a lesson in being scared of humans. Never came back all fall.


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Subject: RE: TALL TALES & other lies...
From: Naemanson
Date: 26 Feb 01 - 12:26 PM

Then there's the story of the fishing party at a remote camp. They were city folk with a Maine guide leading them. Every morning one of the campers would have to go to a nearby spring for the fresh water. One morning the water carrier came running into camp without his bucket and pale as a sheet.

"What happened?" the other campers asked.

"There's a bear in the spring!" he answered.

The guide laughed, "oh, there ain't nothin' to worry about. That bear is as scared of you as you are of it."

"Oh, well then, that water ain't fit to drink."


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Subject: RE: TALL TALES & other lies...
From: Áine
Date: 26 Feb 01 - 01:06 PM

There are some great (and TALL) tales here -- just the kind of stories needed for The Mudcat Storytellers' Page!

You can post them on the Additions to Mudcat Storytellers' Page thread, OR send them to me via PM or email.

-- Áine


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Subject: RE: TALL TALES & other lies...
From: GUEST,Gary Owens
Date: 26 Feb 01 - 06:53 PM

I can't resist telling this one. This story takes a long time to tell.... if you do it right. I'll give you the Reader's Digest version. By the way, it's true.

My dad and my uncle, just after WWII, took Uncle Anthony (pronounced An'ny in Kent County, New Brunswick, Canada) on a fishing trip one late May day. They parked their car on a tote road and fished the East Branch of the Little Forks Stream to the junction of the West Forks and then the West back to the road. About 16km through fairly flat country, so those of you who are woodsman know how tough the going can be... beaver dams, flats, sloughs, the works ! An'ny was seventy-five years old, but lived his whole life in Kent County working on the farm and in the woods, so he was tough as nails and the lads thought they were doing a great service for the old boy. The walk to the car was another 4km.

When they got him back home, some sixteen hours after they had started out, they asked him if he enjoyed the day. In his KC drawl, he said that when he died, he was going to ask Saint Peter one favour at the gates... that he be allowed to come back when my dad and uncle were seventy-five and take them on the same GD'd trip they took him that day.


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Subject: Quasimodo
From: Abby Sale
Date: 22 Apr 01 - 12:48 PM

Please see Clicky


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Subject: RE: TALL TALES & other lies...
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 22 Apr 01 - 11:50 PM

My uncle Charlie was in his seventies when he told this story about going fishing with his brother Harvey, who must have been in his eighties when this took place:

"Harvey was kind of unsteady, so I had to help him into the boat. Then I couldn't get in by myself, so he got out again and helped me in. Then I had to get out to help him in again. Then he helped me in again, and by that time we were so tired we just went home."


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Subject: RE: TALL TALES & other lies...
From: Art Thieme
Date: 23 Apr 01 - 01:04 PM

Me and my uncle did that too.

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: TALL TALES & other lies...
From: Art Thieme
Date: 24 Oct 01 - 02:46 PM

refresh to go with "Way Out West In Kansas"


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