For pure hilarity and riotous mirth these six very different yarns take some beating.
The story behind the letter below is that there is this nutball in Newport, Rhode Island named Scott Williams. What he does is dig things out of his backyard and then send them to the Smithsonian Institute. Scot labels his exhibits with scientific names, insisting that they are actual archaeological finds.
This man really exists and does this in his spare time!
Anyway... here's the actual response from the Smithsonian Institution. Bear this letter in mind next time you think you are challenged in your job to respond to a difficult situation in writing.
Smithsonian Institute, 207 Pennsylvania Avenue Washington, DC 20078
Dear Mr. Williams,
We have given this specimen a careful and detailed examination, and regret to inform you that we disagree with your theory that it represents conclusive proof of the presence of Early Man in Charleston County two million years ago. Rather, it appears that what you have found is the head of a Barbie doll, of the variety that one of our staff, who has small children, believes to be 'Malibu Barbie.'
It is evident that you have given a great deal of thought to the analysis of this specimen, and you may be quite certain that those of us who are familiar with your prior work in the field were loathe to come to contradict your findings. However, we do feel that there are a number of physical attributes of the specimen which might have tipped you off to its modern origin:
1. The material is moulded plastic. Ancient hominid remains are typically fossilised bone.
2. The cranial capacity of the specimen is approximately 9 cubic centimetres, well below the threshold of even the earliest identified proto-hominids.
3. The dentition pattern evident on the skull is more consistent with the common domesticated dog than it is with the ravenous man-eating Pliocene clams you speculate roamed the wetlands during that time.
This latter finding is certainly one of the most intriguing hypotheses you have submitted in your history with this institution, but the evidence seems to weigh rather heavily against it. Without going into too much detail, let us say that:
1. The specimen looks like the head of a Barbie doll that a dog has chewed on.
2. Clams don't have teeth.
It is with feelings tinged with melancholy that we must deny your request to have the specimen carbon-dated. This is partially due to the heavy load our lab must bear in its normal operation, and partly due to carbon-datings notorious inaccuracy in fossils of recent geologic record.
To the best of our knowledge, no Barbie dolls were produced prior to 1956 AD, and carbon-dating is likely to produce wildly inaccurate results.
Sadly, we must also deny your request that we approach the National Science Foundation Phylogeny Department with the concept of assigning your specimen the scientific name Australopithecus spiff-arino. Speaking personally, I, for one, fought tenaciously for the acceptance of your proposed taxonomy, but was ultimately voted down because the species name you selected was hyphenated, and didn't really sound like it might be Latin.
However, we gladly accept your generous donation of this fascinating specimen to the museum. While it is undoubtedly not a Hominid fossil, it is, nonetheless, yet another riveting example of the great body of work you seem to accumulate here so effortlessly. You should know that our Director has reserved a special shelf in his own office for the display of the specimens you have previously submitted to the Institution, and the entire staff speculates daily on what you will happen upon next in your digs at the site you have discovered in your Newport back yard.
We eagerly anticipate your trip to our nation's capital that you proposed in your last letter, and several of us are pressing the Director to pay for it. We are particularly interested in hearing you expand on your theories surrounding the trans-positating fillifitation of ferrous ions in a structural matrix that makes the excellent juvenile Tyrannosaurus Rex femur you recently discovered take on the deceptive appearance of a rusty 9-mm Sears Craftsman automotive crescent wrench.
Yours in Science, Harvey Rowe Chief Curator-Antiquities
Footnote to The Hilarious Story of the Smithsonian Letter
When I discovered that the Barbie Smithsonian letter was an urban myth, it was nearly as devastating as when, aged 7, I realized that Father Christmas was a phoney. As Will and Guy never shy away from the truth, we have to expose the story behind this hilarious hoax.
Just as when you realize Father Christmas is your parent, the whole myth is burst, so investigating the Barbie Smithsonian Exhibit uncovers facts that don't fit with the myth. At first there are small things, there has never been an Antiquities department in the Smithsonian Institute. Furthermore, research reveals that the Smithsonian are fed up of people ringing up seeking to verify the 'Barbie' exhibit which does not exist.
Finally, it has come to our attention that the original prankster is Dr. Harvey Rowe, who conceived the Barbie Smithsonian Letter back in 1994. A few emails to friends started one of the best ever urban myths.
Another Hilarious Story
Charges were dropped yesterday against Ruth 'Grammy' Gordon, an 83-year-old wheelchair-bound grandmother, who was originally charged with assault and battery, and assault with a deadly weapon, because of an altercation she had last week with six airport security guards, that left all six hospitalised.
'Justice has been served', said the 95-pound mother of three and grandmother of six, as she sat in her wheelchair, aided in her breathing by an oxygen bottle. 'Now I'm going to sue every fool in the federal government for ignorance, stupidity, and just plain general incompetence. I'm an American, and I won't be treated like this.'
The problem began last month as Gordon was attempting to board an airplane. 'These guys are supposed to be some kind of professionals', she said, 'but they're dumber than rocks. Here they were letting guys who looked just like terrorists walk through without searching them, and then they pull me aside and tell me they're going to search me? I don't think so.'
According to one witness, Bud Cort of Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, one guard, 'who weighed about 300 pounds, looked like he was drunk, and had his shirt out, told this woman she couldn't board the plane unless they searched her. He was really rude. That's when the trouble started.'
Videotapes showed that Gordon ran the guard down with her motorized wheelchair, then sat on top of the screaming man while spinning her chair in circles. 'Doofus was so fat he couldn't get up', said Gordon with a giggle.
One guard who attempted to pull Gordon's wheelchair off of the screaming man from behind was hit over the head with an oxygen bottle and knocked unconscious. A third guard, who approached Gordon from the front, was also left dazed on the floor. Witnesses said she was cackling, 'Put your hands on an old lady, will you?' as she bashed both guards. The tape also showed a fourth guard attempting to grab Gordon's wheelchair. Gordon removed a knitting needle from her purse and stabbed him in his left buttock.' What a wimp, 'she told reporters.' He started screaming and grabbing his butt and running like a puppy that someone kicked.'
'It was amazing', said another witness, a Scott Ryan. 'The whole crowd just stood there cheering and clapping. I mean, she was whupping butt.'
A fifth guard that attempted to grab Gordon had the seat of his pants set on fire with a cigarette lighter than had escaped detection.' He just went whoosh across the concourse, screaming and slapping at all these flames flying out of his rear, 'said Ryan.
A sixth guard did finally manage to get Gordon in a body hug. 'I think that was the wrong thing to do, 'said another witness, who declined to be identified.' She just grabbed him by his greasy hair with one hand and cracked him across the jaw with her skinny fist. And down and out he went.'
After all this, Gordon's chair was still sitting on top of the first guard.
The tapes clearly showed her leaning over and yelling, 'Apologize to me, you fat sumbitch, or when I'm done with you you'll just be a greasy spot on the floor!'
As the crowd roared, the guard cried, 'I'm sorry, I'm sorry! Uncle! I won't do it again!'
Finally, Gordon surrendered without further incident, and was taken to jail and released on her own recognizance.' We didn't have any choice, 'said an unidentified officer of the court.' Over 200 people showed up to support her. I think if we had demanded bail, there would have been a riot.'
Over 20 lawyers offered to defend her for free. However, realizing the precariousness of the case, Gordon was not charged with anything. 'I doubt there's a jury in the whole country that would have found her guilty of anything, 'said one of the lawyers.
'I'm flying again tomorrow', Gordon told reporters. 'And I suggest no one at the airport so much as look at me wrong.'
Footnote Researched by Alicia Moss
The hilarious story of Ruth 'Grammy' Gordon is actually an urban myth. In fact, it's a fiction invented by Bob Wallace. Clues are the references to 'Bullwinkle' (Bullwinkle Security Company, R.J. Squirrel Airport; Frostbite Falls, Minnesota; Badanov Hospital) Also the names mentioned in the piece, Bud Cort and Ruth Gordon happen to be the two stars of the 1971 film Harold and Maude.
One foggy night, a United States Aircraft Carrier was cruising off the coast of Newfoundland and the junior radar operator spotted a light in the gloom. Here is a transcript of what happened next.
The radar operator worked out that a collision was likely unless the other vessel changed its course. So he sent a radio message.
U.S. Aircraft Carrier Radar Officer:
Back came the reply: 'You must be joking, I recommend you divert your course instead'.
The U.S. Radar Officer referred the matter to his superior officer. And reported the incident as insubordination.
Canadian Radio Operator:
Footnote to the lighthouse urban myth
This mirthful lighthouse story is an urban myth. Our friend Jackson heard a rumour that the story is discussed at the annual coastguards' convention, where the different versions are compared and scored. Apparently most versions are preposterous because the ship would have visual contact with the lighthouse. However, if you add a fog to your version you gain credibility - at least in the eyes of the lighthouse keepers.
We hope you have been enjoying our hilarious stories, here are a couple of short uproarious yarns to round off this page. If you don't see the precise topic that you are interested in on this page try our 'Search' box, we have a large selection of amusing yarns, tall tales and classic short stories. Also here are our best short stories.
Dylan is in a queue at the Supermarket when he notices that the rather dishy blonde behind him has just raised her hand and is giving him a big 'hello'.
He is rather taken aback that such a looker would be waving to him, and although her face is vaguely familiar, Dylan can't place where he might know her from, so he says, 'Sorry, do you know me?'
She replies, 'I may be mistaken, but I thought you might be the father of one of my children'
Dylan's mind shoots back to the one and only time he has been unfaithful, 'Blimey!' he says, 'Did we meet on Frank's stag do in Newport? Dylan continued, 'When I was released from the police station and got back to the hotel room, you had gone.'
No, 'she replies, 'I'm your son's English Teacher'.
Names have been changed to protect our friends.
Round like a shot... Going to bed the other night, I noticed people in my shed stealing things. I phoned the police but was told there was no one in the area to help. The policeman said they would send someone over as soon as possible. I hung up.
A minute later I rang again. 'Hello', I said, 'I called you a minute ago because there were people in my shed. You don't have to hurry now, because I've shot them.' Within five minutes there were half a dozen police cars in the area, plus helicopters and an armed response unit. They caught the burglars red-handed.
One of the officers said: 'I thought you said you'd shot them.' To which I replied: 'I thought you said there was no one available.'
Hilarious Article by Tony Gladstone
Here is the situation, Jenny the farmer's wife looks out of her window. What does she see but a bull in a field caught his head in between the bars of a feeder.
Jenny calls the fire brigade. Their siren only makes the bull more agitated. When they appraise the situation they realise they are not equipped to deal with cattle, so they phone for the RSPCA inspector to help free the animal.
Six hefty firemen and the inspector push and pull the beast and eventually they wrestle its head from between the bars.
The bull was, by now, very angry and turned snorting at the men and began to attack them.
Fearing for their life, they hide in the animal feeder.
Jenny was now able to rescue the rescuers. All she did was get the bull's old milk bottle, half fill it with milk, put on the teat, and use it to lead the bull from the animal feeder into the farmyard and close the gate.
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