WHAT’S THAT YOU’RE SMOKING?
These friars were behind on their belfry payments, so they opened up a small florist shop to raise funds. Since everyone liked to buy flowers from the men of God, a rival florist across town thought the competition was unfair. He asked the good fathers to close down, but they would not. He went back and begged the friars to close. They ignored him. So, the rival florist hired Hugh MacTaggart, the roughest and most vicious thug in town to “persuade” them to close. Hugh beat up the friars and trashed their store, saying he’d be back if they didn’t close up shop. Terrified, they did so, thereby proving that: Hugh, and only Hugh, can prevent florist friars.
What’s so funny about this? Well, it’s shaggy dog time again. I’ve been resisting telling this joke because the punch line is a little dated. So I’ll update you first then explain the joke. The punch line goes back to 1947 When the US federal government created an ad that ran on radio TV and the movies. The ad featured Smokey the Bear, a big brown bear who stood upright and was dressed as a forest ranger, including the round forest ranger hat. The ad showed a big forest fire and all the devastation it caused. The ad ended with Smokey staring into the camera and saying, “Remember only you can prevent forest fires!” This slogan and Smokey are still with us, only in 2001, the slogan was updated to “Only you can prevent wildfires.” But the earlier version is the one that most people recognize and remember; that’s why the shaggy dog story works. So in the story the friars, who are like monks and live around a church, needed money to make the payment on their belfry. That’s the top of the church where the bell is. It must be pretty expensive because they are paying for it over time. Bottom line, the friars needed to raise money so they opened a flower shop and it was successful. Trouble is they took business away from another florist, or flower shop owner. They guy tried to convince the friars to close down but they refused, which is why he hired the guy named Hugh to “convince” the friars. Hugh did this by beating them up and wrecking their store. Here comes the pun: This proved that Hugh (you) and only Hugh (you) can prevent florist (forest) friars (fires). Remember, you’re not supposed to laugh, only groan. And THAT’s what’s so funny!
Thanks to Bob Wiener for sending me this great shaggy dog story
Listen to the podcast: http://audioboo.fm/boos/1427635-what-s-that-you-re-smoking