“If you’ve heard this story before, don’t stop me, because I’d like to hear it again.” Groucho Marx
Stories are a very powerful way to communicate and convey messages. With a story, you can cut though the need for excess verbiage in a presentation, and in one fell swoop, deliver a pithy or funny missive to a captive audience. All of us love to hear stories because we can take the moral of the story shared, make it our own, and retell it with added nuances or modified words. The best stories often linger in our minds and demand that we retell them; their message often incisive, strong, true. I find that good stories don’t get tired… We can read or hear them over and over again, and they hold our attention, convey their wisdom or humor as if for the first time…
The Wise Woman’s Stone
A wise woman who was traveling in the mountains found a precious stone in a stream. The next day she met another traveler who was hungry, and the wise woman opened her bag to share her food. The hungry traveler saw the precious stone and asked the woman to give it to him. She did so without hesitation. The traveler left, rejoicing in his good fortune. He knew the stone was worth enough to give him security for a lifetime. But a few days later he came back to return the stone to the wise woman.
“I’ve been thinking,” he said, “I know how valuable the stone is, but I give it back in the hope that you can give me something even more precious. Give me what you have within you that enabled you to give me something more precious. Give me what you have within you that enabled you to give me the stone.
Lady Gets on a Bus
A lady gets on a public bus. Without saying a word, she gestures to the bus driver by sticking her thumb on her nose and waving her fingers at the driver.
The driver acknowledges the lady, turns to her and uses both hands in the same type of gesture and waves all his fingers at her.
The woman holds her right arm out at the driver and chops at it a few times with her left hand.
Then the driver puts his left hand on his right bicep and jerks his right arm up in a fist at her.
The woman then cups both of her hands under her breasts and lifts gently. So the driver places both of his hands at his crotch and gently lifts up.
Then the woman frowns, runs a finger up between her derriere, and gets off the bus.
There is another woman sitting in the front row of the bus who witnessed the whole exchange.
She speaks up, “That was the most disgusting thing I have ever seen on a public bus! What the
hell were you doing?”
“Listen lady,” states the gruff bus driver, “the lady that got on the bus before was a deaf-mute.
She asked me if the bus went to 5th Street. I said no, we go to 10th Street. She asked if we make many stops. I told her that this was the express. She asked if we go by the dairy, and I told her we go by the ballpark. She said “Shit, I’m on the wrong bus!” and got off.”
“I like a good story well told. That is the reason I am sometimes forced to tell them myself.” Mark Twain
Stories transport us to another time while teaching us profound lessons about life. For this post, I’ve decided to share several stories with you. These are stories that will make us think and/or make us smile. Some of them made me laugh out loud… but then again, it depends on how much it takes to tickle your funny bone. Like Mark Twain, most of us love a good story; long or short. We love funny stories and jokes because they lift our spirits and give us something to mull over. Stories can bring disparate groups of people together and give them a voice to help express their joys and concerns. Because they leave us with visual memories, stories are a great way to build connections and friendship with others…
Socks and Shoes
A little boy about 10 years old was standing before a shoe store on the roadway, barefooted, peering through the window, and shivering with cold. A lady approached the boy and said, “My little fellow, why are you looking so earnestly in that window?” “I was asking God to give me a pair of shoes,” was the boy’s reply.
The lady took him by the hand and went into the store and asked the clerk to get half a dozen pairs of socks for the boy. She then asked if he could give her a basin of water and a towel. He quickly brought them to her. She took the little fellow to the back part of the store and, removing her gloves, knelt down, washed his little feet, and dried them with a towel.
By this time the clerk had returned with the socks. Placing a pair upon the boy’s feet, she purchased him a pair of shoes. She tied up the remaining pairs of socks and gave them to him. She patted him on the head and said, “No doubt, my little fellow, you feel more comfortable now?”
As she turned to go, the astonished lad caught her by the hand, and looking up in her face, with tears his eyes, answered the question with these words: “Are you God’s Wife?”
My Name’s Joe
There once was a farmer whose wife had died and left him with three beautiful teenage daughters. Every weekend, when they went out on dates, the farmer would stand at the door with his shotgun, making it clear to their dates he wanted no trouble from them.
Another Saturday night came around. About 7 p.m., there was a knock on the door. He answered and the young man said, “Hi, my name’s Joe. I’m here for Flo. I’m taking her to the show. Is she ready to go?” The farmer thought he was a clever boy and wished them a good time.
A few minutes later, another knock was heard. A second boy appeared and said, “Hi, I’m Eddie. I’m here for Betty. I’m taking her for spaghetti. I hope she’s ready.” He thought that he must know Joe, but bade them off as well with his best wishes.
A few minutes after that, a third knock was heard.
“Hi, I’m Chuck…” The farmer shot him.
A man was driving home late one afternoon, and he was driving above the speed limit. He notices a police car with its red lights on in his rear view mirror.
He thinks “I can outrun this guy,” so he floors it and the race is on. The cars are racing down the highway — 60, 70, 80, 90 miles an hour. Finally, as his speedometer passes 100, the guy figures he can’t outrun the cop and gives up. He pulls over to the curb.
The police officer gets out of his cruiser and approaches the car. He leans down and says “Listen mister, I’ve had a really lousy day, and I just want to go home. Give me a good excuse and I’ll let you go.”
The man thought for a moment and said, “Three weeks ago, my wife ran off with a police officer. When I saw your cruiser in my rear view mirror, I thought you were that officer and you were trying to give her back to me!
There are all kinds of stories available to us and they are often told to suit the occasion at hand. The griots of Africa traveled around telling their stories and were paid to do so… Often the Griots told their stories under the baobab tree and when they passed away, some were buried by the tree. When we think back to our childhood, we remember the fables and fairy tales we enjoyed. Later, we learned parables and all sorts of other categories or genre that cover a wide range of stories. So, throughout our lifetime, we get exposed to short stories, novellas, or novels covering topics on Drama, Satire, Tragedy, Comedy (Tragicomedy), Humor, Action-adventure, Crime & Detective, Horror, Mystery, Romance, Science fiction, Western, Inspirational, fiction, non-fiction and more… They carry us from birth to death.
Two more aisles . . .
A man observed a woman in the grocery store with a three year old girl in her basket. As they passed the cookie section, the little girl asked for cookies and her mother told her no. The little girl immediately began to whine and fuss, and the mother said quietly, “Now Monica, we just have half of the aisles left to go through; don’t be upset. It won’t be long.”
Soon they came to the candy aisle, and the little girl began to shout for candy. And when told she couldn’t have any, began to cry. The mother said, “There, there, Monica, don’t cry–only two more aisles to go, and then we’ll be checking out.”
When they got to the check-out stand, the little girls immediately began to clamor for gum and burst into a terrible tantrum upon discovering there’d be no gum purchased. The mother patiently said, “Monica, we’ll be through this check out stand in 5 minutes and then you can go home and have a nice nap.”
The man followed them out to the parking lot and stopped the woman to compliment her. “I couldn’t help noticing how patient you were with little Monica,” he began. Whereupon the mother said, “I’m Monica . . . my little girl’s name is Tammy.” Author Unknown
A Boy and a Frog
One day, a boy was walking down a road when a frog called to him, “Boy, if you kiss me, I will turn into a beautiful princess.”
The boy picked up the frog, smiled at it, then placed the frog into his pocket. A few minutes later, the frog said, “Boy, if you kiss me and turn me back into a beautiful princess, and I will stay with you for a week.”
The boy took the frog from his pocket, smiled at it, then put it back into his pocket. A few minutes later, the frog said, “Boy, if you kiss me and turn me back into a beautiful princess, I will do ANYTHING you want!”
The boy took the frog from his pocket, smiled, and put it back. Finally, the frog cried, “Boy, what is the matter, I have told you that I am a beautiful princess, and if you kiss me, I will stay with you and do ANYTHING you want!”
The boy took the frog from his pocket and said, “Look, I am an engineering student, I have no time for a girlfriend, but a talking frog is cool!”
“I don’t want anyone reading my writing to think about style. I just want them to be in the story.” Willa Sibert Cather
A woman awakes during the night to find that her husband was not in bed. She puts on her robe and goes downstairs to look for him. She finds him sitting in the kitchen with a cup of coffee, and he appears to be in deep thought, just staring at the wall. She watches as he wipes a tear from his eye and takes a sip of coffee.
What’s the matter dear?, she whispers as she steps into the room. Why are you sitting down here this time of the night? The husband looks up from his coffee, Do you remember 20 years ago when we were dating, and you were only 16? he asks solemnly. Yes, I do she replies.
The husband paused, the words were not coming easily. Do you remember when your father caught us in the back seat of my car making love?. Yes I remember, said the wife, lowering herself into a chair beside him.
The husband continued. Do you remember when he shoved the double barrel shotgun in my face and said, “Either you marry my daughter, or I’ll send you to jail for 20 years.” Yes I remember that too. She whispered softly.
He wiped another tear from his cheek and said,
“I would be getting out today”!
A Diner Quickie
A man goes into a restaurant and is seated. All the waitresses are gorgeous. A particularly voluptuous waitress wearing a very short skirt and legs that won’t quit came to his table and asked if he was ready to order, “What would you like, sir?”
He looks at the menu and then scans her beautiful frame top to bottom, then answers, “A quickie.”
The waitress turns and walks away in disgust. After she regains her composure she returns and asks again, “What would you like, sir?”
Again the man thoroughly checks her out and again answers, “A quickie, please.”
This time her anger takes over, she reaches over and slaps him across the face with a resounding “SMACK!” and storms away. A man sitting at the next table leans over and whispers, “Um, I think it’s pronounced ‘QUICHE.’”
Another reason why people love stories is that we often can relate to what’s being shared. We can inject humor into a story, add a song like the griots do, or perform a piece for all to enjoy. Inevitably, what is conveyed is the humor and message of our story.
One night a man had a dream. He dreamt he was walking along the beach with the Lord. Across the sky flashed scenes from his life. For each scene he noticed two sets of footprints on the sand — one belonging to him and the other to the Lord. When the last scene had flashed before him, he looked back at the footprints and he noticed only one set. He also noticed that this happened during the lowest and saddest times of his life. This bothered him and he questioned the Lord. “Lord, you said that once I decided to follow you, you would walk all the way with me, but I noticed that during the most troublesome times of my life there was only one set of footprints. I don’t understand why, when I needed you most, you deserted me.”
The Lord replied, “My precious child, I love you and would never leave you. During your times of trial and suffering, when you see only one set of footprints, those were the times when I carried you in my arms.”
A Priest and Nun in Winter
A priest and a nun were lost in a snowstorm. After a while, they came upon a small cabin. Being exhausted, they prepared to go to sleep. There was a stack of blankets in the corner and a sleeping bag on the floor but only one bed. Being a gentleman, the priest said, “Sister, you sleep on the bed. I’ll sleep on the floor in the sleeping bag.”
Just as he got zipped up in the bag and was beginning to fall asleep, the nun said, “Father, I’m cold.” He unzipped the sleeping bag, got up, got a blanket and put it on her.
Once again, he got into the sleeping bag, zipped it up and started to drift off to sleep when the nun once again said, “Father, I’m still very cold.” He unzipped the bag, got up again, put another blanket on her and got into his sleeping bag once again.
Just as his eyes closed, she said, “Father, I’m sooooo cold.” This time, he remained there and said, “Sister, I have an idea. We’re out here in the wilderness where no one will ever know what happened. Let’s pretend we’re married.” The nun purred, “That’s fine by me.”
To which the priest yelled back, “Get up and get your own stupid blanket!”
We use stories to share ideas, information, advice, hope, humor and many other lessons. Ultimately, our images and stories help us as much as they help others…What do you think? What are your thoughts? Do you enjoy telling stories? How d0 you find the stories you share? Do you have fond memories of story time during your childhood? What kind of stories appeal to you? Do share! Thank you.
Positive Motivation Tip: Stories transport us to anther time while teaching us profound lessons about life. Find your story…
PHOTO CREDITS/ATTRIBUTIONS: All Photos bookshelves, baobab tree, thirty stories, Griots Sambala, Niger Griot, via Wikipedia or Storytime by Jon K, via Flickr. Stories: Found on Yuni.com and lifesmith.com
- Cat Humor: Summer Fun Moments (eof737wordpress.com)