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January 5, 2011

World's Longest Pun

Mutt: Hey Jeff, you ever hear the one about the Fu Bird?
Jeff: Would I want to?
Mutt: Oh, it's a great story, if a little long. You might say a tad long-ish, just a tad. But worth it. Definitely. Really.
Jeff: I've got a dentist appointment this afternoon, but I'm sure this will be more painful.
Mutt: A number of years ago there lived on Long Island, a wealthy business man who had made and lost a couple of fortunes on Wall Street in his short 29 years. At the time of this story, the business man was enjoying his third fortune and had taken a year off from work. His mother had recently died, and one day while he was exploring some old chests in the attic of the huge farmhouse in the Adirondac Mountains near Lake Placid, he came across a map that was obviously very, very old. Something striking about the map immediately caught his attention. After studying the map for several days, the business man became convinced that this was indeed an authentic map to the fabled Seven Cities of Cybolla. Persistent stories handed down from generation to generation told of a fabulously wealthy circle of seven cities whose exact location had been lost somewhere in the deep, dark jungles of Africa and had never been found. These stories also told of fabulous stores of jewels, gold and priceless artifacts that still existed for anyone who could locate the seven cities.

The business man was determined to be the first to find the Seven Cities of Cybolla and to claim its treasures, so he confided in two of his closest friends and persuaded them to join him. Together, they sailed to Africa, rode overland for four days and found themselves in the small town of Aba on the border of the deepest jungles in what was once the Belgian Congo. There they organized a safari of 25 native porters carrying food, clothing, supplies and large, empty boxes with which to carry the treasures out of the jungle.

Early the next morning, a line of native porters led by the three Americans headed out into the jungles. Travel was slow in the intense heat and humidity of the tropical forest, particularly as they had to literally cut every inch of their path by swinging huge machetes to clear away the vines and undergrowth. For four days of grueling travel, following the markings on the old map, the safari made its way across swollen rivers, through mosquito infested swamps and past many alligator nests. At high noon on the fifth day, while the safari was resting from its exhausting work, the group suddenly heard a terrifying sound off in the distance in the direction in which the safari was headed. "Fu.... Fu.... Fu..." was the sound.

The members of the safari looked at each other, unsure what was making such a shrieking, ungodly sound. All of a sudden, there appeared in the air directly over the group, a huge, black bird, screaming at a deafening level, "FU!!! FU!!! FU!!!" In one swoop, the Fu bird took aim at the first of the three Americans at the head of the safari, dove headlong through the air at near supersonic speed in a dive bombing run so well executed that any military pilot would have been impressed, and completely covered the man with crap. It was a terrible, vile smelling mess! The poor man quickly ran to the edge of the nearby stream, dove in and immediately began to scrub away at the disgusting crap. After an hour of hard work, the majority of the stuff had been washed away and the man felt he was ready to move on again. That night, while everyone else was sleeping, the man died.

The rest of the expedition were truly saddened by the death of the man, but the two remaining American organizers decided that they should continue on in spite of this tragedy. They were sure their friend would have wanted it that way and besides, now the loot only had to be split two ways. Before long they were on their way, hacking their path through the jungle after they had properly buried the body of their friend. Unfortunately they had not gone too far when once again they heard the sounds of the approaching Fu bird: "Fu.... Fu.... Fu...." The safari members began to run for cover but it was too late and the huge Fu bird suddenly appeared at the head of the line of running people, took aim at the American in the lead, and dumped a tremendous load which covered the man from head to foot. As the poor man raced to the stream to wash the terrible mess off, he stopped, remembering that the first man had died after he had cleaned away the very same kind of crap. Perhaps, he reasoned, there was a connection between washing and his unfortunate death. With that, the second man returned to the group, determined not to take a bath as long as he could stand it. That determination lasted for nearly a week when finally it became so unbearable in appearance, smell and discomfort that the man finally gave in. He went to the stream and cleaned the mess from his body. Later that night, while everyone else was sleeping, he died.

The business man who had initiated the safari was very sad because he had lost two of his closest friends, but decided to continue because he knew his friends would have wanted him to. Besides, the loot would be his alone with no need to share the treasures with anyone else! The next morning he climbed to the top of a hill and to his amazement, there at his feet, lay a lush, tropical valley and the Seven Cities of Cybolla glittering in all their glory. The business man rushed down the hill, along the banks of the river and made his way to the entrance of the cities. As he ran deliriously through the streets of the cities he yelled "They are mine!! It's all mine!!!" He yelled so loudly and was so overwhelmed at his unbelievable discovery that he didn't hear the approaching Fu bird. The gigantic bird took aim at the business man and as accurately as in his first two attacks, smartly deposited the largest load of crap yet on the man running through the empty streets. The stunned man stopped and was about to rush to the stream to wash the mess off when he realized that it would be certain and immediate death in the night to do so. He sadly realized that he had discovered the world's richest treasures, but had also been given the cross of isolation at the same time.

To make a very long story somewhat shorter, the business man did claim all the wealth of the Seven Cities of Cybolla, returned to America and lived a very long life in all the luxury his unmeasured wealth could afford. However, he enjoyed his wealth as a lonely, isolated man. His wife, his children, his family and his friends disowned him because of the absolutely disgusting appearance and stench of the man because of the crap. They did not understand why he refused to wash the mess and clean himself.

After many, lonely years, he neared death. Realizing he had only a few more days to live, the business man decided he wanted more than anything else to see his wife and children again. Carefully, he went into the shower with steel wool cleaning pads and a chisel. It took him most of the day, but he was clean and ready to greet his family at the door when they arrived for dinner. He spent a wonderful evening sharing with the family, catching up on all the news and local gossip, and finally they left.

Later that night, the business man died...

Now I would not have imposed upon your time and attention without having a purpose. I am very sensitive to the value of time and am determined to make the time you have given to this story worthwhile. My goal in telling this story is to draw from the experience of this heroic and fabulously wealthy man and learn so that we might become better and more mature individuals. I believe the true message of this story is, in fact, a moral with deep meaning for us all:
"If the Fu shits, wear it."

Jeff: Disgusting.
Mutt: Yeah. Good though. You're groaning today, but you'll be telling it tomorrow.

[Pedersen's note: if you know a longer pun, please send it in and win a prize.]

Happy trials, Martin