What is the sound of one piston slapping?
What is the sound of one piston slapping?

Since we started with an Alex Kilgour joke, here's another. Set up nicely in the book for a double punchline:

Y' see, y're learnin', Marl. F'r openers, y' hae learned th' virtues ae patience. T' elaborate, Ah'll noo hae a parable. Are y' religious, lass?"

"Nossir. But my creche was."

"Then th' fable be e'en closer't' y'r heart. Seems thae was a man. Nae a puir man, nae a laird. But he's livin't i' a wee house, an' he dinnae like it, but he canna fin' th' money frae a bigger one.

"So he hears aboot a wise man. Ver', ver' wise, he is. An he determines't' consult thae' wise man.

"Bein't wise, a' course it's a't'rble journey't' find him. But eventually our hero climbs't' th' top ae th' mountain where th' magi hangi't his beanie, an' he pleads, 'Great One, what c'n Ah do? M' house i' wee an' Ah canna stand it.'

"Th' wise man thinks, an' asks, 'Hae y' a coo?'

" 'A coo?'

" 'Aye, a coo."

" 'Aye, Ah hae a braw Hereford.'

" 'Move it i' y'r house.'

"An' th' wise man refus't't' say more, i' spite ae th' man's pleadin't an' cryin't. So th' man goes back home, an' aye, it's e'en more a't'rble trek.

"An' he's thinkit, an wonderin't, but he knows th' wise man's truly wise, an' so he moves his coo in't' sleep wi' him. An' his wee house is e'en wee-er.

"An' he canna stand it. So he goes back,'t'rble journey thae it is, all th' way't' th' wise man, an' again asks th' question.

"Th' wise man thinks, an' then he says, 'Hae y' a goat?'

" 'A goat?'

" 'Aye, a goat.'

" 'Ah hae a goat.'

"Move it i' th' house, too.'

"An' once again, th' wise man refuse'! say more.

"So th' man, noo puzzled sorely, wander't back't' his wee home, an' thinkit. But 'cause th' sage i' truly wise, he move th' goat i' wi' him an' th' coo.

"An' noo he truly canna stand it, f'r his house is e'en smaller.

"So again, he goes back't' th' wise man, an' asks f r help, sayin't 'Ah hae a wee house, noo wi' a coo an' a goat i' it, an' i's bleedin' crowded, an' Ah canna stand it.'

"An' th' wise man think't, an' then he says, 'Hae y' chickens?'


'Aye, chickens.'

'Aye, Ah hae chickens.'

" 'Move 'em i' th' house. Come't' ponder, i' y' hae ducks, an' swans, an' pigs, hae them i' the house ae well.'

"An' despite th' man's pleadin', th' wise man sayit noo more.

"But th' man goes back home, an' puts th' chickens in th' house. An' noo i's worse, i's so bad i's intolerable. Thae's no room left i' th' house f'r th' man, i's so crowded.An' he journeys back yet again't' th' wise man, an' says, 'Ah canna stand it! M' wee house hae naught but animals i' it, an' there's noo room ae all f'r me! Noo, Ah'm pleadin't, help me!'

"An' th' wise man sayit, 'Go home, an' take all th' animals oot ae th' house.'

"An' thae's all he'll say.

"An' th' man rush't home, an' clear oot all th' animals, an' y' ken whae he discovered?

"He still hae a wee house.

"But noo it's entire full ae animal shit!"

Marl stared at Kilgour for long moments. She had been warned. She should have known. But…

"What does that have to do with patience?"

"Y' listened all th' way through, di'nt y'?"



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