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BABY BEGINS TO SPEAK
"I've had a dreadful day," the wife complained to her husband. "First the baby cut his first tooth, then he took his first step, and then he fell and knocked out his first tooth."
"Well, and then what happened?" asked the husband.
"Oh, darling," the wife answered in a shocked voice, "he said his first word."
Bobby had a hard time pronouncing his "Rs", so the teacher gave him this sentence to learn: "Robert gave Richard a rap in the rib for roasting the rabbit so rare."
A few days later she asked Bobby to repeat the sentence. He rose and said: "Bob gave Dick a poke in the side for not doing the bunny well."
A blushing girl handed the telegraph clerk a message to a boyfriend containing only his name, address, and one word "Yes."
"You can send five more words for the same price," said the clerk helpfully.
"Yes, I know," replied the girl, "but don't you think I'd look too eager if I said the same thing six times?"
"I don't know what to do about my son. He says he wants to be a racing motorist," the father said.
"If that's the case, you'd better not stand in his way," advised a friend.
A circus owner decided to create a sensation by showing a dog who could speak English. Then he thought better of it and advertised two English-speaking dogs in one number.
At the first night performance the excited owner stood with the trainer behind the scenes. Two dogs were brought on to the arena where they began staring at each other with great animosity. The nervous circus owner asked the trainer: "Why, they seem not to like each other at all? Will they be able to speak?"
"They are not on speaking terms tonight," commented the trainer.
CANT SAY "YES"
"Why don't you marry her?"
"She has a slight impediment."
"How sad, what is it?" "She can't say 'yes'."
ISAAC NEWTON'S DINNER
Isaac Newton was often so deeply interested in difficult problems that he became quite absent-minded. One day a gentleman came to see him, but he was told that Sir Isaac Newton was busy in his study and that nobody was allowed to disturb him.
As it was dinner-time, the visitor sat down in the dining-room to wait for the scientist. The servant came in and placed on the table a boiled chicken under a cover. An hour passed, but Newton did not appear. The gentleman, feeling hungry, ate the chicken, and covering up the skeleton, asked the servant to prepare another one for his master.
Before the second chicken was ready, however, the scientist entered the room, apologizing for his delay. Then he added: "As I feel rather tired and hungry, I hope you will excuse me a little longer, while I take my dinner, and then I will be at your service." With these words he lifted the cover, and without emotion turned round to the gentleman and said: "See what a strange set we scientists are! I quite forgot that I had dined already."
At this moment the servant brought in the other chicken. The visitor explained how matters stood. After a hearty laugh, the hungry scientist sat down to dine.
When Erich Remarque, the well-known German novelist was still a young man, he was once introduced to an American girl who was travelling in Germany. Speaking in German, the girl asked Remarque why he had never visited the United States. His answer was that he couldn't speak English. In fact, he knew only four sentences, he said.
"What are those sentences?" asked the girl, much interested.
Speaking slowly, with a strong German accent, the writer said: "How do you do? I love you. Forgive me. Ham and eggs, please."
"Why," cried the girl, "with these sentences you could tour the United States from Maine to California."
TOO GREAT A MAJORITY
Bernard Shaw's gift of ready wit is well illustrated by the story of how he turned the laugh against a member of the public who was expressing disapproval of one of his plays.
It was the first night of "Arms and the Man", a play which had a very good reception from a crowded house. When the curtain fell at the end of the last act there was tremendous applause, accompanied by insistent call for the author to appear. One man in the gallery was whistling thus expressing his disapproval.
Bernard Shaw appeared before the curtain, waited in silence until the end of the applause. Then, looking up at that critic, he said: "I quite agree with you, Sir, but what can we two do against all these people?"
MARK TWAIN'S LECTURE
Once a literary club invited Mark Twain to give a lecture. Before the lecture one of the members of the club came to him and said:
"Mr. Twain, people say that you can tell very funny stories. I hope that during your lecture you will tell a story that will make my uncle laugh. He hasn't laughed for ten years."
"I'll do my best," Mark Twain said.
When he began his lecture, Mark Twain noticed the club member. He was sitting in front of him with an old man who had a very sad face.
Mark Twain began to tell jokes, one after another. "I told long jokes and short jokes, new jokes and old jokes," Mark Twain told his friends. "I told every joke in my memory, and soon everybody was laughing. Everybody — but not the old man. He continued to look at me with his cold, blue eyes. I was ashamed to think that I couldn't make him laugh, and I tried again and again. But nothing helped..."
After the lecture, the club member came to Mark Twain and said, "Thank you, Mr. Twain. I have never heard so many very funny stories."
"They weren't funny enough for your uncle," Mark Twain answered. "He didn't even smile."
"I know," the man said. "I told you that he hasn't laughed for ten years. But I didn't tell you that he hasn't heard anything for ten years. He is deaf."
Jack was young, rich, and fond of girls. He hardly ever did any work, and spent most of his time enjoying himself.
One summer he bought a big motor-boat. As soon as it was ready to go to sea, he telephoned to one of the girls he had met somewhere, and invited her for a trip in his new motor-boat. It was the first of many successful invitations of this kind.
The way Jack used to invite a girl for a trip in his boat was like this: he would begin by saying, "Hullo, Laura (or whatever the girl's name was). I have just bought a beautiful new motor-boat, and I would like to take you out for a trip in it."
The girl's answer was usually cautious, because everybody in that part of the country knew Jack's reputation with girls. She would say something like this: "Oh, really? That's nice. What name have you given to the boat?"
Jack would then answer, "Well Laura, I have named it after you."
Of course, the girl would feel very proud that Jack had chosen her name for the boat out of the names of all his many girl-friends, and she would think that Jack must really love her. She would therefore be quite willing to accept his invitation to go for a trip in his motor-boat.
It would not be until she got down to the harbour and actually saw the boat that she would understand how cleverly Jack had tricked her. Because there in neat gold letters on the boat she would see its name — 'After You'.
A man was tired of living in his old house in the country and wanted to sell it and buy a better one. He attempted to sell it for a long time, but was not successful, so at last he decided to solve the problem by using an estate agent.
The agent promptly advertised the house, and a few days later, the owner saw a very attractive photograph of it, with a wonderful description of its gardens, in an expensive magazine.
After the house owner had read the advertisement through, he hastened to telephone the estate agent and said to him, "I'm sorry, Mr. Jones, but I've decided not to sell my house after all. After reading your advertisement in that magazine, I can see that it's just the kind of house I've wanted to live in all my life."
Jean was a very beautiful young girl, so she was quite used to some men showing their admiration for her, and to others being confused and shy when they saw her.
One summer, when Jean was travelling abroad, she went into a cafe in a small town, sat down and waited to be served.
The young waiter was talking to someone at the bar when she came in, and at first he did not pay any attention to her, because he had not looked at her properly. Then he turned round and saw how beautiful she was. His face went bright red, and he hurried over to take her order.
"I'd like coffee without cream, please," Jean said.
The waiter hurried out, and came back a few minutes later without the coffee.
"I'm very sorry," he said, "but we haven't got any cream. Would you like your coffee without milk?"
April 1st is a day on which, in some countries, people try to play tricks on others. If one succeeds in tricking somebody, one laughs and says, "April Fool!", and then the person who has been tricked usually laughs too.
One April 1st, a country bus was going along a winding road when it slowed down and stopped. The driver anxiously turned switches and pressed buttons, but nothing happened. Then he turned to the passengers with a worried look on his face and said, "This poor bus is getting old. It isn't going as well as it used to. There's only one thing to do if we want to get home today. I shall count three, and on the word 'three', I want you all to lean forward suddenly as hard as you can. That should get the bus started again, but if it doesn't, I am afraid there is nothing else I can do. Now, all of you lean back as far as you can in your seats and get ready."
The passengers all obediently pressed back against their seats and waited anxiously.
Then the driver turned to his front and asked, "Are you ready?"
The passengers hardly had enough breath to answer, "Yes."
"One! Two! Threel" counted the driver. The passengers all swung forward suddenly and the bus started up at a great rate.
The passengers breathed more easily and began to smile with relief. But their smiles turned to surprised and then delighted laughter when the driver merrily cried, "April Fool!"
Mr Robinson had to travel somewhere on business, and as he was in a hurry, he decided to go by air. He liked sitting beside a window when he was flying, so when he got on to the plane, he looked for a window seat. He found that all of them had already been taken except for one. There was a soldier sitting in the seat beside this one, and Mr. Robinson was surprised that he had not taken the one by the window; but, anyhow, he at once went towards it.
When he reached it, however, he saw that there was a notice on it. It was written in ink and said, "This seat is reserved for proper load balance. Thank you." Mr. Robinson had never seen such a notice in a plane before, but he thought that the plane must be carrying something particularly heavy in its baggage room which made it necessary to have the passengers properly balanced, so he walked on and found another empty seat, not beside a window, to sit in.
Two or three other people tried to sit in the window seat beside the soldier, but they too read the notice and went on. Then, when the plane was nearly full, a very beautiful girl stepped into the plane. The soldier, who was watching the passengers coming in, quickly took the notice off the seat beside him and in this way succeeded in having the company of the girl during the whole of the trip.
A gay young man, who earned his living as a drummer in a band, had just married, and he and his wife were looking for somewhere to live. They saw a lot of places, but there was always something that one of them did not like about them. At last, however, they found a block of new flats which both of them really liked. However, there was still the problem of whether they should take one of the ground-floor flats, which had a small garden, or one of the upstairs ones.
At last they decided on a first-floor flat — not too low down and not too high up — and moved in. After they had bought furniture, carpets, curtains, and all the rest, they gave a big party to celebrate the setting up of their first home together.
It was a gay and noisy party, as all the host's friends from the band came and played their instruments. The guests danced, sang and practised on their host's drums.
Soon after one a.m. the telephone rang. The hostess went to answer it in the hall, and after she had finished, came back with a happy smile on her face and said to her husband, "That was the man who has just moved into the flat downstairs telephoning, dear. I am so glad we decided not to choose it. He says it is terribly noisy down there."
Mr and Mrs Davies had left their Christmas shopping very late. There were only a few days more before Christmas, and of course the shops and streets were terribly crowded, but they had to get presents for their family and friends, so they started out early one morning for the big city and spent several tiring hours buying the things they wanted in the big shops.
By lunch-time, Mr Davies was loaded down with parcels of all shapes and sizes.He could hardly see where he was going as he and his wife left the last shop on their way to the railway station and home. Outside the shop they had to cross a busy street, made even busier than usual by the thousands of people who had come by car to do their last-minute Christmas shopping.
Mr and Mrs Davies had to wait for the traffic lights to change, but as Mr Davies could not see in front of him properly, he gradually moved forward into the road without realizing it. Mrs Davies saw this and became worried. Several times she urged her husband to come back off the road but without success. He could not hear her because of the noise of the traffic.
Finally she shouted in a voice that could he heard clearly above all the noise, "Henry! If you intend to stand in that dangerous position a moment longer, give me the parcels!"
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