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my grandfather's favorite joke
by dirk cotton

My grandfather loved to tell jokes. I never knew anyone who got more enjoyment out of telling one. But, he was really bad at it.

He could only remember a few and he repeated them to people who had already heard them. He drew the stories out three times longer than they needed to be and then, after the joke was finished, he applied the coup de grace by laughing loudly at his own joke and repeating the punch line.

Sometimes he'd close with, "Isn't that awful?"

I believe this one might have been his favorite.

A young man developed severe migraine headaches and traveled all around to various doctors looking for a cure. Eventually, he traveled all the way to the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota where, after a week of tests with no cause determined, he was told that he should simply learn to live with the migraines.

The migraines persisted throughout his life but he did get better at coping with them.

One day, this man decided he needed a new suit of clothes to wear to church on Sunday. His friends told him about an amazing salesman at a nearby men's store who could fit his customers exquisitely without even using a tape measure.

He asked for the salesman by name and asked to see suits in his size.

The salesman studied him for a few seconds and said, “You’ll need a 38 Regular suit, but we’ll need to shorten the left sleeve a quarter inch more than the right because your right arm is just a bit longer.”

“That’s amazing!” the customer replied. “My friends told me you could do that, but I didn’t really believe them.”

“I’ve been doing this for a long time,” the salesman answered with a smile. “Will you need a hat to go with that suit?”

“I could use one, yeah.”

The salesman glanced at the customer's head and said, “6 and 7/8”.

“Wow! Exactly!” came the reply. "How do you do that without even measuring?"

"Oh, just from experience," the salesman replied.

The salesman showed his customer several dress hats in that size and he soon found one he liked with the suit.

“Do you sell shoes?” asked the customer.

“I believe we have a nice selection in size 9 narrow,” the salesman said.

“There you go again. That’s incredible! How do you do it?” the customer queried.

“Like I said, I’ve been doing this for a long time. Now, do you need some boxers or socks?”

“Well,” the customer responded, “I could use a few new pairs of boxer shorts.”

“OK," said the salesman. “The size 40 boxers are right over here.”

“Ha! Finally!” shouted the customer. “You’re mistaken. I wear a size 34 boxer.”

The salesman studied the customer for a moment and replied politely but confidently, “Sir, I'm pretty sure you’re going to need a size 40.”

“No, I have you this time!” came the reply. “I’ve been wearing size 34 boxers my entire adult life!”

“Well,” the salesman said as he studied the customer’s frame one more time, “you could wear a size 34. . .”

He paused for a second, deep in thought.

“. . . but they’ll bind in the crotch and give you migraine headaches.”

Bradley Cox

"They'll bind in the crotch and give you migraine headaches. Isn't that awful?" — Bradley Cox


Dirk Cotton is a retired executive of a Fortune 500 Internet company who loves to spend time with his family, fly fish, shoot sporting clays, attend college baseball games, sail, follow the Wildcats, and write. Everything else he does is just for fun. A computer programmer-cum-marketing executive-cum-financial planner who now wants to be a writer, he apparently can't decide what he wants to be when he grows up. He and his family moved to The Southern Part of Heaven in 2005 and couldn't be happier with that decision.

more about dirk cotton


is bee-ing outside the best part of summer?
by dirk cotton
topic: humor
published: 6.29.09

by dirk cotton
topic: humor
published: 8.19.09


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