Joe G. Dillard, a longtime Columbia resident who recently published his first book "A Full Cup of Joe", would like to issue a shaggy dog story challenge to readers. A shaggy dog story is usually a long-winded tale featuring narration of irrelevant incidents that ends with a pointless, though humorous, punchline. He's included a few starter stories for you below.
If you've got a good shaggy dog story to share, please leave a comment below the story or send it to firstname.lastname@example.org, and we'll publish your story in the From Readers section.
“A Full Cup of Joe” is available from Amazon.com (soft cover and e-book) and the University of Missouri Bookstore. You can obtain autographed copies by sending a check for $15 made out to Joe G. Dillard at 3535 West Arbor Way, Columbia, MO 65203 (include the address you want it mailed to, if it isn't on the check). Three dollars of each sale will go to the American Cancer Society. What a deal; we help the Postal Service a little bit, do something for cancer research and help old Joe pay down the debt on publishing the book. The ISBN number is 978-1-4759-2481-7.
Shaggy Dog #1:
Old Henry lived way out in the woods in a little log cabin with his good rabbit hunting beagle dog named Booze.
There was a pretty good snow on one day, so old Henry and Booze decided to kill a rabbit for supper.
Off they went and before long old Booze caught the trail of a bunny and off he went with his nose to the ground giving off those familiar beagle-like howls.
The old rabbit made a beeline toward the railroad track and crossed over just as a train approached. Old Booze had his head down and just barely got over the tracks before the train passed.
Actually, it did nip him and cut his tail clean off!
Well, old Henry gathered up Booze and his cut off tail and headed back to the cabin. He went in and sat down in his favorite rocking chair, got out a needle and some thread and started sewing the tail back on old Booze.
About that time there was a knock on the door. Not wanting to put Booze down, he yelled, “Come on in” and much to his surprise there stood a Revenuer!
The Revenuer said, “Well, Henry I gotcha now!”
Old Henry replied, “What for? I haven’t made any booze for a long time.”
The old Revenuer said, “I know, but now you are Retailing Booze without a license!”
Shaggy Dog #2
So this guy goes to the grocery store with his wife and mother-in-law. They both immediately start berating him about the way he is dressed, his smart remarks to them, the stuff he wants to put in the shopping cart, etc.
Before long he meets up with his old friend Artie."Hey Artie," he says, “I’ll give you 50 cents if you choke that old bag of a wife of mine and I’ll give you another 50 cents if you do the same thing to my mother-in-law. They are driving me nuts."
Old Artie thought about it for a minute and said, “I’ll do it, but how are we going to get it done?”
Well, the guy said, “I’ll just tell them that there are some really good deals in the cooler and that there is a person there to help them.”
“Great”, said Artie and he headed off to the cooler.
It wasn’t long before he came out of the cooler and said, “I gotta ‘er done!”
So the guy says, “Great, here’s a dollar for the two of them.”
The next morning, there is a blaring headline in the local newspaper:
“Artie Chokes Two for a Dollar at the Local Grocery Store!”
This story is part of a section of the Missourian called From Readers, which is dedicated to your voices and your stories. We hope you'll consider sharing. Here's how. Supervising editor is Joy Mayer.