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Letter from Australia No. 1

You probably didn't know that Australia is the driest inhabited continent on earth. Antarctica is drier, but no one lives there yet. The way the ice is melting, however, it won't be long.

We're so dry here that it's only our native cunning and ingenuity that have kept us from joining the great central desert as some of the sand. We all have rainwater tanks, and until recently we collected enough for a glass a day, but now we have to distil the beer if we want real water, not bad with a yeasty taste.

The government has tried several things to make life easier for us, like reducing the tariff on the imported stuff, and they're trying de-salination, but that's been promised industry so we can keep employment up. This gives some of us enough to buy water bottled overseas, while seeing most of us live near the sea we've taken to drinking ordinary seawater, which is OK once your kidneys are used to it; these are now the biggest of any race, and growing.

The cats have grown armour, like lizards, and can go without for about a week. The dogs have tunnelled underground into some springs, and seem intent on guarding their finds, while freshwater fish are simply called 'dusties'. Salt tolerant crops are a breakthrough that keeps us in fodder, while enormous solar-powered stills in the sun-drenched outback provide enough water for the recalcitrant sheep and cattle, which refuse to drink the salty stuff.

Cries of global warming bounce off the well-watered politicians who have already got their second homes in rain drenched parts of the earth. They don't know what it is to be thirsty, that's for sure.

Still it's not all bad. We're trading uranium, gas and coal for tankers of water from China, soft drinks from America, and alcohol from everywhere. We'll get by, but it would help that when you come to see for yourselves how dry is dry you bring your own and a couple of gallons for me. Oh, by the way - don't expect to wash.

Sorry for the pause. I had to find some spit so I could swallow.

Submitted by Lindsay, Melbourne, Australia.

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Murphy's Law - The Tech Version
  • All great discoveries are made by mistake.
  • Tell a man there are 300 billion stars in the universe and he'll believe you. Tell him a bench has wet paint on it and he'll have to touch to be sure.
  • Nothing ever gets built on schedule or within budget.
  • All's well that ends.
  • A meeting is an event at which the minutes are kept and the hours are lost.
  • A computer makes as many mistakes in two seconds as 20 men working 20 years make.
  • Nothing motivates a man more than to see his boss putting in an honest day's work.
  • After all is said and done, a heck of a lot more is said than done.

Submitted by Kenneth, Shropshire, England

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Top Five Most Frivolous Cases Filed By New York City Prisoners
  • Francis Hugh Smith claimed New York owed him US$10 million because faulty medical care caused amnesia that made him leave his work-release job and forget to return to prison.
  • Anthony Malloy sough "US$989 billion trillion" because he said prison guards beat up his jacket, which he was not wearing at the time. His case was dismissed.
  • Anthony Gill claimed secondhand cigarette smoke from other inmates caused him medical problems -- altho' he buys cigarettes from the prison commissary.
  • Jose Reyes wants US$1000 because the state made him eat vegetable diet loaf after he violated prison rules. He said he lost 450g.
  • Thomas Higgins sued the state for US$10,000 because a prison laundry machine broke and he claims a constitutional right to clean clothes and blankets.

Submitted by Kenneth, Shropshire, England

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A cop was patrolling late at night in a well-known spot. He sees a couple in a car ...

...  with the interior light brightly glowing. The cop carefully approaches the car to get a closer look.

Then he sees a young man behind the wheel, reading a computer magazine. He immediately notices a young woman in the rear seat, knitting. Puzzled by this surprising situation, the cop walks to the car and gently raps on the driver's window.

The young man lowers his window . "Uh, yes, officer?" The cop says: "What are you doing?"

The young man says: "Well, Officer, I'm reading a magazine." Pointing towards the young woman in the back seat the cop says: "And her, what is she doing?"

The young man shrugs: "Sir, I believe she's knitting a pullover sweater."

Now, the cop is totally confused. A young couple. Alone, in a car, at night in a Lover's lane....and nothing obscene is happening!

The cop asks: "What's your age, young man?" The young man says, "I'm 22, sir." The cop asks, "And her ... what's her age?"

The young man looks at his watch and replies: "She'll be 18 in 11 minutes."

Submitted by Jay, Long Island, NY.

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A young doctor moved out to a small community to replace the aging doctor there.

The older doctor suggested that the younger doctor accompany him as he made his house calls so that the people of the community could become accustomed to him. At the first house they visited, the younger doctor listened intently as the older doctor and an older lady discussed the weather, their grandchildren and the latest church bulletin.

After some time, the older doctor asked his patient how she had been feeling. "I've been a little sick to my stomach," she replied.

"Well," said the older physician, "you've probably been over doing it a bit with the fresh fruit. Why don't you cut back on the amount of fresh fruit you eat and see if that helps."

As they left the house, the younger doctor asked how the older doctor had reached his diagnosis so quickly. "You didn't even examine that woman," the younger doctor stated.

"I didn't have to," the elder physician explain. "You noticed I dropped my stethoscope on the floor in there. Well when I bent over to pick it up, I looked around and noticed a half dozen banana peels in the trash can. That is probably what has been making her ill."

"That's pretty sneaky," commented the younger doctor. "Do you mind if I try it at the next house?"

"I don't suppose it could hurt anything," the elder physician replied.

At the next house, the two doctors visited with an elderly widow. They spent several minutes discussing the weather and grandchildren and the latest church bulletin. After several minutes, the younger doctor asked the widow how she had been feeling lately.

"I've felt terribly run down lately," the widow replied. "I just don't have as much energy as I used to."

"You've probably been doing too much work for the church," the younger doctor suggested without even examining his patient. "Perhaps you should ease up a bit and see if that helps."

As they left, the elder physician said, "Your diagnosis is probably right, but do you mind telling me how you came to that conclusion?"

"Sure," replied the younger doctor. "Just like you, I dropped my stethoscope on the floor. When I bent down to pick it up, I looked around and there was the preacher hiding under the bed!"

Submitted by Kenneth, Shropshire, England

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A Navy officer was cutting through the crew's quarters of his ship one day ...

... and happened upon a sailor reading a magazine with his feet up on the small table in front of him.

"Sailor! Do you put your feet up on the furniture at home?" the officer demanded.

"No, sir, but we don't land airplanes on the roof either."

Also Submitted by Kenneth, Shropshire, England

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I turned on the computer as usual this morning, only to see 'Start up file not found. Reboot.'

I did, same message. Nothing I could do except take it to my friendly computer guru, but as he does not work on Sundays I was faced with a real problem. What to do with the day?

I asked my wife. "Mope," was her sarcastic reply. We'd been down that path before, so I stood and thought. Why not curry favour with her by doing all those things that had been glibly promised, at least those from this year? Right. Mow the lawns, weed the flowerbeds, trim the shrubs, sweep the paths, tidy the garage, fix the bookshelves, fix cupboard. With an idiot smile I did, and five hours later was able to sit and mope over the lack of computer. But I got a cuddle and a kiss, real reward for effort.

The following morning the doorbell announced a visitor: An estate agent who was going to appraise the house, as we had in mind to sell and move to the country, out of noisy suburbia. "Beautifully maintained," he commented, "excellent presentation," and he named a figure 30,000 more than the previous agent.

We decided to let him put it on the market, with his figure as reserve.

Great. Except now I've got to find another way to make that much money in that much time again. It's better than writing.

Submitted by Lindsay, Melbourne, Australia

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A distinguished young woman on a flight from Switzerland asked the priest beside her ...

... "Father, may I ask a favor?"

"Of course. What may I do for you?"

"Well, I bought an expensive electronic hair dryer that is well over the Customs limits and I'm afraid they'll confiscate it. Is there anyway you could carry it through Customs for me? Under your robes perhaps?"

"I would love to help you, dear, but I must warn you: I will not lie."

"With your honest face, Father, no one will question you."

When they got to Customs, she let the priest go ahead of her. The official asked, "Father, do you have anything to declare?"

"From the top of my head down to my waist, I have nothing to declare."

The official thought this answer strange, so asked, "And what do you have to declare from your waist to the floor?"

"I have a marvelous little instrument designed to be used on a woman, but which is, to date, unused."

Roaring with laughter, the official said, "Go ahead, Father. Next."

Submitted by Bill, Gettysburg, Pa.


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Brief political observation

If you consider that there has been an average of 160,000 troops in the Iraq Theater of operations during the last 22 months, and a total of 2,112 deaths, that gives a firearm death rate of 60 per 100,000 soldiers.

The firearm death rate in Washington D.C. is 80.6 per 100,000 for the same period.

That means that you are about 25% more likely to be shot and killed in the U.S. Capitol, which has some of the strictest gun control laws in the nation, than you are in Iraq.
Conclusion: The U.S. should pull out of Washington immediately.

Submitted by Eleanor, san Francisco, Calif.

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Two patients limp into two different American Medical clinics with the same complaint.

Both have trouble walking and appear to require a hip replacement.

The first patient is examined within the hour, is x-rayed the same day and has a time booked for surgery the following week.

The second sees the family doctor after waiting a week for an appointment, then waits eighteen weeks to see a specialist, then gets an x-ray, which isn't reviewed for another month and finally has his surgery scheduled for 6 months from then.

Why the different treatment for the two patients?

The first is a Golden Retriever.....

The second is a Senior Citizen.

Submitted by Eleanor, San Francisco, Calif.

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A farmer was sitting on his porch one hot summers day ...

... when a kid comes along carrying a big bundle of wire. "Hey kid," the farmer calls, "Where you goin' with that wire?"

"Well," the kid drawls, "this here aint just any old wire, this here's chicken wire, an' I'm fixin' to catch me some chickens."

"You caint catch chickens with chicken wire, son."

"Sure I can," the kid replies, and takes off down the road. At the end of the day he comes back down the road and sure enough, he's got a whole mess of chickens caught in the chicken wire.

The farmer is sitting on his porch the next morning too, and the same kid ambles down the lane carrying a big role of tape.

"Hey kid," the farmer calls, "where you goin' with that tape?"

"Well, this here aint any old tape, this here's duck tape, an' I'm fixin' to catch me some ducks."

"Son, you caint catch ducks with duck tape. Don't ya knows anythin'?"

"Sure I can," the kid says, and takes off down the road. At the end of the day he walks back down the lane, and the farmer can't believe his eyes, there's a whole bunch of ducks wrapped up in the tape.

Again the next morning the kid walks past carrying a stick.

"Hey, kid, where you goin' with that stick?" asks the farmer.

"Well, old man," the kid replies, "this here aint just any stick. This here's pussy willow."

"Hang on," says the farmer, licking his lips, a gleam in his eye, "I'll get my hat."

Later that morning he helped look after 75 cats. 

Submitted by Lindsay, Melbourne, Australia

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Places I'd Rather Not Live
  • Paradox, New York
  • Crapo, Maryland
  • Boogertown, North Carolina
  • Spasticville, Kansas
  • Hellhole, Idaho
  • Purgatory, Maine
  • Girdletree, Maryland
  • Rabbithash, Kentucky
  •  Rudeville, New Jersey
  • Boring, Oregon
  • Hell, Michigan
  • Hooker, California
  • Virgin, Utah
  • Dulls Corner, Maryland
  • Bowlegs, Oklahoma
  • Volcano, Hawaii
  • Beersville, Pennsylvania
  • Fleatown, Ohio
  • Burnt Corn, Alabama
  • Two Guns, Arizona
  • Toad Suck, Arkansas

What Would Freud Say About These Places?

  • Climax, Michigan
  • Spread Eagle, Wisconsin
  • Needmore, Arkansas
  • Hardup, Utah- Intercourse, Pennsylvania
  • Hornytown, North Carolina
  • Conception Junction, Missouri
  • Intercourse, Pennsylvania

Submitted by Kenneth, Shropshire, England

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A husband and his wife advertised for a live-in maid to cook and do the housework.

A likely-looking girl came in from the country, and they hired her.

She worked out fine, was a good cook, was polite, and kept the house neat. One day, after about six months, she came in and said she would have to quit.

"But why?" asked the disappointed wife.

She hemmed and hawed and said she didn't want to say, but the wife was persistent, so finally she said, "Well, on my day off a couple of months ago I met this good-looking fellow from over in the next county, and well, I'm pregnant."

The wife said, "Look, we don't want to lose you. My husband and I don't have any children, and we'll adopt your baby if you will stay."

She talked to her husband; he agreed, and the maid said she would stay. The baby came, they adopted it, and all went well.

After another year, though, the maid came in again and said that she would have to quit. The wife questioned her, found out that she was pregnant again, talked to her husband, and offered to adopt the baby if she would stay. She agreed, had the baby, they adopted it, and life went on as usual.

In a few months, however, she again said she would have to leave. Same thing. She was pregnant. They made the same offer, she agreed, and they adopted the third baby. She worked for a week or two, but then said, "I am definitely leaving this time."

"Don't tell me you're pregnant again?" asked the lady of the house.

"No," she said, "there are just too many kids here to pick up after."

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An Australian Love Poem (Who said Australian men weren't romantic?)

Of course I love ya darling
You're a bloody top notch bird
And when I say you're gorgeous
mean every single word

So ya bum is on the big side
I don't mind a bit of flab
It means that when I'm ready
There's somethin' there to grab

So your belly isn't flat no more
I tell ya, I don't care
So long as when I cuddle ya
I can get my arms round there

No sheila who is your age
Has nice round perky breasts
They just gave in to gravity
But I know ya did ya best

I'm tellin ya the truth now
I never tell ya lies
I think its very sexy
That you've got dimples on ya thighs

I swear on me nanna's grave now
The moment that we met
I thought u was as good as
I Was ever gonna get

No matter wot u look like
I'll always love ya dear
Now shut up while the footy's on
And fetch another beer!

Submitted by Lindsay, Melbourne, Australia

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Word Scrabble ...
  • DORMITORY: When you rearrange the letters: DIRTY ROOM
  • PRESBYTERIAN: When you rearrange the letters: BEST IN PRAYER
  • ASTRONOMER: When you rearrange the letters: MOON STARER
  • DESPERATION: When you rearrange the letters: A ROPE ENDS IT
  • THE EYES: When you rearrange the letters: THEY SEE
  • GEORGE BUSH: When you rearrange the letters: HE BUGS GORE
  • THE MORSE CODE: When you rearrange the letters: HERE COME DOTS
  • SLOT MACHINES: When you rearrange the letters: CASH LOST IN ME
  • ANIMOSITY: When you rearrange the letters: IS NO AMITY
  • ELECTION RESULTS: When you rearrange the letters: L IES - LET'S RECOUNT
  • SNOOZE ALARMS: When you rearrange the letters: ALAS! NO MORE Z 'S
  • A DECIMAL POINT: When you rearrange the letters: IM A DOT IN PLACE
  • THE EARTHQUAKES: When you rearrange the letters: THAT QUEER SHAKE
  • ELEVEN PLUS TWO: When you rearrange the letters: TWELVE PLUS ONE
  • MOTHER-IN-LAW: When you rearrange the letters: WOMAN HITLER

Submitted by Dave, Bolder, Co.

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A US Navy cruiser anchored in the Mississippi for a week's shore leave.

The first evening, the ship's Captain received the following note from the wife of a wealthy plantation owner:

"Dear Captain, Thursday will be my daughter Melinda's Debutante Ball. I would like you to send four well mannered, handsome, unmarried officers in their formal dress uniforms to attend the dance. They should arrive promptly at 8:00 PM prepared for an evening of polite Southern conversation. They should be excellent dancers, as they will be the escorts of lovely refined young ladies. One last point: No Jews Please."

At precisely 8:00 PM on Thursday, Melinda's mother heard a polite rap at the door which she opened to find, in full dress uniform, four handsome, smiling black officers. Her mouth fell open, but pulling herself together, she stammered: "There must be some mistake."

"No, Madam," said the first officer "Captain Goldberg never makes mistakes."

Submitted by Bill, Gettysburg, Pa.

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More 21st Century Sayings
  • The big spin-off from today's technology is apprehension
  • Some people are neatly divided between 'human' and 'being'
  • A poor tale oft told is this year's commercial break
  • Mediocrity is fine if you're prepared to excel at it.
  • We might decide where we are going, but we can never know what is in store
  • All equipment has two functions: To serve, and be serviced.
  • The more we waste time the more it wastes us.
  • Procrastination is one of the true pleasures of the overworked.
  • Being a woman is only a small part of being a person. Being a man is being a person.
  • Postponing all unpleasant things is fine if done without breaks
  • If only quiz shows created an audience of questioners
  • One rotten apple makes all today's harvest unconstitutional
  • We are nothing but a whole collection of private experiences
  • In the country of the mad, sanity is the first casuality
  • I am the complete professional - while no one is looking.
  • It takes at least two optimists to lift up one confirmed pessimist
  • There's nothing like being tired to have to stay awake
  • If you can succeed at success you will fail at failure
  • The love of God is easily supplanted by the love of money
  • Love is never passive. It is always kinetic
  • No one is perfect, but some of us are more perfect than others
  • When all else has failed, a little talent is good for one's amusement
  • Our government is only as good as we are induced to believe
  • The present is us continually catching up with the future.
  • In a cross section of life on earth, we'd find it mostly going on.
  • The silver lining of today's clouds is plastic
  • Hurry is the curse of the talking class and the balm of the thoughtless
  • Blood may be thicker than water, but it's a lot thinner than money
  • The love of money may be wrong, but greed has incentive
  • The future does not get less complicated, it only asks more questions
  • The easier way always presents itself after the job is done
  • Success is the best way society has of staying in business
  • Snobbishness is just a thin veneer for ignorance
  • Prettier Packages Protect Poorer Products
  • Most of us use our quota of genius by age one.
  • Never be caught with your expression down
  • Canute was a genius, Midas a conglomerate.
  • The science of destruction is like nature: No sentiment
  • Rather let cakes burn than inspiration perish
  • Force bends and breaks; tolerance and understanding rectifies
  • Some people's idea of keeping fit is to exercise their stupidity
  • Never employ someone who has already reached their level of incompetence
  • The ability to do must be preceded by the ability to think
  • There is no such thing as a dynamic ritual
  • Never have so many kept so few in such luxury
  • I'd tread the straight and narrow, but the gates are closed
  • It is only others who ever become irrational
  • The middle class is the filling in society's sandwich, between the upper crust and the crumbs

Submitted by Lindsey, Melbourne, Australia

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