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Stefan's Florilegium


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jokes-msg - 5/15/96

Period and SCA jokes.

NOTE: See also the files: humor-msg, you-know-msg, SCS-stories1-msg,
child-stories-msg, border-stories-msg.


This file is a collection of various messages having a common theme that
I have collected from my reading of the various computer networks. Some
messages date back to 1989, some may be as recent as yesterday.

This file is part of a collection of files called Stefan's Florilegium.
These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org

I have done a limited amount of editing. Messages having to do with
seperate topics were sometimes split into different files and sometimes
extraneous information was removed. For instance, the message IDs were
removed to save space and remove clutter.

The comments made in these messages are not necessarily my viewpoints. I
make no claims as to the accuracy of the information given by the
individual authors.

Please respect the time and efforts of those who have written these
messages. The copyright status of these messages is unclear at this
time. If information is published from these messages, please give
credit to the orignator(s).

Thank you,
Mark S. Harris AKA: Lord Stefan li Rous
mark.s.harris@motorola.com stefan@florilegium.org

From: ddfr@quads.uchicago.edu (david director friedman)
Date: 31 Jul 91 02:29:30 GMT
Organization: University of Chicago

"So does anyone out there have some good medieval jokes? Preferably
ones that don't just not reference anything modern, but DO reference
things medieval, as though current." (Dave Aronson)

During one of the campaigns against the Persians, a certain Bedouin
took prisoner a noble lady and ransomed her back to her kin for a
thousand dirhem. His comrades mocked him for having accepted so small
a payment for so valuable a prisoner. "Do you mean," the bedouin
replied, "that there is a number higher than ten hundreds?" (From
memory; my source is "Mohammed's People," and I do not know which
period account is his source).

The Romans say that if you have a Frank for a friend, it is certain
that he is not your neighbor. (From Two Lives of Charlemagne, I
think--probably the primary source is Notker the Stammerer).

Come by the bardic circle at my encampment in a few weeks and I will
tell you some more.

Ioseph posts a "How many mongols does it take to sharpen a sword"
joke. I do things like that too, but they are not really medieval
jokes, since they reference a strand of modern jokes (how many X's
does it take to do Y) which, so far as I know, has no period
antecedents. I simply do not know whether a medieval person would
find that funny or not.

How many Romans does it take to light a lantern?

One thousand and one. It requires the Emperor of the Romans to order
that the lantern be lit, Nine hundred and ninety nine Roman officials
to pass down the order, and a slave to light the lantern.

(note: To my persona, "Roman"="Byzantine." The Franks conquered Old
Rome a long time ago).


From: ds4p+@andrew.cmu.edu (David Schroeder)
Date: 21 Oct 91 20:58:06 GMT
Organization: Doctoral student, Industrial Administration, Carnegie Mellon,
Pittsburgh, PA

Good gentles -- this is a collection of lightbulb jokes for the realms of
the Known World that I've either overheard or invented. Improvements are
certainly solicited. If any are inadvertantly offensive, please let me
know and we can revise them... but for now, here they are (groan...):

Q: How many Westerners does it take to change a lightbulb?
A: Why would you want to do that? It's been just fine for 25 years!

Q: How many Calontiri does it take to change a lightbulb?
A: One hundred and two, but _what_ a ceremony!

Q: How many Easterners does it take to change a lightbulb?
A: Just one, but they have to take a vote first to decide who.

Q: How many Meridians does it take to change a lightbulb?
A: Just one, but he has to get it drunk first.

Q: How many Trimarians does it take to change a lightbulb?
A: Leave it out, it was only attracting mosquitos anyway.

Q: How many Caidans does it take to change a lightbulb?
A: Nobody knows. They can't figure out what to wear to change one.

Q: How many AnTir-folk does it take to change a lightbulb?
A: Just one, but the new bulb had better be a halogen fog lamp!

Q: How many Atlantians does it take to change a lightbulb?
A: That depends, which household does it belong to?

Q: How many Midrealmers does it take to change a lightbulb?
A: They won't say until they've consulted the Curia Regis...

Q: How many Ansteorrans does it take to change a lightbulb?
A: Was that a rattan lightbulb or a fencing lightbulb?

Q: How many Atenveldters does it take to change a lightbulb?
A: Why bother, they prefer solar power anyway?

Q: How many Outlanders does it take to change a lightbulb?
A: If it's less than a 14 hour drive it's not worth changing!

Thanks for your endurance. Virtual rotten vegetables are not appreciated!

-- Bertram

From: ddfr@quads.uchicago.edu (david director friedman)
Date: 22 Oct 91 03:47:28 GMT
Organization: University of Chicago

Bertram offers kingdom lightbulb jokes. An alternative approach is to
base the jokes on medieval ethnicities, as in:

When a lantern goes out, how many Romans does it take to light it

101. It takes an Emperor of the Romans to give the order. It takes
nine and ninety officials of the Romans to pass down the order. And
you need a slave to light the lantern. (Roman=Byzantine).

How many Rafidis does it take relight a lantern?

The flame isn't out--just in hiding.

How many Norsemen does it take to set fire to a lantern?

Why bother with a lantern--there's a monastery just over the hill.

And so on.


From: ds4p+@andrew.cmu.edu (David Schroeder)
Date: 22 Oct 91 04:41:23 GMT
Organization: Doctoral student, Industrial Administration, Carnegie Mellon,
Pittsburgh, PA

Good friends,

The good and gentle Dorothea of Caer-Myrddin suggests I substitute
more period candles for more traditional lightbulbs, but I must demur.
These jokes are intented for parties AFTER events, not for telling
at events themselves. Besides, candles are "wick-ed!"

Still, to try your patience further, here are two more:

Q: How many Lochac-folk does it take to screw in a lightbulb?
A: Just one, but it screws in counter-clockwise.

Q: How many Oerthans does it take to screw in a lightbulb?
A: Just one, but it takes them six months to notice it's burned out!

Thank you for your indulgence of my attempt at "illumination..."

Take care,

-- Bertram

From: DRS@UNCVX1.BITNET ("Dennis R. Sherman")
Date: 23 Oct 91 14:47:00 GMT
Organization: The Internet

With the recent spate of joke telling, I thought the following might be
of interest. Taken without permission from:

Wardroper, John; _Jest Upon Jest_, A Selection from the Jestbooks and
Collections of Merry Tales published from the Reign of Richard III to
George III; London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1970.
ISBN 07100 6754 2

A man asked his neighbour, which was but late married to a widow,
how he agreed with his wife, for he said that her first husband and
she could never agree.
"By God," quod the other, "we agree marvelous well."
"I pray ye, how so?"
"marry," quod the other, "I shall tell ye. When I am merry, she
is merry, and when I am sad, she is sad. For when I go out of my
doors I am merry to go from her, and so is she. And when I come
in again I am sad, and so is she."
[pub. 1526]

A kind wife followed her husband to the gallows; and he requesting
her not to trouble herself any further, she answered, "Ah, yes,
dear husband, now that I am come thus far, faith, I'll see you
hanged too, God willing, before I go."
[pub. 1595]

A certain jealous husband followed his wife to confession; whom
when the priest should lead behind the alter to be displied [disciplined
by beating], the husband, perceiving it, and doubting the worst,
cried unto him, saying, "hear ye, master parson, I pray you let
me be displied for her."
And kneeling down before the priest, "I pray you," quod the wife
to the priest, "strike him hard, for I am a great sinner."
[pub. 1583]

How many calves' tails behoveth to reach from the earth to the sky?
No more but one, an it be long enough.
What beast is it that hath her tail between her eyes?
It is a cat when she licketh her arse.
How may a man know or perceive a cow in a flock of sheep?
By sight.
What is it that freezeth never?
That is hot water.
What thing is it, the less it is, the more it is dread?
A bridge.
Which was first, the hen or the egg?
The hen, when God made her.
What time in the year beareth a goose most feathers?
When the gander is upon her back.
[English, ca. 1550, tr. from French, ca. 1500, some from Italian, possibly
as early as ca.1420]

A Spaniard travelling on the way alighted at a poor inn, and they
asked him his name. He answered, "Don pedro Gonzales Gayetan de
Guevara." Whereunto they replied, "Sir, we have not meat enough
for so many."
[pub. 1595 in English, before 1500 in Italian]

A felon at the gallows said unto the hangman, "Villain, better
yet be hanged than be a hangman, like thee."
"True," answered the hangman, "were it not for hanging."
[pub. 1595]
:-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-)

Robyyan Torr d'Elandris Dennis R. Sherman
Kapellenberg, Windmaster's Hill Chapel Hill, NC
Atlantia drs@uncvx1.bitnet

From: greg@bronze.lcs.mit.edu (Greg Rose)
To: ansteorra@eden.com
Date: Tue, 7 May 1996
Subject: Re: updated calendar

The Charles the Bald joke deals with Charles sitting across a table from a
visiting Irish monk-scholar.

The joke was originally in Latin, so I'll give both the Latin and the

First, in Latin:

CAROLUS: Quid scotum a sotto separat?
SCOTUS: Haec mensa, rex.

Then, in English:

CHARLES: What distinguishes an Irishman from a drunkard?
IRISHMAN: This very table, O king.

It doesn't work as well in English as in Latin, since "separare" has
both the connotation of "to logically separate, to distinguish between"
and of "to physically separate," which duplicity of sense is difficult to
render in English.


<the end>

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