Pun Alley 02-18-2011

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Honoring the presidents

By Dick Frank

In 1971 Presidents Day was proclaimed to be observed on the third Monday of February, honoring all past United States presidents and to replace the holidays that honored Abraham Lincoln and George Washington. Since Monday is this holiday, our travels down Pun Alley take us to a progression of presidents from the past to those more recent.

Honest George

It is well known that Washington never told a lie. One reason for this was that in those days there was no income tax.

During the Revolutionary War Washington always spoke to his army in general terms. The decision Washington had to make when he decided to cross the Delaware was “Roe vs. Wade.”

Lincoln imitator

A guy came into a bar wearing a stovepipe hat and a phony beard, and ordered a drink. The bartender asked him if he was going to a costume party. “Yeah,” he said, “I’m supposed to come dressed as my love life.”

The bartender said, “You look like Abe Lincoln.”

“That’s right! My last four scores were seven years ago!”

Lincoln’s humor

The only pun Abe Lincoln ever made was when he was splitting rails and his boss criticized his work severely.

“How do you feel now?” asked a fellow workman.

Lincoln thought a minute and replied, “I feel I maul right.”

Taft’s stumble

President William Howard Taft gave a reception at the White House for government officials, officers of the Army and Navy, members of the diplomatic corps, and leading Washington citizens. As they lined up to shake hands with Taft, the President’s tailor fell into line. When he came up to the President, Taft grasped his hand and said, “You look familiar, but I just can’t place you.”

“Why, Mr. President, I made your pants.”

“Oh, yes, why how do you do, Major Pants.”

Silent Cal

A Washington society leader, seated next to President Coolidge at a dinner party, said, “Mr. President, I made a bet that I could get more than two words out of you this evening.”

“You lose,” replied the President.

Frankly Franklin

President Franklin D. Roosevelt liked to tell about the two hillbillies from Kentucky visiting Washington. They were walking along Pennsylvania Avenue when the roar of motorcycle cops escorting a black limousine startled them. “It’s the President!” they heard someone call out.

“Wonder what he’s done, now?” asked one of the mountaineers.

Truman’s truths

When President Truman announced he was getting rid of some unnecessary government bureaus, a woman wrote him that since she was building a new house and needed furniture she would appreciate a few of the discarded bureaus.

Truman replied that he had disposed of the bureaus; but that if she was interested he had a secondhand, no-damned-good Cabinet he’d like to get rid of.

Kennedy’s humor

During an off-the-record speech at a 1958 Washington Gridiron Dinner, John F. Kennedy said, “I have just received the following telegram from my generous Daddy, ‘Dear Jack: Don’t buy a single vote more than necessary. I’ll be damned if I’m going to pay for a landslide.’”

About a year after taking office as President, Kennedy said, “When we got into office the thing that surprised us most was to find that things were just as bad as we’d been saying they were.”

Johnson’s staff

Once President Johnson called in one of his bright young men and said sharply, “The people want to know what are we going to do about the farm bill?”

“I don’t have that file before me,” replied the young man, “but you can tell the people, if we owe it, we will pay it.”


Asked about his views on euthanasia, Clinton replied, “Youth in Asia are just like kids everywhere else.”

Who’s that?

A Midwestern politician running for office was very much incensed at certain remarks which had been made about him by the leading paper of a nearby town. He burst into the editorial room like an exploding bomb, and exclaimed, “You are telling lies about me in your paper, and you know it!”

“You have no cause for complaint,” said the editor coolly. “What in the world would you do if we told the truth about you?”

Dick and his wife Jane live in Oak Run.