Redefining Words, an Unfair Duel, and More Humor | Almanac.com

Redefining Words, an Unfair Duel, and More Humor


Grins and Groans from The Old Farmer's Almanac

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It’s time for another edition of “Humor Me” from The Old Farmer’s Almanac! Consider yourself warned.

The All-Occasion Invocation (with Rhyming Option)

On this, our day of (sorrow, celebration, mourning, glee), 
Let me express my deepest (joy, regret, apology)
To all of those who (suffered, triumphed, sacrificed, repented, died)
And also those who (waited, watched, supported, bravely tried).
It is not easy to (express, condone, relate, explain)
The feelings in my (bosom, heart, seat of affections, brain)
In such a time of (pleasure, anguish, trepidation, grief).
Still, I will try to make them (clear, apparent, pithy, brief).
You know the reason for our (meeting, conclave, pow-wow, bash).
We owe a debt of (gratitude, revenge, forbearance, cash)
To one whose (crime, achievement, lack of credit, value, face)
Is known in every (bar, post office, hall of learning, place);
And thus I think it fair to say our (victim, honored guest)
Should wear (a garland, concrete overshoes, an armored vest).
So raise your (voices, glasses, weapons, hands, fists, spirits, eyes)
And join me in (a toast, a curse, a song, a cheer, outcries)
To one whose (illness, wedding, birth, arrest, retirement, death)
I must (deplore, congratulate, await with bated breath).
–Norm D. Bloom


Satin: past tense of sit-in
Tweed: call uttered by a bird with a cold in the head
Gaberdine: loquacious member of college faculty
Seersucker: gullible fortune-teller
Overlap: head of Lapland
Autocracy: a society dominated by automobiles
Barometer: instrument for counting the number of drinks served at a bar

That Stinks!

Teacher, commenting on little boy’s poem:
“Since your poem is about flowers, Wilbur, I think that the word ‘smell’ would be more appropriate. You can still have it rhyme by substituting ‘bluebell’ for ‘mountain pink.’”

19th-Century Nonsense: Duel Targets

Having exhausted other means of settling their dispute, diminutive Esq. Robertson challenged the much larger Esq. Smythe to a duel.
The latter objected, however, saying, “You are so little that I might fire at you a dozen times without hitting, whereas the chance is that you might shoot me at the first fire.”
“Upon my conscience, that’s true,” responded Esq. Robertson, “but to convince you that I don’t wish to take any advantage, you shall chalk my size upon your clothing, and all hits outside of it shall not count.”

Want more jokes? Check out last month’s Humor Me!

2023 Almanac Club