The following was told to me recently by a Swiss friend - this is my translation. ---------------- One day, an old French sausage maker whose sausages were renowned worldwide decided the time had come for him to retire, but as the business had been in his family for generations and wanted to keep it so, he was keen his not too bright only son and heir take over the running. When his son came home, he announced to him, "Son, the time has come for you to take over the running my business, the business that has been in this family for generations. Come, I have some things to show you," and with that led his son across the courtyard to the place where he undertook his work. The son looked around the room and found a number of strange machines, ranging from the very old to the very modern. His father led him to the oldest machine and started to explain: "Son, this machine was invented by your Great-Grandfather, MY Grandfather. With this machine, he would put an ass in this end, and two hundred sausages would come out the other end. These sausages were renowned throughout the whole of Paris!" and with that he led his son on to the second more modern machine and continued with his explanation: "This machine here was invented by your Grandfather, MY father himself. With this machine he would put an ass in this end, and two thousand sausages would come out the other end. These sausages were renowned throughout the whole of Provence!" He next led his son to the third most modern machine: "This machine was invented by your own father, yes, me myself. With this machine I can put a ass after ass in this end and the sausages keep coming out the other end in their millions. These suasages are renowned worldwide." He then turned to his son, "So, you see, as well as taking over the running of the business, you must make your mark of generation by inventing your own machine." The son then took stock of the task and proceeded to think long and hard about what machine he could come up with to make his mark on the family business. Finally, after quite some time the son piped up, "Papa, I have an idea. How about if I make a machine where you put a sausage in one end, and an ass comes out the other." His father in disgust of the idea slapped his son saying, "You stupid boy, such a machine already exists - it's your mother!"
(From the "Rest" of RHF)
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