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Empty Ritual (Jim Davis)
(smirk, religion)

	This is updated from an old story I heard in Baptist church about
30 years ago: 

	Two friends, a Baptist and a Catholic, decided to sample each 
other's church services. First up was Mass at Patrick's parish. And 
his friend, Jim Bob, was full of questions.
	Every few minutes, Patrick felt an elbow in his ribs: (thump) 
"What's he saying?" (thump) "What's he carrying?" (thump) "What are the 
candles for?" (thump) "Why's everyone standing up?"
	Being a good catechism student, Patrick was able to answer every 
question. But his ribs were getting sore. He was looking forward to next 
Sunday at Jim Bob's church, so he could do some elbowing of his own.
	Well, as you may know, there is almost no liturgy at a Baptist
church. Nearly everything is straightforward; everything is explained. 
Patrick's elbow was getting itchy -- until the pastor stepped up to the
pulpit and made a show of ceremoniously removing his watch, then laying it
next to his sermon notes. 
	This was Patrick's big chance. Drawing back his elbow, he drove it
home into his friend's side. (thump) "What does that mean?" Patrick asked.
	Jim Bob only looked at him with weary eyes: "Believe me -- that 
doesn't mean a thing."	

(From the "Rest" of RHF)

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