I’ve just begun an on-site consulting job at a place where three other Tennesseans work–including my boss. It’s always a delight to discover former residents of the Volunteer State living west of the Mississippi. We talk about food, country relatives, and all manner of things. Best of all, I have a chance to tell jokes that I don’t normally tell in Colorado; people here just don’t get them. Here are three of the better ones, the first with a seasonal bent.
Joke Number One:
This ambitious preacher went back into the hills of East Tennessee and organized a church. When December came, he challenged the community to organize a Christmas pageant. The people said they would, and after much work and practice, they held their opening night. It was a beautiful telling of the old story, complete with angels, real animals, and a live baby. The only odd thing was that the three Wise Men were dressed as firefighters. The minister asked the pageant director about the fireman outfits, and she replied that she got the idea straight from the Bible, where it said of the Wise Men, “We have seen his star in the East and have come from afar.”
Joke Number Two:
People from Tennessee always begin by asking where in the state then other person is from. I sometimes begin my response by saying “I grew up so far back in the woods that the Episcopalians handle snakes.”
No one in Colorado laughs at that line.
Joke Number Three:
A not-so-bright fellow runs his car off a country road and hits a tree in the yard of an old lady whose pride and joy is her flowers. He gets out of the car and begins pulling up blossoms and putting them on his car and then strews them along the road. Utterly apoplectic, she runs out and demands, “What in the Sam Hill are you doing?”
The guy, putting his hands on his hips and talking as if to a child, replies, “Ma’am, didn’t you ever take driver’s training? They told me that anytime you have an accident you are supposed to put out flares.”
I once told that joke at a Colorado dinner party. A couple from Knoxville threw back their heads and laughed, but the other people didn’t get it at all.
This blog is part of a much larger website, also entitled Tennessee Guy, that contains travel and cultural information about Tennessee. Visit it here.