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I’ve done it.

I’ve done it.

I’ve finally figured out what my Super Power is.

 

Now guys like Superman, they get the combo platter. Not me. I knew I wouldn’t get anything like that. Hell, I’m amazed I got anything at all, and Murphy’s Law firmly dictates that I wouldn’t get anything USEFUL.

 

At least not without a little thought.

 

For years now, I have not much cared for the chore of grocery shopping. Grocery shopping is a pain in the tuckus. For some reason, in grocery stores, people don’t seem to notice my existence. People blaze in front of me like they’re in a desperate hurry to get to the bakery section before they run out of rolls... and then stop cold once they’re blocking my path. If I am attempting to buy, say, a can of beans, I will arrive at the beans only to find one or two people strategically blocking all the beans while they indulge in the Trance of Meditative Consumption, serenely contemplating the nature of beans and their place in the universe.

 

And then they’ll give me a dirty look when I invade their personal space to reach over their fraggin’ shoulders to get a honkin’ can of beans.

 

But today, though, it hit me. What if my particular super power is to interfere with the brain function of those around me?

 

It doesn’t work on everyone, sure. My coworkers and my students don’t seem to get any dumber; it’d be kind of a bad thing for a teacher to have. Berni doesn’t seem to notice it, and she’s rather sharp, and gets no dumber in my presence. But it definitely affects some people, some more than others. It seems to hit the elderly and the very young particularly hard. And for some reason, it works like CRAZY when I’m at the supermarket.

 

So today, I actually experimented, mapped it out. I discovered that it’s a FIELD, it surrounds me, and it extends about ten feet around me. What’s worse, the outer EDGE of it extends another five feet or so, and it SPEEDS UP brain function. Walk into that perimeter, you may or may not notice me, but suddenly, slow and sedentary Grandpa is going to RUSH LIKE HELL without even realizing it... and if his path takes him into the Dead Zone, he’ll suddenly stop right in front of me with an expression on his face that says, “Where did I leave my keys...?”

 

egg.jpg.c1558fbf6452bab8d644245b9ba65d3b.jpg And from MY perspective... or anyone else’s... Grandpa was making his leisurely way through the meat section, suddenly put on a burst of speed for no apparent reason, and stopped cold RIGHT in front of me, blocking my path, most likely with a confused look on his face...

 

It’s not always that pronounced. Sometimes, they won’t stop, but they’ll slow down. Or suddenly decide to take five minutes to pick a brand of cereal. And other times they’ll stop cold with little OUT TO LUNCH signs in both eyes, right in my path, where just before, they were productively rolling along, picking products off the shelves. I think it also might account for the habit the bag boys have of loading all the canned goods on top of the bread and/or the eggs.

 

This has been happening to me for years. I don’t even GO to Wal-Mart any more; the effect there is so pronounced, it can take me hours to find and pay for three items and work my way out the door. Weekends at King Soopers, it varies... but I’ve found that going to buy groceries on the weekdays, when there’s no one but retired people and young moms there? Be ready to stop the basket QUICK, because someone’s four year old WILL bolt in front of the basket and stop cold like he just forgot his name, and allow for some extra time at the dairy case, because Granny will suddenly go into a trance while she looks at the milk like she’s wondering which color would go with the kitchen drapes the best.

 

And now I know. Now, all that’s left is to figure out how to best harness this power for good.

 

Or failing that, how to use it to make a bunch of money...

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My Super Power (which is really only a super power in very select circumstances) is that I don't have a sense of smell.  At work, we refer to it as the Zookeeper Super Power, because I can scrap ANY raptor enclosure, clean up ANY mummified and rotten mice, and hose poop all day.  So in zookeeping, it's crazy useful.

 

Around the house, where gas leaks and fires are sometimes an issue, not so much...   :huh:

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Eeeeeyeah, another thing they lied to us about when we were kids. I don't know anyone who can fly, but I know a guy who can clear a room in seconds if he's had anything dairy in the last half hour...

 

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1 hour ago, Painting Dog said:

My Super Power (which is really only a super power in very select circumstances) is that I don't have a sense of smell.  At work, we refer to it as the Zookeeper Super Power, because I can scrap ANY raptor enclosure, clean up ANY mummified and rotten mice, and hose poop all day.  So in zookeeping, it's crazy useful.

 

Around the house, where gas leaks and fires are sometimes an issue, not so much...   :huh:

And that's why they made various types of detectors to help out with such! ^_^

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5 hours ago, Dr.Bedlam said:

I’ve done it.

I’ve done it.

I’ve finally figured out what my Super Power is.

 

 

I seem to have the same super power. This describes way too much of the early part of my day today. Or maybe it was just 'cause Monday.

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I'm guessing my super power is along the lines of Uncanny Spot.  I can tell people where to find an item, but they often stare blankly at it until I pick it up and hand it to them.  Similarly, I've spotted that a tree is in danger of falling twice now--both times a good week in advance and only one was actually in view from my house.  Lately I've been spotting objects stuck in my tires before there's even a warning from the so-called automatic tire pressure monitorying system.  

 

To be fair, I think a lot of moms have this same super power; honed after many years of experience.  

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My super power is.... parking spaces.  Saturday night at the theater, park up front.   Black Friday at the mall, spot right at the entrance.  Convention, concert, festival, you name it, I get a "good spot".

 

My husband's power is gravity control.  He can make previously stable items within a 5-10' radius throw themselves to the floor without actually being touched.  Unfortunately he hasn't really mastered the "control" part yet. 

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4 hours ago, Painting Dog said:

My Super Power (which is really only a super power in very select circumstances) is that I don't have a sense of smell.

 

I have this ^ one. I figure it is the result of years of hayfever and other allergies...stopped up nose 300 out of 365 days a year. Always figured it was more of flaw/weakness. Just not as bad as krypyonite. 

 

My secondary power is: I can write upside down. I can sit across a table from you, put a piece of paper between us, and I can write the words so that you can read them (but they are upside down to me). I can also read posters in windows. From the inside. I’m talking about posters put up by fast food or retail stores meant to be read from the outside. 

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@Dr.Bedlam you should try shopping at 2am. Sure, you have to navigate around boxes and stock people, but there's decidedly less people overall, and those that are there are usually 20-30 somethings looking for booze and snacks.

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21 minutes ago, redambrosia said:

@Dr.Bedlam you should try shopping at 2am. Sure, you have to navigate around boxes and stock people, but there's decidedly less people overall, and those that are there are usually 20-30 somethings looking for booze and snacks.

I believe Red has access to a higher grade of Walmart than this griffon enjoys. 

 

There are ...less people* at such hours, but Oy! the things that pass for people. 

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I have a limited power of invisibility over inanimate objects.

 

Cheese, odd socks and banknotes JUST DISAPPEAR.

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54 minutes ago, TGP said:

I believe Red has access to a higher grade of Walmart than this griffon enjoys. 

 

There are ...less people* at such hours, but Oy! the things that pass for people. 

Well, it also depends on the day of the week you go in. If you go in on Friday or Saturday, wear your biggest pair of leave-me-alone-I-can't-hear-you headphones. I prefer Thursday nights, especially more towards the morning. Between 3 and 4 is quieter. Also WinCo is open all night, which is where I get my fresh foods and bulk foods. There's usually fewer flip-flopped guys in wife-beaters there. 

 

But, uh, yeah. There's less people, and that's the important point. Also, a lot less tiny humans to run under the cart.

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My super power is luck. But only in places where it has as little of an effect on the universe as possible. Just enough milk for cereal. Just enough cereal for the bowl. Finish cutting the grass and put the lawn mower back in the shed, to then walk out of the shed in a glorious downpour (Sunday!). I always seem to just happen to get that lucky break when I need it.

 

This manifests itself in other ways, that my wife interprets differently. She refers to it as my magical gaijin power, and it shows up in Japan a lot. It happens so often, she has come to rely on it. Rush hour on the trains? Let Darin pick the car to enter. It's empty and we all get a seat. Next stop gets packed with people tighter than canned sardines. Took a tour there and a stop was the tallest waterfall in Japan. Got there, and it was fogged in. Tour director shrugged his shoulders, and walked away to talk about other things. My wife looked at me, and I said to wait two minutes. Minute and a half, and all the fog drifts away, and suddenly people came rushing back to see. We had the prime spot, took our pictures, and I walked away. Two minutes later, fogged in again. I repeated this two more times for laughs since we had an hour at this one stop.

 

This is especially prevalent in traffic. Bumper to bumper traffic, and I need to be two lanes over for an exit? Two cars to my right get distracted, don't pull forward, and I slide right in. I can always get "my place" on the streets regardless of traffic. Passing trucks on two lane highways is a breeze. It always seems to go my way.

 

Except there's always a weakness. Superman has Kryptonite, Batman has parental flashbacks, Robin passes by a shop window with a really nice pair of leggings. It's always something. And I have mine.

 

Traffic lights.

 

I cannot get through them without having to stop at each one. Coworker didn't believe me, but drove him once to a different facility that I'd never been to, and he told me to drive X amount over the speed limit and we'd breeze straight thru the lights. Every. Single. One. We. Stopped. At. He was amazed, and had been checking my speed and found nothing amiss.

 

So, incredible luck for mundane things, but thwarted by the red light!

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One of my favorite Gahan Wilson cartoons shows a checkout counter at the grocery store. The clerk is ringing up purchases with a blase look on his face while the bag boy bags purchases with an expression that says, "I'm about to bolt from sheer terror." Lined up waiting to pay are a vampire, a werewolf, Hockey Mask Guy With Meat Cleaver, and other monsters.

In the caption, the clerk is saying, "It's the kind of crowd you get when you work the night shift, kid."

Regrettably, King Soopers closes at eleven, and I really don't what to know what stalks the aisles at Wal-Mart after midnight these days.

 

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Seduction. The only defence against which is the female in question having parents with any money.

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      Rocket Boy, surprisingly, was the first to fall. Wild Man nailed him with a water pistol as he left his room that Monday to go to class. Everyone expected Rocket to last a while; he was a very clever fellow, and we had discussed much about weapons, ballistics, and range the previous day.

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      I was the next to go, I'm ashamed to say. I was headed to a class that afternoon, when I felt the kiss of cold water on the back of my neck. I spun around to see the Creature grinning at me, holding a clear orange plastic .45. BUGGER! I was a gentleman, though, and gave him the name of my intended victim. I hadn't even got around to killing anyone yet...

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      He looked up. Grinning at him from a fourth floor window was Wild Man.

      A meeting was called; the Creature bitterly complained that there was no way in hell that, realistically, one man could drag a grand piano over and throw it out a three foot by three foot window. He was overruled. The assassination had been legal, and NO one was willing to put anything past Wild Man.

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      If any of us could stuff a baby grand piano out a three foot window, it would certainly be Wild Man.

      ************************************************

      Tuesday was a cruel day.

      Zorro took out the Dewy Eyed Wonder with his trusty Star Trek Tracer Gun, a toy that shot plastic discs and looked nothing like anything ever seen on the TV show (although it did have a picture of Mr. Spock on it); Zorro loved it because it was quiet and surprisingly accurate within thirty feet or so, assuming you were using it indoors; breezes tended to send the little frisbee discs wide. Zorro would later learn to use this to his advantage, claiming he could shoot around corners if the wind was right, but I digress.

      Mr. Zulu fell victim to his own weapon; he tried to supercharge a water pistol using a CO2 cartridge haphazardly affixed to the water port, and the cheap plastic toy had simply exploded. A meeting was called, and Mr. Zulu was declared to not be dead, since the rules did not allow for death by misadventure. He celebrated by going and shooting Izod in the face as he came out of the dining hall.

      Izod had made his mark, however, as earlier in the day, he had killed the Prepster with a concealed dart pistol; the Prepster had been eyeing a jogging pretty in a tube top, and had foolishly allowed his assassin to get way too close.

      Bobo was on his way to class when his backpack had begun making a metallic clattering sound; he stopped and opened the pack to find an old fashioned windup alarm clock in it... going off like mad. Taped across the face was a scrap of duct tape, bearing the magic markered words: BOMB THAT COULD NOT POSSIBLY BE TRACED TO WILD MAN,

      At the same meeting that exonerated Mr. Zulu, Bobo lost his appeal; he argued that the bomb COULD have gone off in CLASS, but it had not; the group agreed that that was kind of the point of using a clock as a timer, wasn't it? It had gone off in the hall, ten minutes BEFORE class, and Bobo was therefore, theoretically, a wet red mist. He argued that a bomb in the hallway could have claimed other victims; Wild Man cheerfully pointed out that no one else had BEEN in the hall ten minutes before class... and provided a polaroid picture to prove it. In the picture, Bobo was opening his backpack... alone in the hall.

      Wild Man had gone from being a lovable loony to being someone to watch.

      ********************************************************

      No one died on Wednesday. This is because everyone had taken the concept of "paranoia" to a high art form.

      At one point, I saw the Troll enter the main hallway on the third floor where our rooms were by doing a tuck and roll out of the stairwell, ended by leaping to his feet with a water pistol in either hand.

      Wild Man had taken to carrying a net bag hung on his belt. In it were three brightly colored water balloons, each neatly magic markered with the word GRENADE. He said he could throw further than any water pistol or dart gun ever made, and his enemies had best beware.

      Mr. Zulu called a meeting; someone had put a rubber scorpion in his sock drawer bearing a little paper sign reading STING! YOUR DEAD. The committee reminded the assassin (Tom Slick) that one's own dorm room was considered off limits for assassinations, and therefore Mr. Zulu was, again, declared to be alive and still in the game. They then declared the method quite clever and otherwise legal, although a separate decree condemning Tom's spelling and grammar was also accepted by the committee.

      Mr. Zulu celebrated his second close shave by attempting to kill Zorro, who outran him on the quad and therefore survived. "Durnit," Mr. Zulu was later heard to say, "it woulda worked if I coulda got the CO2 cartridge thing working. Guns got no RANGE!"

      *********************************************************

      Thursday was filled with tension. Wild Man simply barricaded himself in his room and refused to come out for classes.

      Zorro survived close brushes with the disappointed Mr. Zulu and Tom Slick, and commented at length later about how he couldn't sleep or focus on anything for fear someone was going to come climbing in a window with a rubber dagger in his teeth or something.

      The Troll was sitting at the Student Union, trying to study while glancing up every few minutes to make sure none of his dorm mates was anywhere near him. No one was ANYWHERE near him, except for four guys he didn't recognize at the next table.

      ...one of whom suddenly said, "I leap to my feet and seize the Troll!"

      The second said, "I grab his gun arm! He can't reach his weapons!"

      The third said, "I grab his legs! We drag him out of the chair!"

      The fourth said, "And I grab his torso! Over to the window! CRASH! Down he goes, ten floors to the pavement!"

      ...a meeting was called. Troll complained bitterly about how he'd never had a chance, and that no one had informed him that hirelings could be used for assassination. Wild Man, grinning like an orgasmic shark, simply said that there were no rules against hiring henchmen, and that the murder had been carried out safely and harmlessly to bystanders.

      The committee reluctantly ruled in Wild Man's favor. Wild Man took his henchmen -- all Theatre majors -- out for beers in payment. Mr. Zulu later bitterly regretted not thinking to sneak down to Valentino's Pizza and shooting Wild Man in the face.

      *************************************************

      And Friday.

      Mr. Zulu and Tom Slick met and made a pact, I later heard. They'd reached the breaking point. They agreed that they would not murder each other until at least an hour after Wild Man had been dealt with; he was NOT going to claim the kitty, durnit!

      And they went to seek him out.

      On the whiteboard next to his door, the message: TED I AM IN THE GIRLS DAY ROOM FOR DAYS OF OUR LIVES

      Could it be? They conferred with one another. It was well known that Wild Man loved his soaps. Was he really dumb enough to watch TV over on the girls' side? That was NOT a protected area! Maybe he'd misunderstood and thought ALL the day rooms were safe zones...

      It bore checking out.

      They sneaked over to the third floor girls' side TV room. They glanced in the doorway.

      Wild Man sat alone, in the front couch, watching TV. The only thing that could be heard were the soft dialogue of a commercial, and the two or three fans running to cool the place. No one else was in the room.

      Golden opportunity. Mr. Zulu and Tom Slick entered the room, silently, guns in hand... and began to move towards the couch...

      And Wild Man abruptly spun in his seat and hurled a water balloon.

      And Mr. Zulu and Tom Slick dropped fast. They'd been expecting this. The balloon would sail over their heads and harmlessly into the hallway.

      ...if Wild Man had thrown it at them. He hadn't. He'd thrown it at the rotary fan next to the doorway. Which had had its safety cage removed, and been turned towards the doorway.

      BLAT! The balloon hit the blades, and its contents sprayed the entire area around the doorway.

      Exit Mr. Zulu and Tom Slick, dripping and fuming.

      Later discussion revealed the facts: Wild Man had turned the brightness down and wasn't watching the show; he was watching the reflections off the big glass screen. It'd been a trap all along. Zulu and Slick didn't even call a meeting to appeal.

      *******************************************************

      ...which brings us to Saturday.

      Wild Man was well ahead in the races. It was down to he and Zorro at this point. But Zorro was smart. Zorro was clever. And Zorro wouldn't go down without a fight. Wild Man had a half dozen plans in his mind to deal with Zorro.

      ...but Wild Man had a problem. His roommate. His roommate wasn't playing the game, and Wild Man had avoided the bathroom all week, thinking it to be just too good a place for an ambush. Wild Man hadn't bathed since last Sunday, and his roommate was threatening violent action. It was time to bathe, and then some.

      Wild Man planned it carefully. He took soap, towel, and shampoo to the main bathroom ... at 4:30 that Saturday morning. Who'd be up and mobile at 4:30 on a Saturday morning?

      But Wild Man took no chances. He had his net bag of balloon grenades, and a squirt gun for good measure. Plus, it was a bathroom. If his assassin happened to get some spray off the shower, who was to say Wild Man hadn't shot him? This could work out to his advantage...

      And Wild Man undressed with one hand... a grenade in the other. Just in case.

      And Wild Man stepped into the bathing area, and into one of the shower stalls, still holding a grenade in his left hand, and his pistol clamped in his teeth. Backwards.

      He reached behind him and turned on the water. URRRRRGH! COLD! ALL over his shivering back! Still, though, he faced OUTWARDS, not INTO the shower stall. If he fell, his wounds would be in FRONT!

      But as the water warmed... he began to relax. It was 4:40 in the morning, for potato's sake. Who'd try anything at this hour? And even if anyone did, he was ready for them!

      The water was hot, now, spraying across his back. Keeping his eyes open, he let it wash across the back of his head, wetting his hair. Ahhhhhhhhh. After a moment's thought, he put the pistol down, but kept the water balloon firmly in his left hand. He reached up to wash his face... and stopped.

      His hand was bright green. Green rivulets ran up his arm, and green water dripped off his elbow. What the &%$#@???

      He spun around. The water gushing from the shower head was rich emerald green. And so was most of Wild Man, at this point.

      He snatched up his gun and ran out into the main bathroom area, where the stalls, sinks and mirrors were. And written in lipstick across the mirrors were the words: SULFURIC ACID SHOWER. The words hadn't been there when he'd come in.

      ...and this is where I came in; I was comfortably asleep in my room when I heard the scream. I staggered out into the hallway, along with a few other worthies not so hung over that they couldn't respond, to see Wild Man erupt from the bathroom, stark naked, stained a bright and runny green from crown to foot, dripping more green in his wake, clutching a water pistol in one hand and a water balloon in the other, and screaming and cursing with such vehemence, volume, and richness to turn the AIR green in his wake.

      I would later find out that Zorro had assumed that Wild Man would use the shower stall furthest from the door; it provided the best view of anyone coming in. Zorro had then waited until quite late at night, when he was pretty sure no one was going to be washing up... brought a hefty container of powdered tempera paint, wetted it into a putty, and had unscrewed the big industrial shower head in that stall and had coated the inside of the shower head with the green putty. It wasn't blocking the water flow, but when the water turned warm, it dissolved the putty, turning it into green paint... and....

      I remember those big clunky old shower heads. There was room in there for a pound or more of powdered tempera paint.

      He never did tell us how he knew Wild Man would be using the shower bright and early that Saturday morning; it remains a mystery for the ages...
    • By Dr.Bedlam
      A feghoot is a subcategory of “joke” and “pun,” and is sort of a fusion of both.
       
      In the case of a standard “joke,” you tell a short story that leads up to a “punchline,” a twist that renders the preceding story funny. A “pun,” on the other hand, is a humorous play on words.
       
      A short joke, for example would be “I went to bed last night, and dreamed I was eating marshmallows. Then I woke up, and my pillow was gone.” A pun, on the other hand, would be, “I’m sick of bad chemistry jokes. Let’s barium.”
       
      A feghoot is both, with the added element that the recipient may or may not know that he is being TOLD a joke; feghoots tend to be considerably longer than ordinary jokes. The laughs come from (a) attempting to spot the clues and put the pieces together before you get to the punchline, or (b) being completely unaware of the joke until the punchline arrives, and it’s a blatant pun.
       
      A feghoot is NOT a shaggy dog story, because shaggy dog stories do not end with puns. A feghoot ALWAYS ends with a pun based on the information provided in the story. If it ends with a pun, it’s a feghoot. Length is arbitrary, but it tends to be longer than most jokes.
       
      TV comedy writer Mark Evanier, for example, told a story on his blog recently that qualifies, in which he mentions that a friend of his was the second lead in a stage production of “Sunset Boulevard,” and sent him a pair of complimentary tickets. Evanier decided to call up a woman he knew and ask if she wanted to go. The lady says, “The big production downtown, starring GLENN CLOSE?” Evanier said that this was so, and the woman broke all records getting to his place, and they went and saw the play and had a great time.
       
      A week later, another friend was visiting, and she sees the playbill on his coffee table. And in a frosty tone, she says “You went and saw Glenn Close without me?” in a voice that could shave the electrons off an atom. Evanier sheepishly admitted it, and the woman says, “You will get more tickets and take me to see Glenn Close.”
       
      Evanier tries to explain that he only had the two complimentary tickets, but the sharp woman is not having any, and thus Evanier has to call his friend and see if more tickets can be had, but he will gladly pay for these, yadda yadda, and tickets are found, and a date is made.
       
      And on the evening in question, our happy couple steps out to the theatre... but upon arrival, there seems to be a problem. People are angry. There are loud voices among the gowns and tuxes. The box office person is looking hunted. It seems that Glenn Close, for whatever reason, will not be appearing tonight; the role will be handled by her understudy, and the crowd is NOT happy about this. One man is shouting that he traveled halfway across the country to see Glenn Close, and now she’s not performing? Another is angry that he paid premium prices for the tickets, and now the main reason for doing so is gone.
       
      The theatre manager comes out and attempts to calm down the crowd, but they aren’t having any. He explains that he cannot FORCE Ms. Close to perform, but the crowd seems to think that he should.
       
      He offers to validate parking, free of charge, but that doesn’t accomplish much.
       
      And finally, in desperation, he whips out a pocket humidor and offers one particularly loud gentleman an expensive cigar.
       
      “I don’t WANT a &%#$& CIGAR!” shouts the angry man. “I want GLENN CLOSE!”
       
      And Evanier, standing nearby, shows the wit -- and wisdom -- that made him a TV comedy writer, and quips, “Cigar, but no Close.”
       
      *rimshot*
       
      If Evanier had ended the story here, it would be a classic example of a feghoot. As it is, the crowd didn’t think he was very funny, and he reports that had he and his date not done a fast fade, he might well have been the first person ever lynched over a bad pun...

      My personal supply of feghoots is limited. Anyone know any?
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