Feghoots and Shaggy Dogs
Not familiar with a feghoot? I bet you really are. You just don’t recognize the name yet.
A little history: Ferdinand Feghoot is the fictional creation of sci-fi writer Reginald Bretnor (1911-1992), who published under the name Grendel Briarton. The stories involving Feghoot were always brief and concluded with an elaborate pun.
A feghoot today doesn’t need to be science fiction, but it must be brief and ridiculously punny. They are also known as groaners or shaggy-dog stories.
Mark Rapacioli, Editor of Planet Relish E-zine says, “A feghoot isn’t just a short short story with a joke at the end. A Feghoot is a short short story that ends in a very groan-worthy pun.”
Enough explanation. Let’s get to some examples:
Two vultures board an airplane, each carrying two dead raccoons. The stewardess looks at them and says, “I’m sorry, gentlemen, only one carrion allowed per passenger.”
A dog on crutches walks into a bar in the Wild West and says, “I’m looking for the man who shot my paw.”
Mahatma Gandhi walked barefoot most of the time, which produced an impressive set of calluses on his feet. He also ate very little, which made him rather frail and with his odd diet, he suffered from bad breath. This made him (you must prepare yourself for this) A super calloused fragile mystic hexed by halitosis.
This one stakes its claim as the “original shaggy dog story”:
In the days of yore, a knight on an important mission, rode his horse so hard that it became lame. Spying a village ahead, the knight headed straight for the stables there.
“I must have a horse!” he cried, “The life of the King depends upon it!”
The stable keeper shook his head. “I have no horses,” he said. “They have all been taken in the service of the King.”
“You must have something–a pony, a donkey, a mule, anything at all?” the knight asked.
“Nothing. . . unless. . . no, I couldn’t…”
The knight’s eyes lit up. “Tell me!”
The stable keeper led the knight into the stable where they saw an enormous dog! It was almost as large as the knight’s horse. But it was also the filthiest, shaggiest, smelliest, dog the knight had ever seen.
Swallowing, the knight said “I’ll take it. Where is the saddle?”
The stable keeper was adamant. “I can’t do it.” he told the knight.
“Why won’t you give me the dog?” cried the desperate knight.
The stable keeper replied, “I wouldn’t send a knight out on a dog like this.”
For more of these, check out: Gendertree
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