John McIntyre, whom James Wolcott calls "the Dave Brubeck of the art and craft of copy editing," writes on language, editing, journalism, and other manifestations of human frailty. Comments welcome. Identifying his errors relieves him of the burden of omniscience. Write to jemcintyre@gmail.com, befriend at Facebook, or follow at Twitter: @johnemcintyre. Back 2009-2012 at the original site, http://weblogs.baltimoresun.com/news/mcintyre/blog/ and now at www.baltimoresun.com/news/language-blog/.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

A risque story

My late mother, Marian Early McIntyre, was always fond of a mildly improper story. A conversation the other day called this one, one of her favorites, to mind.

It has been a wet spring, delaying planting, and a farmer has been out in his fields from sunup to sundown, hastening to get his crops in.

One day his little boy comes down to the field and says, "Daddy, Daddy, Mama says the 'Piscopal preacher has come to call."

His father says, "Son, I can't leave the field. Go back to the house and tell your mama to make him a cup of coffee and send him on his way."

The next day, his little boy comes down to the field and says, "Daddy, Daddy, Mama says the Presbyterian preacher has come to call."

His father says, "Son, I just can't leave the spring plowing. Go back to the house and tell your mama to fry him a chicken and send him on his way."

The day after that, his little boy comes down to the field and says, "Daddy, Daddy, Mama says the Baptist preacher has come to call."

His father says, "Son, you run back to the house as fast as you can and you sit on your mama's lap till I get there. I'll be right behind you."


Note to readers: If you find this offensive, please feel free to adjust the order or substitute denominations of your choice. This is not a canonical joke.