The Great Clown Joke Once upon a time, a young man went to the circus. He was very excited, as he lived in a little town in North Louisiana and had never seen a circus before; the kind of town where the mayor runs the local gas station. Anyway, as circus days drew nigh, the young man grew ever more excited. He arrived before dawn to get the best seat in the house, and was seated hours before the first trapeze act. Finally, the trapeze artists gave an awe-inspiring performance, the elephants danced, and the lion tamer tamed. At last, the clowns came out in full regalia and green hair. They rode around by the dozen in a purple Volkswagen. The Volksie pulled up to center of the ring, and an overweight clown with orange hair, acne, and a purple nose advanced to the podium: "Will the person in section A, row Y, seat 42 please stand up?" The young man looked at his ticket, and to his surprise, he was sitting in that very seat. The young man stood up. Clown sez, "Wellllll, there's the horse's ass, now where's the rest of the horse?" The man, dumbfounded, stood for a moment, then made his way quickly through crowd and out of the tent. Returning home, the man wept for days, and mourned the loss of dignity and honor. Eventually reason overcame his grief and the man grew determined. "I'm not going to get mad, I'm going to get even, and avenge the honor of myself, my family, and this town," exclaimed the man. He picked up the curriculum guide for Lousiana State University (LSU) correspondence courses and started to read. Eventually his eyes came to rest on an advertisement for a class in "Quick Wit Retort." "Learn how to use those snappy comebacks to your advantage, now!" So the man sent in his $19.95 and soon received the course materials. In a few weeks, the man mastered the materials, and sent his final exam back to LSU for grading. Much to his surprise, a registered letter arrived from the chancellor of LSU. It read: Dear Sir: We are utterly flabbergasted at your performance in Quick Wit Retort 101. We would be most gratified if you could come to LSU to complete your degree with our fine academic institution. Here's a check to cover your expenses. To make a long story short, the man made straight A's in the QWR program. He was awarded numerous distinctions, and when he graduated, the graduation speaker, John Ashcroft, awarded the man the Presidential Medal of Outstanding Quick Wit Retort, signed by W himself! Some days afterward, Harvard University sent a Learjet to pick the man up for an interview. The graduate admissions officer didn't mince words. "If you complete our masters/doctoral tenured track program in QWR, you will never have to worry about money again," said he. Needless to say, the man promptly moved to Cambridge. In 2 years, the man had finished his doctorate. By this time, the man was known throughout the world as the leading expert in Quick Wit Retort. Word had even reached North Louisiana, which made his mother very proud. Everyone from Pentagon pundits to Beltway bandits consulted the man on technical questions of QWR. One day, while sitting at his desk reading his hometown newspaper, the man noticed that the circus was coming to his hometown again. An evil smile crossed the man's face. "Siegfried," cried the man to his assistant, "We must be away to North Louisiana. Ready the jet!" As the plane crossed the Mississippi River, the man savored the moment of victory that was to be his. The man arrived at the circus tent very early, making sure to get the seat in section A, row Y, seat 42. Finally, the trapeze artists gave an awe-inspiring performance, the elephants danced, and the lion tamer tamed. At last, the clowns came out in full regalia and green hair. They rode around by the dozen in a purple Volkswagen. The Volksie pulled up to center of the ring, and an overweight clown with orange hair, acne, and a purple nose advanced to the podium: "Will the person in section A, row Y, seat 42 please stand up?" The man glanced at his ticket. This time he was ready. Clown sez, "Wellllll, there's the horse's ass, now where's the rest of the horse?" The man rose to his feet, full of confidence. He thrust out his chest and said in the loudest voice you can imagine: F!!!! YOU, CLOWN!!!!