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picture of bagpipers

Do you like the sound of bagpipes? To my way of thinking, bagpipes seem to show up at some of the oddest times in some of the oddest places — even here on my blog now! When I think of bagpipes, I think of the British Isles and kilts. But bagpipes, like the Swine Flu, have spread all over the world. If you don't know much about bagpipes, there's a link to a good article on Wikipedia.

picture of bagpipe parts

Since I did not know the parts of a bagpipe mentioned in some of the jokes, such as drones, I searched to find a picture with labeled parts. I found one picture that had detail, down to the tiniest parts (WTMI = way too much information). Instead, I'm posting the nice simplified picture I found. I also did a search for Bill Livingston, mentioned in one of the jokes below, and learned that he is legendary in the world of bagpiping. He's a Canadian world class bagpipe soloist. (Maybe like me, you didn't know there was such a thing....)

While I'm not a huge fan of bagpipes, I don't really hate them either. A number of years ago we had a Pipes and Drums group came to campus for an artist series. There were several medleys in their program, but my knowledge of bagpipe music was so sparse that I could not recognize their having gone from one number to the next. The only number in a medley that was distinct to me was "Scotland the Brave." (You can find it online and listen to it.) I was exultant! I had finally recognized something! :-D

Whether you like or dislike bagpipes, I think you'll find cause for laughter in what follows.


There was a young Scottish boy called Angus who decided to try life in Australia. He found an apartment in a small block and settled in.

After a week or two, his mother called from Aberdeen to see how her son was doing in his new life.

"I'm fine," Angus said. "But there are some really strange people living in these apartments. One woman cried all day long, another lies on her floor moaning, and there is a guy next door to me who bangs his head on the wall all the time."

"Well, ma laddie," says his mother, "I suggest you don't associate with people like that."

"Oh," says Angus, "I don't, Mum, I don't. No, I just stay inside my apartment all day and night, playing my bagpipes."


Two girls are walking along when they hear. "Psst! Down here!" They both look down and see a frog sitting beside the road. The frog says to them, "Hey, if you kiss me I'll turn into a world famous bagpiper and make you both rich and famous!"

The two girls looked at each other, and one of them reached down and grabbed the frog and stuffed it in her pocket. The other girl said, "What did you do that for?"

The first replied, "I'm not stupid. I know a talking frog is worth lots more than a famous bagpiper any day.


Q: How do you keep your violin from getting stolen?
A: Put it in a bagpipe case.

Q: What do you call someone who hangs around with musicians?
A: A bagpiper.

Q: What did the bagpiper get on his I.Q. test?
A: Drool.

Q: How many bagpipers does it take to change a light bulb?
A: Five — one to handle the bulb and the other four to contemplate how Bill Livingston would have done it.

Q: How many bagpipers does it take to change a light bulb?
A: Five — one to change the bulb and four to criticize his fingering technique.

Q: If you were lost in the woods, who would you trust for directions, an in-tune bagpipe player, an out-of-tune bagpipe player, or Santa Claus?
A: The out-of-tune bagpipe player. The other two don't really exist.

Q: What's the definition of a gentleman?
A: Someone who knows how to play the bagpipe, and doesn't.

Q: What's the difference between a cat in the road and a bagpipe in the road?
A: Some people would actually swerve to miss the cat.

Q: What's the definition of a quarter tone?
A: A bagpiper tuning his drones.

Q: Why is a bagpipe like a Scud missile?
A: Both are offensive and inaccurate.

Q: How do you know if a bagpipe band is at your front door?
A: No one knows when to come in.

Q: Why did the bagpiper get mad at the drummer?
A: He moved a drone and wouldn't tell him which one.

If you took all the bagpipers in the world and laid them down end to end, ... it would be a good idea.

Q: If you drop a bagpipe and a watermelon off a tall building, which will hit the ground first?
A: Who cares?

Q: How late does the bagpipe band play?"
A: "Oh, about a half beat behind the drummer."

Q: The uilleann pipes are the only instrument declared safe by the National Transportation and Safety Board (NTSB). Why?
A: They have seat belts and an air bag.

Q: Why do bagpipers leave their cases on their dashboards?
A: So they can park in handicapped zones.

Q: Why do pipe bands march when they play?
A: Moving targets are harder to hit.

Q: What's the difference between a bagpipe and an onion?
A: No one cries when you chop up an bagpipe.

Q: What's the difference between a dead snake in the road and a dead bagpiper in the road?
A: There are skid marks in front of the snake.

Q: How can you tell if a bagpipe is out of tune?
A: Someone is blowing into it.

A Canadian Officer, pinned down with his unit in 1944 in Italy, urgently signaled his CO, "Need reinforcements to rescue us, please send six tanks or one bagpiper."

Q: How do you get two pipers in tune with each other?
A: Shoot one of them.

Q: What's the difference between a bagpipe and a chainsaw?
A: The chain saw doesn't have vibrato.

Q: What's the difference between a bagpipe and a lawn mower.
A: People get upset when someone borrows their lawn mower and doesn't give it back.

Q: What's the difference between a dead bagpiper in the road and a dead country singer in the road?
A: The country singer may have been on his way to a recording session.

Q: What's the difference between a bagpipe and a trampoline?
A: You take off your shoes when you jump on a trampoline.

Q: How can you tell a bagpiper with perfect pitch?
A: He can throw a set into the middle of a pond and not hit any of the ducks.

Q: Why are bagpipers fingers like lightning?
A: They rarely strike the same spot twice.

Q: What's the definition of "optimism"?
A: A bagpiper with a beeper.

Q: What's the range of a bagpipe?
A: Twenty yards if you have a good arm.


A man walked into an office building after parking his car. When he got on the elevator, he said, "Oh no! I left my bagpipes in my car! Somebody might have stolen them!"

Back to the car he ran, and, sure enough, when he got there, his back window was smashed out. But when he looked in the back seat, he found four more sets of bagpipes.


Q: What do you call 100 bagpipes at the bottom of the sea?
A: A good start.

Q: Why do pipers walk when they play?
A: They are trying to get away from the sound!

Someone once said, "You don't PLAY bagpipes, you WIELD them."

Q: How can you tell the difference between bagpipe songs?
A: By their names.

Q: Why do most people hate bagpipes right away?
A: It saves time.


I look forward to your comments on bagpipes!


"Bagpipes (noun). I understand the inventor of the bagpipes was inspired when he saw a man carrying an indignant, asthmatic pig under his arm. Unfortunately, the man-made object never equalled the purity of sound achieved by the pig." - Alfred Hitchcock

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Thought: How do you know when it's time to tune your bagpipes?

Super Grill for Dad

Just a quick post for you last-minute Father's Day shoppers.

A reader sent me a picture of a great gift idea that I just had to share.

picture of super grill

I want one! :-D How 'bout the rest of you dads?

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If your dad's sisters are construction workers, would you call them carpenter aunts?

Signs of Summer

picture of a sunflower

As we approach the first official day of summer, there are many signs here in sunny South Carolina that summer has already come. After several years of severe drought, we have returned to our usual pattern of heat building all day until the daily late afternoon/early evening thunderstorm. We've lived in this house for five years, and our lawn has never been this green at this point in the summer! The meteorologists are predicting that tomorrow we will at least tie the record temp of 98° F.

People have told me that my posts of funny signs are among their favorite. My readers have been great about sending me pictures of signs they've seen or links to great sources of signs. Here are 15 that I hope will bring you a chuckle or two.

Mosquitoes are a bane of my summer existence. I hope I don't see this sign near our house!

picture of funny sign

Does a cool dip sound good? This no swimming sign might keep you from taking one, though.

picture of funny sign

If lobster comes to mind when you see this sign, be sure to read the small print near the price.

picture of funny sign

I'm not sure if this is the place I would seek comfort....

picture of funny sign

I don't think I'd seek comfort here either....

picture of funny sign

Here's a new take on the old "When is a door not a door?" joke.

picture of funny sign

A reader who lives in Scotland sent this picture from a hotel shower there.

picture of funny sign

The person who sent me this one was concerned that both businesses have the same phone number.

picture of funny sign

A reader took this one in her family's favorite Mexican restaurant.

picture of funny sign

Here's another "cat" sign....

picture of funny sign

A reader took this one of a sign in a car on campus this week for a home school conference.

picture of funny sign

Which way do we go?

picture of funny sign

Be sure you qualify to park here.

picture of funny sign

Can you figure out who this special lane is for?

picture of funny sign

Even if you hate stop signs, I'll bet you'd laugh if you came upon this one.

picture of funny sign

Please be on the look out for funny signs and send them my way. Do you have a favorite among these?


"Our sin always drags others into the vortex of its power." - Dr. Drew Conley

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Have you ever been tempted to ask some total strangers you meet in public, "Excuse me, but would I offend you if I didn't show off my bare midriff or my underwear?"

Here Comes the Groom!

Do you enjoy attending weddings? I'm sure that more women than men would answer yes to that question. I have to admit that in my younger years I didn't relish going to weddings, and Becka often went alone or with one or both of our daughters. Back in the last millennium, during my first term as a deacon at our church, Pastor David Yearick challenged us men to consider our responsibility of going to weddings, particularly those of the young people of our own church. He reminded us that in a day when marriage is taken more and more lightly, we needed to show our young men especially that marriage is just as important to men as it is to women by attending their weddings. I knew that what he was saying was right, and I began attending weddings regularly.

Living in a college town and attending a large church, we receive invitations to many weddings. It's not possible to make it to every wedding we're invited to, but we try to go to as many as we can. I actually enjoy them very much now, getting a little misty-eyed at many. And I almost always see someone I haven't seen in years! This past Friday evening we were invited to two weddings at the same time. We decided to go to the wedding of the young lady we'd known since she was a small child and we were really looking forward to it. However Becka was sick last week, so I went alone. Then the next day, Saturday afternoon, I attended another wedding alone, at another church in town, not only because Becka was still not feeling well, but also because she did not know the bride or the groom at all and I had been planning to attend it alone anyway. Don't I get some kind of purple heart for this? :-D

With all these weddings this summer, I've been meaning to post a piece that I had in my online archives before having to rebuild my website. It's a wonderful parody of something you might read in the society pages, but full of a delightful blend of typical minute detail and untypical sketchiness. I cannot find who wrote this originally. If/when I learn who wrote it, I will happily give proper attribution. On to the post....

Here Comes the Groom

Fed up with the way the bride invariably steals the show at her own wedding, the school at which Rob Tombes works carried in its news weekly its own unbiased account of his recent marriage there to Mary Beth Snyder. It reads as follows:

Mr. Robert Tombes, son of Dr. and Mrs. Averett S. Tombes of Fairfax, VA, became the bridegroom of Miss Mary Elizabeth Snyder today at Fairfax Presbyterian Church.

Mr. Tombes was attended by his brother Thomas Hamilton Tombes as best man. As the groom approached the altar he was the cynosure of all eyes. Blushing handsomely, he replied to the questions of the clergyman in low but firm tones. He was charmingly clad in a 3-piece suit consisting of coat, vest, and pants.

picture of a groom

The coat, of some dark material, was draped handsomely about the shoulders and tastefully gathered under the arms. A touching story was current among the guests that the coat was the one worn by his father and grandfather on their wedding days. Mr. Tombes would neither affirm nor deny the truth of this sentimental touch. The vest was sleeveless and met in the front. It was gracefully fashioned with pockets and at the back was held together by a strap and buckle of the same material.

The groom's pants were of some dark material and were suspended from the waist, falling in a straight line almost to the floor. The severe simplicity of the garment was relieved by the right pantelet which was caught up about four inches from the floor by a Boston Brighton worn underneath, revealing just the artistic glimpse of leather, laced with string of the same color. The effect was rather chic.

Beneath the vest the groom wore blue galluses attached to the pants fore and aft and passing in a graceful curve over each shoulder. His neck was encircled with a collar characterized by a delicate sawedge, and around the collar a cravat was loosely knotted so that it rode up under his left ear with a studied effect of carelessness which marks supreme artistry in dress.

The best man's costume was essentially the same as the groom's, and as the two stood at the altar, a hush of awed admiration enveloped the audience.

As Miss Snyder led the groom from the nuptials, it was noted that she wore the conventional white dress and veil and carried orange blossoms.


I chuckle every time I read that parody and hope you enjoyed it too. Most of the young men I've known would much rather have the attention on their bride than on themselves. In fact, some would rather elope and just skip the big, formal wedding. Come to think of it, while some of the young brides love every minute of "their big day," others I've known would have rather opted for a small, private wedding with much less attention on her.

What do you think of going to weddings, guys and gals? Do you find that the focus right in most of the weddings you attend? Have modern weddings gotten out of hand in their lavishness or in other ways?


We got a copy of So High The Price the latest CD from the Steve Pettit team this past weekend, which coincided with a post about it on My Two Cents, a blog I read. It's a great CD if you're interested in checking it out. The first link in this paragraph allows you to listen to demos of many of the songs on the CD.

I've put a new link in my sidebar to a DVD Dispatches from the Front. I hope you'll check it out. It's produced by Frontline Missions International.

I'll be back at you later this week with some more signs. Readers have sent me some great ones.


"It's reasonable to trust God if you know Him." - Dr. Dan Olinger

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Since Americans throw rice at weddings, I wonder if Asians throw hamburgers....


picture of a frog

As promised several weeks ago, here's the final installment of Tom Swifties. A close cousin to the Tom Swifty is the Croaker. Croakers are like Tom Swifties, only different. It is the verb, rather than the adverb, that supplies the pun. The one that probably gave them their name is "My pet frog died," Tom croaked. If you make it all the way to the end, there are even a few without Tom! Anyway, here goes....

"All right then, we'll use a water solution," Tom acquiesced.

"There is room for one more," Tom admitted.

"Here's your allowance for the next two weeks," Tom advanced.

"Waaaa! I'm losing my hair," Tom bawled.

"Wow!" barked Tom, with a bow.

"I am NOT full of hot air," Tom belched.

"The fire's going out!" Tom bellowed.

"The giant sea creature died," Tom blubbered and wailed.

"My ancestor was a famous Confederate general who had an army fort named after him," Tom bragged.

"I make myself use this brush," Tom bristled.

"I hate cleaning fish," Tom carped.

"I like Chinese detective films!" Tom chanted.

"I want another plate of steamers!" Tom clamoured.

"Have another cola," Tom coaxed.

"We've overthrown the government," Tom cooed.

"I saw more black birds than you did," Tom crowed.

"So what if the Greek piper god is deceased?" Tom deadpanned.

"Someone has removed all the twos from this deck," Tom deduced.

"Beagles are all dumb," Tom dogmatized.

"I used to be a gold miner!" Tom exclaimed.

"I used to be a pilot," Tom explained.

"I've done well on my diet," Tom expounded.

"I used to work for Manpower," Tom extemporized.

"I hope I can still play the guitar," Tom fretted.

"I must be just a visitor," Tom guessed.

"I've struck oil," Tom gushed.

"I feel empty inside," Tom hollered.

"I think that mischievous child deceived me," Tom implied.

"She must be wearing her mink inside out," Tom inferred.

"This meat is not very tender," Tom insinuated.

"I can stay on pitch when I sing," Tom intoned.

"You look like a baby goat," Tom kidded.

"You know, I do love cats," Tom mused.

"That's not a sheltie — it's just a mongrel," Tom muttered.

"Oh! What I'd give to see the nicest of all trees — evergreens!" Tom opined.

"We'll get there before you do," Tom and Harry predicted.

"Yippee! Another windstorm," Tom regaled.

"I want to renew my membership," Tom rejoined.

"I'm never anywhere on time," Tom related.

"I used to think amputation was irreversible," Tom remembered.

"I'll glue the sheets of wood back together," Tom replied.

"Corroborate that again," Tom reproved.

"May I go look for the Holy Grail again?" Tom requested.

"We're having calf once again," Tom revealed.

"That's it! No more! That's my third electric shock this week!" Tom revolted.

"I got the stain out of my favorite shirt!" Tom shouted.

"I ate the last candy bar," Tom snickered.

"It looks like it's going to storm," Tom thundered.

"I hate milking cows," Tom uttered.

"Oh no! It's Moby Dick!" Tom wailed.

"Yuk! My grape juice has fermented," Tom whined.

"I don't like sweet potatoes," Tom yammered.


Then there are Double Croakers in which a combination of several sentence components make the pun.

"Furthermore, I'm the best mathematician in the world," Tom added summarily.

"Keep working, you mangy cur," Tom barked doggedly.

"This ... meat ... is ... hard ... to ... chew," Tom beefed jerkily.

"The fire in the hearth is going out," Tom bellowed greatly.

"I can't eat some of the meat they eat in France," Tom bridled hoarsely.

"Get me off this horse!" Tom derided woefully.

"I suppose I've lost a lot of weight," Tom expounded thinly.

"I refuse to obey that French 'No Smoking' sign," fumed Tom defensively.

"I did NOT finish in fifth place," Tom held forth.

"Your embroidery is sloppy," Tom needled cruelly.

"I plan to work at the cemetery," Tom plotted gravely.

"Do you think I can eventually draw blood from you?" Tom probed vainly.

"I'm leaving you, you snake!" Tom rattled off.

"That's the last time I'll lie on the train tracks!" said Tom, beside himself.

"No, I don't have any Milkyways on me," said Tom holding no bars.

"I've run out of wool," said Tom knitting his brow.

"The exit is right there," Tom pointed out.

"I'll figure out the answer to this algebra problem," Tom added, nonplussed.

"I'm wearing a wedding ring," said Tom with abandon.

"I've got you covered. Drop your gun," said Tom with a disarming smile.

"Eat more fruit" said Tom with aplomb.

"I just swallowed an earthworm," said Tom with bated breath.

"I've just slain and cremated the Greek piper god," said Tom with panache.

"I'll tell you no lies!" sang Tom in falsetto.

"So only one person arrived at your party before I did?" Tom second guessed.

"I am too singing in tune!" Tom sounded off.

"Well, even if no one else does, *I* enjoy fixing bicycle wheels," Tom spoke up.

"Well, I, for one, have always been a great proponent of the Heimlich manoeuvre," Tom struck back.

"Here's the story of the Liberty Bell," Tom told appealingly.

"Let me show you how to have a well polished floor," Tom waxed eloquently.


And, if you've made it this far and are sick to death of TOM, here are some Swifties and Croakers with no Tom at all!

"I wonder why uranium is fluorescent," said Marie curiously.

"Dorothy, if you go to Oz again, you're taking me instead of Toto," Auntie Em barked.

"Work, work, work! That's all I ever do. That's all I ever do," Bea droned.

"I hate reading Victor Hugo," said Les miserably.

"My mom is German," she muttered.

"Wouldn't just gold and frankincense do?" the Magi demurred.

"I've got a new game we could play," mumbled Peg.

"These cookies are too spicy!" Ginger snapped.


"Can you add any Croakers to the comments?" asked Rob openly.


"We're so often consumed with cheap toys when God wants to give us treasures that will last forever." Dr. Drew Conley

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Always remember — everyone of us is someone else's weirdo!