Saturday, February 21, 2015

This Week in Texas Methodist History   February 22

Humor edition

The priest, the rabbi, and the preacher---or the Methodist, Baptist, and the Presbyterian—or (if you listen to Prairie Home Companion) the Lutheran, the Unitarian, and the Atheist----have you ever noticed how humorous stories almost always have the same  structure of a triad? 

 This joke structure has a very long heritage, as we can tell from the item from the Feb. 23,  1866 Texas Countryman (Bellville)..  Here it is:

Hard on the Hard-shells—a traveler called lately at nightfall at a farmer’s house in Alabama; the owner being away from home and the mother and daughter being alone, they refused to lodge the wayfarer. 
“How far then” said he,” is to a house where a preacher can get lodging?”  

“Oh, if you are a preacher,” said the lady,” you can stop here.”

Accordingly he dismounted, deposited his saddlebags in the house and led his horse to the stable.  Meanwhile the mother and the daughter were debating the point as to what kind of preacher he was. 
“he cannot be a Presbyterian,” said one, “for he is not dressed well enough.” 

“He is not a Methodist,” said the other,” for his coat is not the right cut for a Methodist.”

“If I could find his hymn book,” said the daughter,” I could son tell what sort of preacher he is.”   And with that she thrust her hand into the saddle bags and pulled out a flask of liquor, she exclaimed, “La! Mother.  He’s a hard-shelled Baptist.” 


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