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(How the Bass player became Perpetually Bored.)

1) And it came to pass in the Very Loud Big Band a disgruntlement upon the bassist, Jaco-Mo, which he could no longer abide.” I am first to arrive, last to leave and yet receive no more sheckels than the saxophones,” he thought unto himself. ” “I must toil like a galley slave, pulling a very large oar for the horns, only to receive their scorn, and exhortations to “dig in”. “This while they “walk the bar” and play all manner of preening blather, chorus after chorus on “Choo-Choo-Cha-Boogie” and the hated “Caledonia”. All this began to chafe on Jaco-Mo in such exceeding fashion that he did stray from the written line and blasphemously “take it out”.

2) This provoked an outcry amongst the horns and especially the Female Vocalist Who Could Not Count until finally the Leader did chastise Jaco-Mo, ” Lo, you have caused the horns great consternation, and led astray the Female Vocalist Who Cannot Count three times on this gig. I have no recourse but to docketh sheckels from your pay.”

3) One night after a particularly arduous engagement, Jaco-Mo sat disconsolately at the bar in his tuxedo, the Badge of Shame. Presently, a somewhat seedy character sidled up him.”Say man, you want a gig?” He hissed,”It’s a trio, man, smoking, play whatever you want, solo on every tune, and we’re done at 10 O’clock. C’mon man, lose the monkey suit! Free up, baby! ”

4.) And Jaco-Mo was sorely tempted, for he sorely wished to free up and shed The Badge of Shame, and solo on every tune. And so he agreed, and subbeth not his gig with the Very Loud Big Band. “I will surely show them, for I shall be sorely missed, ” he thought. “Then they will appreciate the toil of Jaco-Mo.”

5.) The time came for Jaco-Mo to make the trio gig and he followed the directions to the club. “This is a very bad part of town,”he said to himself, as he double checked the locks on his conveyance. And the people on the street did look covetously on Jaco-Mo as he made his way up the street with his Bass, perhaps to separate him from it or the brand new turtleneck he had chosen for his raiment.

6.) But the gig was all he had wished for. They played at fantastic tempos no human could dance to, they traded 4′s, 8′s, 2′s, and the like and lo, they did “take it out” repeatedly. All three patrons of the establishment were duly impressed and stayed until the end, one even beseeching Jaco-Mo for a ride home.

7.) Thence came the time of remuneration, and the leader did hand Jaco-Mo but 11 sheckels ($ 4.37 US). As he did so he said,” Swingin’ baby, you down for Saturday night?”

8.) Jaco-Mo was in a quandary as he walked to his conveyance. He had played what he wished, indeed, “taken it out”, but had only enough sheckels for Ramen and perhaps a gallon of gas. As he unlocked his ride he realized his CD Player had been plucked from the dash !

9.) Now Jaco-Mo was miserable, and decided to drop by the Wedding Reception to see how the Very Loud Big Band was doing. At least they would be sorry and beg him to come back. As Jaco-Mo mounted the stairs he heard bass ! Not real bass though, something not of the bass world, but somehow passing for bass. And as he reached the top of the stairs, there was the keyboard player, doing Jaco-Mo ‘s job with his left hand .

10.) Came the intermission, and the players did disperse to the buffet line , some with their Tupperware hidden beneath the Badge of Shame, that they might avail themselves of the repast at a later date, and avoid Ramen. Jaco-Mo threw himself on the mercy of the Leader, ” My conveyance broke down, and I got here as soon as I could”, he sputtered dishonestly. “I can start the next set.” The Leader, having gone through many bass players, fixed his gaze on Jaco-Mo, and spoke unto him,” What’s up with the turtleneck?”

11.) The Leader spoke as thunder now, “If thou dost return, Jaco-Mo, do thy swear to not stray again from the printed page? “Yes!,” blurted Jaco-Mo weakly ( rent was due). “And thou shalt not lose the Female Vocalist Who Cannot Count again ?” “I promise,” he groveled , for he did miss his CD player, and wished to be anointed at the buffet line, that he might avoid Ramen. “All right Jaco-Mo , as your penance , go to the Road Case and don the Powder Blue Badge of Shame for the rest of the gig.”And as a final warning he said, “Do not cross me again, son, or I will give your gig back to the keyboard player’s left hand.”

12.) And so Jaco-Mo did once more assume the yoke of duty in the rhythm section, in the Powder Blue Tux. His face became a blank mask of perpetual boredom, whether The Female Singer Who Could Not Count was smiling at him, (for he never lost her again),or the horns scornfully exhorted him to “dig in. “Jaco-Mo learned the hard way : It is better to eat than “take it out! Amen?

Microsoft Corporation today announced its intent to purchase, copyright, and upgrade God Himself. The new product would be named, predictably enough, “Microsoft God,” and would be available to consumers sometime in late 1998. “Too many people feel separated from God in today’s world,” said Dave McCavaugh, director of Microsoft’s new Religions division. “Microsoft God will make our Lord more accessible, and will add an easy, intuitive user interface to Him, making Him not only easier to find, but easier to communicate with.”

The new Microsoft Religions line will be expanded to include a multitude of add-on products to Microsoft God, including: Microsoft Crusades: This conversion product will bring all worshipper accounts and prayer files over from previous versions of God, or from competing products like Buddha or Allah. Microsoft God for the World Wide Web: This product ties Microsoft God with Microsoft Internet Information Server, making our Lord accessible from the World Wide Web using a standard Web browser interface. It introduces several new Web technologies, including Dynamic Salvation and Active Prayer Pages (APP). Donations for the poor can be donated via a Secure Alms Server.

Microsoft Prayers: Using a Windows-based WYSIWYG interface, this product will allow worshippers to construct effective prayers in a minimum of time. A Secure Prayer Channel technology allows guaranteed delivery of the prayer to Microsoft God servers, and Prayer Wizards enable users to construct new types of prayers with a minimum learning curve.

Microsoft Savior: This product will allow worshippers to transfer their sins to its internal Vice Database. After a preset interval, the product will erase itself from the user’s system and establish a clear line of secure communications to the user’s Microsoft God server.

Additionally, Microsoft is expected to announce a line of complimentary products for the new Religions line, which will enhance the functionality of the Microsoft God server product by providing a customized user interface. These interfaces will be based on popular religious sects, allowing worshippers to interact with the new God product in much the same way as the previous version. This line is expected to include Microsoft Islam, Microsoft Catholicism, Microsoft Judaism (incompatible with Microsoft Savior), etc.

String players’ motto: “It’s better to be sharp than out of tune.”

Matsushita Electric is promoting a new Japanese PC targeted at the Internet. Panasonic has developed a complete Japanese Web browser, and to make the system “user-friendly”, licensed the cartoon character “Woody Woodpecker” as the “Internet guide.” Panasonic eventually planned on a world version of the product.

A huge marketing campaign was to have introduced the product in Japan last week. The day before the ads were to be released, Panasonic suddenly pulled back and delayed the product launch indefinitely.

The reason: the ads featured the slogan “Touch Woody – The Internet Pecker.”

An American staff member at the internal product launch explained to the stunned and embarrassed Japanese what “touch woody” and “pecker” meant in American slang.

In a survey of American women, when asked, “Would you sleep with President Clinton”, 86% replied, “Not again!”



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