MARIA : That’s the best one I’ve heard for a long time.
JOHN : D’you know that story about the convict?
MARIA : Not that one!
JOHN : No, no – it isn’t that one, dear! Do you know it?
PETER : I don’t think so.
JOHN : Well, there was this convict who’d never been to prison before.
MARIA : Oh, that one.
JOHN : Quiet Maria. And at his first meal, when they were all eating together, one of the other convicts suddenly got up and shouted ‘twenty- four’.
MARIA : Whereupon all the other convicts roared with laughter.
JOHN : Please darling. I’m telling the story. So the new convict asked his neighbor what was so funny. ‘Oh,’ said the neighbor. ‘You see we’ve all been here so long that we know all each other’s jokes. So instead of telling them we give them all numbers.
PAMELA : Oh, no!
JOHN : So at the next meal the new convict decided to tell a joke himself, he felt terribly nervous, but finally, he gathered up his courage, stood up, and said in a very feeble voice ‘twenty-eight’.
MARIA : But there was no reaction at all.
JOHN : Maria! He sat down in complete silence, red in the face.
PETER : I bet, a very embarrassing state of affairs.
JOHN : And after a bit, he asked his neighbor what was wrong with joke twenty-eight. ‘Nothing,’ said his neighbor. ‘It’s a very good joke. But you know, it depends on the way you tell the story.’
PAMELA : Oh dear.
MARIA : That isn’t the end yet!
JOHN : So at the next meal the new convict was determined to make them laugh. He stood up and in a firm voice shouted out ‘two hundred and forty-four’. Immediately, everyone convulsed with laughter. They rolled in the aisles. When the laughter died down, the new convict turned to his neighbor, “That was all right wasn’t it?’ he said. ‘Oh yes, couldn’t have been better. And what’s more, we’d never heard that one before!”
MARIA : Never heard that one before!
PETER : I must remember that one!
PAMELA : It’s a real shaggy dog!