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6 Outrageous News Stories and the Jokes They Remind Us Of

In the Reader's Digest's new book 'That Reminds Me of a Joke,' humor editor Andy Simmons reminds us that there is often a fine line between news headlines and our favorite jokes.


From the News: A Missing Cat

Spotted in a local newspaper: “Reward! Lost black male cat (Chucky). May have gotten into vehicle & driven to other area.”

That Reminds Me of a Joke: A man hated his wife’s cat and decided to get rid of him by driving him 20 blocks from his home and leaving him at the park. As he arrived home, the cat was walking up the driveway. The next day drove the cat 40 blocks away, booted him out, and headed home. Driving back up his driveway, there was the cat! Finally, he drove ten miles away, turned right, then left, and over a mountain until he found a thick forest and left the cat there. Hours later the man calls home to his wife: “Jen, is the cat there?”

“Yes,” the wife answers, “Why?”

“I’m lost, and I need the cat to give me directions home.”


From the News: A Seven-Year-Old Calls 911

When a seven-year-old girl called 911 and then hung up, the Burnett, Wisconsin, police were dispatched to her home. When cops arrived, they discovered the problem—the girl’s grandfather was cheating in a game of cards.

That Reminds Me of a Joke: My grandfather always said, “Don’t watch your money; watch your health.” So one day while I was watching my health, someone stole my money. It was my grandfather. Comedian Jackie Mason


From the News: A Fight Between Sisters

An Illinois woman was charged with domestic battery during an argument on Memorial Day with her sister, according to the Arlington Heights Daily Herald (in Illinois). The spat centered around which sibling had caught the most pieces of candy tossed during the town’s holiday parade.

That Reminds Me of a Joke: “Never let an angry sister comb your hair.” Writer Patricia McCann


From the News: A Cursing Parrot

A British pub’s pet bird has a very nasty habit: She curses out the customers. Things with the African Grey reached a head when it told a bunch of clergymen exactly what it thought of them, according to The bird’s owner, Tony Dunbar, said little Miss Pottymouth has calmed down ever since a flood closed the pub for a few months. Still, she’s not the picture of feathery etiquette. Says Dunbar: she now “does a very rude gesture with her feet.”

That Reminds Me of a Joke: A lonely pastor buys a parrot to keep him company. Unfortunately, the parrot curses a blue streak. The pastor yells at it to stop, but this only makes the bird swear more. Even throwing a blanket over its cage doesn’t quiet it down. Furious, the pastor tosses the parrot into the freezer, and all goes quiet. Too quiet. The pastor throws open the freezer door. The parrot climbs out, and humbly says, “I’m sorry for the trouble I’ve caused you, Father. I promise to improve my vocabulary. By the way, what did the chicken do?”


From the News: An Unacceptable Help Wanted Ad

This help wanted ad was rejected by a British job center, according to Can you spot the problem? “Domestic cleaner required immediately for local hospital. Must be fluent in written and spoken English for Health & Safety reasons.  Previous experience preferred. Must be reliable and hard working.” Give up? The offending line was the last: “Must be reliable and hard working.” The reason, as explained to Nicole Mamo, who runs the recruiting agency that posted the ad: “They could be sued for discriminating against unreliable people.”

That Reminds Me of a Joke: When an office worker arrived at his desk at 11:00, his angry boss confronted him. “You should have been here at 9:00!” said the boss. The employee responded, “Why, what happened?”


From the News: What Medieval Monks Really Thought About

We think of medieval monks as suffering in silence. Wrong! They complained mercilessly, often in the margins of the texts they were transcribing, according to Here are a few: “New parchment, bad ink; I say nothing more.” “St. Patrick of Armagh, deliver me from writing.” “Now I’ve written the whole thing: For Christ’s sake give me a drink.”

That Reminds Me of a Joke: A guy joins a monastery and takes a vow of silence, though he’s allowed to say two words every seven years. After the first seven years, the elders bring him in and ask for his two words. “Cold floors,” he says. They nod and send him away. Seven more years pass. They bring him back in and ask for his two words. “Bad food,” he says. They nod and send him away. Seven more years pass. They bring him in for his two words. “I quit,” he says. “I’m not surprised in the least,” says the head monk. “You’ve done nothing but complain since you got here.”

Originally Published in That Reminds Me Of a Joke

Andy Simmons
Andy Simmons is a features editor at Reader's Digest.