Writers can learn a lot about writing stories by listening to jokes. A good joke well told has all the elements of a good short story. The writer, or teller, introduces the main characters and usually provides information about what kind of people they are with the fewest words possible and then sets up a situation readers can easily identify with and in the end renders whatever expectations you might have had like Inegio Montoya’s famous line in Princess Bride, “I do not think it means what you think it means.”

That’s the essence of all of O’Henry’s stories.

This one was posted on Facebook, shared by Scott Crawford and attributed to Zack Riley:

My son asked me, “Where does poo come from?”

I was a little uncomfortable but gave him an honest explanation. He looked a little perplexed and stared at me in stunned silence for a few seconds and asked, “And Tigger?”


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