The Bell Ringers

Enjoy a good shaggy dog story?

In its original sense, a shaggy dog story is an extremely long and involved story containing numerous irrelevant incidents and ending in an absurd or irrelevant punch line. Read two of the best shaggy dog stories we’ve found: “The Bell Ringer” and “The Bell Ringer’s Brother.”

The Bell Ringer’s Brother

The following day, despite the sadness that weighed heavily on his heart due to the unfortunate death of the armless campanologist (now there’s a trivia question), the bishop continued his interviews for the bellringer of Notre Dame. The first man to approach him said, “Your excellency, I am the brother of the poor, armless wretch that fell to his death from this very belfry yesterday. I pray that you honor his life by allowing me to replace him in this duty.” The bishop agreed to give the man an audition, and as the armless man’s brother stooped to pick up a mallet to strike the first bell, he groaned, clutched at his chest and died on the spot. Two monks, hearing the bishop’s cries of grief at this second tragedy, rushed up the stairs to his side. “What has happened?” the first breathlessly asked, “Who is this man?”

“I don’t know his name,” sighed the distraught bishop, “but he’s a deadringer for his brother.”

  • That’s all, folks.