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There is nothing I appreciate quite so much as a really good (or bad, depending on your point of view, I suppose) shaggy dog story. I've always enjoyed (?) shaggy dogs, but my interest was nurtured by two sources: a little green rag of a publication called The Isolated M that always carried a whole page of shaggies every month, and my high school algebra teacher, Mr. John Reisner (a very gifted teacher with an absolutely appalling "gift" for puns -- good chess player, too).

The art of creating a well-crafted pun is lost on many people unfortunately, so enjoying a shaggy dog story is sort of like enjoying a cigar -- the person smoking has a great time, but bystanders usually gag. If you're not familiar with shaggy dog stories, here's a definition (you poor sap, you):

A seemingly plausible (usually) story of varying length (the longer the better, I say). As the story progresses, the listener/reader should become more and more intrigued, even if they know it's a shaggy dog story. The last line is always an absolutely hideous pun.

Today a great shaggy dog story showed up in my e-mail. It got me thinking of all the shaggy dog stories I have heard. Why not preserve this priceless works of, uh, art? So here is my contribution. I'll start posting my collection of shaggy dog stories. Sadly, shaggy dogs are sort of like urban myths--no one usually is willing to claim responsibility. If I know the author, I will post it, but otherwise, they are anonymous. Feel free to send submissions (although they'll have to pass our stingent quality controls before they are published here).

Created 11/07/96 by Michael Heggen.
Last updated 03/17/03 at 14:34.
1996 by Michael Heggen. All rights reserved.

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