We are teaching the April 21 sack back class this week. I also had to wrap up an article I owed Popular Woodworking. So, I don’t have time to sit down and write an essay on one of the many topics I have planned. I apologize. However, to make up for it with you, I am going to provide you with some chairmaker humor.
Those of you who used to receive the paper version of The Windsor Chronicles remember our humor column, “A Duck Walks into a Chair Shop….” If you want to know why it was called that, you can find the original joke in the archive.
By the way, the Windsor rocking chair class begins May 5. I have space for one more. This will be your last chance to make this chair until 2009.
* * * *
A piece of string walks into a Windsor chair shop and asks the chairmaker, “Got any Shaker chairs?”
The Windsor chairmaker looks up with rage on his face, assuming that lousy duck is back again. Rather than a duck, he sees it is a piece of string and so, keeps his temper under control. “No,” the Windsor chairmaker replied politely. “This is Windsor chair shop. We do not make Shaker chairs.” The piece of string leaves.
The next day the piece of string shows up again at the Windsor chair shop and asks the chairmaker “Got any Shaker chairs?”
This time the Windsor chairmaker is annoyed as he envisions the scenario with the duck playing itself out again. “I told you yesterday, this is a Windsor chair shop. We do not make Shaker chairs.” The piece of string left.
The next day the piece of string walks into the Windsor chair shop and asks the Windsor chairmaker, “Got any Shaker chairs?”
That’s it. The Windsor chairmaker flies into an uncontrollable rage. He stomps the string. He takes it and twists it. He throws it across the shop, causing it to unravel.
The very damaged string leaves, with very hurt feelings. As it walks away from the Windsor chair shop it is in tears. A Boy Scout sees the string and asks why it is crying. The string explains that he has been hurt and is unraveling.
The Boy Scout says that he always does a good deed daily and always follows his motto Be Prepared. So, he is prepared to do a good deed for the string. Unable to wind the string back the way he was originally, the Boy Scout ties him into a beautiful knot.
The only thing the Boy Scout cannot do is fix the string’s end, which has completely unraveled so it is frayed. The Boy Scout leaves the string with the frayed end, explaining to the string that is only a little bit.
Feeling very good about his new appearance the string returns to the Windsor chair shop the next day. He walks in the front door and asks the Windsor chairmaker, “Got any Shaker chairs?”
The chairmaker looks up from the chair he is legging up in a rage. However, standing before him is the string in its new appearance, a beautiful knot with a little bit of a frayed end.
The Windsor chairmaker knows he is not talking to the duck, but he is still suspicious. He examines the visitor and then says, “Hey. Aren’t you that piece of string that was in here yesterday?”
The string replied, “No. I’m a frayed knot.”
* * * *
A Windsor chairmaker is visiting New Hampshire and decides he will take care of the opportunity to visit the Mecca of the Windsor chairmaking world, The Windsor Institute.
When he arrives he finds one of the instructors sitting in a chair reading the newspaper.
Meanwhile, a rare white boxer is assembling a Windsor. The visiting chairmaker watches the white boxer work for a while. He finishes legging up the chair and starts on the back.
The visiting chairmaker is amazed. Finally, he easy to The Institute instructor, “That must be the smartest dog in the world.”
“I don’t think he’s so smart,” replies the instructor. “I still have to ream the leg holes for him.”
* * * *
A Windsor chairmaker and a Shaker chairmaker from New Hampshire take the train into Boston to meet with an interior decorator to discuss the possibility of a very large commission for the decorator’s client. The decorator (who obviously has no taste and knows nothing about chairs) grants the commission to the Shaker chairmaker. The two return home on the same train. The Windsor chairmaker is returning home broke, while the Shaker chairmaker has in his pocket a very large deposit on his new commission.
The Shaker chairmaker is feeling real good and even a bit cocky. He sits across from the Windsor chairmaker and starts chatting. After trying unsuccessfully to start conversations concerning the Red Sox, politics, and Sam Adams beer, the Shaker chairmaker says, “I’d like to propose a little game to pass the time. I’ll ask you a question, and if you can’t answer it you give me a dollar. Then you ask me a question, and if I can’t answer it I’ll give you a dollar. OK?”
The Windsor chairmaker thought for a moment, then said, “Sir, you’re obviously a man of considerable education and skill. Why you probably went to Shakermaker U. at the Harvard Shaker Community. “That’s right,” agreed the Shaker chairmaker. I am a Harvard man.
“Me,” pleaded the Windsor chairmaker, I’m only a simple graduate of The Windsor Institute. I have the chairmaker gene, which means I can’t even do math. You are obviously so much smarter that to make it fair, I think you should pay me a hundred dollars for each question you can’t answer.”
The Shaker chairmaker felt very cocky and very superior to this poor Windsor chairmaker. He smiled condescendingly as he answered. “OK. One hundred dollars it is. You go first.”
“What has three arms, one wing, and flies?” asked the Windsor chairmaker.
The Shaker chairmaker thought hard for a couple of minutes. “I give up. Here’s your hundred dollars.” He reached into his pocket and peeled a C note off the wad he had received as a deposit.
The Windsor chairmaker quickly made the bill disappear.
“Well,” said the Shaker chairmaker, “What is it?”
“Danged if I know,” said the Windsor chairmaker chairmaker. “Here’s your dollar.”