Find the hidden mandolin.

The Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura) was once noted for its infallible ability to find any Esso station within fifty miles of its migration route, but since the disappearance of that brand has been unable to migrate at all.

Researchers applying modern forensic sound-restoration techniques to the notorious 18½-minute gap in Richard Nixon’s presidential tapes have uncovered a sound that one expert identifies as someone tuning a mandolin.

“Mavis,” a mixed-breed dog belonging to Mr. Reginald van Bagg of Upper Sandusky, has been digging in the same spot in the back yard since September of 2007 without ever finding what she was looking for.

A stone excavated during the extension of the Sviatoshynsko-Brovarska line in the Kiev metro in 1978 was such a stunningly exact likeness of Leonid Brezhnev that it was immediately vandalized beyond recognition.

The so-called “Middle Ages” came very near the end of the 200,000 years or so of human history.

A statue of the Blessed Virgin in St. Britney Church has been observed to begin weeping every week at the precise moment when the guitars are brought out of their cases for the contemporary Mass.


  1. John M says:

    How prescient of biologists to name a bird the “Mourning Dove” before it began mourning the loss of its treasured Esso station migration waypoints. This probably explains why the doves spend so much time flying over cars and expressing their discontent for the cars’ drivers’ failure to support that particular flavor of distilled petrochemical.

  2. Ann Tiquity says:

    We should airlift our mourning doves to Italy, where the brand is still called Esso.

  3. Captain DaFt says:

    Unfortunately for the plan of airlifting mourning doves to Italy, the Esso stations there are fiercely defended by their own native fauna, Apis Petroleous, otherwise known as the Esso Bee.

  4. Dr. Boli says:

    Esso stations are also common in Canada, so mourning doves there are free to migrate. As a cultural phenomenon, it is fascinating to note how, like the bryophytes that have been popping out from under glaciers recently, “Esso bee” jokes have been lying dormant but viable in the United States for forty years, waiting for the first thaw.

  5. Clay Potts says:

    This post has become quite Esso-teric, hasn’t it?

  6. Very droll. I really want to believe the business about the weeping statue.

  7. Rob Nowicki says:

    Very droll, indeed. My family and I endured a guitar Mass while traveling this last Sunday. 1500 years of liturgical music ignored so some guy can “express” his inner Dylan. Oy vey! We offered it up.

  8. Chas says:

    I find it disconcerting that the Middle Ages came near the end of human history, as I am now middle-aged.

  9. Ann Tiquity says:

    The Esso Bee jokes haven’t exactly been dormant. They just morphed into Bee Pee jokes.

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