• Two minimalists walked into a bar.

  • A man's getting married to his long-time fiancee. As he's preparing for the wedding, his fiancee's hotter, younger sister walks up to him, closes the door, and says, "look, after today I won't have a chance to do this because you'll belong to my sister, but I've wanted to fuck your brains out for years, let's do it now!" The man rushes through the door out to the parking lot, gets in his truck.

    The fiancee's father chases him down, and says, "look, son, that was a test of character. Congratulations, you can marry my daughter."

    Moral of the story: always keep your condoms in the glovebox of your truck.

  • @blakeyrat said:

    A man's getting married to his long-time fiancee. As he's preparing for the wedding, his fiancee's hotter, younger sister walks up to him, closes the door, and says, "look, after today I won't have a chance to do this because you'll belong to my sister, but I've wanted to fuck your brains out for years, let's do it now!" The man rushes through the door out to the parking lot, gets in his truck.

    The fiancee's father chases him down, and says, "look, son, that was a test of character. Congratulations, you can marry my daughter."

    Moral of the story: always keep your condoms in the glovebox of your truck.


    It's funny because he owns a truck!


  • @Lorne Kates said:

    @blakeyrat said:

    A man's getting married to his long-time fiancee. As he's preparing for the wedding, his fiancee's hotter, younger sister walks up to him, closes the door, and says, "look, after today I won't have a chance to do this because you'll belong to my sister, but I've wanted to fuck your brains out for years, let's do it now!" The man rushes through the door out to the parking lot, gets in his truck.

    The fiancee's father chases him down, and says, "look, son, that was a test of character. Congratulations, you can marry my daughter."

    Moral of the story: always keep your condoms in the glovebox of your truck.


    It's funny because he owns a truck!


    Well, he was getting laid, so he probably drives a truck with a bunch of USMC/ Volunteer Firestarter stickers on the back. That seems to be step one of most vaginal invasion operations these days, at least in matriarchal societies like the USA.

  • A guy meets his friend driving a red convertible.

    "Hey, where did you get the new car?"

    "Well, I was taking a nap under a tree by the road when this blonde chick drives by, gets out of her car, takes all her clothes off and tells me: 'Take what you want from me'.
    So I took her car."

    "You did well. Her clothes probably weren't your size."

  • Bob is out on the links enjoying a nice round of golf with his buddy Bill. Suddenly, on the fourth fairway, a huge bird flies overhead and drops a turd on Bob's head.

    "Whatever you do, Bob," says Bill, "don't wipe that turd off your head! EVER!"

    "Why not?" asks Bob. "I've got a huge bird turd on my head and you're saying I have to keep it on my head for the rest of my LIFE?"

    "Yes," says Bill. "It's a foo bird. And you know what they say about foo birds..."

    But just as Bill is about to tell his friend what they say about foo birds, Bob interrupts him. "I don't care what they say about foo birds! I'm wiping it off!"

    And Bob wipes the turd off the top of his head... and promptly keels over dead.

    "NO!" cries Bill. "I was just about to tell him! 'If the foo shits, wear it!'"

  •  I am willing to code up a dislike button just for that post.

  • A foo walks into a bar. The barman asks "what kind of example is THIS?"

    A piece of SQL walks into a bar and approaches two tables, asking "mind if I join you?"

    An Englishman, Scotsman and Irishman all walk into a bar. The barman asks "is this some kind of joke?"

    Yeah.. they're old...

  •  A joke walks into a bar. The barman says "What the fuck you think this place is, a goddamn Internet forum?"  Then he raped a meme with a purple dildo. No one laughed because it wasn't funny.

  • An old joke they used to tell in the Soviet Union..

    As a man is just settling in to enjoy his pipe, his wife comes in. "I need you to go to the butcher and get the meat for dinner," she says. The man grumbles, but puts on his jacket and heads out the door.

    He arrives at the butcher's to find a long line moving very slowly. Finally, after waiting for two hours, he is nearly to the entrance. Just then, the butcher walks out and addresses the crowd. "We're all out of meat for today! Come back tomorrow, we are closing!" he shouts. With disappointed groans, the people in line begin to disperse.

    The man, however, can take it no longer. "I am sick of this damn system!" he shouts to no one in particular. "We work our hands to the bone and what do we have to show for it? We do not even have meat for dinner!" The people from the line have turned and started moving back towards the man to hear what he has to say; they are excited as it is rare for anyone to speak out against the ills that face them.

    But just as the man, buoyed by the interest of the crowd, starts in again on his tirade, a tall, well-groomed gentleman in a trench coat steps from the crowd and puts his arm around the man's shoulders. "Comrade," he says as he leans in close to the man, "you must not go on so. Surely you realize that only a short while ago you would have been shot for such talk." Thinking better of continuing his public dissent, the man gives up and heads back home.

    From the dejected way he enters the flat, his wife can tell the trip was not a success. "Did they run out of meat again?" she asks.

    "Even worse," he replies, "they've run out of bullets."

  • Wenn ist das Nunstück git und Slotermeyer?

    Ja! Beiherhund das Oder die Flipperwaldt gersput!

  • If the Nunstück git and Slotermeyer?
    Yes! Or the Beiherhund the Flipperwaldt gersput!
    Thank you, Google Translate!

  • @Zecc said:

    If the Nunstück git and Slotermeyer?
    Yes! Or the Beiherhund the Flipperwaldt gersput!
    Thank you, Google Translate!

    Der ver zwei peanuts, valking down der strasse, and von vas . . . assaulted! peanut.

  • @dhromed said:

     I am willing to code up a dislike button just for that post.


  • @Zecc said:

    If the Nunstück git and Slotermeyer?
    Yes! Or the Beiherhund the Flipperwaldt gersput!
    Thank you, Google Translate!

    Want to hear a joke?


  • The best comedians do not make jokes with punchlines. Only set-ups.

    I once played charades with a deaf man.

    Three men with computer science degrees walk into a bar.


    It's funny because it's not.

  • @Ben L. said:

    @Zecc said:
    If the Nunstück git and Slotermeyer?
    Yes! Or the Beiherhund the Flipperwaldt gersput!
    Thank you, Google Translate!

    Der ver zwei peanuts, valking down der strasse, and von vas . . . assaulted! peanut.
    Ah, ok. I'd special case this translation if I were google.


    By the way, I know a joke about UDP, but I'm not sure you'd get it.

    On the other hand, can anyone tell me where to find a RIP joke?

  • @Zecc said:

    On the other hand, can anyone tell me where to find a RIP joke?

    In a graveyard.

  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    A man arrives home and shouts to his girlfriend, "pack your bags, I won the lottery!"

    The woman excitedly asks, "should I pack clothes for the mountains or for the beaches?"

    He replies, "I don't care, just get the fuck out!"

  •  A man walks into a bar. He sits on a stool and orders a beer. He pays for it, giving his server a tip equal to an appropriate percentage of the pre-tax cost. He consumes the beer, reflects on the day's events, then goes home.

    The funny thing is, THIS ACTUALLY HAPPENED!

  • @Lorne Kates said:

    He sits on a stool

  • A elderly man and a woman are sitting in silence on the porch of the retirement center they call home. Suddenly, the old man jumps to his feet.

    "Today's my birthday!", he says, looking at the woman. "I'll bet you can't tell how old I am."

    "I'll take that bet." she replies coolly.

    "Yer on!" crows the old man. "Take yer guess!"

    "Drop your pants." the woman says. He obliges.

    The old woman reaches for and starts inspecting the man's testicles, gently massaging the scrotum in her hand for several minutes. Finally, she lets go and leans back in her chair. "88."

    The old man stares at her in astonishment. "That's - that's correct! How did you know!?"

    "You told me yesterday."

  • @lettucemode said:

    "You told me yesterday."

    Wait, so which one was senile: the guy who (allegedly) couldn't remember his age or the woman who gave him a daily handy?

  • @morbiuswilters said:

    @lettucemode said:
    "You told me yesterday."

    Wait, so which one was senile: the guy who (allegedly) couldn't remember his age or the woman who gave him a daily handy?

    The guy is senile. The woman just want to touch dem testes

  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    @morbiuswilters said:

    @lettucemode said:
    "You told me yesterday."

    Wait, so which one was senile: the guy who (allegedly) couldn't remember his age or the woman who gave him a daily handy?

    I guess the perfect woman is the one who develops anterograde amnesia on Steak and Blowjob Day?

  • Obama has been on a visit to Berlin.

    During his visit a German child asks him: “Mr. President, my father told me you're spying
    on my computer!”

    Obama answers: “He’s not your father.”


     (got this on my email, apparently it's from German humorist Friedemann Weise. The joke, not the email)

  • @Cassidy said:

    A foo walks into a bar. The barman asks "what kind of example is THIS?"

    A piece of SQL walks into a bar and approaches two tables, asking "mind if I join you?"

    An Englishman, Scotsman and Irishman all walk into a bar. The barman asks "is this some kind of joke?"

    Yeah.. they're old...

    A dyslexic guy walks into a bra


  • A guy walks into a bar with a frog on his head
    The bartender says "What the hell is going on?"
    The frog says "I don't know, it started out as a lump on my ass"




    I rear-ended a car this morning. 
    Slowly the driver gets out of
    the other car  
    Well, I could NOT believe it . . he was a DWARF!
    He storms over to my
    car, looks up at me and says, "I AM NOT HAPPY!"

    So, I look down at him and say, "Well, which one are you then?"

    and THAT'S when the fight started 



    A lady walks into a bar and sees a really cute guy sitting at the counter. She goes over and asks him what he is drinking.  "Magic Beer" he says.
    She thinks he's a little crazy, but asks, "That isn't really Magic Beer, is it?"
    "Yes, I'll show you." He takes a drink of the beer, jumps out the window, flies around the building 3 times and comes back in the window.
    The lady can't believe it: "I bet you can't do that again."
    He takes another drink of beer, jumps out the window, flies around the building three times, and comes back in the window.
    She is so amazed that she says she wants a Magic Beer, so the guy says to the bartender, "Give her one of what I'm having."
    She gets her drink, takes a gulp of the beer, jumps out the window .... hits the ground and breaks every bone in her body.
    The bartender looks at the guy and says, "You know, Superman, you're a real asshole when you're drunk." 

  • @El_Heffe said:

    I rear-ended a car this morning. 
    Slowly the driver gets out of
    the other car  
    Well, I could NOT believe it . . he was a DWARF!
    He storms over to my
    car, looks up at me and says, "I AM NOT HAPPY!"

    So, I look down at him and say, "Well, which one are you then?"

    and THAT'S when the fight started 
    That one got a couple of UK politicians into a spot of bother.

  • Supposedly true:

    Dear Abby,

    A couple of women moved in across the hall from me. One is a middle-aged
    gym teacher and the other is a social worker in her mid twenties. These
    two women go everywhere together, and I've never seen a man go into or
    leave their apartment. Do you think they could be Lebanese?

    Dear Abby,

    What can I do about all the Sex, Nudity, Fowl Language and Violence on my

    Dear Abby,

    I have a man I can't trust. He cheats so much, I'm not even sure the baby
    I'm carrying is his.

    Dear Abby,

    I've suspected that my husband has been fooling around, and when
    confronted with the evidence, he denied everything and said it would never
    happen again.

    Dear Abby,

    Our son writes that he is taking Judo. Why would a boy who was raised in a
    good Christian home turn against his own?

    Dear Abby,

    I joined the Navy to see the world. I've seen it. Now how do I get out?


    Dear Abby,
    I was married to Bill for three months and I didn't know he drank until one night he came home sober.

    Dear Abby,
    You told some woman whose husband had lost all interest in sex to send him to a doctor.  Well, my husband lost all interest in sex and he is a doctor. Now what do I do? 

  • @El_Heffe said:

    Dear Abby,

    A couple of women moved in across the hall from me. One is a middle-aged
    gym teacher and the other is a social worker in her mid twenties. These
    two women go everywhere together, and I've never seen a man go into or
    leave their apartment. Do you think they could be Lebanese?

    One day, Lebanese people will be allowed to marry.

  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    @El_Heffe said:

    Dear Abby,

    What can I do about all the Sex, Nudity, Fowl Language and Violence on my

    Stop renting National Geographic VHS cassettes.

  • @joe.edwards said:

    @El_Heffe said:
    Dear Abby,

    What can I do about all the Sex, Nudity, Fowl Language and Violence on my

    Stop renting National Geographic VHS cassettes BBC Earth DVD.
    Fowl Language.

  • A recent article in the
    Kentucky Post reported that a woman has sued St. Lukes
    hospital, saying that after her husband was treated there recently, he
    had lost all interest in sex.

    A hospital spokesman replied,  "Mr
    Maynard was actually admitted in Ophthalmology - all we did was correct his


  • Hi I'm new on this forum,
    and i like this post Joke, hope we had great time in this topic

  •  I am going to ban you, spammer, but leave the post because it is indeed a joke that you tried.

  • Hey, I'll take this opportunity to take something out of my head.

    Q: how many blakeyrats does it take to change a light blub?

    A: who gives a fuck? That's an implementation detail. As an owner of a light bulb all that I care for is a consistent and reliable lighting experience. If your light bulb is broken then it sucks, and by extension you suck and I'm going to change suppliers while you can go screw yourself.

  • Needs more capital letters.

    A: WHO GIVES A FUCK? That's an implementation detail. As an owner of a
    light bulb all that I care for is a consistent and reliable lighting
    experience. If your light bulb is broken then it sucks, AND BY EXTENSION
    YOU SUCK and I'm going to change suppliers while YOU CAN GO SCREW


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    A: WHO GIVES A FUCK? That's an implementation detail. As an owner of a
    light bulb all that I care for is a consistent and reliable lighting
    experience. If your light bulb is broken then it sucks, AND BY EXTENSION
    YOU SUCK and I'm going to change suppliers while YOU CAN GO SCREW


  • @joe.edwards said:

    A: WHO GIVES A FUCK? That's an implementation detail. As an owner of a
    light bulb all that I care for is a consistent and reliable lighting
    experience. If your light bulb is broken then it sucks, AND BY EXTENSION
    YOU SUCK and I'm going to change suppliers while YOU CAN GO SCREW

    WHY DID THAT IMAGE LOAD SO SLOWLY oh because it's huge.

    Protip: If you can't find the right sized image, do this:

  • What does a transistor do?










    Turns into your brother.

  • A salesman goes up to a house and knocks on the front door.

    It is opened by a ten year-old boy who has a cigar in one hand, a glass of whiskey in the other and a Penthouse magazine tucked under his arm.
    Salesman: "Hello son. Is your mom or dad home ?"

    Little boy: "What the f*ck do you think?"

  •  What is red and smells like blue paint.












    red paint.

  • So, there’s a man crawling through the desert.

    decided to try his SUV in a little bit of cross-country travel, had
    great fun zooming over the badlands and through the sand, got lost, hit a
    big rock, and then he couldn’t get it started again. There were no cell
    phone towers anywhere near, so his cell phone was useless. He had no
    family, his parents had died a few years before in an auto accident, and
    his few friends had no idea he was
    out here.

    stayed with the car for a day or so, but his one bottle of water ran
    out and he was getting thirsty. He thought maybe he knew the direction
    back, now that he’d paid attention to the sun and thought he’d figured
    out which way was north, so he decided to start walking. He figured he
    only had to go about 30 miles or so and he’d be back to the small town
    he’d gotten gas in last.

    thinks about walking at night to avoid the heat and sun, but based upon
    how dark it actually was the night before, and given that he has no
    flashlight, he’s afraid that he’ll break a leg or step on a rattlesnake.
    So, he puts on some sun block, puts the rest in his pocket for
    reapplication later, brings an umbrella he’d had in the back of the SUV
    with him to give him a little shade, pours
    the windshield wiper fluid into his water bottle in case he gets that
    desperate, brings his pocket knife in case he finds a cactus that looks
    like it might have water in it, and heads out in the direction he thinks
    is right.

    walks for the entire day. By the end of the day he’s really thirsty.
    He’s been sweating all day, and his lips are starting to crack. He’s
    reapplied the sunblock twice, and tried to stay under the umbrella, but
    he still feels sunburned. The windshield wiper fluid sloshing in the
    bottle in his pocket

    really getting tempting now. He knows that it’s mainly water and some
    ethanol and coloring, but he also knows that they add some kind of
    poison to

    it to keep people from drinking it. He wonders what the poison is, and whether the poison would be worse than dying of thirst.

    He pushes on, trying to get to that small town before dark.

    the end of the day he starts getting worried. He figures he’s been
    walking at least 3 miles an hour, according to his watch for over 10
    hours. That means that if his estimate was right that he should be close
    to the town. But he doesn’t recognize any of this. He had to cross a
    dry creek bed a mile or two back, and he doesn’t remember coming through
    it in the SUV. He figures that maybe he
    got his direction off just a little and that the dry creek bed was just
    off to one side of his path. He tells himself that he’s close, and that
    after dark he’ll start seeing the town lights over one of these hills,
    and that’ll be all he needs.

    it gets dim enough that he starts stumbling over small rocks and
    things, he finds a spot and sits down to wait for full dark and the town

    dark comes before he knows it. He must have dozed off. He stands back
    up and turns all the way around. He sees nothing but stars.

    wakes up the next morning feeling absolutely lousy. His eyes are gummy
    and his mouth and nose feel like they’re full of sand. He so thirsty
    that he can’t even swallow. He barely got any sleep because it was so
    cold. He’d forgotten how cold it got at night in the desert and hadn’t
    noticed it the night before because he’d been in his car.

    knows the Rule of Threes – three minutes without air, three days
    without water, three weeks without food – then you die. Some people can
    make it a little longer, in the best situations. But the desert heat and
    having to walk and sweat isn’t the best situation to be without water.
    He figures, unless he finds water, this is his last day.

    rinses his mouth out with a little of the windshield wiper fluid. He
    waits a while after spitting that little bit out, to see if his mouth
    goes numb, or he feels dizzy or something. Has his mouth gone numb? Is
    it just in his mind? He’s not sure. He’ll go a little farther, and if he
    still doesn’t find water, he’ll try drinking some of the fluid.

    he has to face his next, harder question – which way does he go from
    here? Does he keep walking the same way he was yesterday (assuming that
    he still knows which way that is), or does he try a new direction? He
    has no idea what to do.

    at the hills and dunes around him, he thinks he knows the direction he
    was heading before. Just going by a feeling, he points himself somewhat
    to the left of that, and starts walking.

    he walks, the day starts heating up. The desert, too cold just a couple
    of hours before, soon becomes an oven again. He sweats a little at
    first, and then stops. He starts getting worried at that – when you stop
    sweating he knows that means you’re in trouble – usually right before
    heat stroke.

    decides that it’s time to try the windshield wiper fluid. He can’t wait
    any longer – if he passes out, he’s dead. He stops in the shade of a
    large rock, takes the bottle out, opens it, and takes a mouthful. He
    slowly swallows it, making it last as long as he can. It feels so good
    in his dry and cracked throat that he doesn’t even care about the nasty
    taste. He takes another mouthful, and
    makes it last too. Slowly, he drinks half the bottle.

    He figures that since he’s drinking it, he might as well drink enough to make some difference and keep himself from passing out.

    quit worrying about the denaturing of the wiper fluid. If it kills him,
    it kills him – if he didn’t drink it, he’d die anyway. Besides, he’s
    pretty sure that whatever substance they denature the fluid with is just
    designed to make you sick – their way of keeping winos from buying
    cheap wiper fluid for the ethanol content. He can handle throwing up, if
    it comes to that.

    walks. He walks in the hot, dry, windless desert. Sand, rocks, hills,
    dunes, the occasional scrawny cactus or dried bush. No sign of water.
    Sometimes he’ll see a little movement to one side or the other, but
    whatever moved is usually gone before he can focus his eyes on it.
    Probably birds, lizards, or mice. Maybe snakes, though they usually move
    more at night. He’s careful to stay away from
    the movements.

    a while, he begins to stagger. He’s not sure if it’s fatigue, heat
    stroke finally catching him, or maybe he was wrong and the denaturing of
    the wiper fluid was worse than he thought. He tries to steady himself,
    and keep going.

    more walking, he comes to a large stretch of sand. This is good! He
    knows he passed over a stretch of sand in the SUV – he remembers doing
    donuts in it. Or at least he thinks he remembers it – he’s getting woozy
    enough and tired enough that he’s not sure what he remembers any more
    or if he’s hallucinating. But he thinks he remembers it. So he heads off
    into it, trying to get to the other
    side, hoping that it gets him closer to the town.

    was heading for a town, wasn’t he? He thinks he was. He isn’t sure any
    more. He’s not even sure how long he’s been walking any more. Is it
    still morning? Or has it moved into afternoon and the sun is going down
    again? It must be afternoon – it seems like it’s been too long since he
    started out.

    He walks through the sand.

    a while, he comes to a big dune in the sand. This is bad. He doesn’t
    remember any dunes when driving over the sand in his SUV. Or at least he
    doesn’t think he remembers any. This is bad.

    he has no other direction to go. Too late to turn back now. He figures
    that he’ll get to the top of the dune and see if he can see anything
    from there that helps him find the town. He keeps going up the dune.

    up, he slips in the bad footing of the sand for the second or third
    time, and falls to his knees. He doesn’t feel like getting back up –
    he’ll just fall down again. So, he keeps going up the dune on his hand
    and knees.

    crawling, if his throat weren’t so dry, he’d laugh. He’s finally gotten
    to the hackneyed image of a man lost in the desert – crawling through
    the sand on his hands and knees. If would be the perfect image, he
    imagines, if only his clothes were more ragged. The people crawling
    through the desert in the cartoons always had ragged clothes. But his
    have lasted without any rips so far.
    Somebody will probably find his dessicated corpse half buried in the
    sand years from now, and his clothes will still be in fine shape -shake
    the sand out, and a good wash, and they’d be wearable again. He wishes
    his throat were wet enough to laugh. He coughs a little instead, and it

    finally makes it to the top of the sand dune. Now that he’s at the top,
    he struggles a little, but manages to stand up and look around. All he
    sees is sand. Sand, and more sand. Behind him, about a mile away, he
    thinks he sees the rocky ground he left to head into this sand. Ahead of
    him, more dunes, more sand. This isn’t where he drove his SUV. This is
    Hell. Or close enough.

    he doesn’t know what to do. He decides to drink the rest of the wiper
    fluid while figuring it out. He takes out the bottle, and is removing
    the cap, when he glances to the side and sees something. Something in
    the sand. At the bottom of the dune, off to the side, he sees something
    strange. It’s a flat area, in the sand. He stops taking the cap of the
    bottle off, and tries to look
    closer. The area seems to be circular. And it’s dark – darker than the
    sand. And, there seems to be something in the middle of it, but he can’t
    tell what it is. He looks as hard as he can, and still can tell from
    here. He’s going to have to go down there and look.

    puts the bottle back in his pocket, and starts to stumble down the
    dune. After a few steps, he realizes that he’s in trouble – he’s not
    going to be able to keep his balance. After a couple of more sliding,
    tottering steps, he falls and starts to roll down the dune. The sand it
    so hot when his body hits it that for a minute he thinks he’s caught
    fire on the way down – like a movie car wreck
    flashing into flames as it goes over the cliff, before it ever even hits
    the ground. He closes his eyes and mouth, covers his face with his
    hands, and waits to stop rolling.

    stops, at the bottom of the dune. After a minute or two, he finds
    enough energy to try to sit up and get the sand out of his face and
    clothes. When he clears his eyes enough, he looks around to make sure
    that the dark spot in the sand it still there and he hadn’t just
    imagined it.

    seeing the large, flat, dark spot on the sand is still there, he begins
    to crawl towards it. He’d get up and walk towards it, but he doesn’t
    seem to have the energy to get up and walk right now. He must be in the
    final stages of dehydration he figures, as he crawls. If this place in
    the sand doesn’t have water, he’ll likely never make it anywhere else.
    This is his last chance.

    gets closer and closer, but still can’t see what’s in the middle of the
    dark area. His eyes won’t quite focus any more for some reason. And
    lifting his head up to look takes so much effort that he gives up
    trying. He just keeps crawling.

    he reaches the area he’d seen from the dune. It takes him a minute of
    crawling on it before he realizes that he’s no longer on sand – he’s now
    crawling on some kind of dark stone. Stone with some kind of marking on
    it -a pattern cut into the stone. He’s too tired to stand up and try to
    see what the pattern is – so he just keeps crawling. He crawls towards
    the center, where his blurry
    eyes still see something in the middle of the dark stone area.

    mind, detached in a strange way, notes that either his hands and knees
    are so burnt by the sand that they no longer feel pain, or that this
    dark stone, in the middle of a burning desert with a pounding, punishing
    sun overhead, doesn’t seem to be hot. It almost feels cool. He
    considers lying down on the nice cool surface.

    dark stone. Not a good sign. He must be hallucinating this. He’s
    probably in the middle of a patch of sand, already lying face down and
    dying, and just imagining this whole thing. A desert mirage. Soon the
    beautiful women carrying pitchers of water will come up and start giving
    him a drink. Then he’ll know he’s gone.

    decides against laying down on the cool stone. If he’s going to die
    here in the middle of this hallucination, he at least wants to see
    what’s in the center before he goes. He keeps crawling.

    the third time that he hears the voice before he realizes what he’s
    hearing. He would swear that someone just said, “Greetings, traveler.
    You do not look well. Do you hear me?”

    stops crawling. He tries to look up from where he is on his hands and
    knees, but it’s too much effort to lift his head. So he tries something
    different – he leans back and tries to sit up on the stone. After a few
    seconds, he catches his balance, avoids falling on his face, sits up,
    and tries to focus his eyes. Blurry. He rubs his eyes with the back of
    his hands and tries again. Better this

    He can see. He’s sitting in the middle of a large, flat, dark expanse
    of stone. Directly next to him, about three feet away, is a white post
    or pole about two inches in diameter and sticking up about four or five
    feet out of the stone, at an angle.

    wrapped around this white rod, tail with rattle on it hovering and
    seeming to be ready to start rattling, is what must be a fifteen foot
    long desert diamondback rattlesnake, looking directly at him.

    stares at the snake in shock. He doesn’t have the energy to get up and
    run away. He doesn’t even have the energy to crawl away. This is it, his
    final resting place. No matter what happens, he’s not going to be able
    to move from this spot.

    at least dying of a bite from this monster should be quicker than dying
    of thirst. He’ll face his end like a man. He struggles to sit up a
    little straighter. The snake keeps watching him. He lifts one hand and
    waves it in the snake’s direction, feebly. The snake watches the hand
    for a moment, then goes back to watching the man, looking into his eyes.

    Maybe the snake had no interest in biting him? It hadn’t rattled yet
    -that was a good sign. Maybe he wasn’t going to die of snake bite after

    then remembers that he’d looked up when he’d reached the center here
    because he thought he’d heard a voice. He was still very woozy – he was
    likely to pass out soon, the sun still beat down on him even though he
    was now on cool stone. He still didn’t have anything to drink. But maybe
    he had actually heard a voice. This stone didn’t look natural. Nor did
    that white post sticking up out of
    the stone. Someone had to have built this. Maybe

    they were still nearby. Maybe that was who talked to him. Maybe this snake was even their pet, and that’s why it wasn’t biting.

    tries to clear his throat to say, “Hello,” but his throat is too dry.
    All that comes out is a coughing or wheezing sound. There is no way he’s
    going to be able to talk without something to drink. He feels his
    pocket, and the bottle with the wiper fluid is still there. He shakily
    pulls the bottle out, almost losing his balance and falling on his back
    in the process. This isn’t good. He
    doesn’t have much time left, by his reckoning, before he passes out.

    gets the lid off of the bottle, manages to get the bottle to his lips,
    and pours some of the fluid into his mouth. He sloshes it around, and
    then swallows it. He coughs a little. His throat feels better. Maybe he
    can talk now.

    tries again. Ignoring the snake, he turns to look around him, hoping to
    spot the owner of this place, and croaks out, “Hello? Is there anyone

    He hears, from his side, “Greetings. What is it that you want?”

    turns his head, back towards the snake. That’s where the sound had
    seemed to come from. The only thing he can think of is that there must
    be a speaker, hidden under the snake, or maybe built into that post. He
    decides to try asking for help.

    he croaks again, suddenly feeling dizzy, “I’d love to not be thirsty
    any more. I’ve been a long time without water. Can you help me?”

    in the direction of the snake, hoping to see where the voice was coming
    from this time, he is shocked to see the snake rear back, open its
    mouth, and speak. He hears it say, as the dizziness overtakes him and he
    falls forward, face first on the stone, “Very well. Coming up.”

    piercing pain shoots through his shoulder. Suddenly he is awake. He
    sits up and grabs his shoulder, wincing at the throbbing pain. He’s
    momentarily disoriented as he looks around, and then he remembers – the
    crawl across the sand, the dark area of stone, the snake. He sees the
    snake, still wrapped around the tilted white post, still looking at him.

    reaches up and feels his shoulder, where it hurts. It feels slightly
    wet. He pulls his fingers away and looks at them – blood. He feels his
    shoulder again – his shirt has what feels like two holes in it – two
    puncture holes -they match up with the two aching spots of pain on his
    shoulder. He had been bitten. By the snake.

    feel better in a minute.” He looks up – it’s the snake talking. He
    hadn’t dreamed it. Suddenly he notices – he’s not dizzy any more. And
    more importantly, he’s not thirsty any more – at all!

    “Have I died? Is this the afterlife? Why are you biting me in the afterlife?”

    about that, but I had to bite you,” says the snake. “That’s the way I
    work. It all comes through the bite. Think of it as natural medicine.”

    bit me to help me? Why aren’t I thirsty any more? Did you give me a
    drink before you bit me? How did I drink enough while unconscious to not
    be thirsty any more? I haven’t had a drink for over two days. Well,
    except for the windshield wiper fluid… hold it, how in the world does a
    snake talk? Are you real? Are you some sort of Disney animation?”

    says the snake, “I’m real. As real as you or anyone is, anyway. I
    didn’t give you a drink. I bit you. That’s how it works – it’s what I
    do. I bite. I don’t have hands to give you a drink, even if I had water
    just sitting around here.”

    man sat stunned for a minute. Here he was, sitting in the middle of the
    desert on some strange stone that should be hot but wasn’t, talking to a
    snake that could talk back and had just bitten him. And he felt better.
    Not great – he was still starving and exhausted, but much better – he
    was no longer thirsty. He had started to sweat again, but only slightly.
    He felt hot, in this sun, but it
    was starting to get lower in the sky, and the cool stone beneath him was
    a relief he could notice now that he was no longer dying of thirst.

    might suggest that we take care of that methanol you now have in your
    system with the next request,” continued the snake. “I can guess why you
    drank it, but I’m not sure how much you drank, or how much methanol was
    left in the wiper fluid. That stuff is nasty. It’ll make you go blind
    in a day or two, if you drank enough of it.”

    “Ummm, n-next request?” said the man. He put his hand back on his hurting shoulder and backed away from the snake a little.

    the way it works. If you like, that is,” explained the snake. “You get
    three requests. Call them wishes, if you wish.” The snake grinned at his
    own joke, and the man drew back a little further from the show of

    there are rules,” the snake continued. “The first request is free. The
    second requires an agreement of secrecy. The third requires the binding
    of responsibility.” The snake looks at the man seriously.

    the way,” the snake says suddenly, “my name is Nathan. Old Nathan,
    Samuel used to call me. He gave me the name. Before that, most of the
    Bound used to just call me ‘Snake’. But that got old, and Samuel
    wouldn’t stand for it. He said that anything that could talk needed a
    name. He was big into names. You can call me Nate, if you wish.” Again,
    the snake grinned. “Sorry if I don’t offer to
    shake, but I think you can understand – my shake sounds

    somewhat threatening.” The snake give his rattle a little shake.

    “Umm, my name is Jack,” said the man, trying to absorb all of this. “Jack Samson.

    I ask you a question?” Jack says suddenly. “What happened to the
    poison…umm, in your bite. Why aren’t I dying now? How did you do that?
    What do you mean by that’s how you work?”

    more than one question,” grins Nate. “But I’ll still try to answer all
    of them. First, yes, you can ask me a question.” The snake’s grin gets
    wider. “Second, the poison is in you. It changed you. You now no longer
    need to drink. That’s what you asked for. Or, well, technically, you
    asked to not be thirsty any more – but ‘any more’ is such a vague term. I
    decided to make it permanent –
    now, as long as you live, you shouldn’t need to drink much at all. Your
    body will conserve water very efficiently. You should be able to get
    enough just from the food you eat – much like a creature of the desert.
    You’ve been changed.

    the third question,” Nate continues, “you are still dying. Besides the
    effects of that methanol in your system, you’re a man – and men are
    mortal. In your current state, I give you no more than about another 50
    years. Assuming you get out of this desert, alive, that is.” Nate seemed
    vastly amused at his own humor, and continued his wide grin.

    for the fourth question,” Nate said, looking more serious as far as
    Jack could tell, as Jack was just now working on his ability to read
    talking-snake emotions from snake facial features, “first you have to
    agree to make a second request and become bound by the secrecy, or I
    can’t tell you.”

    “Wait,” joked Jack, “isn’t this where you say you could tell me, but you’d have to kill me?”

    “I thought that was implied.” Nate continued to look serious.

    Jack leaned back a little as he remembered again that he was talking to
    a fifteen foot poisonous reptile with a reputation for having a nasty
    temper. “So, what is this ‘Bound by Secrecy’ stuff, and can you really
    stop the effects of the methanol?” Jack thought for a second. “And, what
    do you mean methanol, anyway? I thought these days they use ethanol in
    wiper fluid, and just
    denature it?”

    may, I don’t really know,” said Nate. “I haven’t gotten out in a while.
    Maybe they do. All I know is that I smell methanol on your breath and
    on that bottle in your pocket. And the blue color of the liquid when you
    pulled it out to drink some let me guess that it was wiper fluid. I
    assume that they still color wiper fluid blue?”

    “Yeah, they do,” said Jack.

    figured,” replied Nate. “As for being bound by secrecy – with the
    fulfillment of your next request, you will be bound to say nothing about
    me, this place, or any of the information I will tell you after that,
    when you decide to go back out to your kind. You won’t be allowed to
    talk about me, write about me, use sign language, charades, or even act
    in a way that will lead someone to guess
    correctly about me. You’ll be bound to secrecy. Of course, I’ll also ask
    you to promise not to give me away, and as I’m guessing that you’re a
    man of your word, you’ll never test the binding anyway, so you won’t
    notice.” Nate said the last part with utter confidence.

    who had always prided himself on being a man of his word, felt a little
    nervous at this. “Ummm, hey, Nate, who are you? How did you know that?
    Are you, umm, omniscient, or something?”

    Jack,” said Nate sadly, “I can’t tell you that, unless you make the
    second request.” Nate looked away for a minute, then looked back.

    “Umm, well, ok,” said Jack, “what is this about a second request? What can I ask for? Are you allowed to tell me that?”

    said Nate, brightening. “You’re allowed to ask for changes. Changes to
    yourself. They’re like wishes, but they can only affect you. Oh, and
    before you ask, I can’t give you immortality. Or omniscience. Or
    omnipresence, for that matter. Though I might be able to make you
    gaseous and yet remain alive, and then you could spread through the
    atmosphere and sort of be omnipresent. But what
    good would that be – you still wouldn’t be omniscient and thus still
    could only focus on one thing at a time. Not very useful, at least in my
    opinion.” Nate stopped when he realized that Jack was staring at him.

    anyway,” continued Nate, “I’d probably suggest giving you permanent
    good health. It would negate the methanol now in your system, you’d be
    immune to most poisons and diseases, and you’d tend to live a very long
    time, barring accident, of course. And you’ll even have a tendency to
    recover from accidents well. It always seemed like a good choice for a
    request to me.”

    the methanol poisoning, huh?” said Jack. “And keep me healthy for a
    long time? Hmmm. It doesn’t sound bad at that. And it has to be a
    request about a change to me? I can’t ask to be rich, right? Because
    that’s not really a change to me?”

    “Right,” nodded Nate.

    “Could I ask to be a genius and permanently healthy?” Jack asked, hopefully.

    “That takes two requests, Jack.”

    I figured so,” said Jack. “But I could ask to be a genius? I could
    become the smartest scientist in the world? Or the best athlete?”

    I could make you very smart,” admitted Nate, “but that wouldn’t
    necessarily make you the best scientist in the world. Or, I could make
    you very athletic, but it wouldn’t necessarily make you the best athlete
    either. You’ve heard the saying that 99% of genius is hard work? Well,
    there’s some truth to that. I can give you the talent, but I can’t make
    you work hard. It all depends on what
    you decide to do with it.”

    “Hmmm,” said Jack. “Ok, I think I understand. And I get a third request, after this one?”

    said Nate, “it depends on what you decide then. There are more rules
    for the third request that I can only tell you about after the second
    request. You know how it goes.” Nate looked like he’d shrug, if he had

    well, since I’d rather not be blind in a day or two, and permanent
    health doesn’t sound bad, then consider that my second request.
    Officially. Do I need to sign in blood or something?”

    said Nate. “Just hold out your hand. Or heel.” Nate grinned. “Or
    whatever part you want me to bite. I have to bite you again. Like I
    said, that’s how it works – the poison, you know,” Nate said

    winced a little and felt his shoulder, where the last bite was. Hey, it
    didn’t hurt any more. Just like Nate had said. That made Jack feel
    better about the biting business. But still, standing still while a
    fifteen foot snake sunk it’s fangs into you. Jack stood up. Ignoring how
    good it felt to be able to stand again, and the hunger starting to gnaw
    at his stomach, Jack tried to decide
    where he wanted to get bitten. Despite knowing that it wouldn’t hurt for
    long, Jack knew that this wasn’t going to be easy.

    “Hey, Jack,” Nate suddenly said, looking past Jack towards the dunes behind him, “is that someone else coming up over there?”

    Jack spun around and looked. Who else could be out here in the middle of nowhere? And did they bring food?

    Wait a minute, there was nobody over there. What was Nate…

    Jack let out a bellow as he felt two fangs sink into his rear end, through his jeans…

    sat down carefully, favoring his more tender buttock. “I would have
    decided, eventually, Nate. I was just thinking about it. You didn’t have

    hoodwink me like that.”

    been doing this a long time, Jack,” said Nate, confidently. “You humans
    have a hard time sitting still and letting a snake bite you –
    especially one my size. And besides, admit it – it’s only been a couple
    of minutes and it already doesn’t hurt any more, does it? That’s because
    of the health benefit with this one. I told you that you’d heal quickly

    well, still,” said Jack, “it’s the principle of the thing. And nobody
    likes being bitten in the butt! Couldn’t you have gotten my calf or
    something instead?”

    “More meat in the typical human butt,” replied Nate. “And less chance you accidentally kick me or move at the last second.”

    “Yeah, right. So, tell me all of these wonderful secrets that I now qualify to hear,” answered Jack.

    “Ok,” said Nate. “Do you want to ask questions first, or do you want me to just start talking?”

    “Just talk,” said Jack. “I’ll sit here and try to not think about food.”

    “We could go try to rustle up some food for you first, if you like,” answered Nate.

    You didn’t tell me you had food around here, Nate!” Jack jumped up.
    “What do we have? Am I in walking distance to town? Or can you magically
    whip up food along with your other powers?” Jack was almost shouting
    with excitement. His stomach had been growling for hours.

    was thinking more like I could flush something out of its hole and bite
    it for you, and you could skin it and eat it. Assuming you have a
    knife, that is,” replied Nate, with the grin that Jack was starting to
    get used to.

    said Jack, sitting back down. “I think I’ll pass. I can last a little
    longer before I get desperate enough to eat desert rat, or whatever else
    it is you find out here. And there’s nothing to burn – I’d have to eat
    it raw. No thanks. Just talk.”

    “Ok,” replied Nate, still grinning. “But I’d better hurry, before you start looking at me as food.

    reared back a little, looked around for a second, and then continued.
    “You, Jack, are sitting in the middle of the Garden of Eden.”

    Jack looked around at the sand and dunes and then looked back at Nate sceptically.

    that’s the best I can figure it, anyway, Jack,” said Nate. “Stand up
    and look at the symbol on the rock here.” Nate gestured around the dark
    stone they were both sitting on with his nose.

    stood up and looked. Carved into the stone in a bas-relief was a
    representation of a large tree. The angled-pole that Nate was wrapped
    around was coming out of the trunk of the tree, right below where the
    main branches left the truck to reach out across the stone. It was very
    well done – it looked more like a tree had been reduced to almost two
    dimensions and embedded in the stone than it
    did like a carving.

    walked around and looked at the details in the fading light of the
    setting sun. He wished he’d looked at it while the sun was higher in the

    Wait! The sun was setting! That meant he was going to have to spend another night out here! Arrrgh!

    looked out across the desert for a little bit, and then came back and
    stood next to Nate. “In all the excitement, I almost forgot, Nate,” said
    Jack. “Which way is it back to town? And how far? I’m eventually going
    to have to head back – I’m not sure I’ll be able to survive by eating
    raw desert critters for long. And even if I can, I’m not sure I’ll want

    about 30 miles that way.” Nate pointed, with the rattle on his tail
    this time. As far as Jack could tell, it was a direction at right angles
    to the way he’d been going when he was crawling here. “But that’s 30
    miles by the way the crow flies. It’s about 40 by the way a man walks.
    You should be able to do it in about half a day with your improved
    endurance, if you head out early tomorrow,

    looked out the way the snake had pointed for a few seconds more, and
    then sat back down. It was getting dark. Not much he could do about
    heading out right now. And besides, Nate was just about to get to the
    interesting stuff. “Garden of Eden? As best as you can figure it?”

    yeah, as best as I and Samuel could figure it anyway,” said Nate. “He
    figured that the story just got a little mixed up. You know, snake, in a
    ‘tree’, offering ‘temptations’, making bargains. That kind stuff. But
    he could never quite figure out how the Hebrews found out about this
    spot from across the ocean. He worried about that for a while.”

    “Garden of Eden, hunh?” said Jack. “How long have you been here, Nate?”

    idea, really,” replied Nate. “A long time. It never occurred to me to
    count years, until recently, and by then, of course, it was too late.
    But I do remember when this whole place was green, so I figure it’s been
    thousands of years, at least.”

    “So, are you the snake that tempted Eve?” said Jack.

    me,” said Nate. “Maybe. I can’t remember if the first one of your kind
    that I talked to was female or not, and I never got a name, but it could
    have been. And I suppose she could have considered my offer to grant
    requests a ‘temptation’, though I’ve rarely had refusals.”

    “Well, umm, how did you get here then? And why is that white pole stuck out of the stone there?” asked Jack.

    left me here. Or, I assume it was my dad. It was another snake – much
    bigger than I was back then. I remember talking to him, but I don’t
    remember if it was in a language, or just kind of understanding what he
    wanted. But one day, he brought me to this stone, told me about it, and
    asked me to do something for him. I talked it over with him for a while,
    then agreed. I’ve been here ever

    “What is this place?” said Jack. “And what did he ask you to do?”

    you see this pole here, sticking out of the stone?” Nate loosened his
    coils around the tilted white pole and showed Jack where it descended
    into the stone. The pole was tilted at about a 45 degree angle and
    seemed to enter the stone in an eighteen inch slot cut into the stone.
    Jack leaned over and looked. The slot was dark and the pole went down
    into it as far as Jack could see in the
    dim light. Jack reached out to touch the pole, but Nate was suddenly
    there in the way.

    “You can’t touch that yet, Jack,” said Nate.

    “Why not?” asked Jack.

    “I haven’t explained it to you yet,” replied Nate.

    “Well, it kinda looks like a lever or something,” said Jack. “You’d push it that way, and it would move in the slot.”

    “Yep, that’s what it is,” replied Nate.

    “What does it do?” asked Jack. “End the world.”

    no,” said Nate. “Nothing that drastic. It just ends humanity. I call it
    ‘The Lever of Doom’.” For the last few words Nate had used a deeper,
    ringing voice. He tried to look serious for a few seconds, and then gave
    up and grinned.

    was initially startled by Nate’s pronouncement, but when Nate grinned
    Jack laughed. “Ha! You almost had me fooled for a second there. What
    does it really do?”

    “Oh, it really ends humanity, like I said,” smirked Nate. “I just thought the voice I used was funny, didn’t you?”

    Nate continued to grin.

    “A lever to end humanity?” asked Jack. “What in the world is that for? Why would anyone need to end humanity?”

    replied Nate, “I get the idea that maybe humanity was an experiment. Or
    maybe the Big Guy just thought, that if humanity started going really
    bad, there should be a way to end it. I’m not really sure. All I know
    are the rules, and the guesses that Samuel and I had about why it’s
    here. I didn’t think to ask back when I started here.”

    “Rules? What rules?” asked Jack.

    rules are that I can’t tell anybody about it or let them touch it
    unless they agree to be bound to secrecy by a bite. And that only one
    human can be bound in that way at a time. That’s it.” explained Nate.

    Jack looked somewhat shocked. “You mean that I could pull the lever now? You’d let me end humanity?”

    “Yep,” replied Nate, “if you want to.” Nate looked at Jack carefully. “Do you want to, Jack?”

    no.” said Jack, stepping a little further back from the lever. “Why in
    the world would anyone want to end humanity? It’d take a psychotic to
    want that! Or worse, a suicidal psychotic, because it would kill him
    too, wouldn’t it?”

    “Yep,” replied Nate, “being as he’d be human too.”

    “Has anyone ever seriously considered it?” asked Nate. “Any of those bound to secrecy, that is?”

    of course, I think they’ve all seriously considered it at one time or
    another. Being given that kind of responsibility makes you sit down and
    think, or so I’m told. Samuel considered it several times. He’d often
    get disgusted with humanity, come out here, and just hold the lever for a
    while. But he never pulled it. Or you wouldn’t be here.” Nate grinned
    some more.

    sat down, well back from the lever. He looked thoughtful and puzzled at
    the same time. After a bit, he said, “So this makes me the Judge of
    humanity? I get to decide whether they keep going or just end? Me?”

    “That seems to be it,” agreed Nate.

    kind of criteria do I use to decide?” said Jack. “How do I make this
    decision? Am I supposed to decide if they’re good? Or too many of them
    are bad? Or that they’re going the wrong way? Is there a set of rules
    for that?”

    replied Nate. “You pretty much just have to decide on your own. It’s up
    to you, however you want to decide it. I guess that you’re just
    supposed to know.”

    what if I get mad at someone? Or some girl dumps me and I feel
    horrible? Couldn’t I make a mistake? How do I know that I won’t screw
    up?” protested Jack.

    Nate gave his kind of snake-like shrug again. “You don’t. You just have to try your best, Jack.”

    Jack sat there for a while, staring off into the desert that was rapidly getting dark, chewing on a fingernail.

    Suddenly, Jack turned around and looked at the snake. “Nate, was Samuel the one bound to this before me?”

    replied Nate. “He was a good guy. Talked to me a lot. Taught me to read
    and brought me books. I think I still have a good pile of them buried
    in the sand around here somewhere. I still miss him. He died a few
    months ago.”

    “Sounds like a good guy,” agreed Jack. “How did he handle this, when you first told him. What did he do?”

    said Nate, “he sat down for a while, thought about it for a bit, and
    then asked me some questions, much like you’re doing.”

    “What did he ask you, if you’re allowed to tell me?” asked Jack.

    “He asked me about the third request,” replied Nate.

    “Aha!” It was Jack’s turn to grin. “And what did you tell him?”

    told him the rules for the third request. That to get the third request
    you have to agree to this whole thing. That if it ever comes to the
    point that you really think that humanity should be ended, that you’ll
    come here and end it. You won’t avoid it, and you won’t wimp out.” Nate
    looked serious again. “And you’ll be bound to do it too, Jack.”

    “Hmmm.” Jack looked back out into the darkness for a while.

    Nate watched him, waiting.

    “Nate,” continued Jack, quietly, eventually. “What did Samuel ask for with his third request?”

    sounded like he was grinning again as he replied, also quietly,
    “Wisdom, Jack. He asked for wisdom. As much as I could give him.”

    “Ok,” said Jack, suddenly, standing up and facing away from Nate, “give it to me.

    Nate looked at Jack’s backside. “Give you what, Jack?”

    me that wisdom. The same stuff that Samuel asked for. If it helped him,
    maybe it’ll help me too.” Jack turned his head to look back over his
    shoulder at Nate. “It did help him, right?”

    “He said it did,” replied Nate. “But he seemed a little quieter afterward. Like he had a lot to think about.”

    yeah, I can see that,” said Jack. “So, give it to me.” Jack turned
    toface away from Nate again, bent over slightly and tensed up.

    watched Jack tense up with a little exasperation. If he bit Jack now,
    Jack would likely jump out of his skin and maybe hurt them both.

    remember that you’ll be bound to destroy humanity if it ever looks like
    it needs it, right Jack?” asked Nate, shifting position.

    yeah, I got that,” replied Jack, eyes squeezed tightly shut and body
    tense, not noticing the change in direction of Nate’s voice.

    continued Nate, from his new position, “do you remember that you’ll
    turn bright purple, and grow big horns and extra eyes?”

    yeah…Hey, wait a minute!” said Jack, opening his eyes, straightening up
    and turning around. “Purple?!” He didn’t see Nate there. With the
    moonlight Jack could see that the lever extended up from its slot in the
    rock without the snake wrapped around it.

    heard, from behind him, Nate’s “Just Kidding!” right before he felt the
    now familiar piercing pain, this time in the other buttock.

    sat on the edge of the dark stone in the rapidly cooling air, his feet
    extending out into the sand. He stared out into the darkness, listening
    to the wind stir the sand, occasionally rubbing his butt where he’d been
    recently bitten.

    had left for a little while, had come back with a desert-rodent-shaped
    bulge somewhere in his middle, and was now wrapped back around the
    lever, his tongue flicking out into the desert night’s air the only sign
    that he was still awake.

    Jack, with his toes absentmindedly digging in the sand while he
    thought, would ask Nate a question without turning around.

    “Nate, do accidents count?”

    Nate lifted his head a little bit. “What do you mean, Jack?”

    tilted his head back like he was looking at the stars. “You know,
    accidents. If I accidentally fall on the lever, without meaning to, does
    that still wipe out humanity?”

    I’m pretty sure it does, Jack. I’d suggest you be careful about that if
    you start feeling wobbly,” said Nate with some amusement.

    A little later – “Does it have to be me that pulls the lever?” asked Jack.

    “That’s the rule, Jack. Nobody else can pull it,” answered Nate.

    Jack shook his head, “I meant does it have to be my hand? Could I pull
    the lever with a rope tied around it? Or push it with a stick? Or throw a

    those should work,” replied Nate. “Though I’m not sure how complicated
    you could get. Samuel thought about trying to build some kind of remote
    control for it once, but gave it up. Everything he’d build would be gone
    by the next sunrise, if it was touching the stone, or over it. I told
    him that in the past others that had been bound had tried to bury the
    lever so they wouldn’t be tempted
    to pull it, but every time the stones or sand or whatever had

    “Wow,” said Jack, “Cool.” Jack leaned back until only his elbows kept him off of the stone and looked up into the sky.

    “Nate, how long did Samuel live? One of his wishes was for health too, right?” asked Jack.

    “Yes,” replied Nate, “it was. He lived 167 years, Jack.”

    “Wow, 167 years. That’s almost 140 more years I’ll live if I live as long. Do you know what he died of, Nate?”

    “He died of getting tired of living, Jack,” Nate said, sounding somewhat sad.

    Jack turned his head to look at Nate in the starlight.

    looked back. “Samuel knew he wasn’t going to be able to stay in
    society. He figured that they’d eventually see him still alive and start
    questioning it, so he decided that he’d have to disappear after a
    while. He faked his death once, but changed his mind – he decided it was
    too early and he could stay for a little longer. He wasn’t very fond of
    mankind, but he liked the attention. Most
    of the time, anyway.

    daughter and then his wife dying almost did him in though. He didn’t
    stay in society much longer after that. He eventually came out here to
    spend time talking to me and thinking about pulling the lever. A few
    months ago he told me he’d had enough. It was his time.”

    “And then he just died?” asked Jack.

    shook his head a little. “He made his forth request, Jack. There’s only
    one thing you can ask for the fourth request. The last bite.

    a bit Nate continued, “He told me that he was tired, that it was his
    time. He reassured me that someone new would show up soon, like they
    always had.

    After another pause, Nate finished, “Samuel’s body disappeared off the stone with the sunrise.”

    lay back down and looked at the sky, leaving Nate alone with his
    memories. It was a long time until Jack’s breathing evened out into

    woke with the sunrise the next morning. He was a little chilled with
    the morning desert air, but overall was feeling pretty good. Well,
    except that his stomach was grumbling and he wasn’t willing to eat raw
    desert rat.

    after getting directions to town from Nate, making sure he knew how to
    get back, and reassuring Nate that he’d be back soon, Jack started the
    long walk back to town. With his new health and Nate’s good directions,
    he made it back easily.

    caught a bus back to the city, and showed up for work the next day,
    little worse for the wear and with a story about getting lost in the
    desert and walking back out. Within a couple of days Jack had talked a
    friend with a tow truck into going back out into the desert with him to
    fetch the SUV. They found it after a couple of hours of searching and
    towed it back without incident. Jack was
    careful not to even look in the direction of Nate’s lever, though their
    path back didn’t come within sight of it.

    the next weekend, Jack had gone to a couple of stores, including a book
    store, and had gotten his SUV back from the mechanic, with a warning to
    avoid any more joyriding in the desert. On Saturday, Jack headed back
    to see Nate.

    parked a little way out of the small town near Nate, loaded up his new
    backpack with camping gear and the things he was bringing for Nate, and
    then started walking. He figured that walking would leave the least
    trail, and he knew that while not many people camped in the desert, it
    wasn’t unheard of, and shouldn’t really raise suspicions.

    had brought more books for Nate – recent books, magazines, newspapers.
    Some things that would catch Nate up with what was happening in the
    world, others that were just good books to read. He spent the weekend
    with Nate, and then headed out again, telling Nate that he’d be back
    again soon, but that he had things to do first.

    four months later Jack was back to see Nate again. This time he brought
    a laptop with him – a specially modified laptop. It had a solar
    recharger, special filters and seals to keep out the sand, a satellite
    link-up, and a special keyboard and joystick that Jack hoped that a
    fifteen-foot rattlesnake would be able to use. And, it had been hacked
    to not give out its location to the

    After that Jack could e-mail Nate to keep in touch, but still visited him fairly regularly – at least once or twice a year.

    the first year, Jack quit his job. For some reason, with the wisdom he
    ‘d been given, and the knowledge that he could live for over 150 years,
    working in a nine to five job for someone else didn’t seem that
    worthwhile any more. Jack went back to school.

    Jack started writing. Perhaps because of the wisdom, or perhaps because
    of his new perspective, he wrote well. People liked what he wrote, and
    he became well known for it. After a time, Jack bought an RV and started
    traveling around the country for book signings and readings.

    But, he still remembered to drop by and visit Nate occasionally.

    one of the visits Nate seemed quieter than usual. Not that Nate had
    been a fountain of joy lately. Jack’s best guess was that Nate was still
    missing Samuel, and though Jack had tried, he still hadn’t been able to
    replace Samuel in Nate’s eyes. Nate had been getting quieter each
    visit. But on this visit Nate didn’t even speak when Jack walked up to
    the lever. He nodded at Jack, and then went
    back to staring into the desert. Jack, respecting Nate’s silence, sat
    down and waited.

    After a few minutes, Nate spoke. “Jack, I have someone to introduce you to.”

    looked surprised. “Someone to introduce me to?” Jack looked around, and
    then looked carefully back at Nate. “This something to do with the Big

    “No, no,” replied Nate. “This is more personal. I want you to meet my son.” Nate looked over at the nearest sand dune. “Sammy!”

    Jack watched as a four foot long desert rattlesnake crawled from behind the dune and up to the stone base of the lever.

    “Yo, Jack,” said the new, much smaller snake.

    “Yo, Sammy” replied Jack. Jack looked at Nate. “Named after Samuel, I assume?”

    nodded. “Jack, I’ve got a favor to ask you. Could you show Sammy around
    for me?” Nate unwrapped himself from the lever and slithered over to
    the edge of the stone and looked across the sands. “When Samuel first
    told me about the world, and brought me books and pictures, I wished
    that I could go see it. I wanted to see the great forests, the canyons,
    the cities, even the other deserts, to
    see if they felt and smelled the same. I want my son to have that chance
    – to see the world. Before he becomes bound here like I have been.

    seen it in pictures, over the computer that you brought me. But I hear
    that it’s not the same. That being there is different. I want him to
    have that. Think you can do that for me, Jack?”

    nodded. This was obviously very important to Nate, so Jack didn’t even
    joke about taking a talking rattlesnake out to see the world. “Yeah, I
    can do that for you, Nate. Is that all you need?” Jack could sense that
    was something more.

    looked at Sammy. Sammy looked back at Nate for a second and then said,
    “Oh, yeah. Ummm, I’ve gotta go pack. Back in a little bit Jack. Nice to
    meet ya!” Sammy slithered back over the dune and out of sight.

    watched Sammy disappear and then looked back at Jack. “Jack, this is my
    first son. My first offspring through all the years. You don’t even
    want to know what it took for me to find a mate.” Nate grinned to
    himself. “But anyway, I had a son for a reason. I’m tired. I’m ready for
    it to be over. I needed a replacement.”

    considered this for a minute. “So, you’re ready to come see the world,
    and you wanted him to watch the lever while you were gone?”

    shook his head. “No, Jack – you’re a better guesser than that. You’ve
    already figured out – I’m bound here – there’s only one way for me to
    leave here. And I’m ready. It’s my time to die.”

    looked more closely at Nate. He could tell Nate had thought about this –
    probably for quite a while. Jack had trouble imagining what it would be
    like to be as old as Nate, but Jack could already tell that in another
    hundred or two hundred years, he might be getting tired of life himself.
    Jack could understand Samuel’s decision, and now Nate’s. So, all Jack
    said was, “What do you want me
    to do?”

    nodded. “Thanks, Jack. I only want two things. One – show Sammy around
    the world – let him get his fill of it, until he’s ready to come back
    here and take over. Two – give me the fourth request.

    can’t just decide to die, not any more than you can. I won’t even die
    of old age like you eventually will, even though it’ll be a long time
    from now. I need to be killed. Once Sammy is back here, ready to take
    over, I’ll be able to die. And I need you to kill me.

    even thought about how. Poisons and other drugs won’t work on me. And
    I’ve seen pictures of snakes that were shot – some of them live for
    days, so that’s out too. So, I want you to bring back a sword.

    turned away to look back to the dune that Sammy had gone behind. “I’d
    say an axe, but that’s somewhat undignified – putting my head on the
    ground or a chopping block like that. No, I like a sword. A time-honored
    way of going out. A dignified way to die. And, most importantly, it
    should work, even on me.

    “You willing to do that for me, Jack?” Nate turned back to look at Jack.

    “Yeah, Nate,” replied Jack solemnly, “I think I can handle that.”

    nodded. “Good!” He turned back toward the dune and shouted, “Sammy!
    Jack’s about ready to leave!” Then quietly, “Thanks, Jack.”

    didn’t have anything to say to that, so he waited for Sammy to make it
    back to the lever, nodded to him, nodded a final time to Nate, and then
    headed into the desert with Sammy following. Over the next several years
    Sammy and Jack kept in touch with Nate through e-mail as they went
    about their adventures. They made a goal of visiting every country in
    the world, and did a respectable job
    of it. Sammy had a natural gift for languages, as Jack expected he
    would, and even ended up acting as a translator for Jack in a few of the
    countries. Jack managed to keep the talking rattlesnake hidden, even
    so, and by the time they were nearing the end of their tour of
    countries, Sammy had only been spotted a few times. While there were
    several people that had seen enough to startle them
    greatly, nobody had enough evidence to prove anything, and while a few
    wild rumors and storied followed Jack and Sammy around, nothing ever hit
    the newspapers or the public in general.

    they finished the tour of countries, Jack suggested that they try some
    undersea diving. They did. And spelunking. They did that too. Sammy
    finally drew the line at visiting Antarctica. He’d come to realize that
    Jack was stalling. After talking to his Dad about it over e-mail, he
    figured out that Jack probably didn’t want to have to kill Nate. Nate
    told Sammy that humans could be squeamish
    about killing friends and acquaintances.

    Sammy eventually put his tail down (as he didn’t have a foot) and told
    Jack that it was time – he was ready to go back and take up his duties
    from his dad. Jack, delayed it a little more by insisting that they go
    back to Japan and buy an appropriate sword. He even stretched it a
    little more by getting lessons in how to use the sword. But, eventually,
    he’d learned as much as he was likely
    to without dedicating his life to it, and was definitely competent
    enough to take the head off of a snake. It was time to head back and see

    they got back to the US, Jack got the old RV out of storage where he
    and Sammy had left it after their tour of the fifty states, he loaded up
    Sammy and the sword, and they headed for the desert.

    they got to the small town that Jack had been trying to find those
    years ago when he’d met Nate, Jack was in a funk. He didn’t really feel
    like walking all of the way out there. Not only that, but he’d forgotten
    to figure the travel time correctly, and it was late afternoon. They’d
    either have to spend the night in town and walk out tomorrow, or walk in
    the dark.

    Jack was afraid that if he waited one more night he might lose his
    resolve, he decided that he’d go ahead and drive the RV out there. It
    was only going to be this once, and Jack would go back and cover the
    tracks afterward. They ought to be able to make it out there by
    nightfall if they drove, and then they could get it over tonight.

    told Sammy to e-mail Nate that they were coming as he drove out of
    sight of the town on the road. They then pulled off the road and headed
    out into the desert.

    went well, until they got to the sand dunes. Jack had been nursing the
    RV along the whole time, over the rocks, through the creek beds, revving
    the engine the few times they almost got stuck. When they came to the
    dunes, Jack didn’t really think about it, he just downshifted and headed
    up the first one. By the third dune, Jack started to regret that he’d
    decided to try driving on
    the sand. The RV was fishtailling and losing traction. Jack was having
    to work it up each dune slowly and was trying to keep from losing
    control each time they came over the top and slid down the other side.
    Sammy had come up to sit in the passenger seat, coiled up and laughing
    at Jack’s driving.

    they came over the top of the fourth dune, the biggest one yet, Jack
    saw that this was the final dune – the stone, the lever, and somewhere
    Nate, waited below. Jack put on the brakes, but he’d gone a little too
    far. The RV started slipping down the other side.

    tried turning the wheel, but he didn’t have enough traction. He pumped
    the brakes – no response. They started sliding down the hill, faster and

    felt a shock go through him as he suddenly realized that they were
    heading for the lever. He looked down – the RV was directly on course
    for it. If Jack didn’t do something, the RV would hit it. He was about
    to end humanity.

    steered more frantically, trying to get traction. It still wasn’t
    working. The dune was too steep, and the sand too loose. In a split
    second, Jack realized that his only chance would be once he hit the
    stone around the lever – he should have traction on the stone for just a
    second before he hit the lever – he wouldn’t have time to stop, but he
    should be able to steer away.

    took a better grip on the steering wheel and tried to turn the RV a
    little bit – every little bit would help. He’d have to time his turn
    just right.

    RV got to the bottom of the dune, sliding at an amazing speed in the
    sand. Just before they reached the stone Jack looked across it to check
    that they were still heading for the lever. They were. But Jack noticed
    something else that he hadn’t seen from the top of the dune. Nate wasn’t
    wrapped around the lever. He was off to the side of the lever, but
    still on the stone, waiting for them.
    The problem was, he was waiting on the same side of the lever that Jack
    had picked to steer towards to avoid the lever. The RV was already
    starting to drift that way a little in its mad rush across the sand and
    there was no way that Jack was going to be able to go around the lever
    to the other side.

    had an instant of realization. He was either going to have to hit the
    lever, or run over Nate. He glanced over at Sammy and saw that Sammy
    realized the same thing.

    took a firmer grip on the steering wheel as the RV ran up on the stone.
    Shouting to Sammy as he pulled the steering wheel, "better nate than lever,” he ran over the snake.


  • @Chame1eon said:

    So, there’s a man crawling through the desert.
    A littel editing would be nice.

    Here's a shorter version of that joke

  • @El_Heffe said:

    A littel editing would be nice.

    The fucking ironing.

  • @Lorne Kates said:

    @El_Heffe said:

    A littel editing would be nice.

    The fucking ironing.

    The iron fuckening


  • @Lorne Kates said:

    The fucking ironing.
    Keep your hands and, uh... other things, off my laundry, pervert! It was clean.


  • A friend of mine went through a nasty divorce.  When I went over to his house there was a tampon on top of his TV. When I asked him about it he said "That's to remind me of the cunt who took the VCR".

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