8. Drink Water
9. Drunk Guy
10. Fear
11. Fishing Fine
12. Four Humorous Items
13. Gifting
14. How Can That Be?

22. Scholars, The
23. Snail, The
24. Swordsmanship
25. Turn It Around
26. What've I Got
27. Who's Mistake

​​         Chinese Stories in English   

15. Instructor, The
16. Laughable Genius, The
17. Leaders
18. Pauses
19. Peasant and Scholar
20. Quiet
21. Request, A

1. Animal Provider
2. Artist's Eyes
3. Belly Scar
4. Birthday Present
5. Bureau Chief
6. Call Daddy
7. Drills

1. Animal Provider 动物
Teacher: What are you wearing on your feet?
Student: Leather shoes.
Teacher: And where did the leather come from?
Student: It's the skin from a cow.
Teacher: Well, what do you call an animal that provides you with shoes to wear and meat to eat?
Student: My dad.
2. The Artist's Eyes 画家
     An ophthalmologist had cured a problem with the eyes of a famous artist of the realist school. When it came time to settle the bill, the doctor said that the artist didn't have to pay, but he hoped the artist would paint a painting for him, and the artist could choose the subject of the painting himself.
     The artist was very thankful that the doctor had cured his problem, so he painted an incomparably huge eye. Every detail was as meticulous as could be. Further, right in the middle of the pupil, he painted a perfect portrait of the doctor.
     When the ophthalmologist saw the painting, he was immediately astonished at the artist's super-human talent for realistic representation. "Thank the Lord," he said with his mouth gaping open in surprise. "It's a good thing I'm not a proctologist."
3. Belly Scar 肮部的疤痕
     A five-year-old girl didn't understand why her mother had a scar on her belly. "That," her mother explained to her, "is where the doctor made an incision to get you out."
     The girl thought it over for a while and then, looking very serious, asked, "So why did you want to eat me?"
4. Birthday Present 生日
     Manager A and Manager B were good friends. One day when they were together, Manager B noticed that Manager A was depressed and asked him what had happened.
     Manager A sighed. "Yesterday was my birthday," he said. "My secretary asked me to her house to celebrate."
     "That's a good thing, isn't it?"
     "When we got to her place, she told me to wait five minutes in the living room, then come into the bedroom. She said she had a pleasant surprise for me."
     "That's even better, right? A little lovin' for your birthday!"
     "That's what I thought, too. But when I went in the bedroom five minutes later, I found her and one of my other employees waiting for me, holding a birthday cake."
     "That's OK, too. You should be happy your employees hold you in such high regard."
     "Yeah, except I'd already taken my clothes off before I went in."
5. The Bureau Chief 局长
     A bureau chief was kept busy going to banquets. His favorite hobby was collecting napkins from the various restaurants, and he got more and more of them as time went by. His wife thought it would be a shame to throw them away, so she mixed some of them together and made underpants, which she wore herself.
     One day she caught cold and went to the hospital for a shot. The doctor told her to take off her pants and picked up the needle. Suddenly he noticed that her underpants said "Have a Taste" on the left side, and "Come Again" on the right.
6. Call Daddy 叫爸
     One weekend morning, my hubby was still hugging the covers in a deep sleep when a good friend, Old Li, dropped in for a visit. "Hurry," I told our three-year-old daughter, speaking fast, "call Daddy."
     She looked at me for a moment, puzzled. Then she went over to Old Li and timidly said, "Daddy."
7. Drills 演习
     A pretty young guide was leading her group on a visit to a military base when, without warning, a nearby troop of soldiers fired a salvo with their rifles. The girl jumped into the company commander's arms in fear.
     "I'm really sorry," she said with a red face. "The sound of your rifles being shot startled me."
     "No problem," the commander replied. "Would you like to see our cannon drill?"
8. A Drink of Water 喝水
 [The dictionary makes a clear distinction between the Chinese words for "tea" and "water", but the two are often used interchangeably in everyday speech, similarly to way English speakers use the word "drink". – Fannyi]
     One day a peasant, who was about half illiterate, walked into the city with the scorching sun overhead. His mouth was dry and his tongue was hanging out from the walk, so he went looking for a place that sold drinks.
     He happened on a shop with a signboard hanging in front that said, "Clear Water Spa". This was of course a bathhouse, but the peasant only recognized the one word in the middle, "Water", and decided it must be a place that had tea for sale.
     He went in and demanded that the attendant bring him some tea. The manager came over but couldn't get the peasant to change his mind, so he finally told the attendant to bring the man a cup of bathwater. The peasant, too thirsty to care about the flavor, drank it right down "glug-glug".
     The peasant left after expressing his thanks to the manager, but he left his palm-leaf fan on the counter by mistake. The manager saw it and ran after him to return it. The peasant was very happy and wanted to do the manager a favor in return. He told the manager, "Sir, you'd better sell that tea of yours as fast as you can. It's already starting to go bad."
9. The Drunk Guy 醉汉
     (1) The Drunk Guy came out of the Ritz Carlton one day and got in a cab. "The Sheraton," he said to the driver, "eighth floor, room 818."
     On the way, the driver noticed that the Drunk Guy was taking off his clothes. "Sir," he said, "you're not in your room, yet."
     "Why didn't you tell me? I just put my shoes outside the door!"

     (2) The Drunk Guy came out of the Ritz Carlton one day and got in a cab. "Take me to the Ritz Carlton," he ordered the driver. Then he fell asleep.
     The driver was startled. He woke the Drunk Guy up right away and said, "You're at the Ritz Carlton now."
     The Drunk Guy fished some money out of his pocket and handed it to the driver. "Keep the change," he said.
     Then, before getting out of the cab, he thoughtfully told the driver, "Don't drive so fast after this. It's dangerous."
10. Fear 害怕
     They tell about an army officer who sent his orderly down to the river to get some drinking water. The orderly was gone for a while, but before long he came back empty-handed.
     "Report, sir! There's a crocodile in the river!"
     "Don't be afraid," the officer said. "When it sees you, the crocodile will be afraid, too. In fact, it'll be more scared than you are."
     "Beggin' your pardon, sir," the orderly answered, "but if the croc's even half as scared as me, the water in the river won't be fit to drink!"
11. Fishing Fine 钓鱼
Beat Cop: Fishing isn't allowed here. The fine is twenty Yuan.
Fisherman:  I wasn't fishing. I was teaching worms to swim.
Beat Cop: Oh, really? Let me see.
Fisherman: Here.
Beat Cop: Swimming naked. The fine is fifty Yuan.

[Fannyi would add the following line:  Fisherman: The worms can't pay, so I guess you'll be taking them to jail.]
12. Four Humorous Items 幽默四则
     Manager: "I fired that young cadre in the Accounting Section."
     Secretary: "Why?"
     Manager: "Believe it or not, he called me a stupid worm in front of other people."
     Secretary: "That's terrible. How could he reveal an important company secret to others?"

     "Dad, I'd like to borrow your car for a while, OK?"
     "Then what'll your feet do?"
     "One'll step on the gas, and the other on the brake," the boy answered right away.

     A thief was in a store stealing things for a second time when he was caught by a policeman. The cop asked, "Didn't you know you'd get caught eventually?"
     The thief shook his head. "I knew the sign said, "Please come again."

     Father: "That essay I wrote for you, did it get a top mark?"
     Son: "No. Teacher said it wasn't on point."
     Father: "That can't be. The subject was 'My Father', wasn't it?"
     Son: "Yeah, but you wrote about my grandfather!"
13. Gifting 送礼
     Two skinflints, A and B, became friends. Once, on A's birthday, B gave him an egg as a present. "Here's a nice plump chicken for my man's birthday," he said. "It's a little young, is all." A took the egg without comment.
     Before long it was B's birthday. A cut down a few stalks of bamboo and took them over to give to B as a present. "It's my man's birthday, so here's some fresh bamboo shoots. They're a tad old, is all."
14. How Can That Be? 岂有此理
     A scholar's wife was not good at entertaining, and the scholar told her to just do what he did. One day when a visitor came to see them, she heard the scholar say, "Sir, may I inquire as to your honorable name?"
     "My last name is Zhang."
     "Is that 'Zhang' with a Z or a J?"
     "With a Z."
     The next day, the scholar was not at home when another visitor came over. The scholar's wife came out to greet him and asked, "Sir, may I inquire as to your honorable name?"
     "My last name is Spelling."
     "Is that 'Spelling' with a Z or a J?"
     "How could there be such a spelling?"

[Once again, Fannyi has had to fudge to make a Chinese pun (almost) work in English]
15. The Instructor 教授
     "I've brought in a frog today," the zoology instructor told the class. "I just caught it in the pond. We're going to dissect it this period."
     He brought out a cardboard box and opened it carefully. There was a ham sandwich inside.
     "That's strange," he said, completely surprised. "I distinctly remember eating my lunch."
16. Laughable Genius 可笑的高明
     A graduate of an agricultural college returned to his home village and saw a gardener transplanting a fruit tree. "Your method of transplanting is very unscientific," he said. "Doing it that way, I'll be surprised if you get seven apples off the tree."
     "Not just you," the gardener replied. "I'll be surprised, too, since it's a peach tree."
17. Leaders 领导
     (1) A certain leader read the following aloud to his staff during his Report on Learning the Spirit of Lei Feng: "Lei Feng didn't die!"
     (Everyone laughed and started talking to each other.)
     Off to one side, the Party Secretary whispered in explanation, "His spirit still lives! His spirit still lives!"
     The leader smugly continued speaking to the audience, "That's right! He's still spirited!"

     (2) A certain leader was giving a report at a meeting. "It's just as Chairman Mao said, 'Like tall flies that run into a wall, in such a small world,' they will certainly fail."
     The Party Secretary hurried to correct him: "All flies."
     "Yes, tall flies," the leader replied. "Isn't that what I said?"

     (3) A certain leader was giving a speech at a meeting. "I went to your Chairwoman's home yesterday. I explored hers, and she explored mine."
     There was an uproar in the room.
     The leader took a breath and continued, "Our situations."

     (4) A certain leader was reading from the 'little red book' of Chairman Mao's Quotations: "A person's correct thinking is a gift from Heaven."
     The leader was stunned. Then he turned the page and continued reading. "Is that right?"

     (5) A certain leader was flying across the Pacific on a charter flight. They encountered a storm and the aircraft's floor was pried off. The leader and his entourage reacted alertly and grabbed on tightly to anything they could.
     There they all were, hanging in the high-flying airplane. There was much gnashing of teeth as they strained with all their might to hang on and not let go, swaying back and forth like ducks on a roasting rack.
     Although they didn't show it, each of them hoped they would survive this disaster.
     Suddenly a bolt of lightning struck the airplane. The jet became a glider and began to drop slowly. An experienced crew member said that the airplane was carrying too much weight. If they could lighten the load by 100 kilos, there should be a hope of regaining lift.
     Everyone looked back and forth at the others. Without saying anything, they all ended up staring at the leader, who was both old and fat.
     The leader knew what was on their minds. He thought it over and said, "All right, but I want to say a few words first."
     Everyone smiled, feeling lucky, and listened with rapt attention. They were concentrating on how they would pass on what the leader was saying.
     The leader cleared his throat, paused, then finished with, "That's all I have to say."
     As they always did, everybody started to applaud….
     And thus the leader made it safely back to the ground.
18. Pauses 停顿
     A certain cadre had a habit of pausing in odd places when he spoke, without regard to where the sentences ended. One day the newly appointed Party Secretary, Secretary Kings, ordered him to chair a meeting at a grass-roots unit.
     He sat in the Chairman's seat and began to speak. "I'm Secretary Kings…." (Pause.)
     Everyone in the audience was surprised. They thought the Secretary must have come in disguise for an incognito inspection tour. They had to sit there in trepidation listening carefully for what he might say next.
     "Deputy." Everyone relaxed, and some of them wiped the sweat off their brows surreptitiously.
     "I've come here to do ladys…." (Another pause.)
     Everybody was shocked. How could a dignified cadre say such a thing?
     "Work Meetings." The crowd burst out laughing.
19. The Peasant and the Scholar 农夫和学者
     A peasant was riding in the same boat as a scholar in the middle of a river. They were both bored just sitting there and decided to play a game of riddles. They agreed that if the scholar lost he would pay the peasant ten Yuan, and if it went the other way, the peasant would pay five Yuan.
     The peasant asked, "What thing weighs five hundred pounds in the river but only ten pounds on shore?"
     The scholar thought and thought, but couldn't get it. After a bit he gave the peasant ten Yuan.
     Now it was the scholar's turn. He asked the peasant the same question. "I don't know, either," the peasant said, and gave the scholar five Yuan.
     The scholar was stunned.
20. Quiet 好静
     A fellow who loved peace and quiet lived between a metal worker and a carpenter. It was noisy from dawn to dusk and really bothered him. He often said, "If those two ever move, I'll host a banquet to send them on their way!"
     One day the two craftsmen came over to his place together. "We'll be moving soon," they said. "You've always promised to host a banquet, sir, and we've come to ask you to keep that promise."
     He asked when they would be moving and they said, "Tomorrow. Only one day from now."
     The fellow was very happy and did indeed treat them to a lavish banquet. When it was over he inquired, "And where might you two gentlemen be moving?"
     One of the craftsmen said, "He's moving to my place." The other continued, "And he's moving to mine."
21. A Request 要求
     Tom was stopped on the road by a pretty, scantily-clad girl. "Give me a hundred bucks," she whispered, "and I'll obey any request you can make in three words or less."
     "OK," Tom said as he handed her the money. "Paint my house."
22. The Scholars and the Peasant 书生与农夫
     There's a story about two Xiucai scholars who had failed the Imperial civil service exam for advancement to the next rank. They were travelling together back to their hometown when one day they came to a walled city.
     They saw that the wall was serrated by battlements, and the spirit of poetry welled up in them. One recited, "From afar the wall has teeth like a saw, such a saw".
     Not to be outdone, the other shook his head and continued, "Approaching the wall I saw teeth, such teeth".
     "Oh, if people with talent like ours haven't passed the exam, it means the examiners were all blind!"
     They thought about others returning home in the brocade robes of success, while they themselves had achieved nothing. The two Xiucai covered their faces and wept.
     Just then a peasant driving a horse cart passed by. He couldn't understand why two bookworms would be crying so piteously, so he asked them what was going on.
     The two scholars tearfully recounted their experiences, including a recital of the well-turned phrases they had just composed in honor of the scenery before them. "If even Xiucai of our quality can't pass the exam for promotion, there's absolutely no justice in this day and age."
     The peasant had already squatted down and started crying even before they had even finished speaking. The two scholars thought he was sympathetic to what they'd gone through, so they went up to him politely to offer him some solace.
     "This day and age really is unfair," the peasant said through his tears. "For lack of fertilizer, my land is so poor I can't grow crops on it. Now here you two are right here before my eyes, all full of crap, but I can't use it!"
23. The Snail 蜗牛
     A snail was proceeding down the road when a turtle came up from behind and brushed by, rolling him to the side. As a result, he had to be taken to the hospital for emergency treatment.
     When he recovered consciousness, the police questioned him about what had happened.
     "I can't remember," he said. "He was going so fast…."
24. Swordsmanship 剑术
     At the World Swordsmanship Performance, the third ranked swordsman came out to perform first. The crew let a housefly loose. The performer wielded his sword quickly and cut the fly in half, and the arena exploded in applause.
     Next the second ranked swordsman cut a fly into four pieces. This time the cheers and applause were deafening.
     After the people quieted down, the world's best swordsman performed. Right away his sword stirred up the wind and slashed down on the fly, but the fly still flew as before. To everyone's surprise, the world's best swordsman had completely missed his target. Everyone in the crowd turned ashen with shock, but the swordsman stood there, smiling broadly.
     Some people yelled, "What are you looking so smug about? You've lost it!"
     "Take a closer look," the swordsman replied. "The fly is still alive, but it can never be a father."
25. Turn It Around 转一圈
     The story goes that when we were about to graduate from high school last year…. We wanted to sign up for the military school entrance exam…. And had to get a physical first…. So we went…. To a hospital…. Four of us together…. Went in the room…. Wearing only our underpants…. The doctor told us to "Take everything off…." Then he told us to "Turn it around and give me a look…." Our friend, the one in front, took hold of his "thing" and twirled it around…! The doctor about fainted…. The doctor said…. "I meant, turn around in place…." The other three of us almost fell down laughing on the spot….
26. What've I Got? 有什么
     "I've read your poem, and can say you've got something that even Goethe didn't have."
     "And that is?"
     "A typewriter."
27. Who's Mistake? 谁的错
     A group of soldiers decided to go to the seashore to have some fun. One of them didn't wear his swimming trunks in the belief that there'd be a place to change there. When they arrived, though, he realized he'd made a mistake, so he hurried back to the car to change.
     While he was struggling to squeeze into his trunks, he noticed that a woman on the beach was staring fixedly at him. The soldier felt his privacy had been invaded and, his shame turning to anger, he ran straight towards the woman.
     "Do you always stare like that at people changing their clothes?"
     "Do you always change your clothes in other people's cars?" she retorted.

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笑话百草园 An Herb Garden of Jokes, Page 3
All jokes from
http://www.baiyun.net/jokes/Joke_Collection.htm; authorship unattributed