Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Mystery Jokes

I thought I'd Google "Mystery Jokes" to discover whether this was a category. I was surprised to find myself laughing at a number of the results.

First, there is a section at the website, MysteryFactory.com devoted to mystery jokes. Some of the jokes they present are weak (including, regrettably, many on the first page) while others worked.

Here is a sampling:

While visiting a big city, Betsy, who suspected her husband of cheating on her snuck off to visit a fortune teller of some local repute.
In a dark and hazy room, peering into a crystal ball, the mystic delivered grave news. "There's no easy way to say this, so I'll just be blunt: Prepare yourself to be a widow. Your husband will die a violent and horrible death this year."
Visibly shaken, Betsy stared at the woman's lined face, then at the single flickering candle, then down at her hands. She took a few deep breaths to compose herself. She simply had to know. She met the fortune teller's gaze, steadied her voice, and asked her question. "Will I be acquitted?"

Q: How many mystery writers does it take to screw in a light bulb?
A: Two. One to screw it almost all the way in and the other to give it a surprising twist at the end.

A police recruit was asked during the exam, “What would you do if you had to arrest your own mother?” He  answered  “Call for backup.”

Prosecutor: Did you kill the victim?
Defendant: No, I did not.
Prosecutor: Do you know what the penalties are for perjury?
Defendant: Yes, I do. And they're a heck of a lot better than the penalty for murder.

Q: ALL your responses MUST be oral, OK? What school did you go to?
A: Oral.

Which gets to the notion of courtroom anecdotes and bloopers which have websites of their own. Humor in the Court comprised a series of two books put out in the early eighties. Here is a sampling of the content.

This site relates some misfires at attempted courtroom humor including this anecdote:

In the closely watched trial accusing Zimmerman of second-degree murder in the shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, defense attorney Don West began opening statements with a knock-knock joke that met with crickets. "Knock knock. Who’s there? George Zimmerman. George Zimmerman who? All right, good, you’re on the jury," he said. And when no one laughed, he responded, "Nothing? That’s funny."

Here are several classic Gary Larson mystery-themed comic panels.

The cartoonstock.com website has over a thousand courtroom-themed comic entries and over two hundred with a mystery theme.

On a very different tack, Thomas Nast was satirizing the legal system over 140 years ago.

Thomas Nast, A Game of Fox and Geese. 
The lawyer (fox) blows dust in the juries' eyes.

A Predator's Game, available March 30, 2016, Rook's Page Publishing.

Nikola Tesla, Arthur Conan Doyle and Dr. Henry H. Holmes are all characters in my forthcoming thriller, A Predator's Game, Rook's Page Publishing, March 30, 2016.

Back page blurb of A Predator's Game (advance copy, subject to change).

Manhattan, 1896.

When the author Arthur Conan Doyle meets Nikola Tesla he finds a tall, thin genius with a photographic memory and a keen eye, and recognizes in the eccentric inventor the embodiment of his creation, Sherlock. Together, they team up to take on an "evil Holmes." Multi-murderer Dr. Henry H. Holmes has escaped execution and is unleashing a reign of terror upon the metropolis. Set in the late nineteenth century in a world of modern marvels, danger and invention, Conan Doyle and Tesla engage the madman in a deadly game of wits.

Martin Hill Ortiz, also writing under the name, Martin Hill, is the author of A Predatory Mind. Its sequel, set in 1890s Manhattan and titled A Predator's Game, will be available from Rook's Page Publishing, March 30, 2016. It features Nikola Tesla as detective.

His recent mystery, Never Kill A Friend, is available from Ransom Note Press. His epic poem, Two Mistakes, recently won second place in the Margaret Reid/Tom Howard Poetry Competition. He can be contacted at mdhillortiz@gmail.com.


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