The foreman of a Southern mill, who was much troubled by the shiftlessness of his colored workers, called sharply to two of the men slouching past him.
“Hi, you! where are you going?”
“Well, suh, boss,” one of them answered, “we is goin’ to de mill wid dis-heah plank.”
“Plank? What plank? Where’s the plank?” the foreman demanded.
The colored spokesman looked inquiringly and somewhat surprisedly at his own empty hands and those of his companion, whom he addressed good-naturedly:
“Now, if dat don’t beat all, George! If we hain’t gone an’ clean forgitted dat plank!”
* * *
Two men met on the city street in the evening, and had a number of drinks together. The one who lived in the suburbs became confidential, and exhibited a string tied around a finger.
“I don’t dare to go home,” he explained. “There’s something my wife told me to do, without fail, and to make sure I wouldn’t forget, she tied that string around my finger. But for the life of me I can’t remember what the thing was I am to do. And I don’t dare to go home!”
A few days later the two men met again, this time in the afternoon.
“Well,” the one asked, “did you finally remember what that string was to remind you of?”
The other showed great gloom in his expression, as he replied:
“I didn’t go home until the next night, just because I was scared, and then my wife told me what the string was for all right—she certainly did!” There was a note of pain in his voice. “The string was to remind me to be sure to come home early.”
* * *
The clergyman drew near to the baptismal font, and directed that the candidates for baptism should now be presented. A woman in the congregation gave a gasp of dismay and turned to her husband, whom she addressed in a strenuous whisper:
“There! I just knew we’d forget something. John, you run right home as fast as you can, and fetch the baby.”