Jolly good fellowMembers from the paternal side of my family have always had a rich store of anecdotes to narrate. So when uncles come visiting and strike up old memories, there is a lot of merriment to be gained.
One of father's cousins, a former Professor of English and someone with a fleeting involvement in local politics, provided this real-life tale:
Many years ago, a constituency in the Nagercoil area came up for elections. The two usual suspects, both lawyers, were up against each other. Let's call one Raman and the other Krishnan. Krishnan's supporters were quick to begin campaigning, and overnight a large sign appeared on a wall in the main town square. It read:
Should you vote for that drunkard Raman?
The night-time inclinations of Lawyer Raman weren't hidden from the townsfolk as he was an old local. But what was ironic was that everyone knew Krishnan was no saint either. The staff of Raman scratched their heads over an appropriate response: merely defacing the sign was a sure provocation to cause fighting in the streets and wasn't considered an equal riposte. At last someone had a brainwave.
Next day, an equally large sign appeared right below the previous one. It read:
Why not vote for the other drunkard then?
The old professor also told us another one, an American joke I hadn't heard before.
A man was filling out an application. He raced through the Name, Gender, Age, Address fields before hitting a section about his parents' details. He wrote down his Father's name and paused at "Age (if alive)". Thinking it over, he carefully wrote: 128. For that's what his papa would've been if he was still alive.