Case of the Lame Punch Line

I’ve been kicking around a story line idea in which my buddy, Perry Block, stars as detective Sam “Lamp” Shade, who’s hired to recover his client’s sense of humor which was stolen while she watched a Republican political debate.

Groans abound as Block leaves no pun unturned in this rousing tale of international intrigue. He struggles to find something funnyanything funnyto make his client, Margarette, (played by the lovely and talented Dale Rogerson) laugh again.

If you’re new to Friday Flash Fiction, our house detective, who has solved more mysteries than Brian Doyle-Murray, is Slippery Elm Wisoff-Fields. If you’d like to participate in this exercise of madness, head over to her blog for step-by-step instructions. To view the fashionable faux hairpieces of the writers in FFF  Hollywood Squares Authors Block click here.

copyright - Sandra Crook
copyright – Sandra Crook

“Look there, Watson. What do you see?”

“It appears a gadget of some sort. For what purpose, I cannot determine.”

“Precisely. You see, but you do not observe. There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact.”

“I’m not sure I’m following you, Holmes.”

“The device has been strategically placed at the foot of this bed, taking into strict account the position of the sun and prevailing winds. The key to this mystery is found in the bed itself.” 

“Surely you don’t mean—“

“Precisely. The bed has been stripped. Look again, Watson. What do you see now?”

“No sheets, Sherlock.”


45 Comments on “Case of the Lame Punch Line

  1. My Dear Watson,

    Personally I find the debates hilarious. Well maybe that should be closer to hysterical in histrionic proportions. And that’s all I have to say about that. As for your lame story…can one slit sheets to make them fit or strip them to make them slit? I’m not sure this is one that even this detective can solve. One question…will you perchance be in Branson this weekend?


    Slippery Elm


  2. Dear Slippery Elm,

    Actually, Connie and I did bust a gut watching the last Republican debate. I’m not particularly thrilled with the candidates either party has ran out there and I fear it will be another election where we’re forced to choose between the lesser of two evils.

    I did pay my OWL dues, but won’t be attending this session. I enjoy poetry, but not as much as I do writing shorting stories and blogging. Perhaps I make it up there in May or August when there are more things for Connie to do while I’m at the conference.



    • :(, Aw shucks. I’m not big on poetry either but I am on connecting with friends. That might be a good time to check out the motel’s indoor pool. I’m not sure about May for me. Some book signing thingies might be on the horizon but I’ll probably be there in August.


      • We’re having another FREE writers conference in Fayetteville on March 19th. I know that would kind of be back-to-back for you, but we’d love to have you come.


  3. I agree with Rochelle. When I can tolerate watching the GOP candidates, I find them insanely hilarious. Or maybe just insane. No sheet.


  4. I find it extremely amusing that most of the comments center on the 1st paragraph of the intro rather than the story itself. I appreciate that. Thanks for reading the WHOLE thing.


  5. Well now, would you lookit that? I made it to the preview! As a Canadian watching on the sidelines, I can only shake my head at the shenanigans of American politics. Not saying up here in Canada we are that much better… at least our PM is a hottie. Now, that said, let’s get down to business. I could not stop myself from letting out a guffaw at said punch line. It just escaped; had no control over it… 😉


    • Looks play a much larger role in who gets elected than most people are willing to admit. When choosing between an attractive candidate and one who appears to have been beaten at birth with an ugly stick, the handsome hottie will win every time. Unfortunately for the US, all the horses in this race are nags. I thought Martin O’Malley was attractive enough to win, but he chose to drop out and do a photo shoot for GQ magazine.

      Now that we’ve got that out of the way, I’m glad you enjoyed the meat & potatoes portion of this week’s post.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Russell, I’ve only watched one half of one debate! That’s it and that was enough. I can’t wait until this thing is over. As for your story, I loved it. Nothing is more deceptive than the obvious. I couldn’t agree more.


  7. Your intro made me laugh. I’m so terribly sorry, but I don’t get the story… (hides, hangs head in shame, and wonders if she should have commented at all–but a comment is a comment, right?)


    • First of all, Thank You for commenting.
      The punch line here is an obscure reference to the idiom (No Shit, Sherlock) commonly used in the southern half of the United States to mean you’re pointing out the obvious.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I don’t know if you made Margarette laugh, but you succeeded quite well with me! Thanks for a morning laugh as I wipe the spit out coffee off the PC screen!


  9. I didn’t get it either, so I’m glad someone else didn’t. And now I do. And it reinforces my view that you are quite something else. Exactly what I’m still not sure. Good one.


    • Then for you, and gahlearner, it truly was the Case of the Missing Punch Line. Perhaps it was the idiom, or the idiot who wrote it, that threw you off.


  10. Sam “Lamp” Shade here, trying to find anybody’s sense of humor regarding this presidential election. May be pretty tough job, this one. Not much of a rousing tale here but plenty of groans. Hopefully there will be something funny when Trump finally oversteps some final bound, if that’s possible. Maybe he’ll dance with his toupee off!


    • I think you’re onto something there, Sam. Most people are expecting Trump to self-destruct at some point along the campaign trail. Everyone laughs at the rug on his head, but imagine how much worse he’d look without it. The good news is, these oafs should give you plenty of joke material. Perhaps Margarette will have a laugh yet.


  11. I’m so glad Gah and Sandra needed a little help with the punchline. I was scratching my head until I came to their comments and your explanation. I enjoyed your characters and dialogue without fully getting it, but now I’m doubly entertained.


  12. Thanks for the explanation of the punchline, Russell. I didn’t get the regional joke either. I’m not only not regional anymore in the U.S., I’ve left the whole darn country. I sure don’t get many of the jokes here. I don’t have to watch the debates. The news programs cover them so thoroughly why should I bother? People are probably going to end up voting “against” someone rather than “for” someone. Well done. 🙂 — Suzanne


    • You’re not missing anything in debates. Primarily name calling and finger pointing. No real substance or addressing the issues. Our election process is all about choosing the lesser of two evils.


  13. All together now:
    Holmes Holmes is so strange
    Doctor Watson seems much stranger still
    The game is afoot
    And that crazy galoot
    Our friend Russell is far from over the hill


  14. I absolutely love your clever little tale with Holmes and Watson! hahahaha.. no sheets! *busts a gut* As for the political debates, I cannot stomach any of them. I fear I will have to exercise my right not to vote for any of them and lose my ability to grumble about whomever is chosen.


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Mandie Hines Author

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