Sunday, February 28, 2010

Emperor Fredick's tale and please don't tell missus I've started composing groaners again

Emperor Frederick II of Prussia was a wise and great king. There are many instances of his greatness. For example, he is the originator of the "p is silent" thing you see in words like pneumonia, ptarmigan and pterodactyl, which he started so that people would think that in addition to being Emperor of Prussia, he was also Emperor of Russia, because p is silent.

Today, my dear students of history, we are going to talk about a little known instance of the Emperor's far-sightedness.

As a dutiful hegemonist, Emperor Frederick realised that in the vast and complex business of empire building it was crucial to have a credible management information system based on sound financial accounting. Since all these terms hadn't been invented yet, he called it "totting up the bills".

In a spread-out and high-maintenance empire like Prussia, there were bound to be many bills and the Emperor knew that the man who would be in charge of this crucial function would have to be singularly devoted to his task.

The person whom he finally chose was a high born count who spoke little, never raised his eyes and continuously totalled numbers. He would be present in a corner of the Emperor's court quiely totting up bills from every corner of the realm.

And as an example of the high esteem in which the Emperor held him, consider the following incident.

Once, on the Emperor's birthday, when everyone was supposed to turn up with bouquets, there were many courtiers who were either too cheap to buy decent flowers, or who had simply forgotten to make the trip to the florist. Usually this would get at most a snide remark from the throne about how there is no real adulation these days but that morning, the Emperor was in a bad mood.

When the court was in session and everyone who had brought bouquets had presented them, the emperor spoke.

"All those who have not brought us a floral tribute on this momentous occasion shall be given ten of the best on the old spot"

And the chief of police, who rather enjoyed this kind of thing, rounded up the guilty and started administering justice as evidenced by some high pitched screaming.

The emperor was watching the proceedings with grim satisfaction when a soft voice piped up near his ear. It was the Count of Accounts.

'Your majesty" he said, with downcast eyes "I too am guilty".

The emperor was touched. Looking at him with compassionate eyes, he said
"In your case, dear chap, there shall be no punishment"

"May one ask why, your majesty?" asked the Chief of Police

"It is alright in his case, Chief. It's the count that tots"

The Chief of Police could not help feeling awed at the emperor's wisdom and bowed deeply.

38 comments:

Deepak Gopalakrishnan said...

Ayyoooooooooooooooooooooooo!

Idling in Top Gear said...

If you don't see me commenting/blogging anymore, it's probably coz I was successful in my current plan to run up to the 9th floor and fall head first! :D

Dhananjay Mhatre said...

Count that tots. Thoughts that count. Take out revolver. Shoot self.

Ivan Yaru said...

This was baaaaaaaaaad!!! So much hishtree-pishtree and build up for count that tots a? Please castrate self.

soin said...

we will make sure you dont get beer for the next week..aargh..

Sriram said...

AAaAARGH!! Damn all that big time history and stuff.. whatay buildup! Classic groaner :P

The Lonely Saint said...

Ha ha ha. Nothing irritates me more than the ending of your posts.

Nair said...

*Groan* (shakes head violently)

Not Specified said...

sheer brilliance...
take a bow sir... :)

livewire24 said...

Was this really worth giving up a week's worth of booze? Then again, I salute you for pandering to us... its the tot that counts ;)

Dr. K Bodhi :D said...

Whats the Missus' mail id?

mentalie said...

oh my god, the purge is upon us again!

Preeti said...

Oh god!

Anonymous said...

A married man left from work early one Friday afternoon. Instead of going home, however, he squandered the weekend (and his salary) partying with the boys.

When he finally returned home on Sunday night, he ran into a barrage of abuse from his wife. After a couple of hours of nagging and berating, his wife asked "How would you like it if you didn't see me for a couple of days?"

"That would suit me just fine!!!" the man said.

Monday went by, and the man didn't see his wife.
Tuesday went by with the same result.
Wednesday went by with the same result.

Thursday, the swelling went down a bit and he could see her a little, just out of the corner of his left eye!

Anonymous said...

moved by the previous anony, here's another fan's homage to the great groaner king Narendra Shenoy:

http://summer-diary.blogspot.com/2010/02/young-fisherman-and-sea-and-other-fail.html

Potato Curry said...

I enjoyed it! Am I not supposed to? :P

--Saranya

sukkubi said...

yuck!!

Scattered Thoughts... said...

Hey.. this one din't have that sharp edge.. or its just me who is unable to get that.. Is it due to the long gap :)

Spaz Kumari said...

ah ha! it is orey the twisted. good stuff. but not as good as cartesian coordinates one. (sorry but the golden standard for groaners has been set by that one.) :)

Anil P said...

Haha.

And I like the silent 'p' w.r.t Prussia and Russia :-)

Virus© said...

hahaha.

Insane.

Dude said...

ROFL

Chethana said...

Dude. Dude. Dude.

Giribala said...

ha ha...I read the post and it was like a riddle. Found the answer in third comment. Am I the only tubelight here?

Dude said...

@Giribala

I didn't get it al first either.

Jon said...

Saw ur blog in outlook...well the mag didnt disappoint me..awesome blogs

Anonymous said...

Can you believe I stumbled on your blog sometime last week and today finished reading all of the entries!! :) I really enjoyed them (kinda addicted!!), though I should admit I cudn't understand some of the groaners! Am hoping to improve as I keep readin them on your blog. But where art thou?! :( Vacation? This time to Japan?? :)
-Deepa

Ramaa said...

Absolute brilliance! :D Such fun...

Naren said...

Thanks Deepa! Thanks for the great confidence booster!

Naren said...

Thanks Jon. This blog is my main timepass. Glad you liked it

Naren said...

@Dude, @Giribala Part of the fun is when you don't get it initially and then you have a forehead slapping moment when you silently curse the author :)

Naren said...

:) I've had to explain the cartesian coordinates one in detail to many people. They listen patiently to the whole explanation and then emit one "Oh". Just like that. No exclamation mark. Crushes my delicate artist's soul, I tell you!

Naren said...

I guess it's not all that sharp. I don't know if it's an age thing but I seem to have lost the ability to generate witticisms. I sort of trundle along imitating Wodehouse and hope someone will find it funny. It's good timepass though.

Naren said...

Thanks, Saranya! Thanks thanks thanks!

parthicle said...

... and then, one fine day, the Count was made the Prime Minister of the Prussia. So that he could pass many a law in the country, including the Women's Reservation Bill.
"It's the tort that counts", said the Emporer.

sublime ape said...

a wee bit elaborate, but it was worth the read (critics, critics everywhere!)

Amit said...

Almost a month about to go by without a post! We deal strictly here with AWOL cases

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