Written in March 2007, it ain’t political but it’s one I’m rather fond of. But I wanna tell you!!


SHECKYVILLE, N.Y. – Nestled in the foothills of the Catskill Mountains in upstate New York, Sheckyville is a quiet little farming community. It is a place where people work hard, neighbors watch out for one another, and everybody knows where to find a good laugh.

“In the legendary Joke Mines of the Catskill Mountains, that’s where!” said Wally Baluzza.

Baluzza is Chief Dig Supervisor for the Ritz Gravel Company, the shell corporation that has long hidden the true treasures they mine.

“See, this is literally where comedy comes from! We dig it from the ground, do you dig it, daddio? See what I mean? Jokes everywhere!”

The revelation of the Joke Mines was made by investigative comedians Tell & Railer on their hard-hitting cable TV program Horse Pucky.

“The Joke Mine was discovered by Catskill Mountain hotel and resort owner Milton Ritz in 1914,” said the tall, aggressive Sylvania Railer. “One day, Ritz was drilling a new well when he hit something that made him laugh. Not water, but comedy nuggets! Ritz had found a vein of pure comedy that lead right into the mountain on his property.”

Ritz’s newly acquired sense of humor quickly made him a popular host, attracting clients, and making his marginal resort a success.

“Other hoteliers came to the region to sop up the overflow from Ritz’s place,” Wally Baluzza said. “Swearing the newcomers to secrecy, Ritz started selling the product of his mine to them.”

With the Joke Mine now exposed, does the company fear any problems?

“Are you joking?” said Baluzza, ironically. “Every wanna-be comedian, writer, and office cooler wit’s going to flock here. Since we now own all these hotels and resorts in the area, renting out rooms at inflated rates is the one thing here that’s nothing to laugh at!”

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