A ventriloquist named Jim walks into a restaurant with his dummy and sits down at the bar. Jim holds “Charlie” who looks like Charlie Chaplin. Jim is wearing a mask and pulls out a menu. The bartender sees Jim holding Charlie and comes out and stares at the dummy.
“Sorry, but your dummy needs to wear a mask.”
“Why?… No.”
“I’m sorry but we are a ‘mask only’ restaurant.”
“But, he’s a dummy,” Jim says emphatically.
Jim puts his hand behind Charlie’s back where ha can operate Charlie’s mouth and head. He makes Charlie “speak” with the tone of a little boy. “Now. You look here. My name’s Charlie and I’m a dummy! Now bring me a beer!”
The waiter goes back to the manager and tells him a “dummy” is at the bar who won’t wear a mask.
The manager replies, “Ha! They’re everywhere. You know what to do. Go back and tell the “dummy” to wear a mask or kick him and the ventriloquist out.”
The bartender comes out and tells Jim that his friend can stay without a mask.
“No problem, then,” Jim says glancing at Charlie.
Jim still has Charlie by the back when the bartender tells him the manager’s verdict. Charlie says, “That’s better. Now bring me a beer!”
Jim releases his hand behind Charlie’s back and sits him down on his lap. Then Jim says to Charlie, “I’ve gotta go to the restroom.”
Charlie says, “OK. Sure.”
Jim sets Charlie down on his barstool. Some customers who were watching the “act” until Charlie starts moving his head by himself, and says, “What’s everybody starin’ at? Haven’t ya seen a dummy before?”
The eyebrows of the customers raise as high as they go, and their mouths open as much as if they were yawning. The bar grew silent. Everyone looks at Charlie and examines his face.
The bartender walks out and sees the uncanny reactions of his clients. “He he! Y’all look spooked. That’s Charlie. I know him. He can talk by himself. He doesn’t need a ventriloquist. Ha ha! I’ll bet Charlie even has his own Social Security number.”
Charlie shouts, “Yes. I do! I want my beer now.”
Jim comes out of the bathroom and sees Charlie talking by himself. Jim tells Charlie to stop it and that they have to go. Charlie protests, “No! I haven’t finished breathing on people to spread my COVID virus! Ha..ha… ha!!”
Moral of Story: “Don’t be a dummy. Wear a mask.”

By Harrington A. Lackey

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