No lie, this joke is 100 years old. It refers to the Mann Act of 1910. At the time, this law was summarized by the phrase “Transporting girls across the state line for immoral purposes.” It was a landmark, though vaguely phrased, law intending to curtail slavery and prostitution. So, anyway, here’s the joke:
Once, there was a scientist who discovered the secret to immortality. His formula required the bile duct of a seagull, which made reproducing the formula very difficult. As he was testing on mice and cats, he had to go out and get more and more seagulls. Finally, he had worked his way up to dolphins, which required more of the formula than any other animal. In order to prepare the formula, the scientist had to drive all the way out to the seaside to find as many seagulls as he could.
It so happened that, while he was away, an old, toothless lion from the nearby State Zoo had finally bored of captivity, and broken out. He ran as far as he could through the city, but being an old and toothless lion, needed his rest. So he lay down on the porch which happened to belong to the scientist.
So along comes the scientist, arms full of seagulls, when he sees this lion on his front porch. Not able to go around it, or put down his cargo, he attempts to very carefully step over the lion, and is immediately arrested.
What was the charge?
(I’ll warn you, it’s pretty bad)
Transporting gulls across a state lion for immortal porpoises.