After reading the Callahan Chronicles, I got it into my head to write a shaggy dog pun good enough for Spider Robinson. This was a challenge, as the man has been telling horrible puns for most of my life, and has refined the skill to an art.
When I had the chance to meet him at the Heinlein Centennial celebration, I had the honor of telling him my joke, and seeing him groan with appreciative pain. He told me later that he could not promise not to steal it. And now I share that joke with you.
It seems there was a man who, while visiting Africa, decided he wanted to go on safari. But he told his guide, “I don’t want to go on one of those ‘look at the giraffe’ safaris. I want to go out and hunt something. Something big!”
The guide said, “All right, I can take you deep into the savanna. But if I do so, you must promise me this. No matter what happens, do not shoot at the Monster Boar.”
The tourist asked him about it, and the guide said, “There is a creature out there, twice as tall as a man, but shaped like a pig, with breath that will burn, and tusks that will tear the doors off a jeep. You cannot possibly kill it, you can only make it angry. So, if you see this boar, you must promise me that you will not engage it.”
The tourist promised, and the next day they drove off into the savanna. For the entire day, they saw nothing larger than a rabbit. They pitched camp and went out on foot the next day. But again, there were no animals to be found. Frustrated, the tourist said, “If we don’t see anything tomorrow, I’m going home.”
That night, the tourist felt the call of nature, and climbed out of his tent to do his business. He grabbed his gun (just in case) and walked a little way out of the camp. After doing what needed to be done, he looked up and saw, in the distance, an immense boar silhouetted against the moon. It was facing away from him, and clearly hadn’t seen him.
Knowing this was his only opportunity, and frustrated by the lack of targets, he knelt down and took aim with his rifle. He lined up the perfect shot in the beasts flank, and fired.
The shot rang true, and the bullet buried itself within the thick hide of the beast. But the creature’s hide was so thick that the bullet failed to penetrate, and the beast whipped it’s head around to glare balefully at the tourist, wide red eyes blazing.
In a moment he was off and running. He ran for the camp as fast as his legs could carry him, with the creature running behind him, bellowing in fury. It got so close to him, it managed to reach forward and bite him on the ass, which only served to further drive him on. He ran as fast as he could until he got to the camp, where the creature left off the chase.
The tourist limped back to his tent and saw to the wound on his backside before going to sleep.
The next morning, as they prepared for the day, he told them of his midnight adventure, and they all had a good laugh, wagging their fingers at him and saying, “We told you so.” They packed up and headed back to town in the jeep.
As they crested a hill, the group saw the most singular thing ahead of them. It was a gathering of all the animals in the area. A huge croud of animals, all gathered and looking toward the center. In the middle of the group was the Monster Boar, laughing and talking to the other animals.
“- so then I turn around, and I shout at him, and you should have seen how big his eyes got! I mean, I had trouble not falling down laughing right then. I went running after him, and the guy took off like mad. He was pretty quick too. I barely got so much as a bite on him, before he’d run all the way back to his camp.”
As the group in the jeep stood agape, the Monster Boar turned and said, “There’s the guy now. Hey, killer, did you learn your lesson? You heading home? Or do you want to try it again? I bet you can’t. I’d bet you don’t dare pick up a gun and try that again. In fact, I dare you to do it! Get a gun, and try that again. I’ll give you the first shot.”
The guide handed a rifle to the tourist, who looked at him, amazed, “What are you doing? I thought you said to never shoot at the boar!”
The guide replied :
“After a hard night out, you need to take the dare of the hog that bit you.”