5000 Dollar Ride


An old farmer, attending a fair with his wife, Bessie, was much taken with the open-cockpit airplane in which fairgoers could buy a ride. The $5 fee was rather steep for him, so he began to bargain with the pilot. The pilot, annoyed, said, “I’ll make a deal with you. I’ll take you up for nothing if you keep your mouths shut. But if either of you makes a single sound, you pay the full $5.”

“Done,” the farmer said.

The couple climbed into the plane and wedged themselves into the cockpit well behind the pilot’s seat, and the pilot took off.

There was dead silence behind, which surprised the pilot, who counted on the splendid view to elicit cries of admiration and, therefore, his full fee. Suddenly, the pilot banked and went into a series of loops and spins designed to force cries of dismay from even the stoutest heart. Yet still there was absolute silence from the farmer and his wife. Defeated, the pilot landed his craft.

Helping the farmer out of the plane, the pilot said, “I have to hand it to you. You sure kept your mouths shut. Both”

“Yup,” said the farmer, “For a minute there I thought Bessie ‘d give a little scream when she fell out.”

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