Springfield, Illinois, where I grew up, and here are some of the jokes that John “Jay” Slaven (d. 1976), a newspaper advertising salesman, played during his lifetime:
- He sold new employees a parking pass to a non-existent parking spot, leaving them to search for a spot that was nowhere to be found.
- While he was having coffee at Steak ‘N Shake* one morning, he had the car of one of the regulars lifted from the street and placed on the sidewalk.
- He called St. Agnes Church regularly to ask what time the 7:30am Mass started.
- He kept a friend on the phone for half an hour masquerading as a railroad employee who had a shipment of hams for him. When the exasperated friend finally asked, “Do you know where these hams came from?” Slaven would reply, "From a pig’s behind!” and hang up, laughing.
- He sent a friend countless greeting cards over a period of 40 years, all signed “From the County Morgue.”