A man once paid a genealogist a large sum of money to trace his lineage and was horrified to discover that his great grandfather was infamous.
He had been the first person to be executed by electric chair at Sing Sing Prison.
Over a pub lunch with a journalist pal he complained about the time and money he’d wasted on discovering something that would have to be kept secret.
“Not a bit of it,” his writer friend retorted. “I’ll bet you another round of drinks that I can rewrite it in a way that will still be the truth but will impress everyone. And I can fit it all onto this beer mat.”
The man looked doubtful but agreed. In under 30 seconds, the journalist had finished writing and the man picked up the mat and read it.
It said: “Great grandfather occupied the chair of applied electricity at one of America’s best-known institutions.”
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