To the rescue

One evening, just outside Brooklyn, a fire starts inside Shmata Ltd., the leading clothing factory, and within minutes it becomes a conflagration.

As soon as the first fire engine arrives on the scene, Jacob Shmata goes over to the firemen and says, “Please. I’m the chief executive of this factory. All our next season’s designs are on my hard drive in the center of the building. They must be saved. I’ll give you $300,000 if you can save them.”

Even though the thought of the money encourages the men to take risks, the strong, hot flames keep them from going inside. When two more fire engines arrive, Jacob shouts out that the offer is now $500,000 to the team who saves the design files.

Then, from the bottom of Flatbush Avenue, a single siren is heard and a fourth fire engine comes rushing up the hill towards the fire. From the initials on the front, FBJVFC, everyone knows it’s from the Flatbush Jewish Volunteer Fire Company, whose members are all over 65. But how can they possibly help? To everyone’s amazement, the old-fashioned FBVFC fire engine doesn’t stop outside the building but drives straight into the middle of the fire.

As everyone watches, the elderly Jewish firemen jump down from their engine and begin fighting the fire with unbelievable energy and commitment. Five minutes later, the men from FBJVFC have extinguished the fire and saved the secret designs. Jacob keeps to his bargain and writes out a check to the FBJVFC for $500,000. He then personally thanks each one of the elderly firefighters and in particular, Solly, the 75-year-old head of the team.

Jacob asks him, “What are you going to do with all that money?”

Vell,” he says, “the first thing ve are going to do is fix the brakes on our rundown fire engine.”

Hungry salesman

Benny the salesman had been driving all day and now it was getting dark, so he stopped for the night at a small hotel. There didn’t seem to be anyone at the hotel — the place was deserted. He went to the reception desk and a lady appeared.

“Can I help you?” she asked.

“A room please and something to eat,” Benny said, “I’m dying of hunger.”

She looked at him and didn’t like what she saw. He was sweaty, tired-looking with bags under his red eyes and his suit was badly creased. It didn’t look like he could afford a meal.

So she said, “I’m sorry, sir, but we’re out of food.”

Benny looked straight at her and said, “In that case, I’m going to have to do what my father did.”

Immediately she grew frightened. “What did your father do?” she asked.

“My father,” Benny replied, “did what he had to do.”

She became even more frightened when she heard this. Who knows what kind of father this madman had? Maybe his father was a thief or a rapist, even. And she was alone with him. She decided to make him happy.

“Hold on, sir,” she said and returned with a plate full of roast beef, potatoes, hot peppers and slices of rye bread.

She watched in amazement as Benny ate it all in quick time. When he had emptied his plate, he said, “That was great, the best meal I’ve had in weeks.”

Seeing that he was now relaxed, she asked the question that had been worrying her for the last hour. “Could you please tell me what it was that your father did?”

“Oh yes, my father,” said Benny. “Whenever my father couldn’t get anything to eat, he went to bed hungry.”

These jokes have been e-mailed to us by friends and associates who, for the most part, have downloaded them. We therefore cannot verify the authorship.