E-mail this page E-mail this




Donkey Hokey

Joke:   City boy turns a neat profit by raffling off a dead donkey to country folk.

LEGEND

Examples:   [Collected on the Internet, 2002]

A city boy, Kenny, moved to the country and bought a donkey from an old farmer for $100. The farmer agreed to deliver the donkey the next day.

The next day the farmer drove up and said: "Sorry son, but I have some bad news. The donkey died."

Kenny replied, "Well then, just give me my money back."

The farmer said, "Can't do that. I went and spent it already."

Kenny said, "OK, then just unload the donkey."

The farmer asked, "What ya gonna do with him?"

Kenny: "I'm going to raffle him off."

Farmer: "You can't raffle off a dead donkey!"

Kenny: "Sure I can. Watch me. I just won't tell anybody he is dead."

A month later the farmer met up with Kenny and asked, "What happened with that dead donkey?"

Kenny: "I raffled him off. I sold 500 tickets at $2 a piece and made a profit of $998.00."

Farmer: "Didn't anyone complain?"

Kenny: "Just the guy who won. So I gave him his $2 back."

Kenny grew up and eventually became the chairman of Enron
 

Origins:   This is another bit of humor seemingly so obvious a joke that no one could mistake if for anything else, but the invocation of a real person's name after the punchline has prompted a number of readers to ask us if this is a "true
story."

This joke plays on the infamy now surrounding former Enron CEO Kenneth Lay, whose oversight of the creation of more than 3,000 questionable Enron "partnerships" which were used to hide Enron's debt and generate revenue from trades that lacked economic substance is well-satirized in the currently popular joke about a clever "city boy" who manages to pull in nearly $1,000 raffling off a dead donkey by concealing the animal's true state.

Any thoughts that this joke might really be a biographical anecdote about Kenneth Lay are squelched by noting that it was circulating at least as far back as August 2001, a couple of months before the Enron scandal became public knowledge with the October 2001 disclosures of Enron's $618 million quarterly loss, its $1.2 billion reduction in shareholder equity, and its announcement that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission was investigating a possible conflict of interest between Enron and its partnerships. Back then the joke was merely one of a resourceful city boy thrust into the country for his own safety by a witness protection program; finding himself among unsophisticated "country folk," he uses his urban savvy to fleece them out of $1,000:
A city boy in the Witness Protection Program moved to the country and bought a donkey from an old farmer for $100. The farmer agreed to deliver the mule the next day.

The next day, the farmer drove up and said, "Sorry, but I have some bad news. The donkey died."

"Well then, just give me my money back."

"Can't do that. I went and spent it already."

"Okay then. Just unload the donkey."

"What ya gonna do with him?"

"I'm going to raffle him off."

"You can't raffle off a dead donkey!"

"Sure I can. Watch me. I just won't tell anybody he's dead."

A month later the farmer met up with the city boy and asked, "Whatever happened with that dead donkey?"

"I raffled him off. I sold 500 hundred tickets at two dollars apiece and made a profit of $998."

"Didn't anyone complain?"

"Just the guy who won. So I gave him his two dollars back."
Last updated:   26 May 2012

Urban Legends Reference Pages © 1995-2014 by snopes.com.
This material may not be reproduced without permission.
snopes and the snopes.com logo are registered service marks of snopes.com.