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Many longtime Meridian readers will remember the column “Latter-Day Laughs” where we collected humorous anecdotes from your church experiences around the world. Now, we’re bringing the column back with a new editor, Bryun Lemon. Remember to make his job easier by sending your funny stories to La*************@la***************.com.

If you look up the origin of the necktie (something I’m certain is on the bucket list of many people out there), you’ll find everything from ‘it started by Croatian soldiers wearing red scarves to intimidate their enemies’ to ‘It started to protect the buttons on French aristocracy’s shirts from being damaged’ to ‘It was started so gentlemen would have a handkerchief always on them’…and every other possible backstory you could conjure up for something most men are familiar with whether we like it or not.

Regardless of whether it started as a military fashion statement or a built in nose-blower, however, ties have become a standard for men trying to look their best…and for kids to use for a joke that’s as old as church itself. The joke goes something like this:

  1. Roll up the front and back part of your tie separately.
  2. Ask your friend to tell you which one wins when you let go.
  3. Your friend tells you which one he thought unrolled first.
  4. You reply with, “Nope. It was a TIE!”

So, with the memory of the only tie joke in history fresh on my mind, recalling my son’s first attempt at telling the joke brought a smile this past week. His attempt went something like this:

  1. He rolled up both parts of the tie separately.
  2. He asked, “Hey, dad, wanna see a tie?”
  3. He caught himself and changed the question to “I mean – Do you wanna race ties?”
  4. “I mean – Do you wanna see a racing tie?”
  5. “No, wait. Do. You. Want. Me. To. Race. My. Tie?”
  6. “Agh! Have you ever seen a tie race?”
  7. Before he ruptured a blood vessel, I cut in. “I haven’t seen a tie race. Do you want me to tell you which one wins?”
  8. He nods. He releases the two tie parts. One doesn’t unroll at all, and he realizes he can’t even finish the joke now. (awkward pause). He manually unrolls the other piece and tells his version of the punch line “Nope. They tied!”

My wife and I laughed hysterically. He thought it was because of his joke, and (in a way) it was.

So, with ties in mind, digging back through the Latter-day Laughs archives brings up a few more submissions related to these Croation-fashion-handkerchief-button-protectors, such as this one from Gil Bytheway (originally posted May 12, 2012):

While serving as executive secretary, one of my duties was to file and/or shred confidential documents. While leaning over the shredder to run some papers through, I suddenly found myself being pulled downward in a deadly stranglehold. The jaws of the shredder had seized my tie! It happened so suddenly that I couldn’t even think to hit the off switch. My life was saved by my flailing arms, which yanked the power cord out of the wall. I was so surprised by the whole event that I stood up and walked out into the foyer-shredder still attached to tie-where the brethren filled our reverent sanctuary with a long, hearty laugh. No harm done, except to my pride … and tie.

Or this one from Dan Sadler in St. George, Utah (originally posted September 3, 2012):

While interviewing a young man during tithing settlement, I asked him, “Is that a full tithe?”   He said: “No, it’s a clip on, but my brother wears a full tie.“

Or finally this one (although it may be a stretch depending on what the bishop was using for his chastising). This was sent in by Megan Fowler in August 2011:

One Sunday the two oldest boys had been particularly mischievous.  I suggested they needed to be more respectful during church.  I said that if they were disrespectful again, perhaps it would be a good idea for them to see the bishop, who would chastise them. One of them asked, “What’s chastise?” The other quickly responded: “You know—that’s when the bishop sets you in a chair and ties up your chest!”

Have you got a funny story about ties (or any other Croatian fashion accessory)? Send it to us at La*************@la***************.com.