Storehouse of Laughter – Chapter 10

老面皮

衆閒諭世間何物最硬。或言石。曰。石可碎也。或言金。曰。金可鑿也。最後一人指有鬚者曰。惟老兄鬚最硬。金石不如。問其何說。荅曰。你看這一副面皮裡面。虧他鑚了出來

Old leather face

A group of people were idly speculating about what was the hardest thing in the world. Someone said “rock”, but another pointed out that rocks could be smashed. Someone said “gold”, but another said that gold can be worked. Finally, someone pointed to a bearded man, and said: “The hair in that old chap’s beard is the hardest thing in the world. Gold and rock cannot compare.” When asked why, he replied: “It had to bore through that leathery old face of his.”

俗云。脚麻脚麻上鼻頭。謂以柴芒貼鼻端。即止。一人遍貼額上。人問為何。曰。我屁股都是麻的。

Numb

A common saying goes: “Numb leg, to the toes / bring it up, with the nose.” If one’s leg has gone numb, then the remedy is to stick a stalk of miscanthus on the nose. Knowing this, someone stuck a stalk on his forehead. When asked why he did this, he replied: “My buttocks have all gone numb.”

一瞽者與衆人坐。衆有所見而笑。瞽者亦笑。衆問之曰。何所見而笑。瞽者曰。你們所笑。定然不差。

世人皆謂此瞽可笑。不知凡依樣画葫蘆。蹈襲舊時大套子。及隨人脚跟做事者。皆此瞽耳。

Blind

A blind man was sitting in a group, when they saw something funny and laughed. The blind man laughed along. The others asked: “Why did you laugh if you couldn’t see what it was?” The blind man replied: “If you lot were laughing, it must have been pretty funny.”

Worldly people all laugh at the blind man. But those who only know how to paint by numbers (lit. copy the drawing of a gourd), or who never deviate from old models, or who follow others slavishly — these are all blind people too.

臭脚

一修足者。脫足。臭甚。遽以手搧之。問何不修。曰。姑俟其冷。

Smelly feet

A pedicurist took off a customer’s shoes, but the feet stank so horribly that he fanned them frantically with his hands. When the customer asked why he wasn’t starting with the pedicure, he replied: “I’m waiting till the feet cool down.”

一人方欵客。忽聞臭甚。呼童子問之。童子附耳曰。是娘子脫脚。其人低聲沉吟曰。即脫脚。臭未必至此童子復附耳曰。兩脚俱脫耳。

Smelly feet (2)

A man was about to receive guests, when he smelled a horrible stench. He called his servant boy and asked him what it was. The servant boy whispered into his ear: “Madam has taking off her shoes.” The man lowered his voice and said to him: “Even if she is taking off her shoes, that need not be the source of the smell.” The servant boy once again whispered to him: “She’s taken off both her shoes.”

大脚

有大脚婦乘轎。置脚于外。轎夫恥之。懇其縮進。婦曰。若是縮得進。何消你說。

Big feet

A big-footed woman was riding a sedan-chair, but her feet were dangling on the outside. The chair-bearer was embarrassed by this, and asked her if she could draw her feet inside. She replied: “If I could have, I would have done so already.”

巨卵

有病[死]而冥王罰為驢者。其人辨得值。許復故形還䰟。因行急。猶存驢卵未變。既醒。欲再往懇復全體。妻勸止之曰。鬍閻王不是好講話的。苦正着罷。

Big genitals (2)

Someone died and went to see the Lord of Hell. He sentenced him to be reborn as a donkey. The man disputed this at length, and was finally allowed to return to the mortal world in his original form. But a mistake caused him to be returned to human form except for his genitals, which remained those of a donkey. When he awoke, he wanted to go back to Hell and ask for his body to be completely restored, but his wife advised him: “The Lord of Hell is not fond of debate. Let’s just leave it as it is.”

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