Tuesday, February 12, 2013

James Carlsington

James Carlsington knew only one life in his early days, and that was the life of a train conductor. Day after day he welcomed passengers into their carriages on the steam train. He took care of the trains he worked on, and he took care of the passengers and crew, too.

But one day, life had worn him thin. James snapped, and threw a passenger out of the moving train. The passenger died, and James was taken to court. Now this was back in the day when convicted criminals still faced the electric chair, and James was found guilty of murder.

The judge ruled that electricity would pass through James Carlsington's body for one minute. It was expected that by the end of this minute James would be dead, however if he survived, his punishment was still complete, and he could walk away as a free man.

On the day of his execution, James was offered his final meal.

"I would like one green banana, please," James requested.

"Are you sure?" asked the warden. "This is your last meal on earth. Are you sure you don't want anything more?"

"No, I'm sure. One green banana."

So James ate his green banana, and was sent to the electric chair. Electricity passed through his body for one whole minute. To everyone's amazement, when the minute was up, James stood up, unphased, and walked out of the room.

James, realising that he couldn't trust himself in a job that involved constantly working with people, set out for a life in recluse, working as an artist and hiring an agent to sell his works for him. For a little while he had success, but in time his arts business dried up. Knowing no other profitable skills, he returned to work as a train conductor.

James worked well for three year, but as time went on, the inevitable drew closer and closer. One day, he was dealing with a particularly rowdy carriage of passengers. Geriatric old ladies, spoiled children, and everything in between. Enough was enough. James was about to snap, but he calmed himself. Perhaps it would have been better for everyone on-board if he had snapped, because what happened next for surpassed any temper tantrum he could have thrown.

Unwilling to put up with the stresses of this carriage, he made his way into the next carriage...and unhooked the connection between the two. The train kept on moving, taking him with it, and leaving his carriage behind to be carried only by inertia. As the train crossed an intersection in the railway, the lines changed, and the carriage steered off. Another train was coming in the opposite direction, and the driver couldn't stop in time.

Twenty-three people died.

James Carlsington was taken into custody by the police, and arrested on twenty-three counts of manslaughter. Once again he is found guilty, and sentenced to the electric chair. The judge, aware of Carlsington's history with penalisation, added an extra minute onto the sentence, giving him two minutes in the chair.

On the day of his execution, James was offered his final meal.

"I would like three green bananas, please," James requested.

"Three green bananas?"


"No pork? No pie? No pastry?"

"No, just three green bananas. Please."

So James ate his three green bananas, and was sat in the chair. The lever was pulled, and for two minutes electricity passed through his body. When the two minutes were over, James stood up, smiled, and left. The audience were stunned.

No one heard of James Carlsington again for five years. He found himself work on a farm -- a banana farm, in fact. For the first time in his life, he truly loved what he did for a living.

One day, James had to go into town for supplies. So he caught the train and rode in. It was a pleasant trip, until the conductor on his carriage recognised him.

"It's you..." the conductor said. "James Carlsington! He's here to kill us all!!!"

James stood up to defend his honour, and insisted that he didn't want to hurt anyone. But the conductor wouldn't have a bar of it. Things got physical. Very physical. And soon there was only one man standing: James.

James was reprimanded and convicted of second-degree murder. He had fought so many battles in court, he just wanted to get it over with, so he confessed to the crime and accepted his punishment. This time, the judge was merciless. The judge did not sentence to one minute in the electric chair, or two minutes. The judge declared: "Electricity shall pass through your body until you are dead."

On the day of his execution, James was offered his final meal.

"I would like seven green bananas, please," James requested.

There was no argument, no debate. Everyone in prison knew his history. They knew that nothing could talk him out of eating his green bananas. So James got his green bananas, and was taken to the electric chair. He sat down in the chair, and let the wardens strap him in. The lever was pulled.

One minute passed.

Two minutes passed.

Three minutes....




And finally, the electric chair short-circuited, no longer able to function.

The wardens and the audience watched in horror and amazement as James, completely unharmed, asked: "Are we done here?"

The wardens released him, and he walked out of prison.

Ten years passed, and one day a journalist spotted James sitting at a cafe. The journalist couldn't believe his eyes, but he had to go up and see for himself.

"Do you....mind if I sit here?" the journalist asked.

James shrugged, and returned to reading his news paper.

The journalist sat down beside him and asked: "Excuse me for intruding, but are you...it's you, isn't it? You're James Carlsington. Right?"

James looked him in the eyes. The last time someone made a fuss about who he was, it had landed him in the electric chair. He didn't want the hassle.

"I'm sorry," the journalist said, "I don't mean to be rude. I'm just a really big fan of your story."

"Oh. Really?" James asked, surprised.

"Oh yes, definitely. I've been following your story since I was a boy. James Carlsington the Invincible, I always say. But, what I really want to know is...what's the secret? What is it about green bananas that allows you to survive death?"

James was taken aback.

"Oh, did you think...? No, no, don't be silly. There's no secret about green bananas, I just love the taste. Everyone knows I'm a bad conductor."


  1. That was truly dreadful, even on my standards, and my jokes are bad.
    You have seen the nature of my humour and topics I will joke about to back this up.
    Will you be partaking of the culinary delights of shrove Tuesday, and starvation of lent? I'll do one of them.

    1. I have to practice my attrocious humour to pick up the ladiez. Why? Because everyone knows that it's a dad's job to tell the lamest jokes on the planet. By telling this joke, I cement myself in all women's minds as being clearly the best possible candidate for the father of her soon-to-be-conceived children. Well, that's the way I like to imagine things go down, anyway. The trick isn't just the lame pun itself, but the massive lead up to it.

      I've actually spent my entire life oblivious to what Shrove Tuesday is. *wikipedia's it*


      It turns out Shrove Tuesday was yesterday here. I was unaware. I could make myself some pancakes now, but it just wouldn't be the same. I've never done lent and don't intend on starting any time soon.

    2. Shrove tuesday good! Lots of food that is as far from balanced as it is possible to get, and an excuse to go with it.
      My system was low count. Basically being told I have around 1 in a million chance of conceiving a child. How does this help you may not be asking. Try telling a woman how often you will have to practice to produce a child and see if they become interested.
      My sense of humour is of the drier more cruel persuasion, usually with a victim, often that being me.

  2. You...actually put this on a blog? ...seriously?

    Also, 'James the Invisible'?

    1. Good catch. *edit*

      The last time I told this joke, it was to young children, who unfortunately had not yet learned about conduction, so when I got to the punch line, they just looked confused. Not quite as good as the previous time I told it, which was to adults. There was a casualty, that's how brilliantly awful this joke is. I love it, and had to share that love with the world.


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