The Severed Toe

Okay, so we go up to Rancho Santa Fe all the time during the summer, and it’s this little town with winding roads that stretch for miles. And the houses there are huge and spread out, so when you’re driving it’s rare to run into another car. So one day we’re driving down to the Del Mar Racetrack on one of these winding roads, and this ambulance SWERVES in front of us. So we hit the breaks— it’s like it didn’t even see us, or didn’t care. And we wait a few minutes before moving again, and there’s only one road down, so we’re stuck behind it, but we keep our distance because it’s driving out of control—making sharp turns, speeding well past the limit. And it rounds one particular turn and practically skids, and the back doors fly open and this little objects falls out of the back and onto the street. And it’s like the driver doesn’t even notice, because he just speeds away. And we stop. And he’s gone. And there’s this… this, like, thing, sitting in the middle of the street. And we’re sitting there watching it. And it starts to steam, like… smoke starts to rise off of it. So of course we’re like, “What the hell do we do? What the hell is that?” And my wife tells me to go check it out. And I’m like, “I’m not gonna go check that out!” But then she gives me this look, so I get out and slowly approach it. So I’m walking and walking, slowly inching towards this steaming object. And as I get closer I see it’s this little square, like white. A little box? And I get even closer and see its a block of dry ice. And that’s what’s steaming. And strapped to it is this SEVERED TOE. Yeah… a TOE. Just sitting there on the ice, all bloody. And I’m like, about to throw up. And I hear the car door open behind me and my wife approaches, and she gasps when she sees that, and asks if I see what she sees. An actual steaming, severed toe. So we just stand there staring at it for a while, saying nothing. And finally I pull out my phone, and my wife looks at me and asks what I’m doing. I say, “I’m calling the toe truck.

M’s friend told him this story at the racetrack one day. His friend said it with such a straight face, and made it so compelling, that it took M a few minutes to realize the punch line—and that the whole thing was a joke. He tells this story all the time, because it captivates his listeners, and almost always gets a laugh.

This is a very clever joke, especially if you can deadpan the whole thing. If you tell it like its the craziest thing that’s ever happened to you, the reveal that it was all a made-up joke is all the more jarring in the end.