My aunt Kathrin has been, throughout her life, a great a collector (and teller!) of funny stories, also exchanging letters full of word jokes (across multiple languages) with friends and family. We recently visited my aunt, and she gave me an envelope full of these gems.
My absolute favourite is the following story, which, as far as I know, is otherwise not to be found on the web. I’ve typed it in, so that many more may enjoy!
This is an old story, and may require a brief explanatory note for some of the younger people among us, and those not familiar with the term WC. In British English, this refers to a “Water Closet” or flush toilet. These facilities were, back then, not inside the house, but somewhere outside – such as in a small building attached to the house or in the back garden.
The “Wald Chappell”
An English lady wanted to stay in a small German village in the mountains, and knowing no German asked the village schoolmaster (who knew a little English) to help her. On her return home, she remembered she had not enquired if there was a WC attached to the house. She therefore wrote to the schoolmaster for full particulars as to the WC, but as he had never heard of the abbreviation, he did not understand and consulted the pastor who also knew a little English. The pastor came to the conclusion that the lady was a devout churchgoer and wished to know where the Wald Chappell (Church in the Wood) was situated, and he wrote the following letter:
The WC is situated about seven miles from your lodgings in the centre of the pine forest, amidst lovely surroundings, and is open on Tuesdays and Fridays. This is unfortunate for you if you are in the habit of going regularly, but you will not doubt be glad to hear that a number of people take their lunch and make a day of it. As there are a great many visitors in the summer, I advise you to go early. The accommodation is good and there are about 80 seats, but should you at any time be late, there is plenty of standing room. The bell will be rung ten minutes before the WC is opened. I would especially advise your ladyship to pay a visit on Tuesdays, as on that day there is an organ accompaniment. The acoustics on the premises are excellent, the most delicate sounds being audible.
I shall be delighted to reserve the best seat for your ladyship and have the honour to be etc, etc.
P.S. My wife and I have not been able to go for eight months and it pains me very much, but it is such a long way off.