|Merci, Sam, Marcus|
Sam: Has anyone heard the one about ... uh, no, that's not it. I'm just supposed to ask a direct question.
Merci: Okay. So what do you want to ask?
Sam: How do you keep a dog from barking in the front yard?
Marcus: Oh, I know the answer. That's easy. You give him a treat.
Merci: No, you don't reward him for barking in a stranger's yard. You command him to be quiet!
Marcus: Jan tries that all the time with us and it doesn't work.
Merci: Yes, but I assumed the dog Sam asked about isn't one of us. Sam?
Sam: Well, no, it's not one of us.
Merci: See, I told you it isn't one of us. Sam is obviously asking about how to stop a well-trained dog from barking in the front yard.
Marcus: Yes, but why would a well-trained dog be barking in our front yard, Sam?
Sam: How would I know? Perhaps he's delivering a package and needs someone to sign for it.
Marcus: A little testy, aren't we, Sam?
Sam: Of course I'm a little testy. I'm trying to tell a joke and you two have desiccated it.
Marcus: Oh, I'm sorry. How do you stop a dog from barking in the front yard?
Sam: You put him in the back yard.
Marcus: What's so funny about that? Now you have a well-trained, strange dog barking in the back yard.
Sam: Yes, but he's not barking in the front yard any more.
Marcus: Jan is going to get awfully upset with you for putting a strange dog in the back yard without her permission.
Sam: The only strange dog in our back yard is you, Marcus!