Every year, Stumpy and his wife, Martha, would make the trek down from their mountain home to visit the State Fair. Every year, they walked past a 1936-model biplane, and Stumpy would say, “Mahtha, I’d like to ride in that airplane.”
And every year, Martha would reply, “I know, Stumpy, but that airplane ride costs ten dollahs, and ten dollahs is ten dollahs.”
This went on for most of their marriage, until one year when Stumpy and Martha went to the fair and Stumpy said, “Mahtha, I’m 71 years old. If I don’t ride in that airplane this year I may nevah get anothah chance.”
Martha replied, “Stumpy, we’ve talked about this. That airplane ride costs ten dollahs, and ten dollahs is ten dollahs.”
The pilot overheard them and decided to have a little fun. “Folks, I’ll make you a deal,” he said. “I’ll take you both up for a ride. If you can stay quiet for the entire time and not say one word, I won’t charge you. But if you say one word it’s ten dollars.”
Stumpy and Martha agreed; they climbed in the back seat, and up they went. The pilot put the old biplane through its paces, doing all kinds of twists and turns, rolls and dives… but not a word was heard from the back seat. The pilot was surprised at the resolve of the old-timers, so he did the tricks all over again. Still, he didn’t hear a peep.
The pilot finally landed and after taxiing down the runway turned to Stumpy. “By golly,” he said, “I did everything I could think of to get you to yell out, but you didn’t.”
“Well, I have to admit,” said Stumpy, “I was fixin’ to say something when Mahtha fell out, but ten dollahs is ten dollahs.”