“How to Tell the Difference Between Mules, Burros, Asses, Donkeys, and TV Executives,” by Jay Morris

May 25th, 2011 | By | Category: Fake Nonfiction, Prose

All of these creatures are related to the wild ass, a wacky, horse-like animal known for its sly wit, aggressive behavior during mating season, and an inability to effectively manipulate small power tools such as drills, electric hole punchers, and can openers. The wild ass is now virtually extinct, with small pockets of survivors inhabiting semi-desert regions of Northern Tibet. It is estimated that two or three individuals may also exist by attending liberal arts colleges in the Eastern United States, prolonging their stay by changing majors frequently.           

The donkey is a domesticated ass. They are especially good at vacuuming. One donkey won the Betty Crocker Prize for doing new things with meatloaf. Here’s the recipe: Put eight ounces ground chuck in a large bowl.  Carefully fold in three pounds finely chopped hay. Mold mixture into loaf shape, put in feedbag, and enjoy.           

The burro is a small donkey with an insultingly stereotypical Spanish accent. Most are employed in the cartoon industry, serving as sidekicks to white horses who walk upright and fancy themselves sheriff.           

The mule is a hybrid, the result of cross-breeding a male ass with a female horse. Without exception, such breeding is not the horse’s idea. The male ass never calls her again unless he wants something. She’ll see him at the water trough with his friends and he’ll canter by as if nothing ever happened.            

And what, you may ask, happens when a stallion (male horse) is put together with a female ass? It doesn’t happen often, because she has generally heard such bad things about stallions: they think they’re God’s gift, they all have a mare they’ll never leave no matter what they say, they have hoof-and-mouth disease, etc. Occasionally a female ass will have too many Coors Lights in some equine tavern, and the next thing you know, she’s mother to a hinny, which is identical to a mule except that it can add fractions in its head. The hinny is named for John Hinny, an obsessive animal cross-breeder whose career ended in disgrace, although the charges of contributing to the delinquency of an iguana were eventually dropped.           

Television executives are of unknown origin.    


Jay Morris is a graduate of LaSalle University, where he was awarded a scholarship for creative writing. He has published dozens of stories in various literary magazines, including Philadelphia Stories and Zahir. He has also written one play, Rude Baby, which was recently produced, and worked for a time as a joke writer for Jay Leno. His new humor book, Uncle Jay’s Unreliable Almanac, is available at Amazon.


Tags: ,

Comments are closed.