The venerable pastor about to retire

The venerable pastor of a large church was nearing retirement time, and at the request of the congregation, was interviewing applicants to be his replacement. At the end of each interview, the old pastor would lean forward, and in a low, confidential tone, ask, Before I decide on you, may I ask if you partake of alcoholic beverages?

One bright-eyed, young seminary graduate leaned forward toward the pastor and whispered to him, Before I reply, may I ask if this is an inquiry or an invitation?

Credit: Rev. Cleve Wilkie, The Times-Leader, Grifton, N.C., 7/27/94

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