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Q: You are lost in the desert. You come upon a good Violist, a bad Violist, and a large white rabbit. Of which of the three do you ask directions?
A: The bad Violist. The other two are mirages.


Q: How do you stop a bus load of Violists from going over a cliff?
A: You don't.


Q: How do you teach a Violist down-bow staccato?
A: Write a whole note, put a down-bow mark over it, and then label it "solo".


Q: What's the definition of a quarter-tone?
A: Two Violists playing the same note.


Q: What is fifty Violists at the bottom of the ocean?
A: A good start.


Q: What is the difference between a Viola and a coffin?
A: The coffin has a dead person on the inside.


Q: Why is a bass better than a Viola?
A: The bass burns longer.


Q: Why does a Viola burn longer than a cello?
A: The Viola is always in its case.


Q: What's the difference between a Viola and a trampoline?
A: You take off your shoes to jump on a trampoline.


Q: Why do violinists switch to Viola?
A: So they can park in "handicapped" zones.


Q: A Violist and a conductor are in the street. You are driving and cannot avoid them both. Which do you hit?
A: The Violist. Business before pleasure.


Q: Define a true gentleman.
A: One who can play the Viola, and won't.


Q: Why are a Violist's fingers like lightning?
A: They rarely strike the same spot twice.


At a Viola Congress, the rumor went around that one of the participants could play 32nd notes. Many Violists clustered around their colleague and asked him if it was true. He assured everyone that it was, so they asked him to prove it and play one.


Q: Why isn't a Viola like a lawn mower?
A: Nobody minds if you borrow their Viola.


Q: How is a Viola different from a lawn mower?
A: You can tune a lawn mower.


Q: Why are Viola jokes so short?
A: So violinists can remember them.


Q: Why are violins smaller than Violas?
A: They're actually the same size -- it's the violinists' heads which are larger.


Q: What is the best recording of the Bartok Viola Concerto?
A: Music Minus One.


The personnel manager broke up an intermission disturbance on stage between the principal oboe and the principal Viola. When asked what the problem was, the oboist said the Violist had knocked his reeds all over the floor. "He had it coming," blustered the Violist. "He turned down one of my pegs, and now he won't tell me which one!"


Q: How is a Viola solo like wetting your pants?
A: Both publicly humiliating, neither fortunately make much noise, but briefly do give one a nice warm feeling.


A Violist went backstage after a piano recital to congratulate the soloist. "I especially liked that piece that began with the trill," he commented. The pianist was confused: "Trill? Which piece was that?" "The one that went [sing Für Elise]."


Q: How many positions does a Violist use?
A: Three: 1st, 3rd, and Emergency.


A man went into a pawn shop on Manhattan's East Side one day to browse, and noticed an unusual statue of a golden rat. When he asked the proprietor about the piece, he was told that if he was interested in the statue he could have it only on the condition that he, the customer, would never come back to the shop again. "I've had a lot of trouble with that piece, and I want to get rid of it," said the owner. The man agreed on the conditions of the sale, put down his money, and went out with the statue.

On his way up the street with the golden rat under his arm, the man became aware of a scuffling sound behind him. By and by he realized that rats were following him as he walked, and with every step he took, more rats were joining the scores already behind him. The man started to panic. There were so many rats after three blocks that traffic stopped in the streets. The man began to run, and headed towards the East River, millions of rats in his footsteps. At the end of the piers he stopped and threw the golden rat out into the water: past him rushed virtually every rat on Manhattan island, and every one jumped off the dock after the statue, and drowned.

The man was flabbergasted. He walked back to the pawnshop. The owner tried to lock the door of the shop when he saw the man arriving, but the man got in too quickly. "Look here," said the proprietor, "I told you I never wanted to see you again in this shop!" "Don't worry," said the man, "I just had the most fantastic experience of my life. It was terrific! I just came back to see whether you had a statue of a gold Violist."


Q: What is fifty Violists buried up to their necks in sand?
A: Not enough sand.


Q: If a Violist and a singer fall off a cliff at the same time, which will land first?
A: Who cares?


Q: How is a Viola different from an onion?
A: No one cries when you cut up a Viola.


Q: What's another difference between a Viola and a lawn mower?
A: The lawn mower vibrates.


Q: What's the difference between a Viola and a vacuum cleaner?
A: A vacuum cleaner has to be plugged in before it sucks.


A man went on a safari in Africa. The first night out in the wilderness he was disturbed by the sound of drums, which went on all night long. Since the man was still moderately jet-lagged from his trip, he slept a few hours in spite of the noise, but the next morning asked his guide if the drums always sounded all night. "Drums never stop," said the guide. "It is bad if drums stop."

The second night the man was kept up again by the drums. The next morning he complained to the guide, who only shook his head, explaining "Drums never stop. Bad things happen if drums stop."

The third night the drums were louder and closer and more insistent than ever. The man didn't sleep a wink. In the morning, exasperated, he woke the guide, and shouted at him. "The drums! When will they stop?!" The guide, merely shook his head calmly. "Drums never stop. Bad things happen if drums stop." "But what could happen? What could possibly be that bad?!" cried the man. "Bad things," replied his guide sadly. "Drums stop, Violas start."


Q: What is the requirement for a finalist in the International Viola Competition?
A: A finalist must be able to hold his Viola from memory.


After a long orchestral career, a Violist decided in his final few weeks of concerts to be adventurous and use fingerings in the third position. He practiced his excerpts carefully at home, and on the night of the concert, at the crucial point, shifted into third. His finger broke. After going to the hospital to get the bone set, the man collected disability forms from the symphony office, filled them out and sent them in. A few days later he heard from the insurance people that none of his claims could be met. "We're sorry," explained the adjuster, "but Violists are not insurable above first position."


Q: Why is it that Violists never practice?
A: The spirit is willing, but the Flesch is too hard.


Violinists have the Dont etudes; Violists have the Kant etudes.


Q: Why is a Violist like a Scud missile?
A: Both are inaccurate and highly offensive.


Q: What is the range of a Viola?
A: About 30 feet, if you kick it hard enough.


Q: How do you tell when a Violist is out of tune?
A: The bow is moving.


Q: How do you know when there's a Viola section at your front door?
A: They never know when to come in.


Q: Why aren't Violists like terrorists?
A: Terrorists have sympathizers.


Q: What is the difference between a Viola and a chainsaw?
A: A chainsaw blends with chamber ensembles.


Q: How is a Violist like a terrorist?
A: They both sabotage Boeings.


Q: What's the difference between a shame and a tragedy?
A: A shame is a busload of Violists going over a cliff. A tragedy is two empty seats on the bus.


Q: What is the ideal length for a Viola?
A: About 12 inches, from base to lid of the urn.


Q: Why does a Viola make such an excellent murder weapon?
A: Because it is the classic blunt instrument, and never has any fingerprints on it.


Did you hear about the Violist that was so bad that the other members of his section knew it?


Q: How is a Violist different from a dog?
A: The dog can stop scratching.


A Violist came upon a shepherd tending his extensive flock. "If I can guess how many sheep you have here, can I have one of them?" he asked. The shepherd, confident that the stranger couldn't come close to guessing, readily agreed.

"Great! OK. You have 895 sheep."

"That's amazing! You're right. Well, you get one of my sheep.

Now, if I can guess your profession, can I have my animal back?"

"Well, sure, that's fair, though I bet you'll never get it."

"You're a Violist."

"Well, that's correct! How did you know?"

"Put down my dog," said the shepherd, "and I'll tell you."


Driving home from a quartet gig one day, a Violist heard the scream of sirens from his neighborhood. As he got closer to his own street the noise increased. He could smell smoke, and the glare of emergency flashers was everywhere. Turning at the last corner, he was horrified to see that it was his own home, or at any rate, what was left of it, which was on fire. The police stopped him from going any further.

"What happened, what happened?!" the violist cried.

"I'm so sorry sir. The conductor of your orchestra came in here a couple hours ago, after you'd left home. He raped your wife and killed her, kidnapped your children and set fire to the house as he left. Sir? You should sit down sir, you don't look well, sir." The Violist, his mouth open, was past hearing the policeman.

"The Maestro," he murmured. "Just think, the Maestro came to my house!"


A Violist in the symphony was involved in a car accident and became paralysed from the neck down. Management moved him back a stand.


Q: How many Violists does it take to mix up a batch of chocolate chip cookies?
A: Three. One to stir the dough, two to peel the M&Ms.


Q: What can you deduce when you see a Violist drooling from both corners of his mouth at once?
A: You know that the stage is level.