A preacher for a small rural church went to his church office one morning and discovered, of all things, a dead mule* in the church yard. It must have strayed from one of the adjacent pastures. So, the preacher phoned the police.
A policeman arrived and quickly examined the carcass and said: “Since there doesn’t appear to be any foul play involved, you’ll need to contact the Health Department, preacher.”
The preacher returned to his office and called the Health Department. However, when the preacher told them the donkey had apparently died not long ago, seeing as how the body was still warm, the Health Department told him: “Since there is no immediate health threat, you’ll need to call the Sanitation Department.”
When the preacher called the Sanitation Department, the Sanitation Department’s manager said, “We can’t pick up that dead mule without authorization from the mayor. You’ll have to talk to the mayor first.”
Now the preacher wasn’t eager to call the mayor for the mayor was well known as the possessor of a very bad temper and was always extremely difficult to deal with. However, the preacher had to get rid of the dead mule so he placed the dreaded call to the mayor.
The mayor did not disappoint the preacher’s expectations for he immediately launched into a rant and angry tirade. After this went on for awhile, the mayor finally took a breath and sarcastically asked, “Why did you call me any way? Isn’t it your job to bury the dead?”
The preacher paused a moment for a quick prayer for wisdom of thought and speech and then replied: “Yes, Mayor, it is my job to bury the dead, but I always notify the next of kin first!”
* No animals were harmed in the reciting of this joke.