First-year students at the Purdue School of Veterinary Medicine were attending their first anatomy class with a real dead cow. They all gathered around the surgery table with the bovine body covered with a white sheet.
The professor started the class by telling them, “In Veterinary medicine it is necessary to have two important qualities as a doctor. The first is that you not be disgusted by anything involving an animal’s body.” For an example, the professor pulled back the sheet, stuck his finger in the butt of the cow, withdrew it, and stuck his finger in his mouth. “Go ahead and do the same thing,” he told his students.
The students freaked out, hesitated for several minutes, but eventually took turns sticking a finger in the butt of the dead cow and, sucked on it …. followed by assorted gagging, retching and spitting, etc.
When everyone had finished wiping their faces, the Professor looked at them and said, “The second most important quality is observation. I stuck in my middle finger and sucked on my index finger. Now learn to pay attention. Life is tough but it’s even tougher if you’re stupid.”
[Editor’s note: while not directly a writing joke, observation is also important to a writer.]