A New Orleans lawyer sought an FHA (Federal Housing Administration) 
loan for a client.  He was told that the loan would be granted if he
could prove satisfactory title to a parcel of property being offered as
The title to the property dated back to 1803, which  took the lawyer three 
months to track down. 
After sending the information to FHA, he received the following reply:
"Upon review of your letter adjoining your client's loan application, we
note that the request is supported by an Abstract of Title.
While we compliment the able manner in which you prepared and presented
the application, we must point out that you have only cleared the Title to
the proposed collateral property back to the year 1803.  Before final
approval can be accorded, it will be necessary to clear the title back to 
it's origin."
Annoyed, the lawyer responded as follows:
 "Your letter regarding Titles in Case No. 189156 has been received. I
note that you wish to have Titles extended further than the 194 years 
covered by the present application. I was unaware that any educated 
person in this country, particularly those working in the property arena,
would not know that Louisiana was purchased by the U.S. from France in 
1803, the year of origin identified in our application.  
For the edification of uninformed FHA bureaucrats, the title to the land
prior to U.S. ownership was obtained from France, which had acquired it by
Right of Conquest from Spain.  The land came into possession of Spain by 
Right of Discovery made in the year 1492 by a sea captain named Christopher
Columbus, who had been granted the privilege of seeking a new route to India 
by the then reigning monarch, Isabella.  The good queen, being a pious woman 
and careful about titles, almost as much as the FHA, took the precaution of
securing the blessing of the Pope before she sold her jewels to fund Columbus'
expedition.  Now the Pope, as I'm sure you know, is the emissary of Jesus
Christ, the Son of God.  And God, it is commonly accepted, created this world.
 Therefore, I believe it is safe to presume that He also made that part of the
world called Louisiana.  I hope to hell you are satisfied.  Now, may we have
our damn Title?"


An actual transcript from the Alameda County Court..

Attorney: So after they brought in the body to you and before you signed the
death certificate did you check for a pulse?

Coroner: No.

Attorney: Did you check for any sign of a heart beat?

Coroner: No.

Attorney: Did you check for any sign of breathing?

Coroner: No.

Attorney: So then, am I correct in saying that you were not completely sure
that the person was dead before you signed the death certificate?

Coroner: Well, let me put it to you this way. The person's brain was in a
jar on my desk, but then again, I suppose he could have been out there
practicing law somewhere.