Has anyone ever told you a long, complicated (复杂的) story which sounds like a joke, but ends in a complete anti-climax (反高潮)? Maybe the person is just a bad storyteller, but often it is done on purpose. If so, you’ve just heard a shaggy (皮毛乱蓬蓬的) dog story. Such tales may have existed for a hundred years, but why are they called “shaggy dog” stories? Let’s come back to that later. First, here’s an example (notice that in English, when we tell long jokes that are like a story, we often use the present tense): The leprechaun (魔法精灵), the banana and the piece of string (绳子).