A painter, whitewashing the inner walls of a country outhouse, had the misfortune to fall through the opening and land in the muck at the bottom. He shouted, “Fire! Fire! Fire!” at the top of his lungs.
The local fire department responded with alacrity, sirens roaring as they approached the privy.
“Where’s the fire?” called the chief.
“No fire,” replied the painter as they pulled him out of the hole. “But if I had yelled, ‘Shit! Shit! Shit!’ who would have rescued me?”