A shaggy dog story my dad used to tell:
Back in the times of the round table, there were two knights that surpassed all others at jousting, Murray of Scotland and Twall of Devonshire. Both had racked up amazing numbers at jousting competitions, and both held undefeated records. It was inevitable, then, that they should eventually meet on the field to determine who was the better jouster, and finally the day was set.
People went to the bookies to place their bets. Every possible advantage was discussed in taverns and on the streets. Lance length, horse, technique, anything that could give one knight an edge over the other. There was no clear favorite.
Among the many people placing bets was one of Merlin's servants. The man was torn between these two great fighters and went to his master for advice. Merlin raised and eyebrow at the request for insider information, smiled, and confessed to doing some research himself on the matter. It seems that Merlin was a betting man.
"My friend," he said, "I have walked invisible in their rooms and inspected everything. I am afraid that Murray has made a mistake in choosing his lance for this event. He chose a smaller diameter grip, and it will rattle in his gauntlet making the tip vibrate and inaccurate. Besides," he continued, "Twall is the better fighter. I have studied his jousts and believe him to have the advantage."
The servant thanked his master and hurried off to place his bet. Just before handing over his hard earned coin, the servant had misgivings. Better to check one more time with the powerful Merlin and be sure than to lose his spending change. He hurried back and rushed up the spiral stone stairs to Merlin's tower.
As he got to the top, he saw Merlin taking off in flight and he heard him exclaim as he rode out of sight, "Murray's grip is too small and Twall a good knight."