Keepapitchinin, the Mormon History blog » Funny Bones, 1940

Funny Bones, 1940

By: Ardis E. Parshall - August 08, 2008

And yet another installment in the ne’er-ending panoply of Saintly humor — this time from the Improvement Era of 1940:

Father: “Well, son, what did you learn in school today?”

Son (proudly): “I learned to say ‘Yes, Sir’ and ‘No, Sir’ and ‘Yes, Ma’am’ and ‘No, Ma’am’.”

Father: “You did, eh?”

Son: “Yeah.”

Radio in Scotland

“Why are you smiling, Angus – is it no the kirk service ye are listening in to?”

“It is that, Maggie, and I can hear them taking the collection.”

Safety First

A woman motorist was driving along a country road when she noticed a couple of repair men climbing telephone poles. “Fools,” she exclaimed to her companion. “They must think I never drove a car before in my life.”

Knew His Business

Willis: “That phrenologist is wonderful. As soon as he put his hands on my head he told me my business was very dull.”

Gillis: “He probably felt the depression.”

A Paradox

Teacher: “Tommy, can you give me an example of a paradox?”

Tommy: “Yes, sir. A man walking a mile and only moving two feet.”

The Wrong Number

Mr. Black: “I never knew Green had twins!”

Mrs. Black: “My dear, he married a telephone girl, and of course she gave him the wrong number.”


Visitor: “And this, I suppose, is one of those hideous caricatures you call modern art.”

Artist: “No, that’s just a mirror.”


“Well, what do you think of the candidates?”

“Well, the more I think of them, the better pleased I am to think only one of them can be elected.”


Jim: “Granny, do your specs magnify?”

Granny: “Oh, yes, they magnify a little.”

Jim: “Ah, well, would you mind taking them off when you cut my next piece of cake?”


Telephone operator: “It costs seventy-five cents to talk to Springville.”

Contractor: “Can’t you make a special rate for just listening? I want to call my wife.”


Young man: “Oh, doctor, I feel awful. Can’t eat, can’t sleep, can’t concentrate on my golf, and work’s a nightmare. What do you prescribe?”

Doctor: “Propose to the girl and get it over.”

Spicy Troops

Little boy (reading item from China): “What does it mean here by ‘seasoned’ troops, father?”

Parent: “Mustered by the officers and peppered by the enemy.”


Bill: “And has she made Jim a good wife?”

Joe: “I don’t know about that but she certainly has made him a good husband.”


Officer: “Hey, you! Didn’t you see that stop light?”

Culprit: “Yes, officer, but I must confess I didn’t see you.”


Two old settlers, confirmed bachelors, sat in the backwoods: “I got one of them cookery books once, but I could do nothing with it.”

“Too much fancy work in it, eh?”

“You said it! Every one o’ them recipes began the same way: ‘Take a clean dish …’ and that settled me.”


Mr. Brown: “You’re a very honest boy, but it was a ten-dollar bill I dropped – not ten ones.”

Johnnie: “I know, Mister, but the last time I found a ten-dollar bill, the man didn’t have any change.”


“Well,” mused the taxi driver who had been handed his exact fare. “I have known some people to give a bit over.”

“Aye,” replied the Aberdonian, “thot was precisely ma reason for asking ye tae stop under a lomp.”


Bridegroom: “And now that we are married, dear, let us have a clear understanding about our affairs. Do you wish to be president or vice-president?”

Bride (sweetly): “Neither. You be both. I’ll just be the treasurer.”


Visitor: “What nice buttons you are sewing on your little boy’s suit! My husband once had some like that on his suit.”

Pastor’s Wife: “Yes. I get all my buttons from the collection plate.”


Newspaper item: “Miss Hanna Smith, a Batesville belle of twenty summers, is visiting her twin brother, age 32.”


Old Jock McTavish told a friend he was running for an undertaker as his wife was seriously ill.

“But,” remonstrated the friend, “it’s not an undertaker you want; it’s a doctor.”

“No, no,” was the reply, “I canna afford to deal wi’ middlemen.”

The Modern Caesar

When the average man argues with a woman, the final result usually is: “He came, he saw, he concurred.”




  1. these are frequently misogynist and rarely funny. I love it.

    I lol’d (as they say in the vernacular) about “The Modern Caesar”

    Comment by TrevorwM — August 8, 2008 @ 8:44 am

  2. As an American of Scottish descent, I protest the characterization of Scots as skinflints. Blatant racism.

    (I trace my matrilineal line straight back to Lanark and I prefer to call this quality “thrift”) 😉

    Comment by Researcher — August 8, 2008 @ 8:57 am

  3. And after the Bernhisel discussions on the topic I can’t help saying (never can resist a pun)…

    Once more, phrenology rears its head…

    Comment by Researcher — August 8, 2008 @ 9:00 am

  4. “phrenology rears its head”

    Without knowing anything of your “thrifty” ancestry, Researcher, I *did* think of you with the phrenological reference! (Most people today — other than the historically minded — wouldn’t recognize the word. I wonder how far forward in time phrenology was part of popular culture? I would have thought it had faded by 1940, but evidently not or the joke would be meaningless.)

    Trevor, I’ll have to keep an eye out for the unfunniest, most misogynist jokes in future issues, just for you.

    Comment by Ardis Parshall — August 8, 2008 @ 10:45 am

  5. I love these, Ardis. I read them to my wife and oldest daughter (16), and they loved them, also.

    From that daughter:

    A wise man once said, “I don’t know. Ask a woman.”

    What happened to the man-eating tiger that got loose at BYU? It starved to death.

    Comment by Ray — August 8, 2008 @ 4:25 pm

  6. We should give her her only post, Ray! (Only then I suppose somebody would want one to tell BYU Co-ed jokes …)

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — August 8, 2008 @ 4:42 pm

  7. These are so funny! I love them! You can really tell how society has changed by looking at what people used to find mild and inoffensive, can’t you? Things do change!

    Comment by Tatiana — August 8, 2008 @ 5:45 pm

  8. I don’t think the characterization of Scots as skinflints is blatant racism. I think it’s been pretty much established as proven. In fact my phrenologist told me as much during my last visit.

    Comment by JPaul — August 8, 2008 @ 6:45 pm

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