Keepapitchinin, the Mormon History blog » Funny Bones, 1907

Funny Bones, 1907

By: Ardis E. Parshall - October 18, 2008

From the Juvenile Instructor — the original, not the blog, although those boys at JI can be pretty funny —

At His Trade.

Judge – What is your trade?

Prisoner (who was caught in a gambling-house raid) – I’m a locksmith.

Judge – What were you doing in there when the police entered?

Prisoner – I was making a bolt for the door.

A Wise Mother

During a certain battle the colonel of an Irish regiment noticed that one of the men was extremely devoted to him, and followed him everywhere. At length he remarked, “Well, my man, you have stuck by me well today.”

“Yes, sorr,” replied Pat. “Shure it was me mother said to me, says she, ‘Just you stick to the colonel, Patrick, me bhoy, and you’ll be all roight. Them colonels never gets hurted.’”

The Woman in Business

She handed in a check payable to Susan H. Smith. The cashier, who was a German, noticed that she had endorsed it Susan Smith, and gave it back with a polite “You haf forgotten the ‘H.’” Overcome with confusion, she murmered, “Excuse me,” and wrote below the endorsement, “Age 23.”

A Direct Question

“I say, Sububs, how long is it between the train we’re going to miss and the one we’ll have to wait for?”

All the Same to Him.

One of a party of men left his corner seat in an already crowded railway car, to go in search of something to eat, leaving a rug to reserve his place. On returning he found that, in spite of the rug and the protests of his fellow passengers the seat had been usurped by a woman clad in handsome clothes. With flashing eyes she turned upon him:

“Do you know, sir, that I am one of the directors’ wives?”

“Madam,” he replied, “were you the director’s only wife I should still protest.”

An Indian Print.

There’s a careless young girl of Calcutta,
Who plays with a goat in the gutta;
Though extremely low-caste,
She’ll be much lower cast,
If that goat should be ill-bred and butta.

Whipping Does No Good.

“I’ve come to think whippings do children no good,” said Mrs. Wiggins. “Why I whipped Jackie three times at the photographer’s, to try to get him to look pleasant, and he still looked as cross and disagreeable as ever.”

Follow the Leader – a Christmas Idyl

Stupidity Rebuked

Thomas – “They don’t ’ave rain in ’eaven, does they?”

Thomasina – “Course they does, silly! That’s where it’s accomin’ from, ain’t it?”


Although Johnnie’s and Willie’s mothers are warm friends, those boys are always fighting each other.

After a recent battle the victorious Johnnie was urged by his mother to go and make friends with his fallen foe. She even offered to give him a party if he would go over and invite Willie to come to that festivity.

After much urging, Johnnie promised to do as his mother wished. so the party came off at the appointed time and was violently enjoyed by all present. But Willie did not come.

“Now Johnnie, you did invite him?” asked Johnnie’s mother.

“Yes, I did. Yes, ma’am, I invited him!” answered Johnnie. “I invited him,” he added reflectively, “and I dared him to come.”

A Quarrelsome Family

Mrs. Eggerton Blunt. – “But why did you leave your last place?”

Applicant – ‘I couldn’t stand the way the mistress and master used to quarrel, mum.”

Mrs. E.B., shocked. – “Dear me! did they quarrel very much, then?”

Applicant. – “Yes, mum; when it wasn’t me an’ ’im it was me an’ ’er.”

The Extreme Penalty

She: “What do you think of his execution?”

He: “I am in favor of it.”



  1. That limerick about the young woman from Calcutta is probably the best and cleverest limerick I have ever heard.

    I’ve spent a lot of time among German speaking people, I can hear in my mind’s ear how ‘H’ would sound exactly like age.

    And the one about a woman whipping her children demonstrates how times have changed. It is shocking for us to even hear about a mother whipping her kids, more shocking than casual profanity. For our great grandparents, it didn’t raise an eyebrow.

    Comment by Mark Brown — October 18, 2008 @ 11:26 am

  2. The Christmas Idyll was hilarious.

    Comment by Coffinberry — October 18, 2008 @ 1:09 pm

  3. These jokes were published when my great-grandparents would have been in their 30s or 40s, with houses full of young children. I try to reconcile the somber formal portraits I have of those couples with the guffaws that must have resulted — they couldn’t have been that much different from me, so they must have guffawed — but it’s hard. I’m working on it.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — October 18, 2008 @ 3:56 pm

  4. These are hilarious. The joke about the business woman… isn’t it also supposed to be funny because as a female she doesn’t really know how to endorse a check? I’m amazed at how pervasive the sexist humor was in the past. That really does show that we’re making progress, even if it seems agonizingly slow sometimes. =)

    Comment by Tatiana — October 18, 2008 @ 8:24 pm

  5. The execution joke reminds me of something I heard Mohandas Gandhi once said when asked what he thought of Western Civilization, “I think it would be a good idea.”

    Comment by Tatiana — October 18, 2008 @ 8:26 pm

  6. #2 – Ditto.

    These might be my favorite so far.

    Comment by Ray — October 18, 2008 @ 9:23 pm

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