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Funny Bones, 1908

By: Ardis E. Parshall - January 24, 2009

Ticklers from the church magazines of 1908:

The Supreme Test

He was no coward; nay, rather, men had even called him brave. At the peril of his life he had stopped runaway horses, had plunged into the sea to rescue a child from drowning, and had gallantly charged up San Juan Hill in the face of the Spanish bullets. But now his face paled and he trembled.

“I dare not,” he muttered. “But,” he added resolutely, “since she whom I vowed to love and cherish has asked it of me, I will not falter.”

So, with calm courage and a resolute mien he descended to the kitchen to discharge the cook.

Evolutionary Improvement.

A fond grandfather and father were admiring the new baby.

Fond Grandfather: I declare, that youngster is a great deal more intelligent than you were at his age.

Insulted Father: Naturally; he has a great deal brighter father.

Infantile Punishment

Freddy: “Hey, does your mother ever whip you?”

Jimmie: “Worse’n that. She washes my face.”

According to Size

Effie was giving a birthday party, and during the merry games the child’s mother asked her if she was happy.

“Oh, I’ve never been so happy in all my life,” replied Effie, joyfully. “I really couldn’t be any happier ’less I was bigger.”

Sold

She (in a friendly tone) – By the way, are you going to take supper anywhere tomorrow evening?

He (eagerly) – Why, no – not that I know of.

She (serenely) – My! won’t you be hungry the next morning!

Sour

A Solemn Moment

The mountainous waves threatened to engulf the struggling ship at any moment. The captain ordered a box of sky-rockets and flares brought to the rail, and with his own hands ignited them in the hope that they would make known his distress to some passing ship.

Amid the rockets’ red glare a tall, thin, austere individual made his way to the rail and reproved the captain as follows:

“Captain, I must protest against this unseemly bravado. We are now facing death. This is no time for a celebration.”

Asking Too Much

Doctor – Now, my boy, show me your tongue. That’s not enough. Put it right out.

Small Boy – I can’t – it’s fastened at the back!

A Different Thing

“Then Mr. Roxley didn’t really give according to his means?” said the minister’s wife.

“No,” replied the minister, “merely according to his meanness.”

A Cure for Swollen Fortunes

Two men were talking together at a table in the hotel coffee-room, and the question of Rockefeller’s wealth came up. One of them said, to show the enormous income of the man:

“Do you know, whenever that clock (pointing to a grandfather clock in the room) goes tick, Rockefeller makes a thousand pounds!”

“Is that so?”

“That’s a fact.”

“Then stop the clock.”

The Tender-Hearted Millionaire

President Manual Amador of Panama tells this little tale of a certain Cuban millionaire:

“An unfortunate man once obtained access to this millionaire, and he started to lay before him his woes. He depicted his wretched poverty in most vivid colors. Indeed, so graphic was the man’s sad story that the millionaire felt himself affected as he had never been before. With tears in his eyes he summoned his servant and in a quavering voice said:

“‘John, put this poor fellow out. He is breaking my heart.’”

Not Satisfied

There is a bright attache at the British Embassy in Washington who, shortly after his arrival in this country, was a guest at a dinner given by the wife of a well-known official at the national capital, a hostess whose hospitality is notoriously inadequate.

The repast was of the usual “sample” kind expected by any one who had ever been a guest at the house. It served merely as an appetizer to the hungry Briton, and when coffee was brought his ill-concealed dissatisfaction was most amusing to the other guests. The hostess, however, did not notice it, for she said to him amiably:

“Now, do tell me when we may have the pleasure of having you dine with us again?”

“Immediately, madam, immediately,” was the unexpected reply.

Corrected

Teacher – Jimmie, correct this sentence: “Our teacher am in sight.”

Jimmie – Our teacher am a sight.

The Seats Were Safe

“It would please me mightily, Miss Stout,” said Mr. Mugley, “to have you go to the theater with me this evening.”

“Have you secured the seats?” asked Miss Vera Stout.

“O! come now,” he protested; “you’re not so heavy as all that.”

Inevitable Pessimism

If “heaven lies about us in our infancy,” how can we expect the world to speak the truth about us when we’re grown up?

Innocent

Mother – You and Willy have been at my cherries again. I found the stones in the nursery.

Johnny – It wasn’t me, mother, ’cause I swallowed all the stones of mine.

Any Old Character Would Do

Doctor (to his cook, who is just leaving) – Well, Mina, I am sorry, but I can only give you a very indifferent character.

Mina – Well, sir, never mind. Write it just as you do your prescriptions.

Unemployment

Benevolent lady – But, my poor man, if you have been looking for work all these years, why is it that you have never found it?

Tramp (confidentially) – it’s luck, mum – just sheer good luck.



6 Comments »

  1. “Teacher – Jimmie, correct this sentence: “Our teacher am in sight.”

    Jimmie – Our teacher am a sight.”

    Ha! I just have to use that one sometime. Thanks for this.

    Comment by Hunter — January 24, 2009 @ 11:04 am

  2. My mother was born in 1908, so I tried to put these jokes in that context. My favorite one is “Corrected.” I loved the play on words in “The Seats Were Safe” with the lady’s name of Vera Stout, which made the joke twice as comical.

    Comment by Maurine — January 24, 2009 @ 11:08 am

  3. Great, as always. Any idea why these are so much longer than many of the others?

    Comment by Ray — January 24, 2009 @ 11:26 am

  4. Hunter am a ham. You’re welcome!

    Maurine, I noticed the “Stout” as I was typing this, but until I read your comment I hadn’t picked up on “Vera” as part of the joke. Ha!

    Ray, 1908 is as early as any of the church magazines have a dedicated joke page — before that, jokes were used as fillers here and there at the bottom of a column. I wonder if the idea of a vaudeville routine in print was so new that it took a while to realize that short-and-snappy works better? Don’t really know — but if you think these are long, you should see some of the half-pagers I didn’t include. They take forever to set up a gag line.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — January 24, 2009 @ 12:05 pm

  5. Kind of the Bob Newhart of Mormon humor?

    Comment by Ray — January 24, 2009 @ 5:35 pm

  6. Sheer good luck indeed. The way things are now, I worry at times that I’ll be well-educated but without employment. At least there are still reasons to keep smiling. :) Thanks, as always, for the wonderful posts.

    Comment by Michelle Glauser — January 25, 2009 @ 9:33 am

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