Keepapitchinin, the Mormon History blog » Funny Bones, 1893

Funny Bones, 1893

By: Ardis E. Parshall - March 14, 2009

None of the church magazines had a joke page as early as this — these come from fillers tucked into odd corners and columns. Enjoy!

“What did the children of Israel do after they came through the Red Sea?” asked a Boston Sunday school teacher.

“Dried their clothes, I s’pose,” replied Tommy Bakebean.


Little Elvira went to visit at her grandmother’s. The country was a revelation to the child. Among other things that excited her wonder was a lamb that came bleating at the door the evening of her arrival. “Oh, Aunt Hattie,” she cried, running down, “there’s a sheep here that can talk as plain as anything; do come out and hear it say ‘Ma.’”


“John,” said the minister’s wife, “how many more times are you going to recite that sermon of yours?”

“Don’t bother me, my dear, if you please,” he replied. “I am practising what I preach.”


Uncle Jack – What will you do when you get to be a man?

Little Jack – I’ll give all the little boys I know a baseball.


I would not give much for the Christianity of anyone whose Christianity did not make him kinder to his dog and cat.


A little boy whose father never uses a razor was much amazed and interested on the morning after his arrival at his uncle’s house to see that gentleman shaving.

“Why, Uncle Fred!” he exclaimed, after watching the operation for a few minutes, “I don’t see what makes you wash your face with that little broom, and wipe it off with a knife. Papa doesn’t!”


A lawyer worried a witness with so many questions that the poor man declared he was so exhausted that he must have a drink of water before he could say another word. Upon this the judge remarked, “I think, sir, you had better let the witness go now, for you have pumped him dry.”


Why is an unsuccessful effort like a lady who appears in public with her face uncovered? It is without avail/a veil.


“No, he’s no better,” said a woman, when the doctor came to visit her husband. “You told me to give him as much of the powder as would lay on a ten-cent piece. I hadn’t a ten, but I gave him as much as would go on ten ones, and he’s worse, if anything.”


“Papa,” said Harry, as he looked at his new baby brother, “I wish there were seven more, because with him and me and seven more we’d have a baseball nine.”


“I say, my dear, how badly the tailor has put this button on your waistcoat. This is the fifth time I have had to sew it on again.”


City Sportsman – “Have you seen anything worth shooting at around here?”

Farmer – “Well, no; not till you came.”


The monkey said to the chimpanzee,
In a monkey’s original way,
“If we should start a peanut stand,
Don’t you think we could make it pay?

“The boys would buy the nuts of you,
As you sat your stall beside,
And every body would divide with me,
As he passed where I was tied.

“So you could sell and I could feast,
And I think we could make it pay,
For you could sit and handle the cash,
And I could eat all day.”


A teacher was explaining to a little girl how the trees developed their foliage in the spring time. “Ah, yes,” said the wee miss,” I understand; they keep their summer clothes in their trunks.”


Walter, a boy twelve years old, was the important witness, and one of the lawyers, after cross-questioning him severely said:

“your father has been talking to you and telling you how to testify, hasn’t he?”

“Yes,” said the boy.

“Now,” said the lawyer, “just tell us how your father told you to testify.”

“Well,” said the boy, modestly, “father told me that the lawyers would try and tangle me, but if I would just be careful and tell the truth I could tell the same thing every time.”

The lawyer didn’t try to tangle up that boy any more.


A teacher asked her class to name five different members of the “cat” family. Nobody answered till at last one little girl raised her hand. “Well,” said the teacher, encouragingly. “Father Cat, Mother Cat and three little kittens!”


Mamma – “Bessie, how many sisters has your new playmate?”

Bessie – “He has one, mamma. he tried to fool me by saying that he had two half-sisters, but I guess he didn’t know that I studied fractions.”


“I hear Smith has got married to a Southern lady.”

“Yes; he went South to save his lungs, and lost his heart.”


One day the children were having an object lesson on the blue heron. The teacher called attention to its small tail, saying: “The bird has no tail to speak of.” The next day she asked the scholars to write a description of the bird, and a little girl wound up by saying: “The blue heron has a tail, but it must not be talked about.”



  1. Ooh, that lawyer one about the unwitting young witness sticking to the truth is a goodie. Zing!

    Comment by Hunter — March 14, 2009 @ 11:41 am

  2. This was a great way to start my morning. “Nothing worth shooting”, the “Lawyer and the boy”, and “losing his heart in the South” were my favorites. This was very early though and the overall quality has improved over the years. Some of them sound like reader submissions.

    Comment by Bruce Crow — March 15, 2009 @ 6:05 am

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