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Funny Bones, 1886

By: Ardis E. Parshall - May 23, 2009

Conundrums.

When is a pie like a poet? When it is Browning.

Upon what object in nature has every author written? Upon the earth.

Why does a hole in a pigsty conduce to the education of little pigs? Because it makes the pigs litter-airy.

Who was the straightest man in the Bible? Joseph, for Pharaoh wanted to make a ruler of him.

Why is the tailor the poor man’s best friend? Because he settles the rents.

—oooOooo—

“No man can do anything against his will,” said a metaphysician.

“Faith,” said Pat, “I had a brother who went to prison against his will, he did.”

—oooOooo—

“It is curious,” said an old gentleman to his friend, “that a watch should be kept perfectly dry when there is a running spring inside.”

—oooOooo—

Said a woman speaker in a New Haven suffrage meeting, “Woman is in every respect the equal of man. Her reputation for heroic bravery –”

At that point, a mouse ran in sight, and the orator jumped on the table and screamed.

—oooOooo—

Literary young man at party – Miss Jones, have you seen “Crabbe’s Tales”?

Young lady, scornfully – I was not aware, sir, that crabs had tails.

Young man, covered with confusion – I beg your pardon, ma’am. I should have said, read “Crabbe’s Tales.”

Young lady, angrily scornful – I was not aware that red crabs had tails, either.

Exit young man.

—oooOooo—

“Ah, ha!” said the farmer to the corn.

“Oh, hoe!” said the corn to the farmer.

—oooOooo—

Dr. Louis of New Orleans, who is something of a wag, called on a black Baptist minister, and propounded a few puzzling questions.

“Why is it?” said he, “that you are not able to do the miracles that the apostles did? They were protected against all poisons and all kinds of perils. How is it you are not protected now in the same way?”

The preacher responded promptly, “Don’t know about that, doctor. I suspect I am. I’ve taken a mighty sight of strong medicine from you, doctor, and I’m alive yet.”

—oooOooo—

What is harder than earning money? Collecting it.

When is a horse not worth a dollar? When it is worth less.

Who is that lady, whose visit nobody wishes? Miss fortune.

What thing is that which is lengthened by being cut at both ends? A ditch.

What word of five syllables is that, from which, if you take one syllable away no syllable remains? Monosyllable – no syllable.

What does the eye resemble a schoolmaster in the act of flogging? It has a pupil under the lash.

—oooOooo—

Two friends, an Englishman and an Irishman, traveling, had a double-bedded room at an inn. Being awakened by a noise in the night, the Englishman called to his companion to light the candle. “Where is it?” asked Pat. “At your right hand on the table.” “Are you crazy?” asked Pat. “How can I see which is my right hand in the dark?”

—oooOooo—

Why is a room full of married folks like an empty room? Because there is not a single person in it.

Why is a man who spoils his children like another who builds castles in the air? Because he indulges in-fancy too much.

What is that which goes when a wagon goes, stops when a wagon stops, is of no use to the wagon, and that which the wagon cannot go without? Noise.

—oooOooo—

“Now, my boy,” said the examiner, “if I had a mince pie and should give two-twelfths of it to John, two-twelfths to Isaac, two-twelfths to Harry, and should take half the pie myself, what would there be left? Speak out loud, so that all can hear.”

“The plate!” shouted the boy.

—oooOooo—

Why is a highwayman like a grocer who gives false measure? Both of them lie in weight.

What is a difficult lock to pick? One from a bald head.

Why was the first of September like the transgression of Adam? Because it was the beginning of the fall.

What is the largest species of ant? It’s an eleph-ant.

—oooOooo—

One of the discoveries made by the late arctic explorers is that the length of the polar night is one hundred and forty-two days. What a place that would be in which to tell a man with a bill to call around day after to-morrow and get his money!

—oooOooo—

“What would be your notion of absent-mindedness?” asked an eminent New York barrister, of a witness, whom he was cross-examining.

“Well,” said the witness, “I should say that a man who thought he’d left his watch at home, and took it out’n ’is pocket to see if he’d time to go home and get it, was a leetle absent-minded.”

—oooOooo—

An Irishman some years ago, attending the University of Edinburgh, waited upon one of the most celebrated teachers of the German flute desiring to know on what terms he would give him a few lessons. The flute player informed him that he generally charged two guineas for the first month, and one guinea for the second. “Then,” replied the Hibernian, “I’ll begin the second month.”

—oooOooo—

A man being asked what he was in jail for, said it was for borrowing money.

“But,” said the questioner, “they don’t put people in jail for borrowing money.”

“Yes,” said the man, “but I had to knock him down three or four times before he would lend it to me.”

—oooOooo—

“You seem to walk more erect than usual, my friend.”

“Yes, I have been straightened by circumstances.”

—oooOooo—

Words are like leaves; and where they most abound
Much fruit of sense beneath is rarely found.

—oooOooo—

A young lad, whose teacher is rather free with the rod, remarked the other day that they had too many hollerdays at their school.

—oooOooo—

“What did you get?” she asked, as he returned from a two-day’s deer-hunt.

“Got back!” was his cool reply.



7 Comments »

  1. Lots of Irish Jokes. It is interesting to see how the funny bones follow the politics of the times they come from.

    Comment by TrevorM — May 23, 2009 @ 11:41 am

  2. That literary young man at the party had not only poor verbal skills, but really bad taste in “literature.” Crabbe’s Tales is barely readable. In fact, the only readable part seems to be the quotes from Shakespeare preceding each awful attempt at poetry by the Reverend George Crabbe, LL.B., (bless his heart).

    Comment by Researcher — May 23, 2009 @ 1:25 pm

  3. The notion of absent mindedness reminds me of the joke about the man who answered a phone call and was immediately asked what his phone number was.

    Comment by Bruce Crow — May 23, 2009 @ 3:47 pm

  4. My father-in-law would love the puns. I like the one about “borrowing” money.

    Comment by Ray — May 23, 2009 @ 6:17 pm

  5. Thanks to Researcher for sparing me the trouble of having to try Crabbe’s Tales. But, that LL.B. after the author’s name should have been enough to tip us all off–a lawyer telling stories??

    And I just tried the largest species of ant question on my 6-year-old grandson. His reply: “What’s a species?” But his mother responded immediately: “A gi-ant.” She’s obviously spending too much time hanging out with pre-schoolers.

    Comment by Mark B. — May 24, 2009 @ 5:44 am

  6. When you take a syllable from monosyllable yoy do not get “no syllable,” you get “O Syllable” a plea for grace from the atoms of speech.

    Comment by Eric Boysen — May 28, 2009 @ 8:13 am

  7. Heh, heh, heh. Eric, I am a sister fan of the vocative case.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — May 28, 2009 @ 8:46 am

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