Keepapitchinin, the Mormon History blog » Funny Bones, 1894

Funny Bones, 1894

By: Ardis E. Parshall - June 20, 2009

If we could see ourselves as others see us, most of us would look the other way.


An Auctioneer advertised: For Sale – A large quantity of oil paintings by some of the most ancient masters of the day.


A boy was asked to write a short essay on pins by way of an exercise in composition, and produced the following:

“Pins are very useful. They have saved the lives of a great many men, women, and children – in fact, whole families.”

“How so?” asked the puzzled inspector, on reading this.

“Why, by not swallowing them,” was the immediate reply.


The essay of another schoolboy described salt as “The stuff that makes potatoes taste bad when you don’t put it on.”


A youth, questioned as to where Jacob was going when he was ten years old, replied that he “was going on for eleven.”


An inspector asked a lad what were the chief ends of man, and he replied: “His head and feet.”


One specially unimaginative juvenile, called upon to say for what the Red Sea was famous, replied: “Red herrings!”


“Could your father walk round the world?”

“No, sir.”

“Why not?”

“Because he’s dead.”

Don’t Try to Cheat a Lawyer

A young lawyer, just starting in his profession, hung out his sign in a Connecticut town where there was only one other lawyer, an aged judge.

A close-fisted old fellow, thinking to get legal advice for nothing, called upon the young man, told him he was very glad he had come into the town, as the old judge was getting superannuated, and then contrived in a sort of neighborly talk to get some legal questions answered. Then thanking the young man, he put on his hat and was about to leave, when the young man asked him if he should charge the advice, for which the fee was five dollars. The old fellow went into a violent passion, and swore he never would pay. The young lawyer told him he would sue him if he didn’t.

So the old fellow went down to see the judge, found him hoeing in his garden, and said:

“That young scamp that’s just come into town! I dropped in to make a neighborly call on him, and he charges me five dollars for legal advice.”

“Served you right,” said the judge; “you had no business to have gone to him.”

“But have I got to pay it, Judge?”

“Of course you have.”

“Well, then,” said the man, “I suppose I must,” and he started off.

“Hold on! said the judge; “aren’t you going to pay me?”

“Pay you? What for?”

“For legal advice.”

“What do you charge?”

“Ten dollars.”

The result was that the old fellow had to pay five dollars to the young lawyer and ten dollars to the old one.


A young man began his first letter to his sweetheart after this fashion: “My Dear Julia, – Whenever I am tempted to do wrong I think of you, and I say, “Get thee behind me, Satan!”


It is too bad that a poor wretch can be punished for stealing your pocket handkerchief or gloves, and that no punishment can be inflicted on those who steal your time.


Physic, says an old surgeon, is the art of amusing the patient while nature cures the disease.


Doctor: “I believe you have some sort of poison in your system.”

Patient: “Shouldn’t wonder. What was that last stuff you gave me?”


“Now, James,” said the school teacher, “remember that the secret of good reading is to read exactly as you would talk. Stand up straight and try to read your lesson just as you would speak it.”

James dutifully arose.

The first sentence in his lesson was: “William, please let me take your kite a few minutes.”

James looked at it thoughtfully, and then exclaimed before the astonished teacher had time to interrupt: “Hi, dere, Bill, gimme dat kite of y’ourn a minute, or I’ll break your face. See?”


Hanks: “Are you cutting the sensational articles out of that paper before taking it home to your wife and daughters?”

Banks (handling the shears): “No; I’m cutting out the millinery advertisements.”


A little girl disputing with her uncle about the relative durability of modern houses and ancient ones, she being in favour of the most venerable architecture, clinched the matter by triumphantly demanding – “Well, uncle, show me a modern house that has stood as long as some of the ancient ones, if you can.”


“Good gracious, Freddy, where have you been?”

“I fell into the canal, papa.”

“And with your new trousers on?”

“No; I had just taken them off before I fell in.”


Teacher: “Can you tell what a secret is?”

Little Girl: “Yes’m. It is something somebody tells everybody in a whisper.”


Victim: Are you sure you can put my teeth into satisfactory condition?”

Dentist: “Yes, sir; at any rate, I will spare no pains to do so.”


Little Johnny, having been invited out to dinner with his mother, was commanded not to speak at the table except when he was asked a question, and promised to obey the command.

At the table no attention was paid to Johnny for a long time. He grew very restless, and his mother could see that he was having a hard time to “hold in.”

By and by he could stand it no longer.

“Mamma!” he called out. “When are they going to begin asking me questions?”



  1. Medicine is “the art of amusing the patient while nature cures the disease.” This is still true, as ever. Too many medical cures are worse than the disease. On the other hand, it is also true that I make for a really grumpy patient.

    And, physicians are like lawyers. Get a diagnosis from one doctor and he/she might charge $500. Get a second opinion from another doctor, who merely confirms the diagnosis, the charge will be $1000. Humph. It’s all a conspiracy.

    Comment by S.Faux — June 20, 2009 @ 7:29 am

  2. You’re under a doctor’s care right now, aren’t you, S.? :)

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — June 20, 2009 @ 8:03 am

  3. The first one is excellent advice to remember (for me, anyway). Thanks for the column – I love reading them!

    Comment by rvs — June 20, 2009 @ 10:44 am

  4. Ardis: True. I enjoy medical science more in theory than in practice. For example, medicine will not be perfected until we are all resurrected and physicians become obsolete. :)

    Comment by S.Faux — June 20, 2009 @ 1:55 pm

  5. S. Faux: Think of it this way–the more you pay for the lawyer’s advice, the more valuable it is.

    Get the very most valuable advice you can by paying your lawyer more than he asks. :-)

    Comment by Mark B. — June 20, 2009 @ 8:31 pm

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