Keepapitchinin, the Mormon History blog » Funny Bones, 1909

Funny Bones, 1909

By: Ardis E. Parshall - July 11, 2009

If you’re new to Keepa and Funny Bones, know that these jokes appeared in the church magazines of past years. 1909’s serving comes from the Juvenile Instructor.

Very Popular with the Ladies

He: “You don’t appear to care much for music. Don’t you even like the popular airs?”

She: “No. The only popular air with me is the millionaire.”

The Point of View

A certain nobleman, well known to society, while one day strolling round his stables, came across his coachman’s little boy on a seat, playing with his toys. After talking to the youngster a short time, he said:

“Well, my little man, do you know who I am?”

“Oh, yes,” replied the boy; “you’re the man who rides in my father’s carriage!”

A Firm Answer

The Rev. Mr. Freuder, of Philadelphia, tells this story of himself.

Some time ago he was invited to dine at the house of a friend, whose wife went into the kitchen to give some final orders. “Incidentally,” she added to the servant, “we are to have a Jewish rabbi for dinner today.”

For a moment the maid surveyed her mistress in grim silence. Then she spoke with decision. “All I have to say is,” she announced, “if you have a Jewish rabbi for dinner, you’ll cook it yourself.”

An Abbreviated Tale

She frowned at him and called him Mr.
Merely because he came and Kr.
That very night, just her to spite,
That naughty Mr. Kr. Sr.

A Reliable Fiancé

A lady in a Southern town was approached by her maid.

“Well, Jenny?” she asked, seeing that something was in the air.

“Please, Mis’ Mary, might I have the aft’noon off three weeks from Wednesday?” Then, noticing an undecided look in her mistress’s face, she added hastily, “I want to go to my fiance’s fun’ral.”

“Goodness me,” answered the lady – “your fiance’s funeral! Why, you don’t know that he’s even going to die, let alone the day of his funeral. That is something we can’t any of us be sure about – when we are going to die.”

“Yes’m,” said the girl doubtfully. Then with a triumphant note in her voice – “I am sure about him, Mis’, because he’s goin’ to be hung!”

(I debated about using this one. If I erred, please forgive me.)

Looking for the Burglar

Mrs. Hicks was telling some ladies about the burglar scare in her house the night before.

“Yes,” she said, “I heard a noise and got up, and there, from under the bed, I saw a man’s legs sticking out.”

“Mercy!” exclaimed a woman. “The burglar’s legs?

“No, my dear; my husband’s legs. He heard the noise, too.”

In Mexico

“Flag of truce, Excellency.”

“Well, what do the revolutionists want?”

“They would like to exchange a couple of generals for a can of condensed milk.”

Fruitless Struggle

“I understand that after waiting twenty years she married a struggling man?”

“Yes, poor chap. He struggled the best he knew how, but she landed him.”

The Sufferer

“Little boy,” asked a well-meaning farmer, “is that your mamma over there with the beautiful set of furs?”

“Yes, sir,” answered the boy.

“Well,” continued the man, “do you know what poor animal it was that had to suffer in order that your mother might have the furs with which she adorns herself so proudly?”

“Yes, sir,” answered the boy, quickly. “My papa.”

Two Strikes

“You told me that the light of your life had gone out when your wife died, and now you are going to be married again.”

“Yes, I’m going to strike another match.”

Not Hers

“Does your mother allow you to have two pieces of pie when you are at home, Willie?” asked his hostess.

“No, ma’am.”

“Well, do you think she would like you to have two pieces here?”

“Oh, she wouldn’t care,” said Willie, confidentially; “this isn’t her pie.”


The young man, leading a dog by a string, lounged up to the ticket-office of a railway-station and inquired:

“Must I – aw – take a ticket for a puppy?”

“No; you can travel as an ordinary passenger,” was the reply.

Fisherman’s Logic

“Paddy, my boy,” said Mr. X. to an Irishman whom he observed fishing away at a favorite pool, “that must be a fine stream for trout.”

“Faith, and sure and it must that same,” cried Paddy. “I have been standing here these three hours, and not a one of ’em will stir out of it.”


In an assault and battery case tried in a Cleveland court the prosecuting witness testified at length that the defendant had knocked him senseless and had then kicked him for several minutes.

“If this man’s attack rendered you unconscious,” demanded the magistrate, “how is it that you know he kicked you when you were down?”

This question seemed to floor the witness. He was lost in reflection for some moments; then, brightening, he replied:

“I know it, Your honor, because that’s what I would have done to him if I’d got him down.”

A Born Poet

A young “supply” in one of our country Presbyterian churches was preaching on ‘Following Your Bent.’ He cited many cases, among them that of the celebrated writer of hymns, Isaac Watts, who persisted against his father’s wishes. The young minister attempted to quote the familiar lines uttered by young Watts when his father was trying to thrash the “jingles” out of him:

“O Father, pray, some mercy take
And I will no more verses make.”

But he started with the last line, and then was “stumped” to conclude. He could not recall the other line out of its place, and to save the situation as he fondly believed, extemporized with earnest pains:

“I will no more verses make
If you your hands from off my pants will take.”

Nothing More to Say

R.E.C., a successful undertaker of New York, tells this story on himself:

“When I began this business I had an old typewriter, and one day asked a friend who was in the typewriter business to bring me a new ribbon.

“‘No,’ said he, ‘I won’t. But I will bring you one of our new model machines.’

“‘Don’t do it,’ said I. ‘Just bring me a ribbon; my machine is all right.’

“‘No,’ said he firmly, ‘I will bring you this new model; you have got to have it.’

“‘Now, see here, Charlie,’ I expostulated angrily, ‘don’t be foolish. I want to buy your goods, but you have got to give me a chance to get on my feet!’

“‘What chance,’ he demanded, ‘do you give your customers to get on their feet?’”

A “Roast” All Around

The minister had just finished a little opening talk to the children, preparatory to the morning service, when Mrs. Berkeley suddenly realized, with all the agony of a careful housewife, that she had forgotten to turn the gas off from the oven in which she had left a nicely cooked roast, all ready for the final reheating. Visions of a ruined dinner and a smoky kitchen roused her to immediate effort, and, borrowing a pencil from the young man in front, she scribbled a note. Just then her husband, an usher in the church, passed her pew. With a murmured, “Hurry!” she thrust the note into his hand, and he, with an understanding nod, turned, passed up the aisle, and handed the note to the minister. Mrs. Berkeley saw the act in speechless horror, and shuddered as she saw the minister smilingly open the note and begin to read. But her expression of dismay was fully equaled by the look of amazement and wrath on the good man’s face as he read the words, “Go home and turn off the gas!”


A Fake Muckrake made a gorgeous break,
He was caught in a fib, poor scamp.
The rascal was forced to eat his words
And they gave him the writer’s cramp.


Said a man, “Now there’s no use denying
That yon hen is a creature most trying.
She will cackle and yell
So that I cannot tell
Whether she’s “laying” or “lying”!



  1. OK, “An Abbreviated Tale” is one of the more clever bits of English wordplay that I’ve seen in some time. ..bruce..

    Comment by bfwebster — July 11, 2009 @ 10:09 am

  2. My favorite, too!

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — July 11, 2009 @ 10:25 am

  3. Mr. Kr. Sr. = fantastic.

    It’s telling how clever these are- it calls to mind the admonition that an uncreative mind resorts to vulgarity. Modern sensibilities tend to think we so hip with our sharp, crude language, yet, these refined wordplay really IS that much more clever and astute.

    Makes me want to try harder.

    Comment by Tracy M — July 11, 2009 @ 2:08 pm

  4. Ugh. Forgive my syntax and grammar. That’s what I get for commenting while parenting.

    Comment by Tracy M — July 11, 2009 @ 2:09 pm

  5. Tracy, commenting should be scored like gymnastics, with consideration given for a performance’s degree of difficulty. The sour-faced East German judge gives you a 7; everybody else gives you 10s.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — July 11, 2009 @ 3:05 pm

  6. It really was a clever Twr.
    But gave my brain a little Blr.

    Comment by SteveP — July 11, 2009 @ 3:49 pm

  7. Bravo, SteveP!

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — July 11, 2009 @ 6:02 pm

  8. I am in agreement. “An Abbreviated Tale” is my favorite, too. I even like SteveP’s addition. I also liked “Looking for the Burglar.”

    Comment by Maurine — July 11, 2009 @ 9:14 pm

  9. To keep the rhyme, shoudln’t the 3rd line read:
    “That very night, just to spite her” ?

    Comment by Bookslinger — July 14, 2009 @ 9:33 am

  10. Nevermind. It took a 4th reading to find the intended rhyme pattern with night/spite.

    Comment by Bookslinger — July 14, 2009 @ 9:35 am

  11. You’re right — it bites — just cite — good night!

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — July 14, 2009 @ 9:41 am