Keepapitchinin, the Mormon History blog » Funny Bones, 1938 (3rd set)

Funny Bones, 1938 (3rd set)

By: Ardis E. Parshall - October 10, 2009

The Improvement Era asked its readers to submit Mormon-flavored jokes this year, mixed with the magazine’s usual brand of humor. Illustrations were provided by the Era’s in-house artist, Fielding K. (“Smat”) Smith.

Installment a la Utopia

Salesman: “And how would you like to arrange the deferred payments?”

Customer: “Permanently.”


Apostle Francis M. Lyman, visiting at a stake conference during a dry season, is said to have advised the people that their prayers would be of great help in bringing about the much needed rain. In the closing prayer Brother Spencer asked for this blessing:

“O, Lord, don’t send us a gully-washer, but one of those good ol’ drizzle-drazzles. Amen.”

Worms – Please Note

Old Jake Collins stood behind the pulpit discoursing energetically on the “Word of Wisdom.” Presently he brought forth a bottle of water and a bottle of whiskey and set them on the pulpit together with two glasses and an old tin can. Jake poured into the one glass some water and into the other glass some whiskey. Then, from the tin can he produced two large worms, placing one in each glass. The worm in the water kept wiggling continually while the worm in the whiskey died after a few convulsive struggles.

“Now,” asked Jake, “can anyone tell us the moral of this little illustration?”

A wide-eyed little Deacon on the first row readily volunteered: “If you have worms – drink whiskey!”

A Soft Answer

To a crude log hut in what is now Layton, Utah, came a begging Indian, in the early fifties. When he failed to get all he asked for, he grunted and exclaimed: “Me shoot!”

The husbandman (Lewis Whitesides) retorted with a withering look and piercing voice, the following challenge: “Who the h— are you going to shoot?”

The wily Indian dropped his haughtiness and answered shyly: “Me shoot chicken.”

Among Our Trials

While teaching a lesson in fourth grade history class on the pioneers and the settlement of Utah, I told of Indian depredations, and hardships of the pioneers en route to Salt Lake City. I also mentioned the number of babies born at Winter Quarters on a cold winter night.

After the lesson was finished, I asked the question: “What was one of the great trials of the Pioneers?”

A little boy’s hand was raised promptly, and he confidently replied: “Babies.”

Very Sorry

On a rainy day a much-jeweled woman in a sable coat boarded a street car.

“I don’t suppose I’ve ridden on a street car for two years,” she informed the conductor, a gloomy fellow, as she gave him her fare. ‘I ride in my own car,” she explained.

The conductor punched her ticket. “You don’t know how much we’ve missed you,” he said quietly.


“Mother, I just can’t go to school today.”


“I don’t feel well.”

“Where don’t you feel well?”

“In school.”

Remote Control

Perfection will be reached when the automobile can be made fool-in-the-other-car-proof.

Speaking of Last Names

A little boy was telling the story he had heard at Sunday School about Laman and Leemuel and Nephi and Sam.

“Sam who?” a little brother inquired.’

“Why, Sam Hi, of course, Lehi’s son,” the small chap replied.

Seeing the Light

Kindly Lady: “What kind of puppies are those, sonny?”

Small Boy: “They are Gentile puppies.”

Kindly Lady: “Well, that’s fine.”

Same Kindly Lady (a few days later): “Well, sonny, how are the Gentile puppies today?

Small Boy: “Oh, they are Mormon puppies now.”

Kindly Lady: “I thought they were Gentile puppies. Why the change?”

Small Boy: “Oh, they have their eyes open now.”

“A Modern Interpretation”

Last week as I dished out some cracked wheat mush for my nine-year-old son, I quoted: “Nevertheless, wheat for man …” to which he instantly added: “And diet for ladies.”

A Step in the Right Direction

The good bishop was a little rusty on his mathematics but his sincerity was undiminished. “Brethren and sisters,” he said, “you must try with all your might to pay a tenth of your income to the Lord. The Lord so requires of His children, but – “ and he hesitated, “if you are weak in the faith and cannot pay a tenth, then by all means try to pay a fifth.”



  1. Sunday is our Primary Presentation and my daughter is giving a talk about the Book of Mormon. I expect the Bishop is going to call me in after she reads this:

    I’d like to bury my testimony that I know the Book of Mormon is true.

    The Hi family was quite prominent in stature, except for “Neef“ who was only Neef Hi. (Neef grew bigger before Arnold Friberg took those pictures of them.)

    Lee and his son Neef were great prophets of their age. I think all the boys had the priesthood except the one they called “Lay Man,” Lee’s oldest son. He was bad and their Bishop would not let him be ordained. “Le Mule” was called that ’cause he was so stubborn. Only Sam had a normal name.

    Lee and “Neef” led their family across the sea from Jerusalem to Utah. “Lay Man” and “Le Mule” went too, but they didn’t want to go. They kept asking Lee if they were there yet. After Lee died the Hi family divided into the two great nations that usually fought each other, the “Neef” Hites and the “Lay Man” Hites,

    The funny thing in the Book of Mormon is that there was a time when they all got short and there were no more Hites, then after a few pages there were Hites again. I think they must not have had enough protein in their diet after everything was destroyed, or maybe they experimented with some racial poison like cigarettes or tequila for a few generations.

    Anyway, the “Neef” Hites are all gone now ’cause they fought fair and the “Lay Man” Hites fought unfair. In the end the “Neef” Hites tried to fight unfair too, but they didn’t know how to do it right. In the end, the last “Neef” Hite was “Moron” Hi. The other “Neef” Hites called him that because he wouldn’t fight unfair, and they thought that was dumb, but he was smart ’cause he lived and they died!

    The “Lay Man” Hites’ children were called Indians by Columbus ‘cause he was lost and thought Hispañola was Ceylon and he was so dumb didn’t ask them where he was. Monday is Columbus Day because he was soooo lost that everyone thought it was funny and wanted to remember him.

    And that’s the truth, pthththth!

    Comment by Eric Boysen — October 10, 2009 @ 10:44 am

  2. That is, um, an “adequate” talk, Eric. I predict everybody will be listening after the first couple of sentences.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — October 10, 2009 @ 10:56 am

  3. Never have I received higher praise.

    Comment by Eric Boysen — October 10, 2009 @ 12:12 pm

  4. Variants of the “Worms” and the gentile puppies were still going strong in Mormon folklore 40 years later…for all I know, they still are.

    Comment by Confutus — October 11, 2009 @ 1:16 pm

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