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Funny Bones, 1949

By: Ardis E. Parshall - December 05, 2009

From the Instructor of 1949:

A little girl was explaining to her younger brother that it was wrong to work on Sundays.

“Well, policemen work on Sundays,” said the boy. “Don’t they go to heaven?”

“No,” she replied, “they don’t need policemen up there.”

Wife: “Your new overcoat came today. But, darling, isn’t it rather loud?”

Husband: “It will be quite all right. I bought a muffler to wear with it.”

“The time will come,” shouted the speaker, “when women will get men’s wages.”

“Yes,” interjected the little man, “next Friday night.”

“And all that silly doctor could tell him was to take a hot bath before retiring.”

“How stupid. Your husband won’t retire for a long time yet, will he?”

The new-rich husband had just been fished out of the lake when his wife arrived.

“We’re giving him artificial respiration,” explained one of the rescue party.

“Excellent, but why not give him the real thing? We can afford it.”

At an evening party the hostess had coaxed a protesting guest to sing. After the song, she went to him smiling. ‘Oh, Mr. Jenkins,” she said, “you must never again tell me that you can’t sing; I know now!”

And she wondered why the guest left the house so hurriedly.

A Floridian, visiting a Californian, picked up a large melon and said, ‘Is this as large as your apples grow?”

The Californian replied, “Stop fingering that grape.”

“Why did you stop singing in the choir, Thomas?”

“Well, one Sunday I was sick and didn’t sing, and a lot of people in the congregation asked the bishop if the organ had been fixed.”

A man running into a grocery store called out breathlessly: “I want a mousetrap, please. I’ve got to catch a bus.”

Grocer: “Sorry, sir, we haven’t one big enough.”

A bank teller was approached by a young woman who asked if he’d please cash her husband’s check. The teller looked at the signature and saw that it was all right. “But the check needs an endorsement first,” he told her.

The young woman looked thoughtful for a moment, then wrote on the back of the check: “My husband is a wonderful man. Harriet Curtis.”

“Do you know,” said the young government agent to the old farmer, “your methods of cultivation are a hundred years behind the times.” Looking around he continued, “Why, I’d be surprised if you made a dollar out of the oats in that field.”

“So would I,” returned the farmer, smiling. “It’s barley.”

An angler in a northern state last summer was haled into court, charged with catching eighteen more bass than the law permitted.

“Guilty or not guilty?” demanded the judge.

“Guilty, Your Honor,” declared the young man.

“Ten dollars and costs,” pronounced the judge.

The defendant paid the fine, then asked cheerfully, “And now, Your Honor, may I have several copies of the court record made to take back home and show to my friends?”

The high school chemistry teacher noticed that one of his students was dozing. “What does HNO3 signify, Johnson?” he asked suddenly.

Johnson stammered, “Ah, er, I’ve got it on the tip of my tongue, but —”

“Well, you’d better spit it out,” said the teacher. “It’s nitric acid.”

“I took this cake recipe out of a book, John.”

“That’s right, my dear, it never should have been in.”

Joan had been naughty. When her mother was putting her to bed she said, “Now, when you say your prayers, Joan, I want you to ask God to make you a good girl tomorrow.”

With an inquiring glance, Joan asked, “Why? what’s on tomorrow?”

The teacher, wishing to arouse the interest of her Sunday School class, asked them to write down the names of their favorite hymns.

All the scholars bent their heads over pencil and paper for a few minutes and handed in their slips of paper. all except Jane.

“Come, Jane,” said the teacher. “Write down the name of your favorite hymn and bring me the paper.”

Jane wrote, and with downcast eyes and flushing cheeks handed the teacher a slip of paper bearing the words, “Willie Smith.”

Geographically Speaking

Johnny had finished a difficult geography lesson. On his way home he witnessed a serious accident. He came running into the house and exclaimed, “Say, Jack Williams fell out of his car and nearly broke his peninsula.”

“What in the world do you mean, Johnny?” asked his mother.

“Peninsula! He fell out and almost broke his peninsula – a long neck stretching out to see.”

“Everybody in our family is some kind of an animal,” remarked Tommy.

“What do you mean?” asked his mother.

“Why, Mother, you’re a dear, you know.”

“Ye-s,” replied the mother thoughtfully. “And I guess baby is Mother’s little lamb.”

“Sure,” approved Tommy. “And I’m the kid, and Sis is a chicken, and Auntie is a cat, and little brother is a pig, and Dad’s the goat, and – ”

“That’s enough, Thomas.”

The newspaper was issuing free accident policies as premiums for new subscriptions. The young advertising manager, without consulting anyone, inserted this ad to help promote the offer:

“R.B. Jones subscribed to our paper last Wednesday and was given a $250 accident policy free. On Friday Mr. Jones was hit by a bus, suffering several internal injuries, a broken leg and a fractured jaw … Tomorrow you may be the lucky one!”

“I bought this dress for a ridiculous figure.”

“My dear, they must have seen you coming.”

“Is it true that it’s bad luck for a black cat to follow you?”

“Well, it all depends on whether you’re a man or a mouse.”



4 Comments »

  1. I always forget to look at the year when I start reading the Funny Bones, and it’s always fascinating how distinctive the collections are to the decade.

    Many of these seem to run on the theme: Deflation of the Ego.

    And, for a first, one of the jokes actually ticked me off: the one about women’s wages. Hardly a laughing matter for the many women who have to go in and out of the workforce due to family responsibilities and/or are the sole provider for themselves or their families.

    But the one about Willie Smith was very sweet.

    Comment by Researcher — December 5, 2009 @ 1:07 pm

  2. My favorite was the one about Willie Smith, too.

    Comment by Maurine — December 5, 2009 @ 5:34 pm

  3. Aw, we’re all suckers for innocence and first love!

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — December 5, 2009 @ 6:05 pm

  4. Actually, I can’t wait to use the joke about wages. It is about men’s wages, not women’s. It illustrates something often forgotten – many women’s fortunes rise or fall with the amount of their man’s wages, not other women’s wages.

    The Willie Smith joke was sweet. My favorite. And the check endorsement joke is sweet. I hope my wife would think the same of me. Better that than a goat.

    Comment by Clair — December 6, 2009 @ 12:41 pm

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