Keepapitchinin, the Mormon History blog » Funny Bones, 1909 (3)

Funny Bones, 1909 (3)

By: Ardis E. Parshall - July 10, 2010

Plenty here to offend amuse just about everybody, from the jokes in the church magazines of 1909 —

Her Garden Dress

Adam: “What are you crying for?”

Eve: “A caterpillar has gone and eaten my new dress.”

One Woman’s Wisdom

Her husband: “My dear, how did you happen to employ such a pretty nurse girl?”

His wife: “I didn’t happen to do it. I did it because I wanted the children to have police protection when they are in the park or on the street.”

Going Some

Pat had just been reading about the circus that was to come. Mike requested information on the subject and Pat told him. “Faith,” said he, “there is wan fellow who beats all the rest. He balances a ladder on his nose, climbs up to the top round, and then pulls the ladder up after him.”

It All Depends

John and Pat were two friendly workmen who were constantly tilting, each one trying to outwit the other.

“Are you good at measurement?” asked John.

“I am that,” said Pat, quickly.

“Then, could you tell me how many shirts I could get out of a yard?” asked John.

“Sure,” said Pat, “that depends on whose yard you got into.”

Wished His Milkman Kept a Cow

A lot of poor children were at Rockefeller’s stock farm, near Cleveland. He gave each of them some milk to drink, the product of a $2,000 prize cow.

“How do you like it?” he asked, when they had finished.

“Gee, it’s fine!” responded one little fellow, who added, after a thoughtful pause, “I wisht our milkman kept a cow.”

Got the Wrong Door

They were newly married, and on a honeymoon trip. They put up at a skyscraper hotel. The bridegroom felt indisposed, and the bride said she would slip out and do a little shopping. In due time she returned and tripped blithely up to her room, and a little awed by the number of doors that looked alike. But she was sure of her own, and tapped gently on the panel.

“I’m back, honey, let me in,” she whispered.

No answer.

“Honey, honey, let me in!” she called again, rapping louder. Still no answer.

“Honey, honey, it’s Alice. Let me in,” she whispered.

There was a silence and still no answer. After several seconds a man’s voice, cold and full of dignity, came from the other side of the door.

“Madame, this is not a beehive; it’s a bathroom.”

A Second Look Necessary

A Southern lady who had been frequently annoyed by her dark cook’s having company in the kitchen, remonstrated with the girl, telling her that she must entertain her friends in her own quarters after working hours.

One evening soon after this the lady left the girl arranging the dinner-table and went to the kitchen for something. A great, hulking [black man] was sitting in the kitchen rocker. Indignant, the lady hurried back to the dining-room.

“Cindy,” she demanded, “what have I told you about having your beaux in the kitchen?”

“Laws, miss, he ain’t no beau! Why, he’s nuffin but my brudder.”

Somewhat mollified, the lady went back to the kitchen.

“So you are Cindy’s brother?” she said, kindly.

“Law bless yo’, no, miss,” he answered. ‘I ain’t no ‘lation ‘tall to her. I’s jes’ keepin’ comp’ny wif her.”

The lady, angry through and through, sought out Cindy again.

“Cindy,” she asked sternly, “why did you tell me that that man was your brother? He says he is no relation to you.”

Cindy looked aghast.

“Fo’ de Laud’s sake, miss, did he say dat? Jes’ yo’ stay here a minute an’ lemme go look ag’in!”

A Point of View

The Organ Grinder – “How’s business?”

The Scissors Grinder – “Fine! I’ve never seen it so dull.”

His Business?

Nurse (announcing the expected) – “Professor, it’s a little boy.”

Professor (absent-mindedly) – “Well, ask him what he wants.”


“How do you tell bad eggs?” queried the young housewife.

“I never told any,” replied the fresh grocery clerk, “but if I had anything to tell a bad egg I’d break it gently.”

Letting the Cat Out

“Say, grandpa, make a noise like a frog,” coaxed little Tommy.

“What for, my son?”

“Why, papa says that when you croak we’ll get five thousand dollars.”

The Non-Shrinkable Shirt

Sir Algernon West tells this story, so it must be all right. A working man came home in triumph one day with a flannel shirt, which he said he had bought for 2s, 11d; moreover, it was guaranteed not to shrink. In due course the shirt was sent to and returned from the wash, and next morning the workman put it on. His wife came into the room just as he had done so.

“‘Ullo, Bill,” said she, “where did you get that new tie?”


A Methodist minister having many years ago been sent as missionary to the Indians, found an old, very old Indian, who could read, to whom he gave a copy of the New Testament. After the noble red man had read it through, he expressed a wish to be baptized. The missionary accordingly procured a bowl of water, and was about to baptize him, when the noble red man asked, “What are you going to do with that?” “Baptize you,” replied the clergyman. “No deep enough for Indian; take ‘im to river.” The missionary explained that “That is not our practice”; to which the noble red person replied: “You give me wrong book; me read ‘em through.” The ceremony was postponed. – Harper’s Monthly.


The new maid had been on this side of the water but a very short time, and a most amusing thing happened when she answered the bell for the first caller at the house where she was employed.

“Can your mistress be seen?” the visitor asked.

“Can she be seen?” snickered Kathleen. “Sure, and Oi think she can! She’s six feet hoigh and half as woide!”

A Fair Warning

Last summer the congregation of a little kirk in the Highlands of Scotland was greatly disturbed and mystified by the appearance in its midst of an old English lady who made use of an eartrumpet during the sermon – such an instrument being entirely unknown in those simple parts.

There was much discussion of the matter, and it was finally decided that one of the elders – who had great local reputation as a man of parts – should be deputed to settle the question.

On the next Sabbath, the unconscious offender again made her appearance, and again produced the trumpet, whereupon the chosen elder rose from his seat and marched down the aisle to where the only lady sat, and, entreating her with an upraised finger, said sternly: “The first toot ye’re oot!”

Its Meaning

“Every occupation affords opportunities of its own for the study of human nature,” says a Boston man, “if only there be a little aptitude for putting two and two together.

“I was browsing in a book-shop, at The Hub, which does a little business in stationery on the side, when a young woman was asked by the genial old proprietor:

“‘And when does the wedding take place, Miss Blank?’

“‘The wedding!’ exclaimed the young woman, blushing. ‘Why, you don’t think – ’

“‘Ah, Miss Blank!’ rejoined the old bookseller. ‘When a young lady buys a hundred sheets of paper, and only twenty-five envelopes, I know there’s something in the wind!’”



  1. This is certainly a mixed bag of interesting jokes. “A second look necessary” gave me pause. But I didn’t get the last one.

    Comment by Bruce Crow — July 12, 2010 @ 10:32 am

  2. I debated about whether to use “A second look necessary” — I think we ought to know what our ancestors thought was humorous even when it makes us cringe today, but … yeah … it gave me pause.

    The last joke is, I think, indicating that Miss Blank is going to write a lot of four-page letters, based on the ratio of envelopes to sheets. What else would a young woman go on about at such great length except her fiance and wedding plans? A little Sherlockian deduction on the part of the bookseller.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — July 12, 2010 @ 3:38 pm

  3. These are definitely a mixed bag. My favorite is the shrinking shirt, having put more than one item of clothing in a hot water wash that came out two sizes smaller.

    Comment by Maurine — July 13, 2010 @ 10:59 am

  4. “I wish our milkman kept a cow”? Very unusual, as I sit and squirm through several of these. As always, good comedy writers are hard to find.

    Comment by kevinf — July 13, 2010 @ 5:10 pm

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