Our great-grandparents’ idea of humor, published in the church magazines of 1908:
Some years ago an expedition from the University of Pennsylvania was sent to one of our Southern States for the purpose of observing a solar eclipse.
The day before the event one of the professors said to an old [man] belonging to the household wherein the scientist was quartered:
“Tom, if you will watch your chickens tomorrow morning you’ll find that they’ll all go to roost at eleven o’clock.”
Tom was, of course, skeptical; but at the appointed hour the heavens darkened and the chickens retired to roost. At this the [man’s] amazement showed no bounds, and he sought out the scientist.
“Perfesser,” said he, “how long ago did you know dem chickens would go to roost?”
“About a year ago,” said the professor, smilingly.
“Well, ef dat don’t beat all!” was the [man’s] comment. “Perfesser, a year ago dem chickens wa’n’t even hatched!”
Not That Kind
A young woman in Philadelphia, but recently married, was enjoying the delightful novelty of marketing, one morning shortly after the termination of the honeymoon.
“I wish to get some butter, please,” said she to the dealer.
“Roll butter, mum?” asked the man.
“No,” promptly replied his customer, “we wish to eat it on toast. My husband doesn’t care for rolls.”
And There Was Light
Edgar’s mother, wishing to keep him in bed for a slight cold, thought by darkening the windows to convince the young man that it was still night, and so closed tightly the inside blinds. All was thus dark except the small, round holes where the adjusting rod of the blinds worked.
“See,” said mother, “it is dark, dark; lie still, now, and sleep until it is light.”
“Mamma,” queried a voice from the cot presently – “mamma, look at the window; the dark has got holes in it.”
A teacher in a down-town school has for her pupils the children of Russian parents. The other day she was explaining a sum in subtraction which the little ones found difficult to understand.
“Now,” said she to exemplify the proposition, “suppose I had ten dollars and went into a store to spend it. Say I bought a hat for five dollars. Then I spent two dollars for gloves, and a dollar and fifty cents for some other things. How much did I have left?”
For a moment there was dead silence. Then a boy’s hand went up.
“Well, Isaac, how much did I have left?”
“Vy didn’t you count your change?” said Isaac, in a disgusted tone.
As Mr. A—, an Arkansas planter, was preparing to drive to the county-seat one day, he was hailed in this wise by one of his “hands”:
“Mistah Gawge, if you’s goin’ to town I wish you’d giut me a license fur to marry Liza Ann Mayberry.”
“Why, certainly, Joe,” was his response.
Uipon his return he gave Joe the license, who, upon looking it over, exclaimed: “Lawd, Mistah Gawge! You done made a big mistake. I tole you I wanta marry Mary Jane Mayberry, an’ you done had th’ license made out fur Liza Ann. Kain’t you change th’ name to Mary Jane?”
“No, Joe,” Mr. A— replied, “that would be illegal. I am very sorry that I misunderstood you, but there is nothing to be done except for you to marry Liza Ann, or spend three dollars for another license.”
“I ain’t got a nudder three dollars!” and Joe departed in high dudgeon.
In an hour he returned, whistling cheerfully. “Gimme that license, Mistah Gawge,” he said. ‘I’ve done thunk th’ matter over, an’ thar ain’t three dollahs diffrunce ‘tween those two somen.”
An Up-to-Date Tramp
Constable – “Come along; you’ve got to have a bath.”
Tramp: “A barf! What, wiv water?”
Constable – “Yes, of course.”
Tramp – “Couldn’t you manage it wiv one o’ them vacuum cleaners?”
Auntie Brown’s Christmas Shopping Advice
The morning after Christmas Day
I met my Auntie Brown.
She carried packages galore
And was en route down town.
Said she, “To see me out today
You seem to think is strange.
But listen, niece; each gift I gave
I’m taking to exchange.
“The slippers which I bought for John
Were just three sizes small.
The smoking jacket was too large
For Uncle Percival.
“And oh, the gloves for Cousin Sue
Should have been number six;
I ordered them with Johnny’s skates,
And got the sizes mixed.
“And Rob’s fur cap was so immense
It quite obscured his face;
The rings and bracelets were too small
For Marjory and Grace.
“Well, I must go,” she sighed; “but niece,
Whene’r you give surprises
Of Christmas gifts, don’t ever give
A thing that comes in sizes!”