Keepapitchinin, the Mormon History blog » Funny Bones, 1957

Funny Bones, 1957

By: Ardis E. Parshall - January 22, 2011

From the church magazines of 1957 —

As a small boy was preparing for his first day at school his pleasure in the new lunch box was being spoiled by concern that he would not be able to identify it. His mother had carefully printed his name on the box, but of course, as yet, he could not read.

Suddenly his face lighted up as he exclaimed, “Oh, I won’t be using my lunch box until noon, and by then I’ll know how to read!”


Dental Patient: “Why does a small cavity feel so large to the tongue?”

Dentist: “Just a natural tendency of the tongue to exaggerate.”


Jones: “How long was your last hired man with you?”

Smith: “He was never with me. He was against me from the start.”


We’d all be successful if we followed the advice we gave the other fellow.


Junior: “Dad, did you go to Sunday School when you were a little boy?”

Dad: “I sure did, never missed a Sunday.”

Junior: “See, Mom, it won’t do me any good, either.”


The Sunday School teacher was reviewing a lesson. “Who led the children of Israel out of Egypt?”

No answer. So she pointed to a little boy at the back of the room and asked him. “It wasn’t me,” he said timidly, “we just moved here last week.”


The teacher asked her kindergarten class how many stars they could see at night. After receiving answers ranging from “more than a hundred” to “too many to count,” she called on Georgie. His answer was, “three.”

“But Georgia, how is it that you saw so few stars, when the other children found so many?”

“Well,” said the youthful Georgie, apologetically, “our backyard is very small.”


A hypochondriac is one who can’t leave being well enough alone.


Two camera enthusiasts were discussing their hobby. “This morning,” said one, “I saw an old lady huddled beneath rags. She was hungry and homeless. She told me she came from a prominent family but had lost her wealth.”

“The poor thing,” said the other photographer. “What did you give her?”

“Well, it was sunny,” the first replied, “so I gave her f11 at 1/100th.”


George Bernard Shaw was eating in a restaurant one day and was disturbed by the loud playing of an orchestra. Summoning the waiter, Shaw asked:

“Does the orchestra play on request?”

“Oh, yes, sir,” said the waiter.

“Excellent,” snapped Shaw. “Kindly tell them to play chess.”


Groucho Marx once refused to grant an ad endorsement which would have put his picture on every railroad and subway station billboard in the country, remarking, “No, thanks. I already have a mustache.”


During the quail season, an old man was hunting with an ancient pointer. Twice the dog pointed. Each time the hunter walked over, kicked at the matted growth, wheeled sharply and fired into empty air.

Asked why, the old man explained: “I knew there warn’t no birds in the grass. Old Jim’s nose ain’t what it used to be. But him and me have seen some wonderful days together. He’s still trying hard and it’d be mighty little of me to call him a liar.”


Grammarians say you should never end a sentence with a preposition, but here’s one that ends in not one but five.

A father took a book from the bookcase and went upstairs to visit his sick son and read to him. When the boy saw the title of the book in his father’s hands, he exclaimed:

“Daddy, what made you bring that book to read to me to out of up for?”


Car salesman (proudly): “This is our best model – the one we are pushing.”

Customer: ‘No, thanks. I have to push the one I have now.”


A husband thought to cure his wife of her habit of backseat driving by teaching her to drive herself. The plan didn’t work until one evening while out with friends the wife took the wheel and ordered her husband to sit in the back. At a busy intersection the engine stalled. Traffic piled up behind.

“What do I do now?” wailed the woman, uncomfortably.

“I’m sure you’ll remember,” said her husband, “if you just move back here.”


Two druggists were talking about one of their associates who had died.

First Druggist: “He was a great druggist.”

Second Druggist: “He was, but don’t you think he made his potato salad too salty?”

[I know. I don’t get it either. — AEP]


Husband: where is all the grocery money going that I give you?”

Wife: “Stand sideways and look in the mirror.”


It was the young housewife’s first dinner party in her new home and her preparations for the big event had been long and painstaking. Everything went smoothly until, in the middle of dinner, one of the guests leaned over and whispered, smiling, “Did you really mean that note in the bathroom for us?”

For a moment she was puzzled, then complete confusion came as she remembered the forgotten sign neatly pinned to the guest towels, and meant for her husband’s eyes alone, which read: DON’T YOU DARE TOUCH THESE TOWELS!


A lady had in her employ an excellent girl who had one fault – her face was always in need of washing. Mrs. Blank tried to get her to wash her face without offending her, and at last resorted to strategy.

“Do you know, Bridget,” she remarked, “it is said if you wash your face every day in hot, soapy water, it will make you beautiful?”

“Will it now?” answered the wily Bridget; “sure it’s a wonder ye never tried it yourself, ma’am!”


A schoolboy was asked to explain the formation of dew. His answer was, “the earth revolves on its axis every twenty-four hours, and, in consequence of the tremendous pace at which it travels, it perspires freely.”

This reminds us of the ready reply the Prophet Joseph Smith is said to have made at a dinner party at Springfield, Illinois, on one occasion. Quite a number of members of the state legislature, and prominent jurists of the state were present. Many questions were asked the prophet, some for information and some what a view to puzzle him. Finally someone asked him what caused the ebb and flow of the ocean tides. “The earth breathes,” was the quick response, “and the alternate expansion and contraction of her surface occasions the tides.”


Three different waiters at a hotel asked a prim, precise little man at dinner if he would have soup. A little annoyed, he said to the last waiter who asked the question, ‘”Is it compulsory?” “No, sir,” said the waiter, “I think it’s mock turtle.”

Jet Age Influence

The Sunday School teacher told the children to draw a picture illustrating a Biblical text. One little girl returned with a drawing of an airplane and a man, woman, baby, and a pilot.

“What’s this? the teacher asked.

“The flight into Egypt,” replied the tot. “That’s Mary, Joseph, the Infant Jesus, and Pontius the Pilot.”


An ideal wife is any woman who has an ideal husband.


Hookey: When a small boy lets his mind wander and then follows it.


I love a finished speaker;
Oh, my, I really do.
I don’t mean one who’s polished –
I just mean one who’s through.



  1. That’s a fascinating rejoinder from Joseph Smith.

    Comment by Coffinberry — January 22, 2011 @ 8:53 am

  2. I wish I knew whether it was reliable … somehow “The joke page of the 1957 Improvement Era” doesn’t sound like a citation I can use!

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — January 22, 2011 @ 9:32 am

  3. The waiter’s misunderstanding of “compulsory” reminds me of a witness’s alleged hilarious response to the lawyer’s question: “Were you hit in the fracas?”

    Comment by Mark B. — January 22, 2011 @ 10:09 am

  4. Did she answer, “No, on my shoulder” — or something better?

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — January 22, 2011 @ 10:41 am

  5. The back seat driver is my favorite of this bunch. Sounds like something Fred would holler at Ethyl in an episode of I Love Lucy.

    Comment by Clark — January 22, 2011 @ 9:12 pm

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