Keepa has posted 125 “Funny Bones” collections of quips from old church publications, which means that you’ve read approximately 130 jokes about overly frugal Scots (or “Scotchmen” as the jokes usually call them). The jokes aren’t true — but are they funny? offensive? something else? How about the other ethnic jokes, the ones that depend for their punchlines on the idea that Irishmen drink too much and get into fist fights? or that Swedes talk funny but sometimes inadvertently express great wisdom behind their accents? or that Jews are good businessmen? How about the other stereotypes — country bumpkins, city slickers, henpecked husbands, brides who can’t cook, employers who chase their secretaries?
Today the shoe is on the other foot, as we look at jokes printed in Gentile newspapers showcasing Mormon stereotypes. I’ve weeded out the worst of them, the ones that display blatant hatred and scorn and contempt, and limited the jokes to those most comparable to the ethnic stereotypes our own ancestors found so funny. Many of them are simple twists on other stereotypes — the talkative woman, the henpecked husband, the interfering mother-in-law — but all on steroids in the presumed Mormon context.
Lightning killed a Mormon near Salt Lake, and threw upon the market a fine assortment of widows of all ages and conditions.
First Mormon: “I wonder who that blonde is? A nice figure!”
Second ditto: “Why, don’t you know? It’s your wife.”
First Mormon: “So it is. I thought I had seen her before.”
The debating society held their meeting the other night, and as I expected, the subject was “women.” The vote was adverse to the women of Otago, and it was resolved that in the event of the United States of America confiscating all the wives of the Mormons except one each, that it would be advisable to petition President Grant to send them out here [New Zealand]. In favour of this movement it was argued that those ladies would receive pensions, and being saints as well, they would be very desirable helpmates.
The ladies of Utah are tired of being called Mormons, and have changed the orthography of their creed by substituting “e” for “o” in the last syllable – more men is what they want.
They have found a petrified Mormon in Utah, and from the number of dents in the head, evidently made with a poker and flat iron, it is judged that he had at least thirty-three wives.
The good die young. Brigham the Mormon died Young. Therefore Brigham was good.
A Mormon trigamist, who couldn’t persuade a widow to become his fourth wife, sent his No. 2 to plead for him. The widow, with some surprise, asked the woman if she really wanted her to accept. ‘Well,” said the second wife, “I don’t wish Mr. — to take any more wives, but I do so hate and detest his No. 3, that I would do anything to plague her, and so I want you to come.”
There is a man who says that if we reflected upon the number of an active Mormon’s mother-in-laws, we should not hesitate to forgive his iniquities on account of the mighty vastness of his reparation. Our informant has just married his third wife, and all their maternal parents live in his house.
A contemporary talks of “fighting polygamy with words.” But it is necessary to say that words can have no deterrent effect upon the man who has half a dozen wives in his family.
A Mormon with twenty wives is not necessarily twenty times as miserable as the man with only one. For instance, when one of them gets mad and wants to break his head with the broom – are there not nineteen others to stand around and protect and save him, and to call her “a horrid, nasty, cruel thing”?
Worse than Mormonism
“Talk about Mormonism,” said Bulger; “I don’t see what right people have to howl about it when such things as this are permitted in Pennsylvania,” and he pointed his finger to an item in the paper he had in his hand.
“What is it?” inquired Sucker.
“Why, here it tells of one man who has married no less than 1500 women.”
“But it is so. His name is Mayes, and he marries a new woman every few days, and yet the authorities don’t interfere.”
“Horrible! How does he evade the law?”
“He doesn’t evade it. He is a Justice of the Peace, and his place is a sort of Gretna Green for Ohio and West Virginia runaway couples.”
“Oh!” said Sucker, and then went off muttering something about people being too smart.
The only way to open the eyes of the Mormons to the evil of polygamy is to have all their wives buy spring bonnets at once.
Two Mormon women met on a street in Salt Lake City the other day. “Say,” said one of them, “is it true that Brother Smith has married a second wife?”
“Yes, it is true,” was the answer.
“How do you know?” asked number one.
“I can see it in his first wife’s face,” said number two.
Mormon wife (to husband) – ‘Are you going out, dear?’
Mormon husband – ‘Yes; I have an engagement with Miss Brigham. She is to give me her answer tonight.’
Wife (reading morning paper): “Why, the Mormons actually still claim the right of having two, three, and sometimes four wives at once.”
Husband: “At that rate, how can a man ever hope to be a widower?”
Small Son: “Ma, what’s Mormons?”
Mother: “Men who have a good many wives, my son.”
“A good many?”
“Yes; thirty or forty sometimes.”
“Ooo! That’s awful.”
“Yes, my son.”
“Just awful. I wouldn’t like thirty or forty mammas to spank me.”
Two girls wished to enter a Woman’s College in New York. The first gave her name as Lucy Smith aged 17, and the second as Mary Smith aged 17.
‘Ah,’ said the principal, ‘twins, I suppose!’
‘Not at all,’ answered Mary. ‘Pa is a Mormon.’
Smith: “Who is that lady with the pale blue dress? She’s a beauty.”
Jones: “That is Mrs. Tomkins – an awfully clever woman. Makes a splendid wife – one in a hundred.”
Smith; ‘Good gracious! You don’t mean to tell me that her husband is a Mormon?”
Mrs. Enpeck: “Ah, well; things are never so bad but that they might be worse.”
Mr. Enpeck (in whom the lion has suddenly been aroused): “I know it. I might be a Mormon and have three or four of you.”
An amusing story is told of the late Mr. A—, the head of a large American college, and a lady of more inquisitiveness than intelligence.
On one occasion a business matter called Mr A— to a small town in the central part of Pennsylvania. While sitting in the country hotel in the evening, after transacting his business, he was taken in hand by the wife of the proprietor, who wanted to know all about his private affairs.
Mr. A— took it all in good part, and for a time was rather amused. Finally she asked: “Have you much of a family?”
“Oh, yes,” said he, and he smiled as his mind reverted to his hundreds of pupils.
“How many children?” she persisted.
“Well,” said Mr. A—, with great earnestness, “I have three hundred, and all boys!”
The good lady was speechless for a moment. Then she arose, and hurrying to the door, called softly to her husband –
“Oh, John, come in here at once! We’ve got Brigham Young stoppin’ with us!”
When a woman is giving her husband a bit of her mind, he should try to imagine what it would be like if he were a Mormon, and was having seventeen such bits served up to him.
Heard in a book-store: “I suppose that work in sixty volumes is an encyclopedia?”
“No; it is called ‘The Love-Letters of a Mormon Elder.’”
A Mormon boy out in Utah
One day chanced to meet his own pa;
Cried the glad little one:
“Shake, pa, I’m your son!”
“Indeed?” said the man; “who’s your ma?”
Mr. Goldbug: “Very old family, is it not?”
Mrs. Malaprop Newrocks: “Very old, indeed; it goes away back to the conquest of England by the Mormons.”
“Do you know anything about the Mormons, Tommy?” asked the teacher.
“Yes’m,” replied the boy. “With the Mormons a wife is sometimes twins.”
A Mormon once argued polygamy with Mark Twain. The Mormon insisted that polygamy was moral, and he defied Twain to cite any passage of Scripture that forbade the practice. “Well,” said the humorist, “how about that passage that tells us no man can serve two masters?”
Salt Lake City has imposed a 10-mile speed limit for motors, on the ground that one motor accident in a Mormon community may create half a dozen widows and convert an entire schoolhouse into an orphanage.
First Bachelor – “What’s your idea of a hero?”
Second Bachelor – “A Mormon.”
A Quick Thinker
Boss: “Young man, this is the third time, to my knowledge, that you’ve buried a grandmother.”
Boy: “Well, you see, boss, my grandfather was a Mormon.”
“What!” cried the Mormon’s wife. “You say my husband is dying?”
“I am afraid so,” replied the doctor.
“Then my place is by his bedside until the end.”
“Certainly,” said the doctor, “but I advise you to hurry, as all the best places are being rapidly taken.”
Some people wonder what a Mormon wedding is like. It’s something like this:
Pastor (to groom): “Do you take these women to be your lawful wedded wives?”
Groom: “I do.”
Pastor (to brides): “Do you take this man to be your lawful wedded husband?”
Brides: “We do.”
Pastor: “Some of you girls at the back will have to speak louder if you want to be included in this.”