Keepapitchinin, the Mormon History blog » Funny Bones, 1908 (3)

Funny Bones, 1908 (3)

By: Ardis E. Parshall - May 07, 2011

Keeping Away the Wolf

Mrs. Topnote (cheerfully) – “Never mind, dear! True, we’re in desperate straits just now; but remember, if the worst should come, I could keep the wolf from the door by my singing.”

Her Husband (despondently) – “Yes, dear; but what if the wolf should chance to be deaf?”


Reformed Cannibal (with a dreadful past): “I may be black, Sir, but I’ve got British blood in my veins.”

Familiar with Shakespeare

Mrs. Smith: “My eldest son is very familiar with Shakespeare.”

Mrs. Casey: “Indade. Shure Oi thought thot mon doid long ago!”

After the Service

Deacon Wigg: “Now, that was a finished discourse.”

Farmer Wagg: “Yes; but do you know, I thought it never would be.”


“Ma,” declared the excited little girl, “the baby’s lost his breath!”

“Then put him right down,” rejoined the preoccupied mother, “and hunt around till you find it!”

Economical Pat

Pat had suffered for days with a terrible toothache. Finally he went to a dentist. On asking how much it would cost, the dentist said: “Fifty cents. With gas, one dollar!”

“Shure,” cried Pat, “I’ll call in the mornin’ and have it took out by daylight!”


The little daughter of a well-known American scientist, taken with the measles, heard a good deal of talk about germs and microbes.

One evening a short while after her recovery she was near when her mother was singing a lullaby to the baby.

“Oh, mamma,” she cried, “you mustn’t sing that! You sang it to me when I had the measles, and there may be microbes in it!”

I Wonder

I wonder why a feller has to wash his hands and face.
They always dirty up again in just the washed-off place.
And when a feller skips his ears they say he has no pride.
No one but Maw twists up my ears and looks around inside.
And when I wonder why she does, she says “to find the dirt.”
If it’s as hard to see as that, to leave it in can’t hurt.

Fact, Not Fancy


Saturday.- – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – Monday.

His Favorite Parable

A country clergyman on his round of visits interviewed a youngster as to his acquaintance with Bible stories.

“My lad,” he said, “you have of course heard of the parables?”

“Yes, sir,” shyly answered the boy, whose mother had inducted him in sacred history. “Yes, sir.”

“Good!” said the clergyman. “Now which of them do you like the best of all?”

The boy squirmed, but at last, heeding his mother’s frowns, he replied: “I guess I like that one where somebody loafs and fishes.”

The Eternal Query

Adam awoke and saw Eve.

“Here I am, dear,” the first woman remarked sweetly. “Have you been waiting long?”

An Orthodox Explanation

A mother was giving her little girl a bath, when she said, “I wonder where this dust on the water comes from?”

Small Girl: “Perhaps I leak somewhere, mama. You know, I’m made of dust.”

A Suburban Student of Literature

At the Boston Public Library they have a system for the delivery of books in the suburbs.

This order was once received from a suburban patron:

Dear Mr. Librarian: – Please to send me the following books: “The House of Three Gables,” “The Vision of Sir Longfellow,” and “The Last of the Mohegians,” by John Milton, and greatly oblige.

Shirts and Shirts

She was a dear old lady, but she lived at Hardscrabble, and was a bit behind the times. She had been reading the advertisements in a city newspaper chance had brought her way.

“Father,” she asked her husband, “what is these here negligee shirts they talk about?”

Father, being a man, was equal to the occasion.

“Don’t know what they be?” he grinned. “Well, you are a back number. Negligee shirts ain’t quite so stiff and choky as a b’iled shirt – I mean a reg’lar hard-b’iled shirt. A negligee shirt is something you might call a soft-b’iled shirt.”

A Couple of Them

“Jimmie,” said the merchant solemnly, at the eleventh hour, “we have forgotten to get a fresh supply of stamps.”

And the office-boy, in his excitement, responded with, “Goodness, sir, so we have! If we ain’t a couple of blunder-headed idiots!”

Wholesome Fear

Miss H., the principal of a grammar school, was investigating a tale brought her by a pupil.

“Are you quite sure that was the way it happened, Mrs. P.?”

“Miss H., that was just the way. I’m telling you the truth. I wouldn’t dare tell you a lie. I’m not well enough to-day.

A Mind Reader

Pat had got hurt – not much more than a scratch, it is true, but his employer had visions of being compelled to keep him for life, and had adopted the wise course of sending him at once to the hospital. After the house-surgeon had examined him carefully, he said to the nurse:

“As subcutaneous abrasion is not observable, I do not think there is any reason to apprehend segumental cicatrization of the wound.”

Then turning the patient, he asked, quizzically:

“What do you think, Pat?”

“Sure, sir,” said Pat, “you’re a wonderful thought-reader, doctor. You took the very words out of my mouth. That’s just what I was going to say!”



  1. Blue-blooded: Oh. My. Times certainly have changed, haven’t they?

    Preoocupied: Was that one ever funny? I mean, it’s more scary than funny to me, and i can’t imagine it being any funnier back when infant and child mortality was higher.

    Comment by David B — May 7, 2011 @ 1:22 pm

  2. Re: Blue-blooded: I used to weed out all jokes built around skin color (the greatest number being black, but also a few brown and “yellow”) but have recently decided that I’ve been seriously misrepresenting the nature of the jokes in our old magazines by doing so, especially since I’ve posted so many Scots-are-cheap and Irish-are-drunks stereotypes, along with a number of Swedish, Jewish, and Italian jokes.

    I still weed out those that strike me as being founded entirely on hate (“blacks are criminals” is an exceedingly common stereotype in these old pages) while posting others that draw on other sources for their humor. I try to measure them in rough equivalence to the level of meanness directed toward other national and language groups.

    It’s a hard line to draw, and I may misjudge from time to time. When that happens, call me on it. Really, though, I’m trying to balance the humor of these corny old features that we can enjoy just for their absurdity, with an acknowledgment that this humor reflects a part of our cultural past.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — May 7, 2011 @ 2:59 pm

  3. Oh, i don’t think you crossed a line or anything—we all know these sorts of attitudes were commonplace back then (and perhaps not so uncommonplace nowadays as we’d like to think), it’s just that it packed so many things into such a small space.

    Comment by David B — May 7, 2011 @ 8:41 pm

  4. I quite enjoyed reading these, I liked the ‘His Favorite Parable’
    Thankyou for sharing

    Comment by Jayne — May 8, 2011 @ 10:20 am

  5. Jokes about negligee are also sure to be left our when the Ensign resurrects this feature!

    Comment by Clark — May 8, 2011 @ 7:46 pm

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