Keepapitchinin, the Mormon History blog » Funny Bones, 1915 (6)

Funny Bones, 1915 (6)

By: Ardis E. Parshall - August 18, 2012

Sometimes the jokes from the old magazines make me feel I should apologize to you. A couple of jokes here fall into that category …

Loved Too Well

Mama: “You know, Johnny, when mama whips her little boy, she does it for his own good.”

Johnny: “Mama, I wish you didn’t think quite so much of me.”


Father (trying to give a concealed dose): “Well, well, you are a funny boy. Why this sudden and extraordinary dislike for jam?”

Son: “‘Cuz I believe it’s mined.”

The First Favor

Mark Twain was once standing in a crowded street car, hanging to a strap. As the car swung round a corner the strap broke, landing him in the lap of a well-dressed woman. The humorist rose and bowed.

“Madam,” said he, “this is the first time the street car company ever conferred a favor on me.”

Exact Duplicate

When Rastus Johnsing’s son was born
He looked jist like his poppy.
In fact, the doctor, he done said
He was a carbon copy.

Getting Back at Her

The teacher, a lady of uncertain age, was having a hard time teaching Johnny the names of the Presidents.

“Why, when I was your age,” she said disgustedly, “I could recite the names of the Presidents backward and forward.”

“Yes’m,” said Johnny, “but when you was my age there wasn’t so many presidents.”

Essay on Habit

A story is told of an English schoolmaster who offered a prize to the boy who should write the best composition in five minutes on “How to Overcome Habit.”

At the expiration of five minutes the compositions were read. The prize went to a lad of nine years. Following is his essay:

“Well, sir, habit is hard to overcome. If you take off the first letter, it does not change ‘abit.” If you take off another, you will have a ‘bit’ left. If you take off still another, the whole of ‘it’ remains. If you take off another, it is not wholly used up; all of which goes to show that if you want to get rid of a habit you must throw it off altogether.”

Twisting Things

Two correspondents wrote to a country editor desiring to know, respectively, “the best way of assisting twins through the teething” and “how to rid an orchard of grasshoppers.”

The editor answered both questions faithfully, but, unfortunately, got the initials mixed, so that the fond father of the teething twins was thunderstruck by the following advice:

“If you are unfortunate enough to be plagued by these unwelcome little pests, the quickest way of settling them is to cover them with straw and set it on fire.”

The other man, who was bothered with grasshoppers, was equally amazed to read: “The best method of treatment is to give each a warm bath twice a day, and rub their gums with India rubber.”

His Favorite Parable

A 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 instructed 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.’”

A Suggestion

“Waiter, this knife is blunt and the steak is like leather.”

“Ow’d it do to strop the knife on the steak, sir?”


With but three minutes to catch his train, the traveling salesman inquired of the street-car conductor, “Can’t you go faster than this?”

“Yes,” the bell-ringer replied, “but I have to stay with my car.”

The Clever Gunner

Comment on the perfect marksmanship now displayed in the navy was made in the form of an anecdote by a sergeant of a United States marine recruiting corps.

The captain called up a gunner and pointing out a battleship several miles away, said:

“You see that ship?”

“Aye, aye, sir,” said the gunner.

“You see the officer on deck?”

“Aye, aye, sir.”

“Well, you hit him in the eye with a 16-inch shell.”

“Aye, aye, sir. Which eye, sir?” asked the gunner.


Woman: “Does that parrot swear?”

Dealer: “Very prettily, mum, for so young a bird.”


“Why do these pipers keep walking up and down while they are playing?”

“Because it makes them harder to hit.”

Proud Record

“Ye have a fine bunch of boys, Mike,” said one Irishman to another.

“Indeed, I have,” was the reply, “and I’ve never had need to raise hand against them except in self-defence.”

It Rules the World

His Fiancee: “Tell me, count, why do you always kiss my left hand?”

The Count: “Are you not left-handed?”

His Fiancee: “Yes.”

The Count: “Then that is ze hand with which you sign ze checks, is it not?”



  1. That’s why pipers walk! That’s funny.

    And the Irish one was better. I hope I remember that one.

    Comment by Carol — August 18, 2012 @ 9:58 am

  2. I wonder how obscure the meaning of “Rastus” is at this point in time? While I’m sure none of my students would be familiar with it, I don’t know where I’d place the generational cut-off point for knowing the term.

    Anyway, as I’ve said before, I find those jokes which trade on racial or ethnic stereotypes to be historically interesting and I’m glad you don’t censor them.

    Comment by Mina — August 18, 2012 @ 11:09 am

  3. Mina, I do censor the worst of them — some, I think, are simply so bad that I don’t dare, even pleading “historical artifact.” if you ( or any other ‘ninny) ever undertakes a serious scholarly inquiry — I don’t want to do this for simple curiosity — I’ll provide some of the others.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — August 18, 2012 @ 12:32 pm

  4. That pipers joke has a second punchline that’s equally appropriate: “to get away from the noise.” Glad to add that new one to my repertory.

    Comment by Mark B. — August 19, 2012 @ 5:33 am

  5. Yeah. Carbon copy is pretty bad.

    Comment by The Other Clark — August 20, 2012 @ 3:39 pm

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