Little Nelly told little Anita what she termed a “little fib.”
Anita – “A fib is the same as a story, and a story is the same as a lie.”
Nelly – “No, it’s not.”
Anita – “Yes, it is, because my father said so, and my father is a professor at the university.”
Nellie – “I don’t care if he is. My father is a real estate man and he knows more about lying than your father does.”
A Legal Mind
Harold, aged nine, came home one day so bruised and dirty that his mother was thrown into a state of marked perturbation.
“Mercy!” she exclaimed, in horror. “How on earth, my child, did you get your clothes and face into such a state?”
“I was trying to keep a little boy from getting licked,” was Harold’s virtuous, if hesitating, reply.
“Well, that was fine!” said his mollified parent. “I am proud of you, son. Who was the little boy?”
A story about Mrs. Taft has recently amused Washington society.
Mrs. Taft, at a diplomatic dinner, had for as neighbor a distinguished French traveler who boasted a little unduly of his nation’s politeness.
“We French,” the traveler declared, “are the politest people in the world. Every one acknowledges it. You Americans are a remarkable nation, but the French excel you in politeness. You admit it yourself, don’t you?”
Mrs. Taft smiled delicately.
“Yes,” she said. “That is our politeness.”
The Lexicon of Sport
“Pa, what is a football coach?”
“The ambulance, I suppose.”
A Bit Slow
Before Abraham Lincoln became president he was called out of town on important law business. As he had a long distance to travel he hired a horse from a livery stable. When a few days later he returned he took the horse back to the stable and asked the man who had given it to him:
“Keep this horse for funerals?”
“No, indeed,” answered the man indignantly.
“Glad to hear it,” said Lincoln; “because if you did the corpse wouldn’t get there in time for the resurrection.”
“Are you in favor of woman’s suffrage?” she asked.
“Oh, yes! Enthusiastically,” he replied.
“Now, I wish you would tell me why you think women ought to forget their children and their household duties and get out into the world to mix up in political affairs. If you know of any good reason – ”
“Good heavens! I beg your pardon. I merely said I was in favor of it to avoid arguing with you. Can’t a man be safe on any side any more?”
Little Walter was always carefully guarded against germs. The telephone was sprayed, the drinking utensils sterilized, and, and public conveyances and places were forbidden him.
“Father,” he said, one night, in a tone of desperation, “do you know what I am going to do when I grow up?”
“What?” asked the father, prepared for the worst.
“I am going to eat a germ.”
Afraid of Himself
Joseph Jefferson, the actor, once told this story to a friend:
“I was coming down in the elevator of the Stock Exchange building, and at one of the intermediate floors a man whose face I knew as well as I know yours got in. He greeted me very warmly at once, said it was a number of years since we had met, and was very gracious and friendly. But I couldn’t place him for the life of me. I asked him as a sort of a feeler how he happened to be in New York, and he answered, with a touch of surprise, that he had lived there for several years. Finally I told him, in an apologetic way, that I couldn’t recall his name. He looked at me for a moment, and then he said, very quietly, that his name was U.S. Grant.”
“What did you do, Joe?” his friend asked.
“Do?” he replied, with a characteristic smile. “Why, I got out at the next floor, for fear I’d ask him if he had ever been in the war!”
“What do you charge for your rooms?”
“Five dollars up.”
“But I’m a student – ”
“Then it’s five dollars down.”
“What is an angel, mother?” asked a six-year-old.
“Why, dear, it is a beautiful lady with wings, who flies. But why do you ask?”
“Because I heard father call the new maid an angel.”
“Oh!” said the mother. “Well, dear, you watch her and you will see her fly tomorrow.”
Using His Friends
A visitor from New York to the suburbs said to his host during the afternoon:
“By-the-way, your front gate needs repairing. It was all I could do to get it open. You ought to have it trimmed or greased or something.”
“Oh, no,” replied the owner – “Oh, no, that’s all right.”
“Why is it?” asked the visitor.
“Because,” was the reply, “every one who comes through the gate pumps two buckets of water into the tank on the roof.”
His “Catch” Was Delayed
Tommy went fishing the other day without his mother’s permission. The next morning one of his chums met him and asked: “Did you catch anything yesterday, Tommy?”
“Not till I got home,” was the rather sad response.
His Memory Was All Right
“Well, dear,” announced her absent-minded husband when he came home, “this time I did not forget to bring home my umbrella. See?”
“Yes, dear, I do see,” replied the gentle wife. “The only trouble is, Harry, you didn’t take yours this morning.”
Teacher – “How would you punctuate the sentence: ‘Alice a pretty girl is walking down the street’?”
Boy – “I’d make a dash after Alice.”
Had It All Right
Professor – “What is a vacuum?”
Student – “I can’t just tell, but I have it in my head, all right.”
What Is a Lawyer
“Father,” asked the little son, “what is a lawyer?
“A lawyer? Well, my son, a lawyer is a man who gets two men to strip for a fight and then runs off with their clothes.”
There were no vacant seats in the car, but as a comely looking woman entered an elderly man near the door attempted to rise, but she at once forced him back into his seat. “Thank you,” she said, “but please don’t do that. I am perfectly able to stand.”
“But, madam, allow – “
“I insist upon your keeping your seat,” interrupted the woman with her hands on his shoulders. The man continued his efforts to rise, saying: “Madam, will you kindly permit me to –“
With another push the woman again forced him back, insisting that she couldn’t think of accepting his seat.
With one supreme effort the man forced her aside. “Madam,” he exclaimed, “you have already carried me three blocks beyond my destination. I don’t care a tinker’s thingumbob whether you take my seat or not, but I wish to leave this car.”
Could You Blame Him?
It was evening in the Nearswelle Apartments, and the janitor was considering turning on the hall lights. From No. 19, on the first floor, came the sound of a young girl practicing: “Ah – hah – ih – ah – thuh fluh-how-ers thot bluhm – hah – ih – ah!” Across the hall, in 27, young Johnson played “The Soldier’s Dream” on his cornet. On the second floor a Polish pianist was tearing up the chromatic scale, and the Higginses had their phonograph blaring “The Washington Post March.” On the third floor Ernest and Harold, the cute twins, played sweetly on mandolin and guitar, and from 96, on the fourth floor, came the chant of the Flint Street Baptist choir in tremendous rehearsal.
In the center of the building Mr. Tomlinson looked across at his wife.
“Maggie,” he said in a strange, low voice, “te-um – te-um – te-ootle-te-o – why is a band that beats? – tra-la – tra-la – hit up the white keys, pound on the black keys – fa, si, do – “
“Horace!” gasped Mrs. Tomlinson in alarm.
“P flat!” he screamed. “Sound the glad piccolo! Boom, boom! – in A major – hold the note by the tail!”
Then he chased his faithful wife into the dumb-waiter, bit off the gas-fixtures, and tried to crawl through the leak in the kitchen sink. They took him to the Central Hospital for the Musical Insane, and to this day he thinks he’s a symphony orchestra.
For the One He Loved
“Well,” said he, anxious to patch up their quarrel, “aren’t you curious to know what is in this parcel?”
“Not very,” replied the still belligerent wife.
“Well, it’s something for the one I love best in all the world.”
“Ah, I suppose it’s those collars you said you needed.”