Jokes, Stories and Quotations
MARION DIX MOSHER Librarian, Genesee Branch, Rochester (N.Y.) Public Library
New York The H. W. Wilson Company London: Grafton & Co.
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BOOKS OF JOKES, STORIES AND QUOTATIONS
TOASTER'S HANDBOOK. Peggy Edmond and Harold Workman Williams. 501p. $1.80
MORE TOASTS. Marion D. Mosher. 552p. $1.80
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INTRODUCTION The Divine Gift of Humor The Function of Humor Importance of Humor
The success of the Toaster's Handbook has encouraged its publishers to compile another that will supplement it and bring it up-to-date. New subjects keep coming to the front, and the up-to-date toaster needs up-to-date stories to fit the up-to-date subjects. No public occasion of today is complete without its joke on the nineteenth amendment, the allied debts, the income tax, etc.
In offering the toasts, jokes, quotations and stories in this second volume, the editor has endeavored to bring further aid to the distracted toastmaster, to the professional after-dinner speaker who must change his stories often, and to individuals inexperienced in public speaking and so unfortunate as to have public addresses forced upon them. He views the product with much the same feeling as did Alexander Pope, who said, "O'er his books his eyes began to roll, in pleasing memory of all he stole."
Paolo Bellezze expressed the same feelings in the introduction to his work "Humor" when he said "Of this work of mine, I must confess it is a great lot of stuff gathered from everywhere except from my brain.... It is a necklace of pearls strung upon a slender cord; that, I have put there; the pearls have been furnished me by the most famous jewelers, native and foreign. This said, I can—without being accused of pride—recommend it to my respectable customers as an article of great value and of absolute novelty."
In making this collection, files of such magazines as Life, Judge, Puck and Punch were drawn on extensively; also magazines having humorous pages or columns, such as the Literary Digest, Ladies' Home Journal, Everybody's, Harper's; also Bindery Talk and various other house organs. According to Samuel Johnson "A man will turn over half a library to make one book," and the compiler of this one makes humble acknowledgment to a whole library of books and periodicals where most of these jokes have already appeared. It has been impossible to give credit unless the place of first publication was definitely known.
The compiling of "More Toasts" was in large measure cooperative. The test of the humor of a story or joke is in its efficacy when applied to normal people under ordinary circumstances. With this philosophy in mind the editor made it a rule to include nothing until it had first been "tried on the dog." The original material was first graded into three classes and, before being accepted, each joke had to stand the test of appealing to the sense of humor of several persons. The result is a collection of very carefully selected jokes and stories, only about fifty per cent of the material originally chosen being used. If any over-critical reader fails to find them humorous, may not the fault possibly be due to his own imperfect sense of humor?
There is also much truth in the statement that the point of a jest lies in the telling of it and often much of the subtle humor is lost in the reading. The personality of the speaker is a necessary factor and is frequently more important in the effect produced by the story than the story itself. Elbert Hubbard once said "Next in importance to the man who first voices a great thought is the man who quotes it."
The clever compiler, like a good chef, must not only know what to select but in what order to present it. Knowledge consists in being able to find a thing when you want it and accordingly an attempt has been made to pigeonhole each joke where it would be most useful. Such a classification is at best a difficult and debatable question, and numerous cross references have been placed wherever it was thought they might direct the reader to the subject wanted.
With these few explanatory words, the editor presents this little volume, sincerely hoping that it may prove a friend in need to all who seek the relaxation of humor, and a lifesaver to that legion of humble men whose knees tremble when the chairman speaks those fateful words—"The next speaker of the evening...."
What can be more fitting than that a compiled book should have a compiled introduction? Why should one with great pains and poor prospects of success attempt to do what has already been well done? Knowing that all readers of this book have a sense of humor and that they will approve our decision we begin with a quotation from an article by Mr. E. Lyttelton.
[Footnote 1: The Nineteenth Century. July, 1922.]
The Divine Gift of Humor
The subject of humor has an attraction peculiarly its own, because it deals with a mystery which yet is pleasantly interwoven with the daily life of each one of us. We often say of one of our neighbors that he has no sense of humour. But he often laughs; he never spends a day without at least trying to laugh, tho it remains but an attempt, an effort, an aspiration after something which he seems to have lost but wishes to recover. Either, that is, he remains grave when others laugh, or he laughs, as Horace says, "with alien jaws," by constraint rather than because he cannot help it. He has a confused idea that it is expected of him. Such laughter is apparently the outcome of an uneasy sense of duty, a dismal travesty of the real thing....
Certainly humour is a singularly elusive thing, and I doubt if anyone alive can explain it; but its elusiveness gives it something of its charm; and, moreover, the illustrations which are necessary to an inquiry into its nature, its scope and meaning, are apt to be amusing without being irrelevant.
Humour has often been roughly described as a sense of the incongruous. More satisfying, however, is the following, which has been ascribed to Dean Inge: It is a sense of incongruous emotions. As soon as we think of the emotions being stirred we see that the strange difference between humourous and unhumourous people is not an intellectual matter, but follows the general law of emotional susceptibility, viz., that it is independent of the reason and varies within wide limits with each individual, and obviously with each nationality. Moreover, it appears that, as it is compounded of two emotions, one man may feel one of the emotions but be dull to the other, according to his temperament. It is a matter of sensitiveness, and in sensitiveness no two of us are alike.
Crudely judged, then, humour may be described as a blessing of nature bestowed on all, but in widely varying measure, so that in the case of some of our acquaintance we deplore its non-existence, but never in ourselves. Nobody really believes that he is wholly without it, partly because, in proportion as the sense is really defective, the defect must be in its own nature unperceived, but also because the gift is so precious, so winsome, that no one could bear to believe that it has been denied him. By a merciful law of nature, the delusion is unsuspected, for assuredly, if any wholly unhumorous person once realised the full extent of his privation, nothing could save him from "wretchlessness" and despair.
I prefer to believe that, like the sense of beauty, the love of music, the thrill of admiration for uncalculating heroism, we have here a wondrous aid to us in our life's pilgrimage, but that if we trace it to a sense of our self-interest, we not only vulgarize it, but we turn it into a caricature. For there is in humour this singular property; its aroma is so subtle, delicate and undefinable that the effort to buttress it upon coarse, common utility is doomed to fail, and in the mere attempt humour vanishes. There is something deliciously contagious about laughter that is quite sincere and unthinking; whereas the only people who contrive to be always absurd, but never amusing, are those who laugh from a sense of duty.
Humour, then, in the young is restricted in scope, their experience of life being small; in women it is quicker than in men, but shallower; in the Scotch it is reticent, in the Irish voluble and refined, but cold. But wherever it is found free from counterfeit, wholesome and contagious, it is the offspring of man's heaven-bestowed power of seeing in the meannesses of earth the true presence of the Divine.
Darwin says the causes of humor are legion and exceedingly complex and various disquisitions upon humor and laughter would seem to support him. Its social nature is emphasized by Edwin Paxton Hood:
The sources of all laughter and merriment are in the cordial sympathies of our nature. Laughter is very nearly related to the highest and most instinctive wisdom; it stands at no distant remove from Judgment on the one hand, and Imagination on the other; and it is a proof of a healthy nature, for both thinking and acting.
C.S. Evans in his article "On Humor in Literature" gives a hint of the evolutionary process of its mechanism and its higher refinement:
On the lower plane of humor you get a laugh by the most unimaginative means—merely conceive a recognized humorous situation, or bring several things together according to a recipe, and the thing is done. Every practised comedian, in literature or on the stage, is an adept at it. But the creation of character, the expression—in terms of the words and actions of men and women—of that "social gesture" which is laughter's source, is a much greater thing, for there we touch the symbolism which is the soul of art.
The Function of Humor
In an article entitled "Why Do We Laugh?" William McDougall discusses scientifically the value of laughter:
Laughter of man presents a problem with which philosophers have wrestled in all ages with little success. Man is the only animal that laughs. And, if laughter may properly be called an instinctive reaction, the instinct of laughter is the only one peculiar to the human species....
We are saved from this multitude of small sympathetic pains and depressions by laughter, which, as we have seen, breaks up our train of mental activity and prevents our dwelling upon the distressing situation, and which also provides an antidote to the depressing influence in the form of physiological stimulation that raises the blood-pressure and promotes the circulation of the blood. This, then, is the biological function of laughter, one of the most delicate and beautiful of all nature's adjustments. In order that man should reap the full benefits of life in the social group, it was necessary that his primitive sympathetic tendencies should be strong and delicately adjusted. For without this, there could be little mutual understanding, and only imperfect cooperation and mutual aid in the more serious difficulties and embarrassments of life. But, in endowing man with delicately responsive sympathetic tendencies, nature rendered him liable to suffer a thousand pains and depressions upon a thousand occasions of mishap to his fellows, occasions so trivial as to call for no effort of support or assistance. Here was a dilemma—whether to leave man so little sympathetic that he would be incapable of effective social life; or to render him effectively sympathetic and leave him subject to the perpetually renewed pains of sympathy, which, if not counteracted, would seriously depress his vitality and perhaps destroy the species. Nature, confronted with this problem, solved it by the invention of laughter. She endowed man with the instinct to laugh on contemplation of these minor mishaps of his fellow men; and so made them occasions of actual benefit to the beholder; all those things which, apart from laughter, would have been mildly displeasing and depressing, became objects and occasions of stimulating beneficial laughter....
For laughter is no exception to the law of primitive sympathy; but rather illustrates it most clearly and familiarly; the infectiousness of laughter is notorious and as irresistible as the infection of fear itself.... The great laugher is the person of delicately responsive sympathetic reactions; and his laughter quickly gives place to pity and comforting support, if our misfortune waxes more severe. Such persons are in little danger of giving offense by their laughter; for we detect their ready sympathy and easily laugh with them; they teach us to be humorous.
H. Merian Allen in his essay "Little Laughs in History" says "The relaxation of a full laugh clears the brain, restores fit contact with one's fellows, and so smoothes the way for the solving of knotty problems."
Linus W. Kline, Ph.D., further elucidates the psychical office of humor as follows:
The psychical function of humor is to delicately cut the surface tension of consciousness and disarrange its structure that it may begin again from a new and strengthened base. It permits our mental forces to reform under cover, as it were, while the battle is still on. Then, too, it clarifies the field and reveals the strategetic points, or, to change the figure, it pulls off the mask and exposes the real man. No stimulus, perhaps more mercifully and effectually breaks the surface tension of consciousness, thereby conditioning the mind for a stronger forward movement, than that of humor. It is the one universal dispensary for human kind: a medicine for the poor, a tonic for the rich, a recreation for the fatigued and a beneficient check to the strenuous. It acts as a shield to the reformer, as an entering wedge to the recluse and as a decoy for barter and trade.
Humor is as necessary to our mental and spiritual life as are vitamins to our physical well-being. Ruskin has called our attention to the tendency of rivers to lean a little to one side, to have "One shingly shore upon which they can be shallow and foolish and childlike, and another steep shore under which they can pause and purify themselves and get their strength of waves fully together for due occasions," and has likened them to great men who must have one side of their life for work and another for play. Action and reaction must be balanced: seriousness and lightness. "Men who work prodigously must play with equal energy," says one commentator. "Humor is the gift of the deeply serious man," remarks another. "There have been very few solemn men, but their solemnity was evidence, not of their gifts, but of their defects; as a rule greatness is accompanied by the overflow of the fountain of life in play." "The richly furnished mind overflows with vitality and deals with ideas and life freely, daringly, often audaciously."
The function of the catalyst in chemical reactions is to help other bodies to get on together, but in doing this it only lends its presence.
CATALYST. A chemical body which by its presence, is capable of inducing chemical changes in other bodies while itself remaining unchanged.
In quite the same way humor, by its mere presence, serves to smooth the way in all human relations. It contributes a socializing touch. "Humor makes the whole world akin."
Importance of Humor
Not only the toastmaster needs to have a sense of humor and a collection of funny stories, and not only the preacher, the public speaker and entertainer, but everyone, as well, who must influence others. The "voice with a smile" wins because behind the voice is a sense of humor. We have more confidence in those who have a sense of humor. The following is quoted from a persuasive advertisement entitled "The Gentle Art of Telling a Humorous Story Well":
The most successful men and women are those who know how to get along with their fellow-beings, who know how to win and hold good will. In fact, the biggest problem in business and society today is the human problem, the problem of making people like you and making people feel kindly towards each other.
And nothing oils the wheels of human relationship so nicely as humor. Abraham Lincoln understood this when he saved many a critical situation by the introduction of one of his famous anecdotes. Humor has its place in serious business life, and in social life it is the universal passport to popularity.
The importance of humor in our daily life, often emphasized by scientists and philosophers, has been well summarized by Justin McCarthy in an article "Humor as an Element of Success":
I am strongly of the opinion that the quick and abiding sense of humour is a great element of success in every department of life. I do not speak merely of success in the more strictly artistic fields of human work, but am willing to maintain that even in the prosaic and practical concerns of human existence, the sense of humour is an exciting and sustaining influence to carry a man successfully thru to the full development of his capacity and the attainment of his purpose....
In the stories of great events and great enterprises we are constantly told of some heaven-born leader who kept alive, thru the most trying hours of what otherwise might have been utter and enfeebling depression, the energies, the courage and the hope of his comrades and his followers.
During thousands of years nature has developed in the human body many "safety first" signal systems. For example, when the body becomes chilled this signal system causes us to shiver and tickles the throat making us cough and in this way thru exercise stimulates the blood circulation.
Perhaps in ages to come nature will find a way to tickle our sense of humor when we are angry, discouraged, or otherwise mentally discomfitted and will thus help us thru laughter to throw off the soul chill and to regain spiritual poise.
This story is told of an absent-minded professor at Drew Theological Seminary. One evening while studying he had need of a book-mark. Seeing nothing else handy, he used his wife's scissors, which lay on the sewing-table. A few minutes later the wife wanted the scissors, but a diligent search failed to reveal them.
The next day the professor appeared before his class and opened his book. There lay the scissors. He picked them up and, holding them above his head, shouted:
"Here they are, dear!"
Yes, the class got it.
Deep in a ponderous calculation, the professor leaned over his desk. One hand held his massive brow; the other guided the pencil.
Suddenly the library door was flung open, and a nurse entered, smiling broadly.
"There's a little stranger upstairs, professor," she announced, of course referring to the very latest arrival.
"Eh?" grunted the man of learning, poring deeply over his problem.
"It's a little boy," remarked the nurse, still smiling.
"Little boy," mused the professor. "Little boy-eh? Well ask him what he wants."
A story is current concerning a professor who is reputed to be slightly absent-minded. The learned man had arranged to escort his wife one evening to the theater. "I don't like the tie you have on. I wish you would go up and put on another," said his wife.
The professor tranquilly obeyed. Moment after moment elapsed, until finally the impatient wife went upstairs to learn the cause of the delay. In his room she found her husband undressed and getting into bed.
"How will you have your roast beef?" asked the waiter.
"Well done, good and faithful servant," murmured the clerical-looking diner absent-mindedly.
See also Habit; Memory.
Hearing a crash of glassware one morning, Mrs. Blank called to her maid in the adjoining room, "Norah, what on earth are you doing?"
"I ain't doin' nothin', mum," replied Norah; "it's done."
A big Irishman, while carrying a ladder through a crowded street had the misfortune to break a plate-glass window in a store. He immediately dropped his ladder and broke into a run, but he had been seen by the shopkeeper, who dashed after him in company with several salesmen, and was soon caught.
"Here you big loafer!" shouted the angry shopkeeper, when he had regained his breath. "You have broken my window!"
"I sure have," admitted the Celt, "and didn't you see me running home to get the money to pay for it?"
There was a man who fancied that by driving good and fast He'd get his car across the track before the train came past; He'd miss the engine by an inch, and make the train-hands sore. There was a man who fancied this; there isn't any more.
In one of the industrial towns in South Wales a workman met with a serious accident. The doctor was sent for, and came and examined him, had him bandaged and carried home on a stretcher, seemingly unconscious.
After he was put to bed the doctor told his wife to give him sixpennyworth of brandy when he came to himself. After the doctor had left the wife told the daughter to run and fetch threepennyworth of brandy for her father.
The old chap opened his eyes and said, in a loud voice: "Sixpenn'orth, the doctor said."
An editor had a notice stuck up above his desk on which was printed: "Accuracy! Accuracy! Accuracy!" and this notice he always pointed out to the new reporters.
One day the youngest member of the staff came in with his report of a public meeting. The editor read it through and came to the sentence: "Three thousand nine hundred ninety-nine eyes were fixed upon the speaker."
"What do you mean by making a silly blunder like that?" he demanded, wrathfully.
"But it's not a blunder," protested the youngster. "There was a one-eyed man in the audience!"
ACTORS AND ACTRESSES
FIRST ACTRESS (behind the scenes)—"Did you hear the way the public wept during my death scene?"
SECOND ACTRESS—"Yes, it must have been because they realized that it was only acted!"
"These love scenes are rotten. Can't the leading man act as if he were in love with the star?"
"Can't act at all," said the director. "Trouble is, he is in love with her."
The teacher was giving the class a natural history lecture on Australia. "There is one animal," she said, "none of you have mentioned. It does not stand up on its legs all the time. It does not walk like other animals, but takes funny little skips. What is it?" And the class yelled with one voice, "Charlie Chaplin!"
Eight-year-old Robert had been ill for nearly a month with tonsilitis, and nothing kept him contented but pictures of his favorite, Charlie Chaplin, clipped from the pages of the motion-picture pictorials.
One morning, as his mother sat beside his bed, he studied earnestly a full-page drawing of the million-dollar comedian.
"Mother," he asked, "will Charlie Chaplin go to heaven?"
"Why, yes—I hope so," answered the somewhat astonished parent.
"Gee! won't the Lord have some fun then!" was Robert's comment.
Sweeping his long hair back with an impressive gesture the visitor faced the proprietor of the film studio. "I would like to secure a place in your moving-picture company," he said.
"You are an actor?" asked the film man.
"Had any experience acting without audiences?"
A flicker of sadness shone in the visitor's eyes as he replied:
"Acting without audiences is what brought me here!"
It was a death-bed scene, but the director was not satisfied with the hero's acting.
"Come on!" he cried. "Put more life in your dying!"
"Pa, what's an actor?"
"An actor, my boy, is a person who can walk to the side of a stage, peer into the wings at a group of other actors waiting for their cues, a number of bored stage hands and a lot of theatrical odds and ends and exclaim, 'What a lovely view there is from this window!'"
"There were two actresses in an early play of mine," said an author, "both very beautiful; but the leading actress was thin. She quarreled one day at rehearsal with the other lady, and she ended the quarrel by saying, haughtily: 'Remember, please, that I am the star.'
"'Yes, I know you're the star,' the other retorted, eyeing with an amused smile the leading actress's long, slim figure, 'but you'd look better, my dear, if you were a little meteor!'"
INTERVIEWER—"What is your wife's favorite dish?"
HUSBAND OF FAMOUS MOVIE ACTRESS—"In the magazines it is peach-bloom fudge-cake with orangewisp salad, but at home it is tripe and cabbage."—Puck.
The actress stood before her mirror, in doublet and hose, and regarded her thin legs anxiously.
"I'm not exactly a poem," said she, "but I may pass for heroic verse."
The Question is How Much More?
TO RENT—In private home, a large, handsomely furnished front room; also a medium-sized one; every convenience; centrally and very choicely located; rent more than reasonable. Address, etc.—
Advertising is the test of integrity; the proof of integrity; that transmits an ever-increasing confidence to both producer and purchaser.
"I won't pay one cent for my advertising this week," declared the store-keeper angrily to the editor of the country paper. "You told me you'd put the notice of my shoe-polish in with the reading-matter."
"And didn't I do it?" inquired the editor.
"No, sir!" roared the advertiser. "No, sir, you did not! You put it in the column with a mess of poetry, that's where you put it!"
"Paw, what is an advertisement?"
"An advertisement is the picture of a pretty girl eating, wearing, holding or driving something that somebody wants to sell."
A violinist was bitterly disappointed with the account of his recital printed in the paper of a small town.
"I told your man three or four times," complained the musician to the owner of the paper, "that the instrument I used was a genuine Stradivarius, and in his story there was not a word about it, not a word."
Whereupon the owner said with a laugh:
"That is as it should be. When Mr. Stradivarius gets his fiddles advertised in my paper under ten cents a line, you come around and let me know."
"Oh, we called about the flat advertised."
"Well, I did mean to let it, but since I've read the house-agent's description of it, I really feel I can't part with it."
CLASSIFIED AD MANAGER—"Your advertisement begins: 'Wanted: Silent Partner.'"
ADVERTISER—"Yes, that's right."
CLASSIFIED AD MANAGER—"Do you want this placed under Business Opportunities or Matrimony?"
"Say, Jim," said the friend of the taxicab-driver, standing in front of the vehicle, "there's a purse lying on the floor of your car."
The driver looked carefully around and then whispered: "Sometimes when business is bad I put it there and leave the door open. It's empty, but you've no idea how many people'll jump in for a short drive when they see it."
Recently the L. P. Ross Shoe Company inserted an advertisement in a Rochester paper for vampers and closers-up. Among the answers received was one from a young lady who signed herself Miss Mabelle Jones and gave her address as General Delivery, Rochester. The letter said in part:
"Gentlemen: I have seen your ad for vampires and close-ups and I would like the job. I have been studying to vamp for several years and have been practising eye work for a long while. My gentlemen friends tell me that I have the other movie vamps backed off the map. I have made a particular study of Theda Bara. I don't know much about close-ups, but suppose I could learn. I have a good form, swell brown eyes, and a fine complexion."
"If you would like, I will call and show you what I can do. I have been looking for a vampire job, but never saw no ads in the papers before." "Yours," "MABELLE JONES."
"P. S.—Do you furnish clothes for your vampires? I have just come to Rochester and so I haven't got many clothes."—Rochester Herald.
His Little Ad
There was a man in our town And he was wondrous wise; He swore (it was his policy) He would not advertise. But one day he did advertise, And thereby hangs a tail, The "ad" was set in quite small type, And headed "Sheriff's Sale."
Burton Holmes, the lecturer, had an interesting experience, while in London. He told some Washington friends a day or two ago that when he visited the theater where he was to deliver his travelogue he decided that the entrance to the theater was rather dingy and that there should be more display of his attraction.
Accordingly, he suggested to the manager of the house that the front be brightened up at night by electrical signs, one row of lights spelling his name "Burton" and another row of lights spelling the name "Holmes."
The manager told him it was too much of an innovation for him to authorize and referred him to the owner of the theater. Mr. Holmes traveled several hours into the country to consult with the owner, who referred him to his agent in the city. The agent in turn sent Mr. Holmes to the janitor of the theater.
"I talked with the janitor and explained my plan to him for about an hour," Mr. Holmes said. "Finally, after we had gone into every detail of the cost and everything else, the janitor told me that the theater was a very exclusive and high class theater, and that he would not put up the sign. I asked him why?"
"Because it would attract too much attention to the theater," the janitor replied.
"What's your time?" asked the old farmer of the brisk salesman. "Twenty minutes after five. What can I do for you?" "I want them pants," said the old farmer, leading the way to the window and pointing to a ticket marked, "Given away at 5.20."
See also Authorship; Beauty, Personal; Salesmen and salesmanship.
The most unfair person is the one who asks you for advice and doesn't let you know what advice he wants.
Another thing that we sometimes take when nobody's looking is advice.
It is a good divine that follows his own instructions: I can easier teach twenty what were good to be done, than be one of the twenty to follow mine own teaching.—Shakespeare.
Advice is the most worthless commodity in the world. Those who might profit by it don't need it, and those who do need it won't profit by it—if they could, they wouldn't need it.
How often have my kindly friends, (When Fate has dealt me some shrewd blow), Recalling random odds and ends Of counsel, cried: "I told you so!"
But when 'twas I who warned, and they Who heeded not, and came to woe, I wonder why they'd never say: "That's right, old chap, you told me so!"
AFTER DINNER SPEECHES
Recipe for an After-dinner Speech
Three long breaths. Compliment to the audience. Funny Story. Outline of what speaker is not going to say. Points that he will touch on later. Two Bartlett's Familiar Quotations. Outline of what speaker is going to say. Points that he has not time to touch on now. Reference to what he said first. Funny Story. Compliment to the audience. Ditto to our City, State and Country. Applause.
N. B. For an oration, use same formula, repeating each sentence three times in slightly different words.—Mary Eleanor Roberts.
"You wrote this report of last night's banquet, did you?" asked the editor with the copy in his hand.
"Yes, sir," replied the reporter.
"And this expression, 'The banquet-table groaned'—do you think that is proper?"
"Oh, yes, sir. The funny stories the after-dinner speakers told would make any table groan."
See also Politicians; Public speakers.
HE—"How old are you?"
SHE—"I've just turned twenty-three."
HE—"Oh, I see—thirty-two."
A judge asked a woman her age.
"Thirty," she replied.
"You've given that age in this court for the last three years."
"Yes. I'm not one of those who says one thing today and another thing tomorrow."
"Willie," said his mother. "I wish you would run across the street and see how old Mrs. Brown is this morning."
"Yes'm," replied Willie, and a few minutes later he returned and reported:
"Mrs. Brown says it's none of your business how old she is."
"Well, auntie, have you got your photographs yet?"
"Yes, and I sent them back in disgust."
"Gracious! How was that?"
"Why, on the back of every photo was written this, 'The original of this is carefully preserved.'"
Answering the question, "When is a woman old?" a famous tragedienne wrote: "The conceited never; the unhappy too soon, and the wise at the right time."
When saving for your old age, don't neglect to lay up a few pleasant thoughts.
"To what do you attribute your long life, Uncle Mose?" asked a newspaper interviewer of a colored centenarian.
"Becuz Ah was bo'n a long time back," the old gentleman replied.
MURIEL—"I don't intend to be married until after I'm thirty."
MABEL—"And I don't intend to be thirty until after I'm married!"—Life.
My first gray hair! I never knew that you were there, Nor least expected you would come so soon— But you are there; From whence you came or where I know not, but I care.
You make me stop and wonder Why I find you there to-night, Is it some worry or some fright That leaves you colorless, and oh, so white? You'll not be seen, oh, no, not yet. On that your fondest curls you bet, For just as long as you are there I'll hide you very neatly—there! And none will wonder—only I, at you— My first gray hair.
One great advantage of really being old is that one is beyond being told he is getting old.
FIRST SUFFRAGIST—"How old do you think Mabel is?"
SECOND SUFFRAGIST—"Well, I should say she had lost about seventeen votes."
A maiden lady of uncertain age became very indignant when the census taker asked how old she was. "Did you see the girls next door," she asked—"The Hill twins?"
"Certainly," replied the census man.
"And did they tell you their age?"
"Well," she snapped, "I'm just as old as they are."
"Oh, very well," said the census man; and he wrote in his book, "Sarah Stokes, as old as the Hills."
I remember, I remember, The fir trees dark and high; I used to think their slender tops Were close against the sky; It was a childish ignorance, But now 'tis little joy To know I'm farther off from heaven Than when I was a boy.
PHYSICIAN—"Tell your wife not to worry about that slight deafness, as it is merely an indication of advancing years."
MR. MEEK—"Doctor would you mind telling her yourself?"
"Ma, is Mr. Jones an awfully old man?"
"No, dear, I don't believe so. What makes you ask?"
"Well, I think he must be, because I heard Pa say last night that Mr. Jones raised his ante."
"Crop failures?" asked the old timer.
"Yes, I've seen a few in my day. In 1854 the corn crop was almost nothing. We cooked some for dinner, and my father ate fourteen acres of corn at one meal!"—Life.
See also Farming; Laws.
To-day I bought an alarm-clock, It has a very loud ring. I think I will call it the Star-Spangled Banner, For every time I hear it I have to get up.
A Swede was working for a farmer, who demanded punctuality above everything else. The farmer told him that he must be at work every morning at 4 o'clock sharp. The "hand" failed to get up in time, and the farmer threatened to discharge him. Then the "hand" bought an alarm-clock, and for some time everything went along smoothly. But one morning he got to the field fifteen minutes late. The farmer immediately discharged him, in spite of his protestations that his alarm-clock was to blame.
Sadly returning to his room, the discharged employee determined to find out the cause of his downfall. He took the alarm-clock to pieces, and discovered a dead cockroach among the works.
"Well," he soliloquized, "Ay tank it bane no wonder the clock wouldn't run—the engineer bane daid."
"I heard something this morning that opened my eyes."
"So did I—an alarm clock."
"Have you any alarm-clocks?" inquired the customer. "What I want is one that will arouse the girl without waking the whole family."
"I don't know of any such alarm-clock as that, madam," said the man behind the counter; "we keep just the ordinary kind—the kind that will wake the whole family without disturbing the girl."
See also Philadelphia; Tardiness.
TEACHER—"What is an alibi?"
BRIGHT Boy—"Being somewhere where you ain't."
Or Go to Jail
"Is there any way a man can avoid paying alimony?" asked the Friend who was seeking free advice.
"Sure," replied the Lawyer. "He can stay single or stay married."
MOTHER (who is teaching her child the alphabet)—"Now, dearie, what comes after 'g'?"
Every normal man has two great ambitions. First, to own his home. Second, to own a car to get away from his home.
Ambition makes the same mistake concerning power that avarice makes concerning wealth. She begins by accumulating power as a means to happiness, and she finishes by continuing to accumulate it as an end.—Colton.
To wish is of little account; to succeed thou must earnestly desire; and this desire must shorten thy sleep.—Ovid.
The noblest spirit is most strongly attracted by the love of glory.—Cicero.
When once ambition has passed its natural limits, its progress is boundless.—Seneca.
A French magazine claims to have discovered in a New York paper an advertisement to this effect: "A gentleman who has lost his right leg is desirous of making the acquaintance of some one who has lost his left leg, in order to become associated with him in the purchase of boots and shoes, size 8." The very observant French editor very politely comments: "An American may occasionally lose a leg, but he never loses his head."
"That's the Goddess of Liberty," explained the New Yorker. "Fine attitude, eh?"
"Yes, and typically American," replied the Western visitor. "Hanging to a strap."
"William," asked the teacher of a rosy-faced lad, "can you tell me who George Washington was?"
"Yes, ma'am," was the quick reply. "He was an American gen'ral."
"Quite right," replied the teacher. "And can you tell us what George Washington was remarkable for?"
"Yes, ma'am," replied the little boy. "He was remarkable because he was an American and told the truth."
A party of tourists were looking at Vesuvius in full eruption. "Ain't this just like hell!" exclaimed an American. "Ah, the Americans," said a Frenchman standing by, "Where have they not been?"
It was a sweet, sad play, and there was hardly a dry handkerchief in the house. But one man in the first balcony irritated his neighbors excessively by refusing to take the performance in the proper spirit. Instead of weeping, he laughed. While others were mopping their eyes and endeavoring to stifle their sobs, his face beamed with merriment and he burst into inappropriate guffaws.
At last a lady by his side turned upon him indignantly.
"I d-don't know what brought y-you here," she sobbed, with streaming eyes, and pressing her hand against her aching heart; "but if y-you don't like the p-play you might l-let other p-people enjoy it!"
HAMPTON—"Dinwiddow told me his family is a very old one. They were one of the first to come across."
RHODES—"The grocer told me yesterday that now they are the last to come across."—Judge.
"Pa, what are ancestors?"
"Well, my son, I'm one of yours. Your grandpa is another."
"Oh! Then why is it people brag about them?"
HE—"My ancestors came over in the Mayflower."
SHE—"It's lucky they did; the immigration laws are a little stricter now."
It was Robert's first visit to the Zoo.
"What do you think of the animals?" inquired Uncle Ben.
After a critical inspection of the exhibit the boy replied: "I think the kangaroo and the elephant should change tails."
"Mr. Blinks," said she, "do you think that anticipation is greater than realization?"
"Well," replied Mr. Blinks, "anticipation is broader and higher, but realization is longer and flatter."
"Gee, whiz! Isn't that Smithson who just went by in his automobile? When I knew him a few years ago he had a junk-shop."
"He still has. Only he moved in to a fashionable street and labeled the same stock 'Antiques.'"
CUSTOMER—"What! Five hundred dollars for that antique? Why, I priced it last week and you said three hundred and fifty."
DEALER—"Yes, I know; but the cost of labor and materials has gone up so!"
AD WRITER—"When do you want me to prepare that copy for the sale of antiques you have been planning?"
BOSS—"We'll have to hold back on those awhile. The wormhole borers are on strike in Grand Rapids."
MR. LONGSUFFER—"Say, janitor, it's down to zero in my flat."
JANITOR—"Down to zero, is it? That's nothing."
"I wonder if they take children in these apartments."
"They must. Some of the rooms aren't big enough for a grown person."
"How do the Joneses seem to like their little two-room kitchenette apartment?"
"Oh, they have no room for complaint!"—Judge.
A man's appearance indicates how his business is prospering, and his wife's appearance shows how much he is spending.
In civilized society external advantages make us more respected. A man with a good coat upon his back meets with a better reception than he who has a bad one. You may analyze this and say, what is there in it? But that will avail you nothing, for it is a part of a general system.—Johnson.
A miser grows rich by seeming poor; an extravagant man grows poor by seeming rich.—Shenstone.
Polished brass will pass upon more people than rough gold. —Chesterfield.
In all professions every one affects a particular look and exterior, in order to appear what he wishes to be thought; so that it may be said the world's made up of appearances.—La Rochefoucauld.
"Josh," said Farmer Corntossel to his son, "I wish, if you don't mind, you'd eat off to yourself instead of with the summer boarders."
"Isn't my society good enough for them?"
"Your society is fine. But your appetite sets a terrible example."
TEACHER—"You remember the story of Daniel in the lion's den, Robbie?"
TEACHER—"What lesson do we learn from it?"
ROBBIE—"That we shouldn't eat everything we see."
"You don't attach much importance to the applause an orator receives."
"Not much," admitted Senator Sorghum. "There is bound to be applause. You can't expect an audience to sit still all evening and do absolutely nothing."
"The train pulled out before you had finished your speech."
"Yes," replied Senator Sorghum. "As I heard the shouts of the crowd fading in the distance I couldn't be sure whether they were applauding me or the engineer."
A slowness to applaud betrays a cold temper or an envious spirit.—Hannah More.
The silence that accepts merit as the most natural thing in the world, is the highest applause.—Emerson.
"Waiter," he suggested mildly, "I want three eggs, and boil them four minutes."
But the cook, having only one in the place, boiled it twelve minutes.
Which proves the value of higher mathematics.
SCHOOL-TEACHER (to little boy)—"If a farmer raises 3,700 bushels of wheat and sells it for $2.50 per bushel, what will he get?"
LITTLE BOY—"An automobile."
"Now, then, Johnny," said his teacher, "if your father gave you seven cents and your mother gave you six and your uncle gave you four more, what would you have?"
Johnny wrinkled up his forehead and went into silence for the space of several minutes.
"Come, come," said the teacher impatiently. "Surely you can solve a simple little problem like that."
"It ain't a simple problem at all," replied the boy. "I can't make up my mind whether I'd have an ice-cream soda or go to the movies."
In Missouri, where they raise more mules and children than in any other place in the world, a certain resident died possessed of seventeen mules and three sons. In his will he disposed of the mules as follows: One-half to the eldest son, one-third to the next, and one-ninth to the youngest.
The administrator who went to divide the property drove a span of mules out to the farm, but when he went to divide the seventeen into halves, thirds, and ninths he found it was impossible with live mules; mules not being very valuable, he unhitched one of his own, putting it with the other seventeen, making eighteen, when he proceeded to divide as follows: One-half, or nine to the eldest, one third, or six, to the next son, and one-ninth, or two, to the youngest. Adding up nine, six, two, he found that it made seventeen, so he hitched up his mule and went home rejoicing.—Ladies Home Journal.
"Now, Harold," said the teacher, "if there were eleven sheep in a field and six jumped the fence how many would there be left?"
"None," replied Harold.
"Why, but there would," said she.
"No, ma'am, there wouldn't," persisted he. "You may know arithmetic, but you don't know sheep."
One day, as Pat halted at the top of the river-bank, a man famous for his inquisitive mind stopped and asked:
"How long have you hauled water for the village, my good man?"
"Tin years, sor."
"Ah, how many loads do you take in a day?"
"From tin to fifteen, sor."
"Ah, yes! Now I have a problem for you. How much water at this rate have you hauled in all?"
The driver of the watering-cart jerked his thumb backward toward the river and replied:
"All the water yez don't see there now, sor."
A sentry was giving close attention to his post in the neighborhood of a British army camp in England, challenging returning stragglers late after dark. The following is reported as an incident to his vigil:
"Who goes there?" called the sentry at the sound of approaching footsteps.
"Coldstream Guards!" was the response.
"Pass, Coldstream Guards!" rejoined the sentry.
"Who goes there?" again challenged the sentry.
"Forty-ninth Highlanders!" returned the unseen pedestrian.
"Pass, Forty-ninth Highlanders!"
"Who goes there?" sounded a third challenge.
"None of your d—n business!" was the husky reply.
"Pass, Canadians!" acquiesced the sentry.
Things in the Army that
Increase Decrease Your appetite. Your surplus fat. Your respect for the flag. Your self-conceit. Your love for your mother. Your fastidiousness. Your promptness. Your selfishness. Your democracy. Your carelessness. Your feet. Your finances.
A few soldiers belonging to part of a Swiss regiment in garrison at Basel went to a certain cafe for refreshments. One of them sat down alone at a table. Later a civilian, a German, joined him and the two began to talk war politics. "Would you shoot on the Germans if they invaded Switzerland?" asked the German.
"Oh, no, never!" exclaimed the soldier.
"Waiter, a pint of beer and a beefsteak with potatoes for this brave man," ordered the civilian.
"And your pals sitting at the next table—would they also not shoot the Germans if they tried to invade this country?"
"Oh, no, never," retorted the Swiss.
"Waiter, a glass of beer for each of the soldiers at the next table!" ordered the civilian.
And addressing again the soldier, he asked: "Is this generally the view held in the Swiss Army in regard to a possible German invasion? Are all the Swiss soldiers so Germanophil?"
"I don't know," replied the soldier.
"But why would you not shoot the Germans?"
"Because we belong to the band."
OFFICER (to private)—"What are you doing down in that shell-hole? Didn't you hear me say we were out against four to one?"
GEORDIE (a trade-unionist)—"Ay. Aa heard you; but aa've killed ma fower."—Punch.
"The army must be a terrible place," said Aunt Samanthy, looking up from the evening paper.
"What makes you think so, Samanthy?" asked her dutiful spouse.
"Why, jest think what it must be where beds is bunk and meals is a mess."
Said the colored lad as he was being mustered out, on being asked what train he was going to take for home: "Boss, I ain't gonna take no train. I lives two hundred miles away, and I'se gonna run the first eighteen, just to make sure they don't change their minds befo' I leave camp."
A factory foreman who had some 300 hands under him went into the army, became a captain of a company and could not get into the habit of calling his soldiers men, but invariably referred to them as my "hands." Imagine, therefore, the surprise of his commanding officer when the captain turned in a report of an engagement, in which he said he "had the very good fortune to have only one of my 'hands' shot through the nose."
"Were you happy when you started for France?"
"Happy? We were in transports."
See also Conscription; Military discipline.
ART AND ARTISTS
HENRY—"He may be a great artist, but he has a peculiar way of doing things."
HENRY—"He says he painted his greatest masterpiece on an empty stomach."
Whistler once undertook to get a fellow artist's work into the autumn salon. He succeeded, and the picture was hung. But the painter, going to see his masterpiece with Whistler on varnishing day, uttered an exclamation of dismay.
"Good Heavens!" he cried, "you're exhibiting my picture upside down."
"Hush!" said Whistler. "The committee refused it the other way."
"If you do good work, your work will grow after you are gone."
"That's a fact. Rubens left only some 2,000 pictures, but there are 10,000 of his pictures in circulation now."
"Luxurious tastes Richleigh has. He has a Corot in his office."
"That's nothing! I have a whistler in mine."
Two ladies, each with her child, visited the Chicago Art Museum. As they passed the "Winged Victory" the little boy exclaimed: "Huh! She ain't got no head." "Sh!" the horrified little girl replied, "That's art; she don't need none!"
One of those country gentlemen who owns a farm in Brown County, but lives in Indianapolis and only spends his weekends on the farm, asked one of his neighbors down in Brown county: "Did you know that T. C. Steele sold the picture that he painted on your farm?" The farmer made no reply to this, and then the country gentleman told him the price Mr. Steele got for the canvas. "I just wish I had known the feller liked the place well enough to pay that for a picture of it," the farmer said. "I'd a' sold him the farm for $200 less than that."
ARTIST—"Now, here's a picture—one of my best, too—I've just finished. When I started out I had no idea what it was going to be."
FRIEND—"After you got through, how did you find out what it was?"
Bessie is a bright one. The other day her teacher set her and her schoolmates to drawing, letting them choose their own subjects. After the teacher had examined what the other children had drawn, she took up Bessie's sheet.
"Why, what's this?" she said. "You haven't drawn anything at all, child."
"Please, teacher, yes, I have," returned Bessie. "It's a war-picture-a long line of ammunition-wagons at the front. You can't see 'em 'cause they're camouflaged."
"Mark Twain was visiting H.H. Rogers," said a New York editor. "Mr. Rogers led the humorist into his library.
"'There,' he said as he pointed to a bust of white marble. 'What do you think of that?' It was a bust of a young woman coiling her hair-a graceful example of Italian sculpture. Mr. Clemens looked and then he said:
"'It isn't true to nature."
"'Why not?' Mr. Rogers asked.
"'She ought to have her mouth full of hairpins,' said the humorist."
See also Futurist art.
FINNEGAN—"Oh, yis, Oi can undershtand how thim astronomers can calkilate th' distance av a shtarr, its weight, and dinsity and color and all thot—but th' thing thot gets me is, how th' divvle do they know its name."
I think the stars do nod at me, But not when people are about; For they regard me curiously Whenever I go out.
Brothers, what is it ye mean, What is it ye try to say. That so earnestly ye lean From the spirit to the clay?
I may have been a star one day, One of the rebel host that fell, And they are nodding down to say. Come back to us from hell.
A clever author is one who never asks what they are saying when he is told that everybody is talking about his latest book.
The wife of a successful young literary man had hired a buxom Dutch girl to do the housework. Several weeks passed and from seeing her master constantly about the house, the girl received an erroneous impression.
"Ogscuse me, Mrs. Blank," she said to her mistress one day, "but I like to say somedings."
The girl blushed, fumbled with her apron, and then replied, "Veil, you pay me four tollars a veek—"
"Yes, and I really can't pay you any more."
"It's not dot," responded the girl; "but I be villing to take tree tollars till—till your husband gets vork."
Kate Douglas Wiggin's choicest possession, she says, is a letter which she once received from the superintendent of a home for the feeble-minded. He spoke in glowing terms of the pleasure with which the "inmates" had read her little book, "Marm Lisa," and ended thus superbly:
"In fact, madam, I think I may safely say that you are the favorite author of the feeble-minded!"
Harold Jenks, a syndicate editor of Denver, was talking about the low rates paid by the magazines.
"They who write for newspaper syndicates, where their work appears simultaneously in forty or fifty newspapers all over the country," said Mr. Jenks, "make a good deal of money. Of course, the magazine writer, beside such men, isn't one, two, three.
"A seedy magazine writer dropped in on me this morning to borrow a quarter. As he left, he said:
"'Jenks, old man, the difference between a hen and a magazine writer is this—while they both scratch for a living, the hen gets hers.'"
"How did your novel come out?"
"Well," replied the self-confident man, "it proved beyond all doubt that it isn't one of these trashy best-sellers."
The late Ambassador Walter Hines Page was formerly editor of The World's Work and, like all editors, was obliged to refuse a great many stories. A lady once wrote him:
"Sir: you sent back last week a story of mine. I know that you did not read the story, for as a test I had pasted together pages 18, 19, and 20, and the story came back with these pages still pasted; and so I know you are a fraud and turn down stories without reading same."
Mr. Page wrote back:
"Madame: At breakfast when I open an egg I don't have to eat the whole egg to discover it is bad."
The great novelist summoned his publisher to his luxurious home.
"Have your salesmen," he asked, "prepared for their semi-annual trip among the down-trodden booksellers?"
"Has your publicity man written the usual biographical notices and arranged for a series of dinners in my honor?"
"Have your great minds selected a title for my forthcoming work?"
"Then what do you want me to write about?"
The publisher drew from his pocket a paper.
"Here is a wonderful plot," he replied. "It has every element—maudlin sentiment, mystery, touches of your characteristic humor, profound insight—everything."
The great author was conservative. He had had experience.
"I haven't time to read it just now," he said. "But are you sure? How do you know that it is any good?"
"Good!" exclaimed the publisher. "Of course it is good. Why, my dear sir, it has met with the unqualified approval of every member of our motion-picture department."
THE PUBLISHER—"How are you going to introduce accurate local color in your new story of life in Thibet? You've never been there."
THE EMINENT AUTHOR—"Neither has any of my public."—Judge.
"So you got your poem printed?"
"Yes," replied the author. "I sent the first stanza to the editor of the Correspondence Column with the inquiry, 'Can anyone give me the rest of this poem?' Then I sent in the complete poem over another name!"
"Ye think a fine lot of Shakespeare?"
"I do, sir," was the reply.
"An' ye think he was mair clever than Rabbie Burns?"
"Why, there's no comparison between them."
"Maybe, no; but ye tell us it was Shakespeare who wrote 'Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown.' Now, Rabbie would never hae sic nonsense as that."
"Nonsense, sir!" thundered the other.
"Ay, just nonsense. Rabbie would hae kent fine that a king or queen either disna ganga to bed wi' a croon on their head. He'd hae kent they hang it over the back o' a chair."
HOSTESS—"I sometimes wonder, Mr. Highbrow, if there is anything vainer than you authors about the things you write."
HIGHBROW—"There is, madam; our efforts to sell them."
"No," said the honest man, "I was never strong at literature. To save my life I could not tell you who wrote 'Gray's Elegy.'"
HENLEY—"How are you getting on with your writing for the magazines?"
PENLEY—"Just holding my own. They send me back as much as I send them."
Wouldn't it be pleasant if so many authors didn't:
Let their characters converse for hours without any identification tags, so that you have to turn back three pages and number off odd speeches in order to find out who's talking.
Overwork the "smart" atmosphere, the suspension points and the seasonal epidemics of such words as "gripping," "virile," "intrigue," "gesture," etc.
Stick up a periscope every now and then, like, "Little did he think how dearly this trifling error was to cost him," or "She was to meet this man again, under strange circumstances."
Apply a large hunk of propaganda, like an ice bag, just where the plot ought to rush ahead.
EDITOR—"Historically, this story is incorrect."
AUTHOR—"But hysterically it is one of the best things I have ever done."
A man who was a great admirer of Mark Twain was visiting in Hannibal, Mo. He asked the darkey who was driving him about if he knew where Huckleberry Finn lived. "No sah, I never heard of the gemmen." Then he said "Then perhaps you knew Tom Sawyer?" "No, sah, I never met the gemmen." "But surely you have heard of Puddin'head Wilson?" "Yes, sah, I've never met him, but I've voted for him twice."
TED—"I was tempted to read his book by the advertisements, but I was disappointed."
NED—"That's only natural. The advertisements are better written than the book."
"Why do you turn out for every road hog that comes along?" said the missus, rather crossly. "The right of way is ours, isn't it?"
"Oh, undoubtedly!" answered he, calmly. "As for our turning out, the reason is plainly suggested in this epitaph which appeared in a newspaper recently:
"Here lies the body of William Jay, Who died maintaining his right of way; He was right, dead right, as he sped along, But he's just as dead as if he'd been wrong."
A motorist had been haled into court, and when his name was called the judge asked what the charges were against the prisoner.
"Suspicious actions, your Honor," answered the policeman who had made the arrest.
"Suspicious actions?" queried his Honor "What was he doing that seemed suspicious?"
"Well," replied the officer, "he was running within the speed limit, sounding his horn properly, and trying to keep on the right side of the street, so I arrested him."
"What kind of a time is he having on his motor-trip?"
"Guess he's having a pretty lively time. He sent me a picture post-card of a hospital."
A tourist was just emerging from a corn-field by the roadside, bearing in his arms a dozen handsome roasting ears. A second car approached and stopped, whereon the tourist reached for his pocketbook and asked in an embarrassed manner, "How much?"
"One dollar," said the newcomer, and then, after receiving payment, remarked, "This is a fine field of corn. Wonder who it belongs to?"
AUTOMOBILES AND AUTOMOBILING
"Has this car got a speedometer?" asked an old gentleman to the auctioneer, at one of the Disposal Board sales. The auctioneer was equal to the occasion and replied: "At thirty miles an hour it exhibits a white flag, at forty miles a red flag, and at fifty miles a gramophone begins to play, 'I'm going to be an angel, and with the angels dwell'"
"Remember, son, Garfield drove mules on a tow-path and Lincoln split rails."
"I know, dad; but say, did any of these Presidents ever crank a cold motor in a blizzard for half an hour before he discovered that he didn't have any gasoline?"
The time to buy a used car is just before you move, so people in the new neighborhood will think you were the one who used it.
"I understand that you have a new motor-car."
"Do you drive it yourself?"
"Nobody drives it. We coax it."
"We deny ourselves much. I am saving to build a house."
"Is your wife cheerful about it?"
"Oh, yes. She thinks we're saving for an automobile."
SHE—"Tell me, is an F.O.B. Detroit a reliable car?"
"I have never owned any automobiles," said the man who hadn't yet paid for his home, "but I can say one thing in praise of them."
"What is that?" inquired Henderson.
"They have made mortgages respectable."—Judge.
"I see Smith is building a garage. When did he get a car?"
"He hasn't got one yet, but he's got an option on ten gallons of gasoline."
An irate customer complained to her butcher about finding pieces of rubber in the sausage meat and demanded an explanation. The butcher said, "It is only another proof of how the automobile is taking the place of the horse."
"Hello, old top. New car?"
"No! Old car, new top."
A farmer was recently arguing with a French chauffeur, who had slackened up at an inn, regarding the merits of the horse and the motor-car.
"Give me a 'orse," remarked the farmer; "them traveling oil-shops is too uncertain fer my likin'."
"Eet is prejudice, my friend." the chauffeur replied; "you Engleesh are behind ze times; you will think deefairent some day."
"Behind the times be blowed!" came the retort; "p'r'aps nex' time the Proosians are round Paris and you have to git your dinner off a steak from the 'ind wheel of a motor-car, you Frenshmen'll wish you wasn't so bloomin' well up-to-date!"
"What does autosuggestion mean?" asked Pringle.
"That's when your wife begins to figure out how much you would save in car-fare, and all that, if you had your own machine," replied Teggard, who had been worked just that way.
An automobile show is a place to which car owners go to hear the exhibitors confirm their judgment.
"I've stopped riding horseback and got a second-hand car."
"Need more exercise?"
"I suppose you think I'm foolish enough to buy that broken-down old automobile!"
"Broken-down nothing! With the exception of a busted drive-shaft, a cracked crank-case, a loose steering-wheel, a bum battery, a dilapidated differential and faulty ignition, it is just as good as new. Outside of buying four sets of tires, three new springs, a new top, two rear axles, a couple of batteries, having the valves ground sixteen times, the clutch tightened every week and the self-starter repaired now and then, I have never spent one cent for repairs. The old boat hasn't been run a mile over one hundred thousand, will average fourteen gallons to the mile, and absolutely will not exceed twenty-five miles an hour. It has an extra-fine new coat of paint, and is fully equipped with a hand pump and switch-key. Because of the difficulty in shifting gears, I absolutely guarantee your wife will never be able to drive it, and—"
"Never mind the rest. I'll take it!"
"I thought you owned an automobile."
"I do, but I taught the wife to drive it, and now I'm back to the street-cars."
"Say, Rastus, I done see de funniest thing t'day."
"How come, niggah?"
"I seed an ottermobile with its reah license B—4."
"Say, bo, doan hand me no truck lak that."—Judge.
The only trouble with a 60-horse-power motor is that every darned horse balks at the same time.
BILL—"Just happened to run into an old friend down-town."
PHIL—"Was he glad to see you?"
BILL—"You bet not. I smashed his whole right fender."
"My brother bought a motor here last week," said an angry man to the salesman that stepped up to greet him, "and he said if anything broke you would supply him with new parts."
"Certainly," said the salesman. "What does he want?"
"He wants two deltoid muscles, a couple of kneecaps, one elbow, and about half a yard of cuticle," said the man, "and he wants them at once."
An elderly lady of very prim and severe aspect was seated next a young couple, who were discussing the merits of their motor-cars.
"What color is your body?" asked the young man of the girl at his side, meaning of course, the body of her motor.
"Oh, mine is pink. What is yours?"
"Mine," replied the man, "is brown with wide yellow stripes."
This was too much for the old lady. Rising from the table, she exclaimed:
"When young people come to asking each other the color of their bodies at a dinner-party, it is time I left the room."
"Why didn't you stop when I signaled you?" inquired the officer.
"Well," replied Mr. Chuggins, "it had taken me two hours to get this old flivver started, and it seemed a shame to stop her merely to avoid a little thing like being arrested."
Who Can Tell?
Dear Sirs,—About the engine. Well, We write to let you know We've waded through the booklet on "What Makes the Engine Go." It took us close on half a day To read through all the guff; The engine goes all right, but don't Keep goin' long enough. It's very good to understand What makes the engine go. But why the deuce the d—- thing stops Is what we want to know. So now we're making this request, While tears and curses drop, Please send along a booklet on What Makes the Engine Stop. The folk around here all await With interest your reply: To them the reasons why she goes Don't seem to signify. So while we wait and chew the cud Don't let the matter flop; For Gawd's sake write and let us know What makes the blighter stop.
See also Fords; Garages; Horses; Reputation.
TOMMY (to Aviator)—"What is the most deadly poison known?"
TOMMY—"How much does it take to kill a person?"
ENTHUSIASTIC AVIATOR (after long explanation of principle and workings of his biplane)—"Now, you understand it, don't you?"
YOUNG LADY—"All but one thing."
AVIATOR—"And that is—?"
YOUNG LADY—"What makes it stay up?"
ENTHUSIAST—"Don't the spectators tire you with the questions they ask?"
AVIATOR—"Yes. What else do you want to know?"
MANDY—"Rastus, you all knows dat yo' remind me of dem dere flyin' machines?"
RASTUS—"No, Mandy, how's dat?"
MANDY—"Why becays youse no good on earth."
It is a safe guess that the man who pokes fun at a woman for shopping all day and not buying anything isn't married.
MADGE—"You shouldn't say he's a confirmed bachelor unless you know."
MARJORIE—"But I do know; I confirmed him."
It is admitted that married men have better halves but it is claimed that bachellors generally have better quarters.
TOMMY (just off train, with considerable luggage)—"Cabby, how much is it for me to Latchford?"
CABBY—"Two shillings, sir."
TOMMY—"How much for my luggage?"
TOMMY—"Take the luggage, I'll walk."
BALD HEADED GUEST—"Well, sonny, what is it that amuses you?"
YOUNG HOPEFUL—"Nothing; only mother has put a brush and comb in your bedroom."
SCEPTIC—"If you have such an infallible remedy for baldness, why don't you use it?"
SUBTLE BARBER (very bald)—"Ah, sir, I sacrifice my appearance to bring 'ome to clients the 'orror of 'airlessness."—Punch.
"That bald-headed man who just went out is the greatest optimist I ever met," said the druggist.
"That so?" asked the customer.
"Yes," replied the druggist. "When I guaranteed my hair restorer he bought a bottle, and bought a comb and brush because he felt sure he'd need them in a few days."
Two traveling men, who had not met in several years, were condoling with each other on their increasing baldness.
"Well," said Jones, "one comfort is that it's only brain workers who lose their hair."
"Yes," Smith answered, "only thinkers ever become bald. Isn't that so, Sam?" appealing to the porter.
"Well, I dunno 'bout dat," the darky replied. "My granddad said dat an empty bahn doan need no cover."
BANKS AND BANKING
Before the passage of the present strict banking laws in Wisconsin, starting a bank was a comparatively simple proposition. The surprizingly small amount of capital needed is well illustrated by the story a prosperous country-town banker told on himself, when asked how he happened to enter the banking business:
"Well," he said, "I didn't have much else to do, so I rented an empty store building and painted BANK on the window. The first day I was open for business a man came in and deposited a hundred dollars with me; the second day another man dropped in and deposited two hundred and fifty; and so, by George, along about the third day I got confidence enough in the bank to put in a hundred myself!"
A negro bank was opened in a small town in Georgia, and Sam deposited ten dollars. Several weeks later he returned to draw out his money. When he presented his check the colored cashier looked at it doubtfully and said: "Sam, you ain't got any money in dis here bank, but I'll look on de books an' make sure." In a minute he came back and said: "Yes, you did have ten dollars; but, nigger, de interes' done eat up dat money."
"Father," said Nellie, "that bank in which you told me to put my money is in a bad way."
"In a bad way?" returned her father. "Why, my child, that's one of the strongest banks in the country. What in the world gives you that idea?"
"Well," said Nellie, "it returned one of my checks today for $30 marked 'No funds.'"
A Buffalo man stopped a newsboy in New York saying: "See here, son, I want to find the Blank National Bank. I'll give you half a dollar if you direct me to it."
With a grin, the boy replied: "All right, come along," and he led the man to a building a half-block away.
The man paid the promised fee, remarking, however, "That was a half-dollar easily earned."
"Sure!" responded the lad. "But you mustn't fergit that bank-directors is paid high in Noo Yawk."
HE—"We'll have to give up our intended summer trip. My account at the bank is already overdrawn."
SHE—"Oh, John, you are such a wretched financier. Why don't you keep your account in a bank that has plenty of money?"
A Hebrew by the name of Cohen went into a bank one day and asked the cashier to discount his note. The bank cashier said:
"Mr. Cohen, I can't discount that note unless you get some one you know, a responsible man, to indorse it."
Cohen said to the cashier: "You know me, und you're responsible; you indorse it."
"You don't know me, do you, Bobby?" asked a lady who had recently been baptized.
"Sure I do," piped the youth. "You're the lady that went in swimming with the preacher last Sunday."
Little Edward's twin sisters were being christened. All went well until Edward saw the water in the font. Then he anxiously turned to his mother and exclaimed: "Ma, which one are you going to keep?"
Throughout the christening ceremony the baby smiled up beautifully into the clergyman's face.
"Well, madam," said he to the young wife, "I must congratulate you on your little one's behavior. I have christened more than 2,000 babies, but I never before christened one that behaved so well as yours."
The young mother smiled demurely, and said:
"His father and I, with a pail of water, have been practising on him for the last ten days."
"Tommy," said the Sunday-school teacher, who had been giving a lesson on the baptismal covenant, "can you tell me the two things necessary to baptism?"
"Yes'm," said Tommy, "water and a baby."
In a small country church, not long since a little child was brought forward for baptism. The young minister, taking the little one in his arms, spoke as follows:
"Beloved hearers, no one can foretell the future of this little child. He may grow up to be a great astronomer, like Sir Isaac Newton, or a great labor leader like John Burns; and it is possible he might become the prime minister of England."
Turning to the mother, he inquired, "What is the name of the child?"
"Mary Ann," was the reply.
The mayor of a tough border town is about to engage a preacher for the new church.
"Parson, you aren't by any chance a Baptist, are you?"
"Why, no, not necessarily. Why?"
"Well, I was just agoin' to say we have to haul our water twelve miles."
A thin, anemic woman was accosted by her friend on the street: "Why, Mary, how pale and thin you look! I thought you were going south for your health."
"I was," said Mary, "but my doctor has offered me such a lovely bargain in operations—a major operation for one thousand dollars—and of course I can't resist that."
"How much vas dose collars?"
"Two for a quarter."
"How much for vun?"
"Giff me de odder vun."
"Ikey," said the teacher, "can you give me a definition for 'a bargain'?"
"Sure I can," smiled Ikey. "A bargain's when you get the best of them."
Dad was not greatly pleased by the school report brought to him by his hopeful.
"How is it?" he demanded, "that you stand so much lower in your studies for the month of January than for December?"
Samuel was equal to the emergency. "Why, dad," said he, in an injured tone, "don't you know that everything is marked down after the holidays?"
Swapping dollars enriches nobody but swapping ideas enriches both parties to the trade.
A noted wag met an Irishman in the street one day, and thought he would be funny at his expense.
"Hello, Pat!" he said. "I'll give you eight (in) pence for a shilling."
"Will ye, now?" said Pat.
"Yes," he replied.
The Irishman handed over the shilling, and his friend put eight pence into his palm in return.
"Eight in pence," he explained. "Not bad, is it?"
"No," answered Pat; "but the shilling is!"
"Baseball," says a Big League magnate, "is the public's luxury." The small boy will disagree with him, a luxury being something you can do without.-Puck.
At a ball game between a South Carolina negro team and a visiting team of similar color a negro preacher was acting as umpire. The pitcher had gone rather wild, and had permitted all the bases to fill. Another man came to the bat, and the nervous pitcher shot one over.
"Ball one," yelled the ump.
The pitcher tried again.
"Ball two," was the decision.
Another effort by the hurler.
"Ball three," said the umpire.
The pitcher saw his predicament, and made one master effort to save the day.
"Ball four," yelled the ump, "and the man's out."
"How come, I'se out?" inquired the enraged batter.
"I'se repelled to put you out, nigger. Don't you see dar's nowhere else to put you?" reasoned the umpire.
They were getting up a ball game in a small town and lacked one player. They finally persuaded an old fellow to fill in, although he said he had never played before. He went to the bat and the first ball pitched he knocked over the fence. Every one stood and watched the ball, even the batter. Excitedly they told him to run. "Shucks!" he said, "what's the use of running, I'll buy you another ball."
An Englishman was seeing his first game of baseball, and the "fan" was explaining the different plays as they were being made.
"Don't you think it's great?" enthusiastically asked the "fan."
"Well," replied the Englishman, "I think it's very exciting, but also a very dangerous game."
"Dangerous nothing," replied the fan.
Just then a runner was put out at second base.
"What has happened now?" asked the Englishman.
"Chick Smith has died at second," laconically replied the fan.
"Died at second?" replied the astonished Briton. "I knew it was a dangerous game."
They arrived at the fifth inning.
"What's the score, Jim?" he asked a fan.
"Nothing to nothing," was the reply.
"Oh, goody!" she exclaimed. "We haven't missed a thing!"
At the base ball game.
SHE—"What's the man running for?"
HE—"He hit the ball."
SHE—"I know. But is he required to chase it, too?"
An Englishman was once persuaded to see a game of baseball, and during the play, when he happened to look away for a moment, a foul tip caught him on the ear and knocked him senseless. On coming to himself, he asked faintly, "What was it?"
"A foul—only a foul!"
"Good heavens!" he exclaimed. "A fowl? I thought it was a mule."
BATHS AND BATHING
"S-s-s-s-sus-say, ma," stammered Bobby, through the suds, as his mother scrubbed and scrubbed him, "I guess you want to get rid o' me, don't you?"
"Why, no, Bobby dear," replied his mother. "Whatever put such an idea into your mind?"
"Oh, nuthin'," said Bobby, "only it seems to me you're tryin' to rub me out."
PA—"At last I've found a way to make that young scamp of ours stop winking his eyes."
PA—"Yes; I'll show him the article in this science magazine where it says that every time we wink we give the eye a bath."
"Is she very pretty?"
"Pretty? Say! when she gets on a street-car the advertising is a total loss."
"I don't like these photos at all," he said, "I look like an ape."
The photographer favored him with a glance of lofty disdain.
"You should have thought of that before you had them taken," was his reply as he turned back to work.
"We're giving Baxby a farewell dinner and I'm to respond to the toast, 'None but the brave deserves the fair.'"
"Sorry for you, old top. You'll have to prove that Baxby is an utter coward, or that he isn't getting what is his due."
The Chinese are not given to flattery. A gentleman called at a Chinese laundry for his clothes. On receiving the package he noticed some Chinese characters marked upon it. He asked, pointing to the lettering:
"That's my name, I suppose?"
"No; 'scliption," was the Chinaman's bland reply. "'Lil ol' man, closs-eyed, no teeth.'"—Everybody's.
"Some men have no hearts," said the tramp. "I've been a-tellin' that feller I am so dead broke that I have to sleep outdoors."
"Didn't that fetch him?" asked the other.
"Naw. He tol' me he was a-doin' the same thing, and had to pay the doctor for tellin' him to do it."
DEAF-AND-DUMB BEGGAR—"Do you think it looks like rain, Bill?"
BLIND BEGGAR—"I dasn't look up to see—here comes one o' my best customers!"—Puck.
He who begs timidly courts a refusal.—Seneca.
The matron passed a handout to the disreputable hobo, remarking curtly, "If you don't mind, eat it outside."
"Bless yer, I'm used to it," he answered. "When I was at home and in clover, as it were, it was me daily custom, when donnin' me dress suit, to announce to me valet, 'Parkins, don't await dinner fer me tonight. I'm dinin' out.'"
"There's a story connected with this diamond," said Heinie, pointing to a big, handsome stone which sparkled in his shirt front. "A friend of mine by the name of Meyer lay sick in bed. I being his best friend, he sent for me and said:
"'Heinie, I'm a very sick man. I ain't got long to live. I'm worth a lot of money, and I'm going to leave it all to you and my other friends. But I want you to do me one favor. Take this money and when I'm dead and laid away buy me a nice stone.'
"Those were Meyer's last words, and the day of the funeral I bought this stone. But how can I give it to him when he's dead?"
"Charley, dear," said young Mrs. Torkins, "I am glad to see you taking as much interest in politics as you formerly took in racing."
"It is the duty of every man and woman to take an interest in politics."
"Do you wish me to vote for the same candidate that you do?"
"Why shouldn't you?"
"I thought it might be a good idea for me to vote for the other one. It would be a satisfaction to feel that one or the other of us has at last succeeded in picking a winner."
A Scottish gentleman on a trip to New Orleans went to see his first horse-race. He was feeling very reckless, and decided to risk one dollar, choosing a forty-to-one shot, as that looked like the largest percentage of gain. By a miracle his horse won, and upon handing his ticket to the bookmaker, he received forty dollars.
"Do I get all this for my dollar?" he asked. Upon being assured that he did, he exclaimed. "Hoots! how long has this been going on?"
Little Pat and big Mike had had a dispute, when Mike in contempt said: "Ye little runt, Oi bet I could carry yez up to the fifth story in me hod."
Pat immediately took up the bet, saying: "I'd loike to see ye thry thot same. I'll bet yez fifty cints on it."
Before he knew it Mike had him in his hod and was going up the ladder. When he got to the fourth story his foot slipped and he almost fell. He regained his footing, however, and reached the fifth story in triumph.
"Oi won!" he said.
"Yez did thot," said Pat, "but Oi had high hopes when yer foot slipped."
Senator Simmons was discussing the proposed war-tax on automobile-owners. "Making war-taxes," he said, "isn't pleasant work. It puts one in the position of the facetious minister at Ocean Grove who took a little girl on his knee, and said:
"'I don't love you, Nellie.'"
All the ladies on the breeze-swept veranda laughed, but little Nellie frowned and said:
"'You've got to love me. You've got to.'"
"'Got to? How so?'" laughed the divine.
"'Because,' said Nellie stoutly, 'you've got to love them that hate you—and I hate you, goodness knows!'"
"The Bible tells us we should love our neighbors," said the good deacon.
"Yes, but the Bible was written before our neighbors lived so close," replied the mere man.
WILLIE—"Paw, why is the way of the transgressor hard?"
PAW—"Because so many people have tramped on it, my son."
Little Marie was sitting on her grandfather's knee one day, and after looking at him intently for a time she said:
"Grandpa, were you in the ark?"
"Certainly not, my dear," answered the astonished old man.
"Then why weren't you drowned?"
A bashful curate found the young ladies in the parish too helpful. At last it became so embarrassing that he left.
Not long afterward—he met the curate who had succeeded him.
"Well," he asked, "how do you get on with the ladies?"
"Oh, very well indeed," said the other. "There is safety in numbers, you know."
"Ah!" was the instant reply. "I only found it in Exodus."
Bishop Hoss said at a Nashville picnic:
"The religious knowledge of too many adults resembles, I am afraid, the religious knowledge of little Eve.
"'So you attend Sunday-school regularly?' the minister said to little Eve."
"'Oh, yes, sir.'"
"'And you know your Bible?'"
"'Oh, yes, sir.'"
"'Could you perhaps tell me something that is in it?'"
"'I could tell you everything that's in it.'"
"'Indeed,' and the minister smiled. 'Do tell me, then.'"
"'Sister's beau's photo is in it,' said little Eve, promptly, 'and ma's recipe for vanishin' cream is in it, and a lock of my hair cut off when I was a baby is in it, and the ticket for pa's watch is in it.'"
"Bobby, do you know you've deliberately broken the eighth commandment by stealing James's candy?"
"Well, I thought I might as well break the eighth commandment and have the candy as to break the tenth and only 'covet' it."—Life.
"I thought you were preaching, Uncle Bob," said the Colonel, to whom the elderly negro had applied for a job.
"Yessah, Ah wuz," replied Uncle; "but Ah guess Ah ain't smaht enough to expound de Scriptures. Ah almost stahved to deff tryin' to explain de true meanin' uv de line what says 'De Gospel am free.' Dem fool niggahs thought dat it meant dat Ah wuzn't to git no salary."
The college boys played a mean trick on "Prexy" by pasting some of the leaves of his Bible together. He rose to read the morning lesson, which might have been as follows:
"Now Johial took unto himself a wife of the daughters of Belial." (He turned a leaf.) "She was eighteen cubits in height and ten cubits in breadth." (A pause and careful scrutiny of the former page.)
He resumed: "Now Johial took unto himself a wife," etc. (Leaf turned.) "She was eighteen cubits in height and ten cubits in breadth, and was pitched within and without—" (Painful pause and sounds of subdued mirth.) "Prexy" turns back again in perplexity.
"Young gentlemen, I can only add that 'Man is fearfully and wonderfully made'—and woman also."
See also Drinking.
A June bug married an angleworm; An accident cut her in two. They charged the bug with bigamy; Now what could the poor thing do?
A tariff expert of Kansas City said in a recent address:
"The average tariff argument is amusing in its ignorance. It reminds me of a certain Kansas City police court.
"A policeman rose in this court to testify against a prisoner.
"'Wot's this here feller charged with?' the magistrate demanded.
"'Bigotry, judge,' the police answered. 'He's got three wives.'
"'Three!' cried the magistrate. 'Why, you ignoramus, that ain't bigotry. That's trigonometry!'"
"I left my money at home," said the lady on the train to the conductor. "You will have to trust me. I am one of the directors' wives."
"I am sorry, madam," replied the conductor. "I can't do that, even if you were the director's only wife."
COLLECTOR—"Did you look at that little bill I left yesterday, sir?"
HOUSE MEMBER—"Yes; it has passed the first reading."
Daniel Webster was once sued by his butcher for a bill of long standing. Before his suit was settled he met the butcher on the street and, to the man's great embarrassment, stopped to ask why he had ceased sending around for his order.
"Why, Mr. Webster," said the tradesman, "I did not think you would want to deal with me when I've brought suit against you."
"Tut! tut!" said Mr. Webster, "sue me all you wish, but for heaven's sake don't try to starve me to death!"
"My doctor told me I would have to quit eating so much meat."
"Did you laugh him to scorn?'"
"I did at first; but when he sent in his bill, I found he was right."
TOMMY—"Why do the ducks dive?"
HARP—"Guess they must want to liquidate their bills."
Bill Sprague kept a general store at Croyden Four Corners. One day he set off for New York to buy a lot of goods. The goods were shipped immediately; and as Bill had lingered in New York sightseeing, they reached Croyden Four Corners before him. The goods in an enormous packing-case were driven to the general store by the local teamster. Mrs. Sprague came out to see what had arrived and, with a shriek, tottered and fell.
"Oh, what's the matter, ma'am?" cried the hired girl.
Mrs Sprague, her eyes blinded with tears, pointed to the packing-case, whereon was stenciled in large black letters: "BILL INSIDE."
When you do not intend to pay a bill there is nothing like being decisive in your refusal. The other day a bookseller had an "account rendered" returned to him with the following reply scrawled across the billhead: "Dear Sir—I never ordered this beastly book. If I did, you didn't send it. If you sent it, I never got it. If I got it, I paid for it. If I didn't, I won't. Now go and hang yourself, you fathead.—Yours very respectfully, John Jones."
PATIENT—"Doctor, what I need is something to stir me up—something to put me in fighting-trim. Did you put anything like that in this prescription?"
DOCTOR—"No. You will find that in the bill."—Judge.
See also Debts; Collecting of accounts.
VISITOR (at private hospital)—"Can I see Lieutenant Barker, please?"
MATRON—"We do not allow ordinary visiting. May I ask if you're a relative?"
VISITOR (boldly)—"Oh, yes! I'm his sister."
MATRON—"Dear me! I'm very glad to meet you. I'm his mother."—Punch.
Yes, life's like poker sure enough. It pays to know just when to bluff.
Half-way up the steep hill the stage-coach stopped. For the seventh time the driver climbed down from his seat and opened and slammed the rear door.
"What do you do that for?" asked a passenger, whose curiosity had got the better of him.
"Sh-h; spake aisy. Don't let th' mare 'ear yer," cautioned the driver. "Every toime she 'ears th' door shut she thinks some one has got down, and it starrts 'er up quicker loike."
Ollie James is a big man personally and politically. He is a United States senator from Kentucky, and he weighs a trifle more than three hundred and fifty pounds.
On one occasion, in traveling from New York to Washington, he barely caught the midnight train, and discovered that the only berth left was an upper. Having learned from experience that the process of coiling up his three hundred and fifty pounds and his six feet three inches in an upper berth was tough stuff, he was indignant. He was particularly enraged when he noticed that the lower directly under his berth was occupied by a small man who tipped the scales at not more than a hundred and twenty.
Ollie grasped the curtains of the berth, shook them vigorously, growled once or twice, and remarked vindictively to the porter:
"So I've got to sleep in an upper, have I? The last time I did that it was on a trip from Frankfort to Washington, and the blamed thing broke down and mashed the man under me. Throw that grip up there, and I hope to Heaven the berth will hold me."
Then he went back to the smoker and had a cigar.
When he returned, the little man was in the upper.
As it is
Weep and you are called a baby, Laugh and you are called a fool, Yield and you're called a coward, Stand and you're called a mule, Smile and they'll call you silly, Frown and they'll call you gruff, Put on a front like a millionaire, And somebody calls you a bluff.
A successful old lawyer tells the following story anent the beginning of his professional life: "I had just installed myself in my office," he said, "had put in a phone and had preened myself for my first client who might come along when, through the glass of my door I saw a shadow. Yes, it was doubtless some one to see me. Picture me, then, grabbing the nice, shiny receiver of my new phone and plunging into an imaginary conversation. It ran something like this: 'Yes, Mr. S.,' I was saying as the stranger entered the office, 'I'll attend to that corporation matter for you. Mr. J. had me on the phone this morning and wanted me to settle a damage suit, but I had to put him off, as I was too busy with other cases. But I'll manage to sandwich your case in between the others somehow. Yes. Yes. All right. Goodby.' Being sure, then, that I had duly impressed my prospective client, I hung up the receiver and turned to him. 'Excuse me, sir,' the man said, 'but I'm from the telephone company. I've come to connect your instrument.'"
BOARD OF HEALTH
Strolling along the quays of New York harbor, an Irishman came across the wooden barricade which is placed around the inclosure where immigrants suspected of suffering from contagious diseases are isolated.
"Phwat's this fince for?" he inquired of a bystander.
"Oh," was the reply; "that's to keep out fever and things like that, you know."
"Indade!" said Pat. "Oi've often heard of the board of health, but bejabers, it's the first time Oi've seen it!"
The fare at a certain boarding-house was very poor. A boarder who had been there for some time, because he could not get away, was standing in the hall when the landlord rang the dinner-bell. Whereupon an old dog that was lying outside on a rug commenced to howl mournfully.
The boarder watched him a little while and then said: "What on earth are you howling for? You don't have to eat it!"
In the soft firelight even the boarding-house sitting-room looked cozy and attractive. The warmth and comfort thawed the heart of the "star" boarder. He turned to the landlady and murmured. "Will you be my wife?"
"Let me see," replied the landlady, "you have been here four years. You have never once grumbled at the food or failed to pay my bill promptly and without question. No, sir, I'm sorry. You're too good a boarder to be put on the free list!"
The engineer had become tired of the boastful talk he heard from the other engine drivers at his boarding-house. One evening he began:
"This morning I went over to see a new machine we've got at our place, and it's astonishing how it works."
"And how does it work?" asked one.
"Well," was the reply, "by means of a pedal attachment a fulcrumed lever concerts a vertical reciprocating motion into a circular movement. The principal part of the machine is a huge disk that revolves in a vertical plane. Power is applied through the axis of the disk, and work is done on the periphery, and the hardest steel by mere impact may be reduced to any shape."
"What is this wonderful machine?" was asked.
"A grindstone," was the reply.
Senator Tillman was arguing the tariff with an opponent.
"You know I never boast," the opponent began.
"Never boast? Splendid!" said Senator Tillman, and he added quietly, "No wonder you brag about it."
They are mighty proud of their one sky-scraper up in Seattle.
It is a long, skinny building that stands on one leg like a stork and blinks down disdainfully from its thousand windows on ordinary fifteen-story shacks.
A San Francisco man recently in that city was incautious enough to express surprise.
"What are those posts sticking out all the way up?" he asked a Seattleite.
"Those are mile-posts," said the Seattle man.
A gentleman from Vermont was traveling west in a Pullman when a group of men from Topeka, Kansas, boarded the train and began to praise their city to the Vermonter, telling him of its wide streets and beautiful avenues. Finally the Vermonter became tired and said the only thing that would improve their city would be to make it a seaport.
The enthusiastic Westerners laughed at him and asked how they could make it a seaport, being so far from the ocean.
The Vermonter replied that it would be a very easy task.
"The only thing that you will have to do," said he, "is to lay a two-inch pipe from your city to the Gulf of Mexico. Then if you fellows can suck as hard as you can blow you will have it a seaport inside half an hour."
"The reason you disapprove of Bolshevism is that you don't understand it."
"Probably. Every time I get with Bolshevists and think I am beginning to understand, they start a riot and take my mind off the subject."
There's just one thing the Bolshevik in America can do well—he can dampen the fire under the Melting Pot!
Bolshevism—A blow-out on the tire of world-politics.
BOOKS AND READING
A student assistant, engaged in reading the shelves at the public library, was accosted by a primly dressed middle-aged woman who said that she had finished reading the last of Laura Jean Libby's writings, and that she should like something just as good.
The young assistant, unable for the moment to think of Laura Jean Libby's equal, hastily scanned the shelf on which she was working and, choosing a book, offered it to the applicant, saying, "Perhaps you would like this, 'A Kentucky Cardinal.'"
"No," was the reply, "I don't care for theological works."
"But," explained the kindly assistant, with needless enthusiasm, "this cardinal was a bird!"
"That would not recommend him to me," said the woman, as she moved away in search of a librarian who should be a better judge of character as well as of Laura Jean Libby's peers.
Books are the legacies that genius leaves to mankind, to be delivered down from generation to generation, as presents to the posterity of those that are yet unborn.—Addison.
"Are you interested in a loose-leaf encyclopedia?"
"Nope, got one."
"Didn't know they published a loose-leaf edition."
"Huh! You ought to see mine after the children had used the volumes as building blocks a few years."
A dressy lady asked one of the assistants for an up-to-date story such as "Women men love" or the "Adventures of Anne." The assistant selected a story which she thought this type of reader would appreciate. After a few minutes the dressy lady again appeared with the book open, and pointing to a quotation on the title page said "I would like this book or any other by Proverbs." The astonished assistant read the quotation which was, "who can find a virtuous woman, her price is far above rubies." Proverbs 31:10.
"How far have you studied, Johnny?" inquired the teacher. "Just as far as the book is dirty, ma'am."
Our youngest borrower is a little boy of three who reads surprisingly well for one so young and selects his own books from the children's room. The other day, however, his mother complained that lately he has become "lazy" and refuses to read. As we stood talking the little chap ran joyfully toward her waving a picture book that had been made at the branch and said, "No words Mother, no words."
If this is borrowed by a friend Right welcome shall he be; To read, to study, not to lend But to return to me. Not that imparted knowledge doth Diminish learning's store, But books, I find, if often lent, Return to me no more.
"Books are keys to wisdom's treasures; Books are gates to lands of pleasure; Books are paths that upward lead; Books are friends, come, let us read."
When I consider what some books have done for the world, and what they are doing, how they keep up our hope, awaken new courage and faith, soothe pain, give an ideal life to those whose hours are cold and hard, bind together distant ages and foreign lands, create new worlds of beauty, bring down Truth from heaven; I give eternal blessings for this gift and thank God for books.
Mr. Dooley says "Books is f'r thim that can't inj'ye thimsilves in anny other way. If ye're in good health, an ar-re atin' three squares a day, an' not ayether sad or very much in love with ye'er lot, but just lookin' on an' not carin' a rush, ye don't need books," he says.
"But if ye're a down-spirited thing an' want to get away an' can't, ye need books."
1921—"Did you see that movie called 'Oliver Twist'?" FROSH—"Yes, and say, wouldn't that make a peach of a book?"
Young Isaac stood in line at the library to draw out a book. When his turn came he asked, respectfully, "Please give me Miss Alcott's Jew book."
The young lady looked puzzled. "A book by Miss Louisa M. Alcott?" she queried.
"Yes," reiterated Isaac, "her Jew book."
"Can you remember the title?"
"No; but it's her Jew book," he insisted.
"Well, I'll read over some of the titles of her books to you, and perhaps you can tell me the one you want when you hear it read." Patiently she began, "Little Women, Little Men, Under the Lilacs, Rose in Bloom—"