The speaker was Assistant Secretary of the Navy Roosevelt. He went on:
"Germany is going to feel like Rastus Rosin, who was convicted of stealing a hog.
"'Rastus,' the judge said to him, 'you are fined $5.'
"'Jedge,' said Rastus, 'Ah'm obliged to ye. Ah got dat five spot right here in mah left-hand vest-pocket.'
"'Well,' continued the judge, 'just dig down in your right-hand vest-pocket, Rastus, and see if you can find thirty days.'"
Mamie had been naughty and her mother finally had recourse to the time-honored remedy in such cases.
"Mamma," she sobbed, "did Gran'ma spank you when you was little?"
"Yes, dear," said her mother, "she did when I was naughty."
"And did her mother spank her?"
"An" was she spanked, too, when she was bad?"
"Well, who started this blamed thing anyhow?"
"Judge," said the man at the bar, "there's no use of you trying to square this thing up. My wife and I fight just so often and just so long, and we can't help it. So there you are."
"And about how long do you keep it up?" asked the judge.
"About two weeks, judge."
"All right. I'll give you fifteen days in jail; in other words, you are interned for the duration of the war."
VISITOR (comforting Tommy, who has upset a bottle of ink on the new carpet)—"Never mind, my boy; no use to cry over spilled milk."
TOMMY (indignantly)—"Any dunce would know that. If it's milk that's spilled all you have to do is to call the cat an' she'll lick it up cleaner'n anything. But this ain't milk, an' mother'll do the lickin', is what ails me."
"Quite a good epigram, that," said the tramp, who had been convicted for vagrancy.
"What did he say?" asked the tramp's pal.
"How d'you make that out an epigram?"
"Why," said the tramp, "I once asked a parson what an epigram was, and he said 'It's a short sentence that sounds light, but gives you plenty to think about.'"
PARSON WHITE—"Brudder Lamkins, how did yer son come outen de trial?"
BRO. LAMKINS—"De Jedge done give 'im two mumfs in de jayul."
PARSON WHITE—"'Pears ter me like as if you outer be pow'ful thankful. He got off mighty light, he did."
BRO. LAMKINS—"'Twan't 's light's you seem to think. Dey's agwinter hang 'im when de two mumfs is up."
"Rastus," said the judge sternly, "you're plain no-account and shiftless, and for this fight I'm going to send you away for a year at hard labor."
"Please, Jedge," interrupted Mrs. Rastus from the rear of the court room, "will yo' Honah jes' kinder split dat sentence? Don't send him away from home, but let dat hard labor stand."
A German spy caught redhanded was on his way to be shot.
"I think you English are brutes," he growled, "to march me through this rain and slush."
"Well," said the "Tommy" who was escorting him, "what about me? I have to go back in it."
See also Marriage.
"Have you a little fairy in your home?"
"No, but I have a little miss in my engine."
SMALL SCOUT—"Dad, what are the silent watches of the night?"
INDULGENT FATHER—"They are the ones which their owners forgot to wind, my son."
"Here, boy," said the man to the boy who was helping him drive a bunch of cattle, "hold this bull a minute, will you?"
"No," answered the boy, "I don't mind bein' a director in this company, but I'm darned if I want to be a stockholder."
MA—"You've been drinking. I smell it in your breath." PA—"Not a drop. I've been eating frog's legs. What you smell is the hops."
PROF.—"What happened to Babylon?"
PROF.—"What happened to Tyre?"
FRESH.—"It was punctured."
That was a good, though rather a severe pun, which was made by a student in one of our theological seminaries (and he was not one of the brightest of the class, either), when he asked, "Why is Professor—— the greatest revivalist of the age?" and on all "giving it up," said, "Because at the close of every sermon there is a 'Great Awakening.'"
MARMADUKE ISOLATE (of Lonelyville).—"Pa, what is Purgatory?"
MR. ISOLATE (wearily).—"Purgatory? Why, Purgatory is a sort of suburb of Heaven."
After a long essay on the Quakers, taken largely from the encyclopedia, a Western schoolboy finished off with this original thought. "Quakers never quarrel, never get into fights, and never scratch." Then, seeking for a demonstration of the fact and a final touch, he added: "Pa is a Quaker, but I kinda think that Ma isn't."
"You understand your duties thoroughly, don't you?" she said to the new footman.
"Yes, ma'am, certainly, ma'am."
"And you know your way to announce?"
"Well, ma'am, I shouldn't perhaps like to go quite so far as that, but I think I know my weight to a pound or so."
"Father, is the zebra a black animal with white stripes or a white animal with black stripes?"
"Has Jobkins any money?" asked Hickenlooper.
"Oh, he must have," said Garroway.
"Oh, we all must have—but have we?" said Hickenlooper.
There is an elevator boy in a New York office building, who is among a large number of public servants that resent needless questions.
One day there entered his car a rather fussy old lady, and garrulous as well.
"Don't you ever feel sick going up and down in this elevator all day?" she asked.
"Yes, ma'am," said the boy.
"Is it the motion going down?"
"The motion going up?"
"Is it the stopping that does it?"
"Then what is it?"
"Answering questions, ma'am."
"My father and I know everything in the world," said a small boy to his companion.
"All right," said the latter. "Where's Asia?"
It was a stiff question, but the little fellow answered coolly: "That is one of the questions my father knows."
Owen Wister, the novelist, apropos of useless questions, once told of a man who stood before a mirror in his room, his face lathered and an open razor in his hand. His wife came in. She looked at him and said, "Are you shaving?" The man, a foe to surplusage, replied fiercely, "No; I am blacking the kitchen range. Where are you—out driving or at a four-o'clock tea?"
See also Curiosity.
A radical is a man without a sense of humor; a conservative is one without a sense of the ridiculous.
"Where's the president of this railroad?" asked the man who called at the general offices.
"He's down in Washington, attendin' th' session o' some kind uv an investigatin' committee," replied the office boy.
"Where is the general manager?"
"He's appearin' before th' Interstate Commerce Commission."
"Well, where's the general superintendent?"
"He's at th' meetin" of th' legislature, fightin' some bum new law."
"Where is the head of the legal department?"
"He's in court, tryin' a suit."
"Then where is the general passenger agent?"
"He's explainin' t' th' commercial travelers why we can't reduce th' fare."
"Where is the general freight agent?"
"He's gone out in th' country t' attend a meeting o' th' grange an' tell th' farmers why we ain't got no freight-cars."
"Who's running the blame railroad, anyway?"
"The newspapers and th' legislatures."
An old Cornish woman who had never before traveled by rail went to a country station to catch a train. She sat herself down on a seat in the station, and after sitting there for about two hours, the station-master came up to her and asked where she was going. On her telling him, he said:
"Why, my good woman, the train has just gone, and there isn't another for a long time!"
"Why, lor'!" says the old lady, "I thought the whole consarn moved!"
"What good," asked the angry would-be passenger, "are the figures set down in these railway time-tables?"
"Why," patiently explained the genial agent, "if it weren't for them figures we'd have no way of findin' out how late the train is."
The American in the first-class carriage of an English train insisted on smoking. An angry Englishman protested, and when about to appeal to the guard the American got ahead of him with the remark: "Guard, I think you will find that that gentleman is traveling with a third-class ticket on him."
It proved to be true, and the sputtering Britisher was put out.
A spectator of the incident asked the American how he knew about the ticket.
"Well," explained the composed stranger, "it was sticking out of his pocket and I noticed that it was the same color as mine."
A new railroad through Louisiana strikes some of the towns about a mile from the business center, so it is necessary to run a bus line. A salesman stopping in one of the towns asked the old darky bus driver about it:
"Say, uncle, why have they got the depot way down here?"
After a moment's hesitation the old darky replied: "Ah dunno, boss, unless dey wanted to git it on de railroad."
Picking her way daintily through the locomotive plant, a young woman visitor viewed the huge operations with awe. Finally, she turned to a young man who was showing her through, and asked:
"What is that big thing over there?"
"That's a locomotive-boiler," he replied. She puckered her brows.
"And what do they boil locomotives for?"
"To make the locomotive tender," and the young man from the office never smiled.
"What kind of a plant is the Virginia creeper?"
"It isn't a plant; it's a railroad."
The president of a certain railway in Kentucky which is only ten miles long, was exchanging annual passes one year with officials of other railways.
He enclosed an annual pass on his railway to Stuyvesant Fish, then president of the Illinois Central Railway, for himself and family, with the request that Fish reciprocate.
It seems that Fish had never heard of the Kentucky road, so he instructed his secretary to look it up. As a result the pass was returned with the following curt letter:
I find that your railroad is only ten miles long, while my road is eleven hundred miles long. I herewith return your pass made out in favor of myself and family. Yours truly, STUYVESANT FISH.
This was too much for the old Kentucky colonel, who made the following notation on Fish's letter and sent it back:
"You go to hell—my railroad is as WIDE as yours".
He received the Illinois Central pass by return mail.
"Conductor!" shouted a passenger on the back-country train.
"That was my station, sir! Why didn't you stop?"
"We don't stop there any longer," said the conductor. "You see, the engineer is mad with the station agent!"
"Now will this train reach its destination on time?"
"We hope so, but we don't guarantee it."
"You mean you sell me a ticket to get to a certain place by a certain time and then you give me no assurance I'll be there at that time?"
"That's about it."
"Well, I'll take the ticket. But I'll get even! I won't guarantee I'll be here when your darned old unguaranteed train is ready to start, so I won't!"
"We are twenty minutes late," remarked the passenger. "Will we make it up before we reach New York?"
"No, sah; no, sah," answered the porter. "No, sah. The engineer and fireman get time and a half for overtime."
See Books and reading
"It is very strange that no one has ever been able to find Captain Kidd's treasure."
"Oh, well, Captain Kidd isn't the only man who has put his money into real estate and couldn't get it out."
REAL ESTATE AGENTS
STEVE—"That Smith guy of the Meadow Bottom Development Company has got the fastest car in this neck of the country. He makes ninety miles an hour."
HANK—"Some car! What's he want of such a speed demon?"
STEVE—"He's gotta have it when he's advertising his development as being five minutes from the station."
A house-hunter, getting off a train at a suburban station, said to a boy standing near:
"My boy, I am looking for Mr. Smith's new block of semi-detached houses. How far are they from here?"
"About twenty minutes' walk," said the boy.
"Twenty minutes!" exclaimed the house-hunter. "Nonsense! The advertisement said five."
"Well," replied the boy, "yer kin believe me or the advertisement, whichever yer want. But I ain't tryin' to make no sale."
"Look here, you swindler!" roared the owner of the suburban property to the real-estate man. "When you sold me this house, didn't you say that in three months I wouldn't part with it for $10,000?"
"Certainly," said the real-estate dealer calmly, "and you haven't, have you?"
Things that are what they appear to be are so rare that one cannot tell them when one sees them.
"Eh-yah! Young Doc. Purt is a pretty good doctor," admitted the landlord of the Petunia tavern, in reply to the inquiry of a guest who felt the need of a physician's advice. "In spite of all the money he's spent for electrical apparatus and the fact that he wears one of these 'ere three-cornered vanduct beards, there have been no unusually distressing deaths in our midst during the six months he has been with us."
The applicant for the job of office-boy presented his credentials in a manner that bespoke his entire confidence that the position would be his. The sour-looking old gentleman at the head of the establishment read the paper carefully and then surveyed the boy searchingly.
"It is certainly a very nice thing for you to have these recommendations from the minister of your church and your Sunday-school teacher," said he, "and I must admit that you look honest. All the same, I'd like to have a few words from someone that knows you on week-days."—Harper's.
"You say you have good references?"
"Yes, ma'am. I have over a 'undred splendid references."
"And how long have you been in domestic service?"
"Two years, ma'am."
A prominent New England educator tells of a Chinese cook in Manila who was innocently carrying about a reference, written by a saturnine Englishman, with which he expected to secure a good position. The reference read as follows:
"This man cooked for me six months; it seemed much longer. He left on account of illness—my illness."
"Have you any references?" inquired the lady of the house.
"Yis, mum, lots of thim," answered the prospective maid.
"Then why did you not bring some of them with you?"
"Well, mum, to tell the troot, they're just loike my photygraphs. None of thim don't do me justice."
Here is a letter of recommendation given by a butcher to a former employee:
"Whomsoefer is de boss—
"Dear Sir—Dis is to testify dot Hans Snyder vorked for me von week. Ven he left I was perfectly satisfied."
POLICEMAN (rounding up draft suspects)—"Have you got a card?"
THE SUSPECTED ONE (with suitcase)—"A whole case of 'em! Which do you want to see—draft, registration, meat, sugar, calling, milk, playing, or postal-card?"—Judge.
"Before I left the United States," said Col. George Harvey recently in London, "I agreed with a Columbia professor who said preponderant power in men and money was bound to win the war; but now I have a stronger argument—one which fell from the lips of a recruiting-sergeant in the Strand yesterday.
"'Don't you want to be on the winning side?' said the soldier to a group of civilians who he was suggesting should don khaki.
"'How do you know ours will be the winning side?' asked a prospective recruit.
"'Well, my lad,' said the sergeant, 'you know the Germans have been trying for more than a year and a half to win and have failed, don't you?"
"'Yes,' replied the questioner.
"'Well, then, we've been trying to lose during the same period and we couldn't.'"
United States Senator Howard Sutherland, of West Virginia, tells a story about a mountain youth who visited a recruiting-office in the Senator's State for the purpose of enlisting in the regular Army. The examining physician found the young man as sound as a dollar, but that he had flat feet.
"I'm sorry," said the physician, "but I'll have to turn you down. You've got flat feet."
The mountaineer looked sorrowful. "No way for me to git in it, then?" he inquired.
"I guess not. With those flat feet of yours you wouldn't be able to march even five miles."
The youth from the mountains studied a moment. Finally he said: "I'll tell you why I hate this so darned bad. You see, I walked nigh on to one hundred and fifteen miles over the mountains to git here, and gosh, how I hate to walk back!"
RECRUITING OFFICER—"What's the good of coming here and saying you're only seventeen years old! Go and walk around that yard and come back and see if you're not nineteen."—Punch.
See also Conscription.
America consumes more red dye than any other color. This, as you are aware, is the color chosen for government tape in Washington.
Who Am I?
I am frequently most potent in the morning, but I am willing to abide with you at any time.
I am what you feel if you get married or if you do not get married.
I am what the after-dinner speaker says he feels because he came unprepared, and what the listeners show they feel without saying it.
I come to you when youth leaves you.
I am yours when that sarcastic person drops a remark which you cannot fittingly answer, and I am doubled when you are later alone and think of just the brilliant retort you should have given.
I am what overwhelms you when you suffer an overwhelming financial loss.
I am the vainest of the vain.
I am regret!
MRS. EXE—"Here's an invitation from Mrs. Boreleigh to one of her tiresome dinners. I hate them."
EXE—"Why not plead that you have a previous engagement?"
MRS. EXE—"That would be a lie. Edith dear, write Mrs. Boreleigh that we accept with pleasure."
"Have you any relatives living in the country?"
"No; whenever we take a vacation we have to pay our own board."
"Old Millyuns says that since he made his pile of money he feels like a neutral nation."
"Why is that?"
"Because he has so many diplomatic relations."—Judge.
Rowland Hill, when some persons entered his chapel to avoid the rain that was falling, quietly observed, "Many persons are to be blamed for making their religion a cloak, but I do not think those are much better who make it an umbrella."
A man in the threadbare coat and a week's beard came out of a downtown mission where he had signed the pledge and joined the church, only to be nabbed for theft a half hour later.
"Why did you make off with the pocketbook you saw this lady drop in the street?" demanded the Judge in court.
"It's all the minister's fault," declared the thief in deprecation. "I went to him discouraged and out of money, and he told me I must learn to take things as I found them."
Dr. Lyman P. Powell gives some examples of the lengths to which petty bitterness between sects will sometimes carry men. "A visitor in a certain town which had four churches and adequately supported none, asked a pillar of one poor dying church, 'How's your church getting on?' 'Not very well,' was the reply, 'but, thank the Lord, the others are not doing any better.'"
A Chinaman was asked if there were good doctors in China.
"Good doctors!" he exclaimed, "China have best doctors in world. Hang Chang one good doctor; he great; save life, to me."
"You don't say so! How was that?"
"Me velly bad," he said. "Me callee Doctor Han Kon. Give some medicine. Get velly, velly ill. Me callee Doctor San Sing. Give more medicine. Me glow worse—go die. Blimebly callee Doctor Hang Chang. He got no time; no come. Save life."
The other day a negro went into a drug store and said:
"Ah wants one ob dem dere plasters you stick on yoah back."
"I understand," said the clerk, "You mean one of our porous plasters?"
"No, sab, I don't want none ob your porous plasters, I wants de bes' one you got."
A Swedish farmer, who lived on his wheat farm in Minnesota, was taken ill and his wife telephoned the doctor.
"If you have a thermometer," answered the physician, "take his temperature. I will be out and see him presently."
An hour or so later when the doctor drove up, the woman met him at the door.
"How is he?" asked the doctor.
"Veil," said she, "I bane put the barometer on him like you tell me, and it say 'Very dry,' so I give him a pitcher of water to drink, and now he ban gone back to vork."
BESSIE—"The doctor says mamma must take a constitutional every morning. What's that mean?"
BOBBY—"That means walking."
BESSIE—"Then why didn't he say walk?"
BOBBY—"I don't know, but I guess maybe if he called it that he couldn't charge for it."
HE (to wife who is off for the beach)—"Now, don't forget me, dear."
SHE—"As if I could, Jack. The surf at night sounds just like you snoring."
The late Horace Hutton used to say that having to take a little trouble would impress a fact on any one's memory so that he would never be able to forget it. In illustration he would tell this story:
"Our waitress, Maggie, could never remember to put salt on the table, and time after time Mrs. Hutton would remind her to do it. One morning it was absent, as usual, and I said, 'Maggie, where is the stepladder?'
"'It's in the pantry, sir!'
"'Please bring it in, Maggie,' I said kindly.
"Maggie brought it in with a look of wonder on her face.
"'Put it right beside the table,' I commanded, and when she had done so I added: 'Now, I want you to climb up to the top of it, look all over the table and see if there is any salt there.'
"Maggie never forgot the salt again."
"What's that piece of cord tied around your finger for?"
"My wife put it there to remind me to post a letter."
"And did you post it?"
"No; she forgot to give it to me."
CONDUCTOR—"Do you mind if I put your bag out of the way, sir? People coming in are falling over it."
TRAVELER—"You leave it where it is. If nobody falls over it I shall forget it's there."
"Pa, what is repartee?"
"Oh, merely an insult with its dress-suit on, my son."—Puck.
FIRST STUDENT—"The idea; my napkin is damp!"
SECOND STUDENT—"Perhaps that's because there is so much due on your board."
The big man with the I-know-it-all expression sneeringly watched the little man who was eating from a sack of peanuts.
"Down where I come from we use peanuts to fatten hogs," remarked the big man.
"That so?" asked the little man. "Here, have some."
EINSTEIN—"I hear you already, and I dinks you vas talking to yourself."
ROSENBERG—"You vas a liar and a scoundrel! Do you hear dot?"
"What would you say," began the voluble prophet, "if I were to tell you that in a very short space of time all the rivers will dry up?"
"I would say," replied the patient man, "go thou and do likewise."
"I'm tired of always being the goat!"
"Then, why don't you stop butting in?"
"Oh, say, who was here to see you last night?"
"Only Myrtle, father."
"Well, tell Myrtle that she left her pipe on the piano."
"Willie, your master's report of your work is very bad. Do you know that when Woodrow Wilson was your age he was head of the school?"
"Yes, pa; and when he was your age he was President of the United States."
"You are an angel."
"I guess that's right. An angel has but one gown and for her the styles never change."
A stern old preacher had issued to his people a command against dancing, believing it to be a device of the devil.
A few of the young people disobeyed and attended a dance given at a neighboring town. Finally it reached the ears of the preacher, and, meeting one of the culprits on the street one morning, he said in a stern voice:
"Good morning, child of the devil!"
"Good morning, father!" smilingly answered the pretty miss.
CUSTOMER—"The price of these shoes seems high. Wasn't there something said about a movement to have it reduced?"
CLERK—"Yes—but it's not on foot yet."
UNCLE SILAS (visiting city relatives who use electrical appliances for cooking at the table)—"Well, I swan! You make fun of us for eatin' in the kitchen. I don't see as it makes much difference whether you eat in the kitchen or cook in the dining-room."—Life.
There had been a quarrel. "You're no lidy," remarked the party of the first part "Ah!" replied the other. "If it wasn't that I was a lidy, p'raps I'd be able to tell you wot kind of a lidy you ain't."
FIRST TRAVELER (cheerily)—"Fine day, isn't it?"
SECOND DITTO (haughtily)—"Sir! You have the advantage of me. I don't know you."
FIRST DITTO—"Humph! I fail to see the advantage."
"We need brains in this business, sir."
"I know you do. The business shows it."
"Well! well!" exclaimed Mrs. Talker, looking up from the morning paper. "Boots and shoes should be getting much cheaper now. Here's a paragraph that states that they are being made from all sorts of skins, even rat skins"; and then, trying to be funny, she added, "I wonder what they do with banana and orange skins?"
"Oh, my dear," replied her husband, "they make slippers!"
The usual large crowd was gathered at the New York end of the Brooklyn Bridge waiting for trolley-cars. An elderly lady, red in the face, flustered and fussy, dug her elbows into convenient ribs irrespective of owners.
A fat man on her left was the recipient of a particularly vicious jab. She yelled at him, "Say!"
He winced slightly and moved to one side.
She, too, sidestepped and thumped him vigorously on the back.
"Say!" she persisted, "does it make any difference which of these cars I take to Greenwood Cemetery?"
"Not to me, madam," he answered, slipping through an opening in the crowd.
AUSTRALIAN SOLDIER (to American)—"You Yanks think you've done a lot, but you forget we Australians have been at the game for four years."
"Well, what have you done, anyway?"
"Done? We've been at Gallipoli, Mesopotamia, the plains of Bethlehem, and—"
"The plains of Bethlehem?"
"Yes; I slept a week there myself."
"Well, I guess that was a busy week for the shepherds watching their flocks!"
Once in a while the choirs do get back at the minister, as, for example, in a Connecticut church the other Sunday morning. The minister announced, just after the choir had sung its anthem, as his text, "Now when the uproar had ceased." But the singers bided their time patiently, and when the sermon was over, rose and rendered in most melodious fashion another anthem beginning, "Now it is high time to awake after sleep."
A noted artist was recently visited by an interviewer, who fired at him from a question-sheet questions such as these:
"Were your parents artistic? Which of your paintings do you consider your best work? When, where, and why did you paint it? How much did it bring you in? Who is your favorite dead master? Favorite living master? What is your income from art? How much—"
But at this point the artist seized the interviewer by the arm and began in his turn:
"Just a moment, please. What is your name, age, and salary? Is journalism with you a life-work or merely a means to a higher literary end? How do you like your editor? State his faults and salary. What was the best interview you ever wrote? Give a brief summary of same. Have you ever been fired? How does it feel? Where—"
But here the interviewer, jerking his arm from the painter's grasp, fled from the studio, and the artist cheerfully resumed his work.
A "cub" reporter on a New York newspaper was sent to Paterson to write the story of the murder by thieves, of a rich manufacturer. He spread himself on the details and naively concluded his account with this sentence:
"Fortunately for the deceased, he had deposited all of his money in the bank the day before, so he lost practically nothing but his life."—Harper's.
See also Journalism; Newspapers.
"So you come from New York," said an English lady to a traveling American. "I supposed, of course, you came from Boston."
"Why did you think that?" inquired the New York lady.
"Because I supposed all cultivated, intelligent Americans came from Boston."
"But what in the world made you think that?" was the natural question.
"Oh, I don't know, exactly. I think it was a Boston lady who told me."
Having heard a popular make of motor-car highly spoken of, he entered the depot with the idea of purchasing one. The selection was soon made, and the customer expressed himself ready to buy if he could have a trial trip. That, the salesman explained, was impossible; the cars were sold on their reputation only. The customer declined to buy without a trial, and was leaving the store when the chairman of the company entered, and the situation was explained to him.
The chairman agreed that the salesman's attitude was correct. "But," said he, "as I don't like turning money away, I'll take you for a run in the car myself." The selected car was brought out, the chairman took the driving wheel, the customer sat alongside him, and the run began.
For some time she ran beautifully. Then, halfway up a hill, there was a sudden stoppage, and, do what he would, the driver could not induce the car to move.
Said the customer: "A jolly good thing I insisted on a trial."
Very red in the face, the chairman left the car, went to the front and lifted the bonnet to see what was the matter. "Holy smoke!" he exclaimed. "She's got no engine in her. She's run two miles on nothing but her reputation."
I wish I was a little rock On top of yonder hill A doin' nothin' all day long But just a settin' still.
I wouldn't eat, I wouldn't sleep I wouldn't even wash I'd set and set a thousand years And rest myself—By Gosh!
A gentleman from the rural districts of Missouri recently made his first visit to New York. Shortly after his arrival he went into a restaurant and ordered what seemed to him like a rather meager meal. When the bill was presented it totaled $8.35. The Missourian looked at the amount twice to make sure his eyes were not deceiving him. Then he smiled. "Waiter," he called, "you've made a mistake. I've got more money than that!"
GUEST—"Look here! How long must I wait for the half-portion of duck I ordered?"
WAITER—"Till somebody orders the other half. We can't go out and kill half a duck."
Dr. C——, who was called to the far end of Long Island to extract an appendix, missed the last train back, stayed over night in a miserable hotel, and was waited on at breakfast by a sallow and cadaverous country girl. Said she:
"Boiled tongue, stewed kidneys, fried liver."
"Hang your symptoms! Bring me something to eat!"
"Coffee and rolls, my girl."
One of those iron-heavy, quarter-inch, thick mugs of coffee was pushed over the counter. The fastidious person seemed dazed. He looked under the mug and over it.
"But where is the saucer?" he inquired.
"We don't give no saucers here. If we did some low-brow'd come pilin' in an' drink out of his saucer, an' we'd lose a lot of our swellest trade."
"Do you want a steak for a dollar or a dollar and a half?" demanded the waiter in the Central Park restaurant.
"What's the difference?" inquired the tourist.
"You get a sharp knife with the dollar and half steak," explained the waiter.
CUSTOMER—"By Jove, I am glad to see you back. Has the strike been settled?"
WAITER—"What strike, sir?"
CUSTOMER—"Oh, come, now. Where have you been since you took my order?"
AFFABLE WAITER—"How did you find that steak, sir?"
GUEST—"Oh, quite accidentally. I moved that piece of potato and there it was, underneath."
CHAUFFEUR—"Cup of coffee, doughnuts, and some griddle cakes."
WAITRESS—"Cylinder oil, couple of non-skid, and an order of blow-out patches."
Even though the war was over, she decided to do her patriotic duty along the hospitality line. So she called the Army and Navy Club, and transmitted her invitation through a suave-voiced officer.
"I am Mrs. Humpfree McLeod, 33 First Avenue," she explained, "and I should like to have two of your men come to dinner with us Sunday at half-past one."
"Yes. Thank you, Mrs. McLeod."
"But wait—be sure, whatever you do, that they aren't Jews!"
The tone of her voice was emphatic.
Sunday came, bringing two chocolate-colored khaki-clad privates to the McLeod house. When Mrs. McLeod brushed into the drawing-room to greet her soldiers, all a-smile, she was surprised, to put it mildly.
"Why!" she stammered. "Why, who invited you here?"
"Our commanding officer," explained one, "Captain Cohen."
One morning Jorkins looked over his fence and said to his neighbor, Harkins:
"What are you burying in that hole?"
"Just replanting some of my seeds, that's all," was the answer.
"Seeds!" exclaimed Jorkins, angrily. "It looks more like one of my hens!"
"That's all right," said the other. "The seeds are inside."—Harper's.
"What's coming off out in front there?" asked the proprietor of the Tote Fair store in Tumlinville, Ark.
"A couple of fellers from Straddle Ridge swapped mules," replied the clerk, "and now each is accusing the other of skinning him."
"Well, then, why don't they trade back?"
"I reckon they are both afraid of getting skinned again."
MOTHER—"Joan, darling, run and call Fido, will you?"
JOAN—"I don't see how I can, mummy, 'cos I aren't speakin' to Fido since he broke my doll!"
"It was mighty nice of you to give up your seat to that stout old lady, Mr. Blinks. It is pleasant to see that there are still some polite men left in the world."
"Sorry, Mrs. Jabbers, but it wasn't politeness at all. The man who sat next to me was quarrelsome because he said I crowded him too much, and all I did was to use that stout old lady as a sort of retort courteous."—Judge. "All sorts and conditions of men have excellent explanations for their position in life," said the Senator. "A tramp, however, came under my observation who had no illusions about the cause of his own condition.
"A fine looking and fashionably dressed woman had just alighted from her limousine at the hotel entrance, and was suddenly approached by this shabbily dressed man who requested a dime.
"'No, I have no money to spare for you. I do not see why an able-bodied man like you should go about begging.'"
"'I s'ppose, ma'am,' replied the lazy tramp, 'it's fer about the same reason that a healthy woman like you boards at a hotel instead of keepin' house.'"—Harper's.
Apropos of foreign honesty, Dr. Nicholas Butler tells this story:
"On a foreign railroad," he said, "a commuter had a row with the conductor. At the end of the row the commuter turned to a friend and said:
"'Well, the P.D.R. will never see another cent of my money after this.'
"The conductor, who was departing, looked back and snarled:
"'What'll you do? Walk?'
"'Oh, no,' said the commuter, 'I'll stop buying tickets and pay my fare to you.'"
"How are the roads in this section?" "Fine," replied Farmer Corntossel. "We've abolished bad roads." "Big job, wasn't it?" "Not at all. Wherever the going is 'specially hard we don't call it a 'road.' We call it a 'detour.'"
"One beautiful autumn day," said the teacher, telling a story, "Little Red Riding Hood was walking along a path in the woods when she came to a sharp turn; and whom do you think she saw standing there, with a row of shining white teeth gleaming at her?"
Up went a little hand.
"Who was it, Willie?"
An English nobleman was about to set out for India, and, fearing that in his absence vandals might destroy a picturesque ruin on his estate, he said to his steward: "I want you to build a wall here"—he drew a tiny furrow with his stick around the ruin—"a stone wall five feet high."
On his return home the nobleman started for the spot. When he reached it he rubbed his eyes in amazement. There was the new stone wall, but he could see nothing towering up inside of it. He turned excitedly to his steward:
"Look here, where's the ruin, man?"
"The ruin, my lord?" replied the steward. "Oh, that ould thing! Sure, I used it to build the wall with."
"Oh, John," sobbed Mrs. John, "I've done something awful, and I'm almost afraid to tell you—but I must! I made a most awful mistake this morning and sent your new dress suit to the rummage sale instead of your old one, and when I found out what I had done and ran over to get it back, it had been sold."
"That's all right, Mabel, dear," said John amiably. "I stopped in at the sale myself and bought it back for thirty-five cents."
"George, where are your school-books?"
"When notices appeared that books were wanted for the wounded, I gave mine to them."
"But, my dear," said his wife, after he had complained about the food the new cook had brought in. "You know during these terrible times it is absolutely necessary that we make great sacrifices."
"Oh, of course, but what I object to is that cook's making hers in the form of a burnt offering."
Throughout the trial the Englishman, whose crimes had been many and black, bore himself with an air of complete indifference and received the sentence of the supreme penalty with a bored yawn. After he had been led on to the scaffold and just as the hood and noose were about to be placed over his head, the attendant priest, still persisting in his attempts to awaken penitence, in spite of the doomed man's deafness to his prayers, asked him again for a final statement.
The prisoner's gaze wandered to the noose and rested there meditatively. Suddenly he turned to the priest:
"See here, old chap," he demanded, "is this thing perfectly safe?"
Mark Twain once sat in the smoking room of a steamer and listened for an hour to some remarkable stories. Then he drawled, "Boys, these feats of yours that you've been telling about recall an adventure of my own in Hannibal. There was a fire in Hannibal one night, and Old Man Hankinson got caught in the fourth story of the burning house. It looked as if he was a goner. None of the ladders was long enough to reach him. The crowd stared at one another with awed eyes. Nobody could think of anything to do.
"Then all of a sudden, boys, an idea occurred to me. 'Fetch a rope!' I yelled.
"Somebody fetched a rope, and with great presence of mind I flung the end of it up to the old man. 'Tie her round your waist!' I yelled. Old Man Hankinson did so, and I pulled him down."
OLD LADY (to motorman on her first drive on an electric car)—"Would it be dangerous, conductor, if I was to put my foot on the rail?"
MOTORMAN (an Edison man)—"No, mum, not unless you was to put the other one on the overhead wire."
"And about the salary?" said the movie star.
"Well," said the manager after a moment's thought, "suppose we call it $5,000 a week?"
"Of course, you understand that the $5,000 is merely what we call it—you will get $500."
Salary—something paid to you for what you do.
Income—something paid to you for what your father did.
"How do you know that Blinks has had a raise in salary?"
"He argues that the world is getting better; that the danger from monopolies has been greatly magnified, and that human nature isn't so bad, after all."
SALESMEN AND SALESMANSHIP
"Hey, what did you go and sell them apples fer?"
"Ain't they fer sale?"
"No. Them was the samples we take out to our automobile customers."
"Who," asked the officiating clergyman, formally but impressively, "gives this bride away?"
"I—I was to," stammered her father, "but I've been a retail salesman too long to give anything away. Let somebody else do it."
PROSPECTIVE SALESMAN (to sales-manager who has advertised for a salesman)—"I'm answering your ad in today's paper."
SALES MANAGER—"Had much experience?"
PROSPECTIVE SALESMAN (confidently)—"Yes, sir. I've sold most everything in my time."
SALES MANAGER—"Then try selling me your services!" Mr. Babcock was driving through the country, trying to buy a mule. He was directed to a colored man who had one for sale.
"Do you want to sell a mule?" asked Babcock.
"Yaas, sah," replied the owner. "May I ask whar yo' live, sah?"
"What has that got to do with it?" queried Babcock.
"Well," explained the negro, "I ain't gwine ter transfer dat mule to nobody dat lives less dan two hundred miles away from here. When I sells that mule I wants to git rid not only of de mule, but of all conversation appertainin' to him."
"Mr. Smith, I represent the Stygian Life Insurance Company. I know you don't want to talk to me or listen to me; I know you have all the insurance you feel able to pay for. I am not here to tell you your chances of dying tonight, or of being hit by an automobile on leaving this building; neither shall I try to convince you that my company can offer you anything more than any other well-managed, long-established concern. I shall not pretend that I am especially interested in your welfare and wish to do you a service. I am trying to make a living. Here is a blank application. You do not need to say any of the commonplaces. Good day, Mr. Smith.
"Ah, you have signed it. Permit me to insert the amount—say $25,000. Our doctor will call on you tomorrow at 12:01. Thank you, Mr. Smith. Yes; I am using a new method. The idea came from the Four Minute speakers. Haven't lost a prospect yet. But my time is up. I shall deliver your policy in person, but that takes only one minute under the new system. Good-bye."
"I don't think I'll buy the house, but I've enjoyed the ride out here. You run a good car."
"Yes, I'm agent for this make. Can I book your order?"
Keep hollering— There's somebody Somewhere that'll Want what you've Got sometime!
That clerk you all know died and approached the pearly gates.
"Give me a seat in the front row," he demanded of St. Peter.
"Sorry," said the hoary gatekeeper. "Heaven's all sold out, but I can give you something just as good."
Trade was bad. At the end of another blank day the discouraged salesman called on another prospective customer and asked to show his samples.
"No, there is nothing I want today," said the customer,
"But will you just examine my line of goods?" the salesman persisted.
The customer would not.
"Then," said the salesman meekly, "will you let me use a part of your counter to look at them myself, as I have not had the opportunity for some time?"
"I want a pair of the best gloves you have," said Mrs. Nuritch at the glove counter.
"Yes, ma'am," replied the polite salesman. "How long do you want them?"
"Don't git insultin', young man! I want to buy 'em, not hire 'em."
"How do you manage to sell so many fireless cookers?"
"It's due to my method of approach," said the smart salesman. "I begin my little talk by saying, 'Madam, I have called to enable you to spend every afternoon at the movies.'"
NEW MAN ON THE ROAD—"What is the best time for me to see the head of this firm I'm working for, boy?"
OFFICE BOY—"Between the time he gets your sales-account and the time he gets your expense-account."—Puck.
"Orders Is Orders"
One of the traveling salesmen breezed back from a short trip.
"How's business?" grunted the manufacturer.
"Fine," beamed the agent.
Manufacturer reached for the "good-business" cigars.
"Got two good orders," the agent said.
"Ah-ha," grinned the boss. "Who were they from?"
"One," came the reply, "was from Mr.—— of—— &—— who ordered me to 'Get out,' and the other was from his partner who ordered me to 'Stay out.'"
See also Booksellers and bookselling; Mistakes.
An evangelist was exhorting his hearers to flee from the wrath to come. "I warn you," he thundered, "there will be weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth."
At this point an old woman of the congregation stood up.
"Sir, I have no teeth."
"Madam," returned the preacher sternly, "teeth will be provided."
SON—"Dad, what is a savings account?"
FATHER—"A savings account is that part of a man's income which the government takes after permitting him to pay for the necessities of life."
See also Economy; Thrift.
"Yes, it cost me ten thousand dollars to have my family-tree looked up, and five thousand dollars more to have it hushed up."—Life.
Believe that story false that ought not to be true.—Sheridan.
Willing to wound, and yet afraid to strike, Just hint a fault, and hesitate dislike; Alike reserv'd to blame, or to commend, A tim'rous foe, and a suspicious friend.
The scandal of the world is what makes the offence; it is not sinful to sin in silence.—Moliere.
"What's the matter? You look thoughtful."
"My six-year-old son brought home a list of questions to answer."
"What of that?"
"My average ranks me as a deficient kid."
"Is my son getting well grounded in the classics?" asked the millionaire.
"I would put it even stronger than that," replied the private tutor. "I may say that he is actually stranded on them."
"Tommy Tucker is the worst boy in school, Harry, and I want you to keep as far away from him as you possibly can."
"I do, mother. He stays at the head of the class most of the time."
See also College students.
A keen-eyed mountaineer led his overgrown son into a country schoolhouse. "This here boy's arter larnin'," he announced. "What's yer bill o'fare?"
"Our curriculum, sir," corrected the schoolmaster, "embraces geography, arithmetic, trigonometry—"
"That'll do," interrupted the father. "That'll do. Load him up well with triggernometry. He's the only poor shot in the family."
There is no real suffering in Mexico now, except that of the schoolboy who is trying to learn the dates of all the revolutions.
CRABSHAW—"Why do you wish to leave school and go to work when you're so young?"
WILLIE—"It's this way, dad. School is going to be a tough place for the next few years. We'll have a new map of Europe to study, and if we fall down on it the teacher is likely to give us the Constitution of the League of Nations to learn by heart."
MAMMA—"How do you feel this morning, Robert? Are you able to sit up?"
ROBERT—"I feel awful bad. Don't think I could stand on my feet."
MAMMA—"Well, I hope you will be able to go to school Monday. This is Saturday—"
ROBERT (jumping out of bed)—"Saturday! Gee! I thought it was Friday!"
EFFICIENCY EXPERT—"I am very gratified to see how many new men you have taken on since I installed my system."
"Yes, I hired 'em to take care of the system."—Judge.
An Englishman, Scotchman and Irishman were indulging in reminiscences of sporting occasions.
"The closest race I ever saw was a yacht race," deposed the Englishman, "in which one of the boats that had been recently painted won by the breadth of the coat of paint."
"The closest race I ever saw," declared the Scotchman, "was one in which a horse, stung by a bee, won by the eighth of the swelling of his nose."
"The closest race I ever saw," said the Irishman, "is the Scotch."
Some travellers returning to their hotel in Edinburgh one evening noticed an old Scotchman working anxiously over a penny-in-the-slot machine that refused to deliver his purchase or to return the penny. The next morning on passing the same spot they saw the poor man dead beside the slot machine.
Two old Scotsmen sat by the roadside, talking and puffing away merrily at their pipes.
"There's no muckle pleasure in smokin', Sandy," said Donald.
"Hoo dae ye mak' that oot?" questioned Sandy.
"Weel," said Donald, "ye see, if ye're smokin' yer ain bacca ye're thinkin' o' the awfu' expense, an' if ye're smokin' some ither body's, yer pipe's ramm't sae tight it winna draw."
A Scotchman had been presented with a pint flask of rare old Scotch whisky. He was walking briskly along the road toward home, when along came a Ford which he did not side-step quite in time. It threw him down and hurt his leg quite badly. He got up and limped down the road. Suddenly he noticed that something warm and wet was trickling down his leg.
"Oh, God," he groaned, "I hope that's blood!"
During the fighting a Highlander had the misfortune to get his head blown off.
A comrade communicated the sad news to another gallant Scot, who asked, anxiously:
"Where's his head? He was smoking ma pipe."
A Scottish emigrant on his arrival at Montreal, stopped for a moment to examine a coat hanging in front of a clothing store, when the proprietor asked him if he would not try on a coat.
"I dinna ken but I wad," responded the emigrant, consulting his watch; and he went in and set to work. No matter how often he found a fit, he tried on another and another till he tried on about thirty. Then, again looking at his watch, he resumed his own garment and walked off saying:
"Weel, I've lost time, nae doot, but hang the fellow that'll no' obleege anither when he can!"
Three Scotchmen were in church one Sunday morning when the minister made a strong appeal for some very worthy cause, hoping that every one in the congregation would give at least one dollar or more. The three Scots became very nervous as the collection plate neared them, when one of them fainted and the other two carried him out.
Scotchmen are proverbial for their caution.
Mr. MacTavish attended a christening where the hospitality of the host knew no bounds except the several capacities of the guests. In the midst of the celebration Mr. MacTavish rose up and made rounds of the company, bidding each a profound farewell.
"But, Sandy, man," objected the host, "ye're not going yet, with the evenin' just started?"
"Nay," said the prudent MacTavish. "I'm no' goin' yet. But I'm tellin' ye good-night while I know ye all."
A Scotchman was strolling through the market-place one day with his faithful collie at his heels. Attracted by a fine display of shell and other fish, the Scot stopped to admire, perhaps to purchase. The dog stood by gently wagging its tail while its master engaged the fishmonger in conversation.
Unfortunately for the dog, its tail dropped for a moment over a big basketful of fine live lobsters. Instantly one of the largest lobsters snapt its claws on the tail and the surprised collie dashed off through the market, yelping with pain, while the lobster hung on grimly, tho dashed violently from side to side. The fishmonger for a moment was speechless with indignation. Then turning to his prospective customer, he bawled:
"Mon, mon! whustle to yer dog! Whustle to yer dog!"
"Hoot, mon," returned the other, complacently, "whustle to yer lobster!"
"My dear old fellow! What's the matter? The sea's like a duck-pond!"
"I know, old boy—but I've taken six—different—remedies."—Punch.
The Chief Justice while presiding over the Supreme Court at Washington took the several Justices of the Court for a run down Chesapeake Bay. A stiff wind sprang up, and Justice Gray was getting decidedly the worst of it. As he leaned over the rail in great distress the Chief Justice touched him on the shoulder and said in a tone of deepest sympathy:
"Is there anything I can do for you, Gray?"
"No, thank you," returned the sick Justice, "unless your Honor can overrule this motion."
An amateur sailor was making his first trip across the Atlantic, and was in the throes of the mal de mer when the ship's surgeon came across him.
"What's the matter?" was the doctor's callous query.
"O-o-oh!" was the only response as the young man rolled over in agony.
"Come, get up," derided the surgeon, grinning unfeelingly. "The ship's been torpedoed and will sink in ten minutes."
"Ten minutes?" the sick man protested feebly. "Can't you make it any sooner?"
"How was the trip over?" I asked one of our returning soldiers.
"Rough as thunder," was the reply.
"Did they feed you well?" I asked.
"Six meals a day," he said.
"Six?" I echoed.
"Yes," was the laughing reply; "three down and three up."
A New York man was crossing the Atlantic with an army officer who suffered greatly from sea-sickness.
On entering the stateroom one particularly rough day, he found the officer tossing in his berth, muttering in what at first appeared to be a sort of delirium.
Stooping over to catch his words, the friend heard him say: "Sergeant ... major ... sergeant ... major ... brigadier-general ... ugh, lieutenant-general ... a-a-ah!"
"What are you saying?" asked the friend in some alarm, as the sufferer looked piteously up at him after his last gasping "a-a-ah!"
"Assigning the waves their rank," said the military man, rolling toward the wall again. "There have been eight lieutenant-generals within the last twenty minutes."
CHRISTIAN SCIENTIST—"Nothing is ever lost! Everything in the universe is in its right place at the right time!"
MAN FROM MISSOURI—"Have you never been seasick?"
The ocean liner was rolling like a chip, but as usual in such instances one passenger was aggressively, disgustingly healthy.
"Sick, eh?" he remarked to a pale-green person who was leaning on the rail.
The pale-green person regarded the healthy one with all the scorn he could muster. "Sick nothing!" he snorted weakly. "I'm just hanging over the front of the boat to see how the captain cranks it!"
"Can you keep a secret, Peggy?"
"I can; but it's just my luck to tell things to other girls who can't."
ALICE—"I thought you could keep a secret."
MABEL—"Well, I kept it for a week. Do you think I'm a cold-storage plant?"
JACK—"Did you tell her that what you said was in strict confidence?"
ETHEL—"No; I don't want her to think it was important enough to repeat."
CRAWFORD—"I see that the Ku Klux are going to admit women members."
CRABSHAW—"Why, I thought it was a secret society."
It is said that an ancient Chinese sage who lived in the second century was offered a bribe. His silence being accepted as hesitation, he was assured that he was perfectly safe, as no one knew it. He replied:
"Heaven knows, it. Earth knows it. You know it. I know it. How can you say that no one knows it?"
"Yes, sir," said the trust magnate, proudly, "I am the architect of my own fortune."
"Well," rejoined the friendly critic, "all I've got to say is that it's a lucky thing for you there were no building inspectors around when you were constructing it."
FORWARDLOOKER—"The Senate has a plan to settle labor disputes."
CYNIC—"If labor would devise a plan for settling Senate disputes, we might have peace."
The more we read about the Senate the more we understand the word "jazz."
"What is your position on this great question?"
"My position," replied Senator Sorghum, "is somewhat like that of a tight-rope walker. I don't want to stop to argue or show off. What I want to do is to get across to solid ground."
"The interrogation 'Where did you get it?' causes me much less apprehension," confessed Senator Smugg, "than the feeling that some day the public may learn the answer to the question 'Where did you put it?'"—Puck.
SENSE OF HUMOR
SCHOOL SUPERINTENDENT (cross-questioning the terrified class)—"And now I want you boys to tell me who wrote 'Hamlet.'"
FRIGHTENED BOY—"P-p-please, sir, it-it wasn't me."
That same evening the superintendent was talking to his host, the squire of the village. The superintendent said:
"Most amusing thing happened today. I was questioning the class over at the school, and I asked a boy who wrote 'Hamlet.' He answered tearfully, 'P-p-please, sir, it wasn't me.'"
After loud and prolonged laughter, the squire said:
"That's pretty good, and I suppose the little rascal had done it all the time!"
British and American Humor
Having observed in a London omnibus a notice warning passengers to be careful as they alight, which is couched in these terms: "Cinema actors risk their lives for pay! Don't do it for nothing!" a New York journalist remarks that "an American advertisement on that subject would be serious; the British are more flippant in their seriousness than the Americans."
It seems as if this critic (writes a correspondent of the Manchester Guardian) never saw the notices posted in the trains used for conveying American troops in France during the last six months of the war. Tho drawn up at American headquarters, these notices are quite as "flippant in their seriousness" as the one he quotes. One of them ran:
THREE KINDS OF FOOLS
2. Damned fools.
3. SOLDIERS WHO RIDE ON TOPS AND SIDES OF CARS.
A great many American soldiers have already been killed as a result of riding on tops of cars.
There is only six inches clearance between tops and sides of cars and tunnel arches.
There is only six inches clearance between tops and sides of cars and bridge superstructures.
There is only a slight clearance between sides of cars and signal-towers.
IF YOU EXPECT TO SEE THE NEXT BLOCK KEEP YOURS INSIDE.
There was another one worded as follows:
YOUR HEAD MAY BE HARD
But not so hard as Bridges and Tunnel Arches.
Railway company will hold you responsible for damages to bridges and tunnels and signal-towers—they are not insured.
KEEP YOUR BLOCK INSIDE
And yet another:
Huns are waiting. Trenches ahead. Speed up. You won't if you ride on top of or stick your head out of cars.
KEEP YOUR IVORY IN!
HEALTH OFFICER MOONEY—"Y'r Honor, Oi think that humorist should be prohibited from givin' his lecture in the opera house tomorrow night, sor!"
MAYOR OF TOWN—"Why so, Mooney? Is it immoral?"
HEALTH OFFICER MOONEY—"Not immoral, sor; but they say his humor is contagious!"
MISTRESS—"Bridget, I'm tired of your carelessness. Only look at that dust on the furniture. It's six weeks old at the very least."
BRIDGET—"Shure, it's no fault av moine. Oi've been here only t'ree weeks."
While Willie and his mother were walking along the street, they passed an employment agency with this sign in the window: "Colored Help Supplied."
"Look, ma," said Willie. "Is that where we got our green cook?"
Cynthia, a young colored cook, who had recently given up her employment in order that she might try her luck at the easier profession of cateress, met her former mistress on the street.
"Good morning, Cynthia," said the lady. "Where are you working now?"
"I isn't workin' nowhere now, ma'am," replied Cynthia, coyly; "I'se capering for a congressman."
WIFE—"I wish I knew what to do with this skirt. It's good, but somewhat out of style."
HUSBAND—"Why don't you give it to the laundress?"
WIFE—"Don't be funny, George. She's a good laundress, and I wouldn't offend her for the world."
MRS. ECKS—"That's a shocking clumsy maid who served us. And Mrs. Wise said she had such a treasure."
MRS. WYE—"This maid is one she hired for the occasion. She has the treasure locked in her room for fear one of the guests might steal her."
MISTRESS—"Now, Ada, I want you to show us what you can do tonight. We have a few very special friends coming for a musical evening."
COOK—"Well, mum, I 'aven't done any singin' to speak of for years, but as you insists upon it you can put me down for 'The 'Oly City'!"
NEW MISTRESS—"How about the afternoon off?"
NORAH—"Sure, mum, take wan—I'm willin'."
MISTRESS (to newly installed cook)—"Matthews! What does this mean? How did this policeman get here?"
COOK (equal to the occasion)—"Dunno, mum. 'E must 'ave bin left over by the last cook."
"I hope you are habitually truthful, Norah."
"I am on me own account, mum. I only tells lies to the callers for the family."
"A great many of the neighbors have called to see us since we moved out here," said Mr. Crosslots.
"They didn't call to see us," replied his wife. "The report has gone out that we have a good cook and they are trying to get acquainted with her."
Mrs. Smith hired a Chinese servant, and tried to teach him how to receive calling-cards. She let herself out the front door, and when the new servant answered her ring she gave him her card.
The next day two ladies came to visit Mrs. Smith. When they presented their cards, the alert Chinaman hastily compared them with Mrs. Smith's card, and remarked as he closed the door:
"Tickets no good; you can't come in."
MISTRESS—"I shall be very lonely, Bridget, if you leave me."
BRIDGET—"Don't worry, mum. I'll not go until ye have a houseful of company."
Mrs. Wilson wanted to get Mrs. Johnson's cook away from her so badly that she actually went to Mrs. Johnson's house when she was away and offered the cook more money. The next time they met at a big dinner Mrs. Johnson did not notice her.
"Mrs. Johnson, you know Mrs. Wilson, do you not?" said the lady who sat between them.
"No, I believe not," said Mrs. Johnson, "but I understand that she calls on my cook."
MR. EXE—"Did you tell the cook that the beefsteak was burned?"
MRS. EXE—"Mercy, no! She would leave instantly. I told her it was just right, but that we preferred it a trifle underdone."
"Does your family have any trouble with servants?"
"No," replied Mr. Crosslots; "I don't believe any of them stay around the place long enough to become really troublesome."
Two nurse-maids were wheeling their infant charges in the park when one asked the other:
"Are you going to the dance tomorrow afternoon?"
"I am afraid not."
"What!" exclaimed the other. "And you so fond of dancing!"
"I'd love to go," explained the conscientious maid, "but to tell you the truth, I am afraid to leave the baby with its mother."
"A flirt, am I!" exclaimed Mary Ann, under notice to go. "Well, I know them as flirts more than I do, and with less hexcuse." She shot a spiteful look at her mistress and added: "I'm better looking than you. More 'andsome. 'Ow do I know? Your husband told me so."
"That will do," said her mistress, frigidly.
"But I ain't finished yet!" retorted Mary Ann. "I can give a better kiss than you! You want to know 'oo told me that, mum?"
"If you mean to suggest that my husband—"
"No, it wasn't your 'usband this time," said Mary Ann. "It was your chauffeur."
Mrs. Bliffkins met Mary Smith, whom she had recommended to a neighbor for a situation.
"How are you getting on at your new place?" asked Mrs. Bliffkins.
"Very well, thank you," was the reply.
"I am glad to hear it," remarked Mrs. Bliffkins. "Your employer is a very nice lady, and you cannot do too much for her."
"I don't mean to, ma'am," replied Mary.
MRS. SMYTHE DE WILLOUGHBY—"Was the grocer's boy impudent again this morning, Clara, when you telephoned the order?"
CLARA—"'E was, mum! But I didn't 'arf give 'im wot for. I sez, 'Who d'yer blinkin' well think you're a-talkin 'to? I'm Mrs. Smythe der Willoughby!'"—Punch.
MRS. GLABBERDEEN—"Of course you, too, must often change cooks?"
MRS. JALPERDILL—"Oh, don't speak of it! We suffer from such a continual going and coming that we've decided this winter to equip our kitchen with revolving doors."
VISITOR—"Why does your servant go about the house with her hat on?"
MISTRESS—"Oh, she's a new girl. She only came this morning, and hasn't yet made up her mind whether she'll stay."—Punch (London).
The new word for "servant" and the new hours have come, judging from this advertisement:
Household assistants (two) wanted in private family; eight hours daily; six days weekly; one from 8 to 5; another from 11 to 8; all off for lunch; no meals; sleep home; wages, $10. Apply—, etc.
HUSBAND (at dinner)—"By George, this is a regular banquet. Finest spread I've sat down to in an age. What's up? Do you expect company?"
WIFE—"No, but I think the cook does."
AGATHA-"Is your former cook happy since she inherited a fortune?"
AGNES-"No, she's all dressed up and no place to leave."
"Have you any cooks on hand?"
"Six in the anteroom."
"Ask 'em to look me over and see if there is anybody here I might suit."
THE NEW MAID—"In my last place I always took things fairly easy."
COOK—"Well, it's different here. They keep everything locked up."
Mrs. X. had lost her cook and had telephoned in vain for another. Dinner guests were expected and she was desperate. Finally, putting on her things, she went out, and she hadn't gone far when she met a neat-looking colored woman. She explained her dilemma and the colored woman listened in silence, then she said: "Where do yo' live, missus?"
Seeing a ray of hope joyfully, Mrs. X. gave her address, to be met with this reply:
"Well, yo 'jess go home an' look in yo' glass an' yo'll see yo' cook."
MISTRESS—"I want a maid who will be faithful and not a time-waster. Can you promise that?"
BRIDGET—"Indeed'n I can. I'm that scrup'lous, ma'am, about wastin' time that I make one job of prayin' and scrubbin'."
"Do you keep any servants?"
"No, of course, not."
"But I thought I saw one in your kitchen?"
"Oh, we have servants on the premises a day or two at a time; but we don't keep them."
FIRST MAID (bragging about a party given the day before by her mistress)—"And they all came in limousines, and had on the grandest clothes, and wore the biggest diamonds."
NEIGHBOR'S MAID—"And what did they talk about?"
"I'm afraid I'll never be able to teach you anything, Maggie," was the despairing utterance of a Trenton woman to a new Irish domestic. "Don't you know that you should always hand me notes and cards on a salver?"
"Sure, mum, I knew," answered Maggie, "but I didn't know you did."
Bridget had been discharged. Extracting a five-dollar bill from her wage-roll, she threw it to Fido. Then the shocked mistress heard her exclaim: "Sure 'n' I niver fergit a frind; that's fer helpin' me wash the dishes."
See also Recommendations.
We pay too much with money, pay Our debts with gold, and only gold— Bestow a purse and turn away, And think that song is bought and sold. A queen paid Shakespeare for his wit, And thought that was the end of it.
We pay too much with money, deem A dollar can discharge a debt, Or buy a dress, or buy a dream, Perhaps a spray of mignonette. The deft designer, what of her? And who can pay a gardener?
We must pay money, and pay more— The sustenance for daily need, And then the larger payment for The beauty dreamed, the planted seed— With service pay for service, give The larger things by which we live.
Each has his gift and each his art That men for others must employ; We must contribute each his part To make the universal joy— With service pay for service, pay Each in his own, his destined, way.
The Gold Star
Little golden service star, How I wonder who you are. Does a sweetheart, or a wife, Love you, little star of "Life?" Or a mother, proud but sad, Who gave all, her only lad? When I first beheld you there You were blue, born with a prayer. Golden star and star of blue— With one soul God gave to you— Do you know how proud we are Of the golden service star?
CLERK—"Now see here little girl, I can't spend the whole day showing you penny toys. Do you want the earth with a little red fence around it for a cent?"
LITTLE GIRL—"Let me see it."
"How can you tell when a woman is only shopping?"
"When they intend to buy they ask to see something cheaper. When they're shopping they ask if you haven't something more expensive in stock."
In a busy department store, a lady asked to see blankets. After the clerk had emptied the shelves and piled the counters with blankets of every description and color, the lady thanked him and said: "I was just looking for a friend."
"Well, madam," said the obliging clerk, "if you think your friend is among these blankets, I'll look again."
"Was papa the first man who ever proposed to you, mama?"
"Yes; but why do you ask?"
"I was just thinking that you might have done better if you had shopped around a little more."
Here is a story of a lady who seemed to want a lot for her money. She rushed excitedly into the hardware department.
"Give me a mouse-trap!" she exclaimed. "Quickly, please, because I want to catch a train."
HUSBAND (discovering the hall full of packages)—"Heavens! You must have had a successful shopping day."
WIFE—"Yes, dear, and that isn't the best of it. I have actually got something that I am going to keep."—Life.
An old fellow who was noted through the town for his stuttering as well as for his shrewdness in making a bargain, stopped at a grocery and inquired:
"How m-m-many t-t-t-turkeys have you g-g-got?"
"Eight, sir," replied the grocer.
"T-t-t-tough or t-t-tender?"
"Some are tender and some tough," was the reply.
"I k-keep b-b-b-boarders," said the new customer. "P-pick out the four t-toughest t-t-turkeys, if you p-p-please."
The delighted grocer very willingly complied with the unusual request, and said in his politest tones:
"These are the tough ones, sir."
Upon which the customer coolly put his hand on the remaining four, and exclaimed:
"I'll t—t—take th—th—th—these!"
The motor-bus stopped, and the conductor looked earnestly up the steps, but no one descended, and at last he stalked up impatiently.
"'Ere, you," he said to a man on top, "don't you want Westminster Abbey?"
"Yes," was the reply.
"Well," retorted the conductor, "come down for it. I can't bring it on the bus for you."
Eva S——, twenty-four years old, a maid employed in Jersey City, was locked up last night in the West Thirtieth Street Police Station, charged with grand larceny. She is alleged to have stolen $160 worth of articles from a Sixth Avenue department-store.
The explanation she gave was that she saw a sign in the store which read: "Customers, please take small packages home."
"Why do you have an apple as your trade-mark?" asked a client of the cash tailor.
"Well, well," replied the man, rubbing his hands, "if it hadn't been for an apple where would the clothing business be today?"
In a large park in one of the Eastern cities there are seats about the bandstand with this notice posted on them:
"The seats in the vicinity of the bandstand are for the use of ladies. Gentlemen should make use of them only after the former are seated."
A farmer hitched his team to a telephone-pole.
"Here," exclaimed a policeman, "you can't hitch there!"
"Can't hitch!" shouted the irate farmer, "Well, why does the sign say, 'Fine for Hitching'?'"
You have heard perhaps, of the Englishman in the South Station, Boston, who read over a door "Inside Baggage," and chuckled with glee: "You Americans are so droll! Now we should say 'Refreshment Room.'"
Somebody ought to call attention to the public-library sign, "Only low talk is permitted here."
The small boy's parents had distinct ideas of discipline. The walls of the sitting-room were lined with tracts, and the cane was always kept behind "Love one another."
One day everything went wrong, and the little boy was whipped eight times.
After the eighth caning he said, between his sobs, "D-d-don't you think it's t-time to take the cane from behind 'L-love one another' and put it behind 'I n-n-need Thee every hour'?"
Little Jane had long desired a baby sister, and one day she came rushing home in high excitement.
"Oh, mother; come downtown quickly!" she exclaimed. "There are splendid bargains in babies and you can get one while they are cheap."
"What in the world are you talking about, my dear?" the mother asked in astonishment. "Somebody must have been playing a joke on you."
"Truly, truly!" the little girl declared, jumping up and down in her eagerness. "Great big sign about it, on the top of the skating rink. It says, 'This week only, children half price.'"
In Davenport: "We've given a service to our patrons that compels them to think of Crooks when there's any laundry work to be done." On a parsonage door in Trinidad, Colo.: "The last man who tried to work me is in jail." On a tombstone in Batavia: "If we must part let us go together." On State Street: "Open all night. Latest moving pictures." In a Morton Park dance-hall: "Use checkroom. Absolutely no clothes allowed in this room." (Attention of Mayor Harrison.) On Franklin Street: "Reign Umbrella Co." In the Spencer Hotel, Marion, Ind.: "Discourteous treatment, by the waiters, if reported to the proprietor, will be greatly appreciated."
Out in New Mexico even public signs come direct to the point. They do not waste any time in wondering how the reader will feel about it.
In a garage at Albuquerque is posted:
"Don't smoke round the tank! If your life isn't worth anything, gasoline is!"
Another home problem is solved by a firm of cleaners in Grinnell, Iowa, which advertises: "Notice—ladies—why worry about your dirty kids when we clean them for fifteen cents?"
"Our readers," says the Boston Transcript, "often go into movie theaters to laugh, but did you ever realize that you can get many a good laugh by reading the funny wording of some of the signs out in front and in the lobby? We have noticed how audiences enjoy these funny signs which have been shown on the screen in The Literary Digest 'Topics of the Day.' Here are some of the most laughable ones mentioned:
"Movie theater sign:
"'Watch Your Wife' Every Night This Week."
"Sign in front of Harlem movie theater:
"'Mother, I Need You for Three Days Beginning Nov. 30'."
"Sign in front of movie house:
"'Geraldine Farrar, supported for the first time by her husband'."
—Columbus (O.) Citizen.
"This seems to be a very dangerous precipice," remarked the tourist. "I wonder that they have not put up a warning-board!"
"Yes," answered the guide, "it is dangerous. They kept a warning-board up for two years, but no one fell over, so it was taken down."
Mr. Roberts, a banker in a Western town, was very bald and was in the habit of wearing his hat in the bank during business hours. Every week a negro employee of the bank presented a check and drew his wages. One day, as he was putting the money in a worn and greasy wallet, the banker chanced to pass by, and asked, "Look here, John, why don't you let some of that money stay in the bank and keep an account with us?"
"Well, sah," replied the negro, leaning toward the banker and gazing curiously at the Panama hat he wore, "I'se always afeared. You see, sah, you look like you was always ready to start somewheres."
During revival meetings in a Western city placards giving notices of the various meetings, subjects, etc., were posted in conspicuous places. One day the following was displayed:
"Subject—'Hell: Its Location and Its Absolute Certainty.'
"Thomas Jones, barytone, will sing 'Tell Mother I'll Be There.'"
I think the first virtue is to restrain the tongue; he approaches nearest to the gods who knows how to be silent, even tho' he is in the right.—Cato.
Nothing at times is more expressive than silence.—George Eliot.
NEW CURATE—"What did you think of the sermon on Sunday, Mrs. Jones?"
PARISHIONER—"Very good indeed, sir. So instructive. We really didn't know what sin was till you came here."
Know'st thou not all germs of evil In thy heart await their time? Not thyself, but God's restraining, Stays their growth of crime.
'Tis fearful building upon any sin; One mischief enter'd, brings another in: The second pulls a third, the third draws more, And they for all the rest set ope the door: Till custom take away the judging sense, That to offend we think it no offence.
See also Lies.
A quartette is where all four think the other three can't sing.
The heavy black clouds had massed in the east and west, the lightning was flashing fiercely between the heavy incessant rolling of the thunder.
Francis was terribly frightened, and his fond mother had gathered her young hopeful and tried logically to calm his fears.
"Don't be afraid, darling. There's nothing to fear. God sends the thunderstorm to clear the air, water the flowers, and make it cooler for us. Now, don't cry, dear; it won't harm you, and everything will be better when it's over."
The little fellow listened intently, and as his mother finished he looked up at her gravely and said: "No, no, mother; you talk exactly the way you did last week when you took me to the dentist to have the tooth pulled."
This a sacred rule we find Among the nicest of mankind,— To doubt of facts, however true, Unless they know the causes too.
A Franklin professor says slang has its place, and he might have added that the place seems to be everywhere.
"Do Englishmen understand American slang?"
"Some of them do. Why?"
"My daughter is to be married in London, and the earl has cabled me to come across."
Smile! Never let your face look like a funeral; look like a search warrant. The bud that cannot blossom dries up in the stock. Smile, if you have to force it.
When your voice sounds like a benediction, when your face looks like an old lemon, folks are sure to sidestep you.
What you give out you are reasonably sure to take in.
Look for a fight and someone will put a black circle round your left eye.
Remember this: The face is more legible than an open book. You can read the face at a distance and get it all at a glance. The book compels you to thumb the leaves.
Smile, you son-of-a-gun, smile!
If I Knew
If I knew the box where the smiles are kept, No matter how large the key, Or strong the bolt, I would try so hard 'Twould open, I know, for me. Then over the land and sea, broadcast, I'd scatter the smiles to play, That the children's faces might hold them fast For many and many a day.
If I knew a box that was large enough To hold all the frowns I meet, I would like to gather them, every one, From nursery, school and street. Then, folding and holding, I'd pack them in, And, turning the monster key, I'd hire a giant to drop the box To the depths of the deep, deep sea.
"Can you tell me what a smile is?" asked a gentleman of a little girl.
"Yes, sir; it's the whisper of a laugh."
"Have a cigar?"
"No—don't smoke now."
"Nope; stopped entirely."
"Your wife doesn't kick about your smoking up the curtains."
"Nope, she can't have both curtains and coupons."
It was on a passenger train. The conductor in passing through observed a man with a cigar in his mouth. "Hey, you can't smoke in here," he bawled out.
"I'm not smoking," quietly replied the passenger.
"Well, you've got a cigar in your face," shot back the conductor.
"Suppose I have," continued the other good naturedly. "I've got feet in my shoes and I'm not walking."
Mark Twain: A Pipe Dream
Well I recall how first I met Mark Twain—an infant barely three Rolling a tiny cigarette While cooing on his nurse's knee.
Since then in every sort of place I've met with Mark and heard him joke, Yet how can I describe his face? I never saw it for the smoke.
At school he won a smokership, At Harvard College (Cambridge, Mass.) His name was soon on every lip, They made him "smoker" of his class.
Who will forget his smoking bout With Mount Vesuvius—our cheers— When Mount Vesuvius went out And didn't smoke again for years?
The news was flashed to England's King, Who begged Mark Twain to come and stay, Offered his dukedoms—anything To smoke the London fog away.
But Mark was firm. "I bow," said he, "To no imperial command, No ducal coronet for me, My smoke is for my native land!"
For Mark there waits a brighter crown! When Peter comes his card to read— He'll take the sign "No smoking" down, Then Heaven will be Heaven indeed.
A well-known society performer volunteered to entertain a roomful of patients of the Colney Hatch Lunatic Asylum, and made up a very successful little monologue show, entirely humorous. The audience in the main gave symptoms of being slightly bored, but one highly intelligent maniac saw the whole thing in the proper light, and, clapping the talented actor on the shoulder, said: "Glad you've come old fellow. You and I will get along fine. The other dippies here are so dashed dignified. What I say is if a man is mad, he needn't put on airs about it."
"What's the difference between a socialist and a plutocrat?"
"There are many; but the leading one is that the former fights for his principle and the latter for his interest."
"Dad, what's a social scale?"
"Well, generally speaking old man, it's a place where money is weighed."
REGULAR CUSTOMER—"I shall want a large quantity of flowers from you next week for my daughter's coming out."
FLOWER WOMAN—"Yes, mum. You shall 'ave the very best for 'er, pore dear. Wot were she put in for?"—Punch.
WILLIS—"What makes you think it is easier for a rich man to land in Society than for an immigrant to land in America?"
GILLIS—"In the former case the literacy test isn't as strict."
AUNT—"You'll be late for the party, won't you, dear?"
NIECE—"Oh, no, auntie. In our set nobody goes to a party until everybody else gets there."
Man it attracted to society by a desire to improve himself; and leaves it for the same reason.
Catalog Class: "300 is the number for sociology. Now what does that word mean to you, children?" One little girl stands up, smooths out her frock, straightens her bow, folds her hands, and, being properly adjusted to recite, exclaims: "Sociology is a science that teaches you how to sew."
Noah would have saved future soldiers a lot of trouble if he had swatted those two cooties when they marched up the gang plank of the ark.
Sound travels at the rate of 400 yards per second.
Exceptions to this rule:
Scandal: 1,000 yards.
Flattery: 500 yards.
Truth: 2-1/2 yards.
Secretary of State Lansing slipped out of the council chamber and went souvenir hunting in the palace. Luck was with him, he said, for he found a remarkable piece of antique wall-paper.
Next day a frantic Japanese stenographer was looking for his shorthand notes.
"My wife watches the sugar market closely."
"In a small way. She borrows when it's high and pays back when it's low."
The old millionaire and his beautiful bride, after their quiet wedding, had a quiet wedding breakfast a deux. Astrakhan caviar, eggs pompadour, a truffled chicken, fresh California peas, champagne—so the quiet breakfast ran.
"My dear," said the old millionaire, as the fruit course, a superb Florida melon, came on, "tell me, dear"—and he laid his withered hand on her young one—"do you love me for what I am or for what I was?"
The beautiful girl smiled down from the window into the admiring eyes of a young clubman who was passing; then she bent her clear, considering gaze on the gray ruin opposite and replied:
"I love you, George, for what you will be."
HARPER—"Foozle has a great scheme and he invited me 'to get in on the ground floor.'"
CARPER—"Don't forget that that is where the trap-doors are."
HEWITT—"Don't you think I stand a good chance of making a fortune out of that mine?"
JEWITT—"Out of it, yes. In it, no."
Spurr, the keeper of the livery stable, would never allow a horse out of his sight without giving the hirer strict injunctions not to drive fast.
One day a caller asked for a horse to attend a funeral.
"Certainly," said Spurr, and then, forgetting the solemn purpose for which his customer wanted the horse, he added, as usual, "Don't drive fast!"
"Look here, old man," was the reply, "I would like you to understand that I shall keep up with the procession if it kills the horse!"
INQUIRER (at South Station)—"Where does this train go?"
BRAKEMAN—"This train goes to New York in ten minutes."
INQUIRER—"Goodness! That's going some!"
With but three minutes to catch his train, the traveling salesman inquired of the street-car conductor, "Can't you go faster than this?"
"Yes," the bell-ringer replied, "but I have to stay with my car."
"I was out over the speedway today, and in thirty seconds I did a mile in four laps."
"That's nothing. I know a young lady who did thirty miles in one lap, and she would have done more if I hadn't got a cramp in my knees."—Puck.
A negro was on the stand in an Alabama courthouse testifying to the details of a shooting scrape. The witness told how the prisoner at the bar drew a revolver and began firing at one George Henry, and how Henry ran to save himself.
"You say Henry ran?" interjected the lawyer for the defense.
"Dat's whut I said."
"You are sure he ran?"
"Well, did he run fast?"
"Did he run fa—Say, boss, ef dat nigger had o' had one feather in his hand he'd o' flew."
If an S and an I, and an O and a U, With an X at the end spell "su," And an E and a Y and an E spell I, Pray what is a speller to do? Then if an S and an I and a G And an H E D spell "side," There's nothing much for a speller to do But go commit siouxeyesighed.
A Chicago man was walking through a foreign quarter of his city when, with an amused smile, he stopped in front of a small eating-place, on the window of which was painted in white, "Lam Stew."
Now the proprietor happened to be standing in the doorway, and when he saw the smile of the gentleman who had stopped in front of his place he asked to be favored with an explanation of the joke.
Whereupon the other explained about the missing "b" in "lamb," and the proprietor accepted the correction in good part, at the same time expressing his thanks.
When next the Chicago man passed that restaurant he found that the menu had been changed, but that the lesson in orthography had not been forgotten. The proprietor was now offering "Clamb Chowder." —Harper's.
"The spelling-book's all wrong, mama! It don't look right for a little thing like a kitten to have six letters and a big cat to only have three."
"What did you learn at the school?" the boss asked the fair young applicant for the stenographer's job.
"I learned," she replied, "that spelling is essential to a stenographer."
The boss chuckled,
"Good. Now let me hear you spell 'essential.'"
The fair girl hesitated for the fraction of a second.
"There are three ways," she replied. "Which do you prefer?"
And she got the job.
JONES—"'Ow is your 'ealth today, Mr. 'Arrison?"
HARRISON—"My name is not 'Arrison."
JONES—"Well, if a haitch, a hay, two hars, a hi, a hes, a ho and a hen don't spell 'Arrison, then what does it spell?"
A sailor was taken ill with a bad attack of rheumatism while mine-sweeping on a trawler.
The sick man was promptly ordered to hospital, but later on the doctor found out, quite by accident, that he was still on board ship.
Angrily he asked why his order had not been obeyed.
"Well," replied the captain, we tried to send him ashore, but a sergeant of police hailed us and said that on no account was he to be landed or we'd be fined L100, so we just kept him on board."
"But did you not signal to the depot, as I said."
"Yes, we did; but neither me nor the signalman knew how to spell rheumatism, so we called it smallpox."
A Fresh Hack at an Old Knot
I'm taught p-l-o-u-g-h S'all be pronounce "plow." "Zat's easy w'en you know," I say, "Mon Anglais, I'll get through!"
My teacher say zat in zat case, O-u-g-h is "oo" And zen I laugh and say to him, "Zees Anglaiz make me cough."
He say "Not coo," but in zat word, O-u-g-h is 'off' Oh, Sacre bleu! such varied sounds Of words makes me hiccough!
He say "Again mon frien' ees wrong; O-u-g-h is 'up' In hiccough." Zen I cry, "No more, You make my t'roat feel rough."
"Non, non!" he cry, "you are hot right; O-u-g-h is 'uff.'" I say, "I try to spik your words, I cannot spik zem though!"
"In time you'll learn, but now you're wrong! O-u-g-h is 'owe.'" "I'll try no more, I s'all go mad, I'll drown me in ze lough!"
"But ere you drown yourself," said he, "O-u-g-h is 'ock'." He taught no more, I held him fast, And killed him wiz a rough.
—Charles Battell Loomis.
"Pa, what's phonetic spelling?"
"It's a way of spelling that I often got whipped for when I was your age."
"I say, Hodge, why do you always put 'dictated' on your letters? You don't keep a stenographer."
"No; but to tell the truth, old chap, my spelling's exceedingly rocky."
"And what did my little son learn about this morning?"
"Oh, a mouse. Miss Wilcox told us all about mouses."
"That's the boy! Now, how do you spell 'mouse'?"
It was then that Arthur gave promise of being an artful dodger. He paused meditatively for a moment, then said:
"Father, I guess I was wrong. It wasn't a mouse teacher was telling us about. It was a rat."
What does Ghoughphteightteau spell? Give it up?
Well, "gh" stands for "p" as in "hiccough"; "ough" stands for "o" as in "dough"; "phth" stands for "t" as in "phthisis"; "eigh" stands for "a" as in "neigh"; "tte" stands for "t" as in "gusitte," and "eau" stands for "o" as in "beau." Put them together and you have "P-O-T-A-T-O."
Easy, isn't it?
"Helen," said the teacher, "can you tell me what a 'myth' is?" "Yeth, ma'am," lisped Helen; "it ith a woman that hath not got any huthband."
WILLIS—"Going to the party?"
GILLIS—"No. I haven't any lady."
WILLIS—"Come with me. I've got two extras."
GILLIS—"Who are they?"
WILLIS—"Miss Oldbud and Miss Passe."
GILLIS—"They're not extras. They're early editions."
"I'm glad Billy had the sense to marry an old maid," said grandma at the wedding.
"Why, grandma?" asked the son.
"Well, gals is highty-tighty, and widders is kinder overrulin' and upsettin'. But old maids is thankful and willin' to please."
CHARLES—"Girls wish they were men."
HERBERT—"Why do you say that?"
"Because spinsters like to call themselves 'bachelor girls,' but no bachelor ever calls himself an 'old-maid man.'"
There is nothing like a good definition, as the teacher thought when he explained the meaning of "old maid," as a woman who had been made a long time.
They were going home from school.
"Teacher said that that that that that girl used was superfluous."
"Here's the first pupil for my stammering school," said the business man as he introduced himself.
At the post-office a little girl deposited a dime in front of the clerk and said: "Please, I forgot the name of the stamp mama told me to get, but it's the kind that makes a letter hurry up."
"If a man had put a hundred dollars in a savings bank twenty years ago," said the statistician after dinner, "it would amount to over two hundred now, and he could buy almost as much for it now as he could have got for the original hundred at the time he began to save."
"How many stenographers have you?"
"I've seen only one of them."
"Well, I've got a worse looking one to show my wife."
"I met your husband today and he was telling me that he is in love with his work."
"Was he, indeed? I must take a look in at the office."
A Long-Merited Toast
I used to toast the royal queens And queens of beauty rare; I drained my glass to lovely lass And to her eyes and hair; But in these day of sober drinks There's one whose health to me Means vastly more than beauty or The blood of royalty:
Here's to my stenographer! Long faithful to her duty. She'd win no prize for vampish eyes; Her freckles mar her beauty. Here's to her! Her specs! Her brain! I pledge her health in water! Cool, sober, staid, a precious maid; I love her—like a daughter!
She keeps my creditors at bay, Admitting only debtors; Collects the rent when she is sent, Or writes dry business letters; She always puts her fingers on The paper I require; Sums I can't add she's always glad To do, and doesn't tire.
Here's to her bonny, busy hands! They never are erratic. I hope that they will type away For years, nor grow rheumatic! Here's to her modest salary! (I'd blush if I should tell it!) But for her grit I'd have to quit My business—couldn't sell it.
—Stanley R. Hofflund.
A Chicago banker dictating a letter to his stenographer. "Tell Mr. Soandso," he ordered, "that I will meet him in Schenectady."
"How do you spell Schenectady?" asked the stenographer.
"S-c, S-c—er—er—er—- Tell him I'll meet him in Albany."
Stenographers can nod sometimes, even with the accuracy of the dictating machine. Recently a merchant dictating into one of these machines said:
"The gentleman in question has sold our products in Hayti for a period of over two years, and we have always found him satisfactory in every detail."
All came out all right in the transcription except one word, and that word was the change from Hayti to Hades! And the letter, being "dictated but not read," went!
"I seem to remember that girl. Who is she?"
"She was my typewriter last year."
"She's charming! Why did she leave you?"
"She was too conscientious for me. One day I proposed marriage to her, and what do you think she did? She took all that I said down in shorthand and brought it, nicely type-written, for me to sign!"
AUNT JANE (at the Stock Exchange)—"With seats selling at $60,000, no wonder they are all standing up."
FOOTLIGHT—"I see another seat at the Stock Exchange has been sold for $55,000."
Miss SUE BEETTE—"Wouldn't it be awful if the man who paid for it found it was right behind a post!"
WILLIE WILLIS—"Pa, what's strategy?"
PAPA WILLIS—"Usually darn poor judgment that happens to work out all right."
A young lady took down the receiver and discovered that the telephone was in use. "I just put on a pan of beans for dinner," she heard one woman complacently informing another.
She hung up the receiver, and waited. Three times she waited, and then, exasperated, she broke into the conversation.
"Madam, I smell your beans burning," she announced crisply. A horrified scream greeted the remark, and the young lady was able to put in her call.
A lady entered a railroad-car and took a seat in front of a newly married couple. She was hardly seated before they began making remarks about her.
Her last year's bonnet and coat were fully criticised with more or less giggling on the bride's part, and there is no telling what might have come next if the lady had not put a sudden stop to the conversation by a bit of strategy.
She turned her head, noticed that the bride was considerably older than the groom, and, in the smoothest of tones, said:
"Madam, will you please ask your son to close the window?"
The "son" closed his mouth, and the bride no longer giggled.
"Fore!" shouted the golfer, ready to play.
But the woman on the course paid no attention.
"Fore!" he repeated, with not a bit more effect than the first time.
"Try her with 'Three ninety-eight,'" suggested his partner. "She may be one of those bargain-counter fiends."
Hans and Fritz, two small boys, had gone to the rink to skate. Hans's overcoat hampered him and he wanted to get rid of it. The German coat-room person does not check your coat unless you pay your fee. The fee was only a penny, but Hans did not have the penny. He was at a loss.
"Huh! it's dead easy," spoke up Fritz. "Give me your overcoat. I'll take it to the man at the checking place and say I found it. He'll put it away. When you are ready to go home you go to him and ask if anybody has turned a lost overcoat in to him. Then, of course, you'll get yours."
A very pretty but extremely slender girl entered a street car and managed to seat herself in a narrow space between two men. Presently a portly colored mammy entered the car, and the pretty miss, thinking to humiliate the men for lack of gallantry, arose.
"Aunty," she said, with a wave of her hand toward the place she had just vacated, "take my seat."
"Thank you, missy," replied the colored woman, smiling broadly, "but which gen'man's lap was you sittin' on?"
"Madam," said the man in the street-car, "I know I ought to get up and give you my seat, but unfortunately I've recently joined the Sit Still Club."
"That's all right, sir," replied the woman. "And you must excuse me for staring at you so hard: I am a member of the Stand and Stare Club."
She proved herself so active and conscientious a member that the man began to feel uncomfortable under her gaze. Finally he rose and said: "Take my seat, madam; I guess I'll resign from my club and join yours."
TEACHER—"Now, if I paid one man two dollars a day for seven days, another three dollars and fifty cents for ten days, and another four dollars and seventy-five cents for six days—"
REDDY BACKROW (whose father belongs to the union)—"You'd have the durndest strike on your hands you ever saw, teacher."
"Everybody's striking," Said the Old Clock on the shelf; "It seems to be the fashion. So I think I'll strike myself.
"But striking is my business— Did you ever see such luck I'll have to give up striking Just to show folks that I've struck!"
THE LADY-"So you're really one of the strikers?"
THE LOAFER-"Yus, lidy. I'm wot they call one o' the pioneers o' the movement. I went on strike twenty-three years ago, lidy, and I ain't never give in yet."
A strike is not a "brake on industry." It's a displaced switch.
THE FATHER—"But have you enough money to marry my daughter?"
THE SUITOR—"Well, sir, at the moment I only get 300 francs a month, but by going on strike every other month for higher wages, I shall be getting 1,000 francs by the end of the year."
EMPLOYER—"There's a spirit of unrest among my men."
EMPLOYER—"Because they can not find any excuse to go out on a strike."—Judge.
Speaking of substitutes for gasoline, there is the street-car ticket.
"Neurasthenia," said Mrs. Biggums to her cook, "I think we will have some chicken croquettes today out of that leftover pork and calves' liver."
"Yes'm," said Neurasthenia, called Teeny for short. "An' we got a little bread dressin' what went wid the pork, mum. Shall I make some apple sauce out'n hit, mum?"
A very pretty young woman had been asked to dinner by the mother of a young man who admired her very much.
While waiting for dinner to be announced the four-year-old niece of the young man came into the room and climbed into the lap of her uncle, of whom she seemed very fond.
The young lady said coaxingly: "Come, Mary, give me a kiss"; but the child hid her face on her uncle's arm. The young woman urged the child to come to her, saying again: "Won't you give me a kiss?"