Back then they had funny laugh out loud jokes. Today we write LOL. Same thing. Same human foibles and characteristics. Same humorous method of coping. Enjoy!
Human Nature Jokes
A FUTILE EXPERIMENT
William Williams hated nicknames. He used to say that most fine given names were ruined by abbreviations, which was a sin and a shame. "I myself," he said, "am one of six brothers. We were all given good, old-fashioned Christian names, but all those names were shortened into meaningless or feeble monosyllables by our friends. I shall name my children so that it will be impracticable to curtail their names."
The Williams family, in the course of time, was blessed with five children, all boys. The eldest was named after the father--William. Of course, that would be shortened to "Will" or enfeebled to "Willie"—but wait! A second son came and was christened Willard. "Aha!" chuckled Mr. Williams, "now everybody will have to speak the full names of each of these boys in order to distinguish them."
In pursuance of this scheme the next three sons were named Wilbert, Wilfred, and Wilmont.
They are all big boys now. And they are respectively known to their intimates as Bill, Skinny, Butch, Chuck, and Kid.
Carolyn Wells wrote:
Once upon a time there lived an elderly millionaire who had four nephews. Desiring to make one of these his heir, he tested their cleverness.
He gave to each a one-hundred-dollar bill, with the request that they hide the bills for a year in the city of New York.
Any of them who should succeed in finding the hidden bill at the end of the year should share in the inheritance.
The year being over, the four nephews brought their reports.
The first, deeply chagrined, told how he had put his bill in the strongest and surest safety deposit vaults, but, alas, clever thieves had broken in and stolen it.
The second had put his bill in charge of a tried and true friend. But the friend had proved untrustworthy and had spent the money.
The third had hidden his bill in a crevice in the floor of his room, but a mouse had nibbled it to bits to build her nest.
The fourth nephew calmly produced his hundred-dollar bill, as crisp and fresh as when it had been given him.
"And where did you hide it?" asked his uncle.
"Too easy! I stuck it in a hotel Bible."
MR. SUNSHINE AND MR. GLOOM
Changing others over to suit yourself is not always the easiest thing in the world, although it is often tried. The head of a large firm thought he would try it, and his experience is related by one of the "boys" in the office:
The old man--for we always referred to the head of the firm in this way--called the young fellow in to him one day and said:
"Look here, young man; you've got to be more agreeable. I want everybody in this place to have a smiling face. If I didn't think you had ability I would have fired you long ago. Your manners are bad. Make 'em better. Don't be a grouch."
The young chap didn't seem to take kindly to this advice. The frown on his face was still there. But he bowed and said:
"All right, sir."
Then the old man--for it was his busy morning--called another young fellow in and said:
"Look here, young man; I don't want you to be so genial. You're always telling funny stories around the place and waiting on the girls. Your sunny smile is all right, but you carry it too far. Why, when you come around everybody stops work. Get down to business."
"That reminds me, sir," said the young chap--but his employer waved him off.
"Do as I tell you," he said sternly, "or--"
At the end of another week the old man called them both into his office.
"Neither of you seems to be improving in the way I want. But I have an idea. I'm going to put your desks next to each other. That ought to do it. You're both good men, but you lean too far in the opposite directions. Run away now and act on each other."
At the end of still another week, however, when once more they both stood in front of him, he betrayed his disappointment.
"It doesn't seem to work," he exclaimed. "What's the matter with you boys, anyway? I thought my experiment would cure both of you, but it doesn't seem to work."
Turning to Mr. Sunshine, he said:
"Look here; why hasn't he done you any good?"
Mr. Sunshine beamed and chuckled.
"Well, sir," he said, "I can't help it. Why, that fellow over there hasn't got a thing in the world to worry him. He isn't married, his salary is really more than he needs. He has no responsibilities, and if he should die to-morrow nobody would suffer. But he hasn't got sense enough to have a good time. He strikes me as being such a joke that it makes me laugh harder than ever."
Turning to Mr. Gloom, the old man said:
"Well, how about you? Why hasn't this chap done you any good?"
Mr. Gloom looked more sour than ever.
"He hasn't the slightest idea of the problems that confront me," he said, "or what I suffer. But what really makes me mad is this: He has a wife and four young children on his hands, on the same salary I get. How they manage I don't know. It isn't living at all. And when I see a fellow like that, who ought to be worried to death all the time--and who would be if he looked the facts squarely in the face--grinning and telling stories like a minstrel, it makes me so d----d mad that I can't see straight."
A young married couple who lived near a famous golf-course were entertaining an elderly aunt from the depths of the country.
"Well, Aunt Mary, how did you spend this afternoon?" asked the hostess on the first day.
"Oh, I enjoyed myself very much," replied Auntie with a beaming smile, "I went for a walk across the fields. There seemed to be a great many people about, and some of them shouted to me in a most eccentric manner, but I just took no notice. And, by the way," she went on, "I found such a number of curious little round white things. I brought them home to ask you what they are."
A RECORD BREAKER
Along the Fox River, a few miles above Wedron, Ill., an old-timer named Andy Haskins has a shack, and he has made most of the record fish catches in that vicinity during forty years. He has a big record book containing dates and weights to impress visitors.
Last summer a young married couple from Chicago camped in a luxurious lodge three miles above old Haskins's place. A baby was born at the lodge, and the only scales the father could obtain on which to weigh the child was that with which Andy Haskins had weighed all the big fish he had caught in ten years.
The baby tipped the scales at thirty-five pounds!
STILL NOT SATISFIED
Mrs. Higgins was an incurable grumbler. She grumbled at everything and everyone. But at last the vicar thought he had found something about which she could make no complaint; the old lady's crop of potatoes was certainly the finest for miles round.
"Ah, for once you must be well pleased," he said, with a beaming smile, as he met her in the village street. "Everyone's saying how splendid your potatoes are this year."
The old lady glowered at him as she answered:
"They're not so poor. But where's the bad ones for the pigs?"
A DELIGHTFUL EXPERIENCE!
We often take delight in fancying what we would do if things were really reversed in this oftentimes trying world: and particularly what we would do to the president of our bank. Here is a little story which gives the pleasant variety:
"I have come in to borrow some money from you," said the bank president timidly, as he stood before one of his depositors, nervously twirling his hat in his hand.
"Ah, yes," said the depositor, gazing at him severely. "But you don't expect to get it, do you?"
"I had hoped to."
"What collateral have you to offer?"
"My bank with all the money in it."
"All the people in the bank?"
"Please say 'Yes, sir.' It is more respectful."
"Thank you, sir."
"Um! Ah! Will you put in your own family?"
"Yes, sir, I'll throw in my family also."
"Your prospects in life? Don't hesitate, man. Remember you are up against it."
"Well, yes, sir."
"How much money do you want?"
"One thousand dollars."
"Dear me! For such a small amount as that I shall have to charge you at least six per cent. If you were a regular millionaire and wanted, say, half a million, I could let you have it for three or four per cent."
"Yes, sir. I appreciate your generosity."
The depositor handed the president of the bank, who was now almost completely bathed in a cold perspiration, a blank form.
"Here," he said, "sign this."
"Do you wish me to read it first, sir?"
"What! Read something you wouldn't understand anyway? No. I'll tell you what's in it. It mortgages yourself, your bank, all the people in it, your family, all your property, and your soul Sign here."
The bank president signed with trembling fingers, got a piece of paper which entitled him to the privilege of entertaining a thousand dollars for six months at his own expense, and withdrew.
Then the depositor, smiling to himself and rubbing his hands, said:
"Aha! I'll teach these fellows to know their places!"
An elderly woman who was extremely stout was endeavoring to enter a street car when the conductor, noticing her difficulty, said to her:
"Try sideways, madam; try sideways."
The woman looked up breathlessly and said: "Why, bless ye, I ain't got no sideways!"
The hobo knocked at the back door and the lady of the house appeared.
"Lady," he said, "I was at the front--"
"You poor man!" she exclaimed. "One of war's victims. Wait till I get you some food, and you shall tell me your story. You were in the trenches, you say?"
"Not in the trenches. I was at the front--"
"Don't try to talk with your mouth full. Take your time. What deed of heroism did you do at the front?"
"Why, I knocked, but I couldn't make nobody hear, so I came around to the back."
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 school-master, "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."
A kindergarten teacher entering a street-car saw a gentleman whose face seemed familiar, and she said, "Good evening!"
He seemed somewhat surprised, and she soon realized that she had spoken to a stranger. Much confused, she explained: "When I first saw you I thought you were the father of two of my children."
WASN'T CALLING HER DEAR
Desirous of buying a camera, a certain fair young woman inspected the stock of a local shopkeeper.
"Is this a good one?" she asked, as she picked up a dainty little machine. "What is it called?"
"That's the Belvedere," said the handsome young shopman politely.
There was a chilly silence. Then the young woman drew herself coldly erect, fixed him with an icy stare, and asked again: