Very old jokes and stories


Oldest Inhabitant: “I never expected to live till the end of the War, Ma’am; but now I’m hoping to be spared to see the beginning of the next one.”

* * *

“That’s Betty Grant’s new maid.”

“She’s much smarter than her mistress.”

“Well, they can’t both afford to dress like that.”

* * *

Father: “Don’t know the French for cat, and you had a French nurse for years!”

Hopeful: “But, Dad, we hadn’t got a cat when Adele was with us.”

* * *

Betty (after flash of lightning): “Count quickly, Jenny! Make it as far away as you possibly can.”

* * *

Employer: “John, I wish you wouldn’t whistle at your work.”

Boy: “I wasn’t working, Sir; only whistling.”

* * *

Mistress: “Oh, Jane, how did you break that vase?”

Maid: “I’m very sorry, Mum; I was accidentally dusting.”

* * *

Little Girl (in foreground): “Mother, I suppose the bridegroom must come to his wedding.”

* * *

Mistress: “I hope you’re doing what you can to economise the food.”

[Pg 251]

Cook: “Oh, yes’m. We’ve put the cat on milk-an’-water.”

* * *

Raw Hand (at sea for first time and observing steamer’s red and green lights): “‘Ere’s some lights on the starboard side, Sir.”

Officer: “Well, what is it?”

R. H.: “Looks to me like a drug store, Sir.”

* * *

“Can you play bridge to-night?”

“Sorry. Going to hear some Wagner.”

“What-do you like the stuff?”

“Frankly, no; but I’ve heard on the best authority that his music’s very much better than it sounds.”

* * *

Master: “But, Jenkins, the name of the complaint is not pewmonia. Surely, you’ve heard me again and again say ‘pneumonia’?”

Man: “Well, Sir, I ‘ave; but I didn’t like to correct you.”

* * *

Successful Poultry Farmer: “You’d be surprised what a difference these incubators make. We can hatch out two or three hundred chicks every week.”

Champion Dog Breeder: “Good gracious! How ever do you manage to find names for them all?”

* * *

Small Boy (who has been promised a visit to the Zoo to-morrow): “I hope we shall have a better day for it than Noah had.”

[Pg 252]

* * *

Mother: “Oh, Mary, why do you wipe your mouth with the back of your hand?”

Mary: “‘Cos it’s so much cleaner than the front.”

* * *

Mother (to child who has been naughty): “Aren’t you rather ashamed of yourself?”

Child: “Well, Mother, I wasn’t. But now that you’ve suggested it I am.”

* * *


Belated Traveller (surprised by a bull when taking a short cut to the station): “By jove! I believe I shall catch that train after all.”

* * *


Mother: “Why, what’s the matter, darling?”

Small daughter (tearfully): “Oh, Mums, I do so want to give this worm to my hen.”

Mother: “Then why don’t you?”

Small daughter (with renewed wails): “‘C-cos I’m so afraid the worm won’t like it.”

* * *

“Does God make lions, Mother?”

“Yes, dear.”

“But isn’t he frightened to?”

* * *

“Excuse me, officer, but have you seen any pickpockets about here with a handkerchief marked ‘Susan’?”

[Pg 253]

* * *

Mrs. Green to Mrs. Jones (who is gazing at an aeroplane): “My word! I shouldn’t care for one of them flying things to settle on me.”

* * *

The Woman: “Jazz stockings are the latest thing, dear. Here’s a picture of a girl with them on.”

The Man: “What appalling rot! Er-after you with the paper.”

* * *

Small Invalid (to visitor): “I’ve had a lot of diseases in my time-measles-whooping-cough-influenza-tonsilitis-but (modestly) I haven’t had dropsy yet.”

* * *


Lady: “And why did your last mistress–”

Applicant (loftily): “Excuse me, Madam!”

Lady: “Well-er-your last employer–”

Applicant: “I beg your pardon, Madam!”

Lady: “Well, then, your last-er-pray what do you call those in whose service you are engaged?”

Applicant: “Clients, Madam.”

* * *

Small Girl: “I wonder how old Joan is?”

Small Boy: “I bet she won’t see four again.”

* * *

Mother: “Well, dear, has Jack kissed you under the mistletoe?”

Mary (demurely): “Yes, Mummy.”

Mother: “And did you enjoy it?”

[Pg 254]

Mary: “Yes, thank you, Mummy; but (very demurely) I struggled.”

* * *

“Mollie, you haven’t said your prayers.”

“I’m going to say them in bed to-night.”

“Oh, Mollie, that isn’t etiquette.”

* * *

Applicant for Situation: “And ‘ow long did yer last cook oblige yer?”

* * *


“George, will you go and speak to cook? I bought some tripe for dinner and-she’s still looking at it through her lorgnette.”

* * *

“I hear you’ve taken up golf. What do you go round in?”

“Well, usually in a sweater.”

* * *

Small Boy (walking round links with his father): “Daddy, here’s a ball for you.”

Father: “Where did you get that from?”

Small Boy: “It’s a lost ball, Daddy.”

Father: “Are you sure it’s a lost ball?”

Small Boy: “Yes, Daddy; they’re still looking for it.”

* * *

Small Boy (toying with dull blanc-mange): “Please may I have an ice instead of finishing this-‘cos I feel sick?”

* * *

[Pg 255]


Wife (habitué of the Ring, gazing after stranger who has knocked her husband down): “That was a lovely upper-cut he gave you, George. I wonder who he is?”

* * *

Lady: “I’ve just been making my side ache over your latest book.”

Author (delighted): “Oh, really. Did you find it so amusing?”

Lady: “Well, the fact is I went to sleep on the top of it.”

* * *

Employer (inspecting a very inflated bill for work): “Look here-how did you get at this amount?”

Odd Jobs Man: “Well, Sir, didn’t know how you’d prefer me to charge it up, so I just charged by time.”

Employer: “Oh, really! I thought you must have been charging by eternity.”

* * *

Tourist: “Have you any cold meat?”

Waiter: “Well, we have some that’s nearly cold, Sir.”

* * *

Lady: “If you please, Cook, may we have steak and onions for lunch to-day?”

Cook: “You can have steak, but I’m afraid I can’t let you have onions. You see, I’m going out this afternoon, and onions always make my eyes so red.”

* * *

Small Boy (on being told by cousin that she is [Pg 256]engaged to be married): “Oh! (long pause) and what did your husband say when he engaged you?”

* * *

Master: “But why do you want to get married, Jones?”

Butler: “Well, Sir, I don’t want my name to die out.”

* * *

Artist (in desperation): “That, Sir, I consider the finest in my exhibition. You can have it for half the catalogue price.”

The Visitor: “Bless my soul! You don’t say so. By the way, what is the price of the catalogue?”

* * *

“Well, Mollie, how do you like your new teacher?”

“I half like her, and I half don’t like her. But I think I half don’t like her most.”

* * *

“Please, Mr. Grafto, the gentleman on the next floor presents his compliments and says, seeing as how you can foretell the future, would you be so good as to let him know how long it will be before your bath stops overflowing through his ceiling?”

* * *

Old Lady (interrogating her chauffeur’s small boy): “Well, my little man, and do you know who I am?”

Small Boy: “Yes, you’re the old lady what goes for rides in my daddy’s car.”

* * *

Parent: “I should like you to have ‘good’ in your report, and not always ‘fair.'”

Young Hopeful: “I daresay you would, Dad. But,[Pg 257] you see, I’m an ordinary boy of ordinary parents, and that’s an ordinary report.”

* * *

Optimist: “Cheer up, old man. Things aren’t as bad as they seem.”

Pessimist: “No, but they seem so.”

* * *


Genial Uncle: “Well, old chap, we’ve not done anything together for a long time. How about the Zoo next Sunday, eh?”

Small Boy: “Thanks very much. I can’t say off-hand, but I’ll ring you up.”

* * *

Little Girl (to Bride at wedding reception): “You don’t look nearly as tired as I should have thought.”

Bride: “Don’t I, dear? But why did you think I should look tired?”

Little Girl: “Well, I heard Mummy say to Dad that you’d been running after Mr. Goldmore for months and months.”

* * *


“I say-come and dance. This is a toppin’ fox-trot they’re playin’.”

“Thanks-but I’m only waltzing this evening. We’re still in mourning, you know.”

* * *

Specialist (to patient suffering from insomnia):[Pg 258] “And did you try my plan of counting sheep coming through a gate?”

Patient: “Well, I counted up to a hundred and twenty thousand and thirty-nine, and then it was time to get up.”

* * *

Neighbor (bearer of message, to billiard enthusiast): “You’re wanted at ‘ome, Charlie. Yer wife’s just presented yer with another rebate off yer income-tax.”

* * *

Joan (whose mother has just bought her a pair of woolen gloves): “Oh, Mummy, I wish you had got kid. I hate this kind; they make my sweets so hairy.”

* * *

Lady (to applicant for situation as cook): “Have you been accustomed to have a kitchen-maid under you?”

Cook: “In these days we never speak of having people ‘under us.’ But I have had colleagues.”

* * *

Father: “Look here, Billy, Mr. Smith called at the office this morning about your fight with his boy yesterday.”

Son: “Did he? I hope you got on as well as I did.”

* * *

Artist (condescendingly): “I did this last summer. It really isn’t much good.”

Candid Friend: “No, it certainly isn’t. But who told you?”

[Pg 259]

* * *


Mrs. Profiteer: “Is this a pedigree dog?”

Dealer: “Pedigree? I should just think ‘e is, Mum. Why, if the animal could only talk ‘e wouldn’t speak to either of us.”

* * *

Small Bridesmaid (loudly, in middle of ceremony): “Mummie, are we all getting married?”

* * *

Small Girl: “To-day’s my mummy’s wedding-day.”

Smaller Girl (with air of superiority): “My mummy was married years ago.”

* * *

“Wot’s a minimum wage, Albert?”

“Wot yer gets for goin’ to yer work. If yer wants ter make a bit more yer does a bit o’ work for it.”

* * *

Office Boy (anxious to go to football match): “May I have the afternoon off, Sir? My grand–”

Employer: “Oh, yes, I’ve heard that before. Your grandmother died last week.”

Office Boy: “Yes, Sir; but-my grandfather’s getting married again this afternoon.”

* * *

Minister’s Wife: “My husband was asking only this morning why you weren’t in the habit of attending church.”

Latest Inhabitant: “Well, you see, it does so cut into one’s Sundays.”

[Pg 260]

* * *

“Two mistakes here, waiter-one in your favor, one in mine.”

“In your favor, Sir? Where?”

* * *

Mistress: “Oh, cook, be sure and put plenty of nuts in the cake.”

Cook: “You don’t catch me crackin’ no more nuts to-day. I’ve very near broke me jaw already.”

* * *

Gushing Lady: “Yes, she’s married to a lawyer, and a good honest fellow too.”

Cynic: “Bigamist!”

* * *

Mother: “Augustus, you naughty boy, you’ve been smoking. Do you feel very bad, dear?”

Augustus: “Thank you-I’m only dying.”

* * *

New Butler: “At what time, Sir, would you wish to dine as a rule?”

Profiteer: “What time do the best people dine?”

New Butler: “At different times, Sir.”

Profiteer: “Very well. Then I, too, will dine at different times.”

* * *

Fond Mamma: “I sometimes think, Percy, you don’t treat your dear father with quite the proper respect.”

Young Hopeful; “Well, Ma, I never liked the man.”

* * *

Playful Hostess: “Couldn’t you manage one more éclair?

[Pg 261]

Serious Little Boy: “No, fanks, I’ve no more room.”

Playful Hostess: “If I picked you up by the heels and shook you, would that help?”

Serious Little Boy (after deep thought): “No, fanks, that would make the space at the wrong end.”

* * *

Vicar’s Wife: “What are you children doing in daddy’s study?”

Ethel: “It’s a great secret, Mummy. We’re giving daddy a new bible for his birthday.”

Vicar’s Wife: “Oh-and what are you writing in it?”

Ethel: “Well, you see, we thought we’d better copy what daddy’s friends put in the books they give him, so we’re writing, ‘With the author’s compliments.'”

* * *


George: “I proposed to that girl and would have married her if it hadn’t been for something she said.”

Fred: “What did she say?”

George: “No!”

* * *


She: “Well! Let us change the subject. I’ve done nothing but talk about myself all evening.”

He: “I’m sure we couldn’t find anything better.”

She: “Very well, then! Suppose you talk about me for a while.”

[Pg 262]

* * *

“I say, Taxi, I’ve only got enough change to pay the exact fare. D’you mind taking a cheque for the tip?”

* * *


“Who was the originator of the idea that a husband and wife are one?”

“I give it up; but it strikes me he might have saved a lot of argument if he had said which one.”

* * *

He: “I never knew until to-day that the Rev. Dr. Preachly married an actress.”

She: “Oh, yes! It is she who rehearses him in those beautiful extempore sermons he preaches.”

* * *


He: “But if you will allow me to–”

She: “Oh! I know what you are going to say, but you’re quite mistaken and I can prove it.”

* * *


Eloping Bride: “Oh, Jack! I can’t help wondering what father will say when he gets our letter.”

Bridegroom: “It can’t make any difference to our happiness, darling-so long as he doesn’t do it when we get back.”

[Pg 263]

* * *


He (dejectedly): “I’m sure I don’t see why our parents won’t give their consent. I consider their conduct is little short of cruel.”

She: “Oh, Jack! How can you expect old fogies like they are to know anything about love?”

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