Peter Coddle's Trip to New York

When I was a child, I was often stuck in my great great aunt's house on rainy summer afternoons with absolutely nothing to do but read the same two Mad magazines, engage my aunt and my great grandmother in a game of Carrom, or break out "The Game of Peter Coddle's Trip to New York." It was a form of what are now called "mad libs," in which we would read the story of Peter Coddle from the provided booklet, and pull little pieces of cardboard with a variety of adjectives and nouns on them to fill in the blanks. Hilarity ensued.

The game (which had no scoring or winning, only amusement) was published as early as 1888, and by various game publishers. This edition, published by Parker Brothers, may be one of the earliest.

Each time you refresh the page, the results will be different.

When you've had enough comical variations, return to Hoxsie.

There lived in the town of Wayback a young man by the name of Peter Coddle. He was as lazy as A Fainting Lobster and would no more work than A Short-hand Poem. So worthless was he that he was nicknamed by some Stewed Caterpillars, by others An Energetic Turtle.

One day he was standing near A Happy Dyspeptic when word was brought him by A Lump of Dough that an uncle had died and left him A Pickled Whale.

The news coming so suddenly, very nearly gave him A Pandowdy. He rallied from the surprise however, and began to speculate as to what he would do with A Genteel Tramp. At first he thought he should buy A Pair of Lace Lappets and build A White Crow four stories high. Then he thought he would start A Hot Poker and exhibit An Old Gossip and A Warming Pan and again he would be A Dreadful Pain

Peter thought it a great care to be A Stewed Fiddle. When he was poor he had little to think of except A Red Wig or A Pinch of Snuff and little to do but work at A Liver Pad and eat Jack the Giant Killer and A Brick-bat three times a day. Now he was as nervous as A Bow-legged Rhinoceros.

Peter was anxious to see A Large Blister so he took a steamer to New York, and put up at A Small-mouthed Crockodile. The next morning he bought An Erroneous Idea and The Book of Fate, was measured for A Sore Head and encased his feet in A Dose of Salts. He next invested in A Water Butt, and spent much time in selecting A Lantern Post to give A Basin of Turtle Soup.

When he was dressed in these, he looked like A Sensation, but Peter thought no one would take him for A Base Ball.

But he wandered about as curious as A Great Nuisance staring like A Gridiron, and bumping against Broiled Eggs and stumbling over A Green-Eyed Pedagogue.

He felt ill at ease and would have preferred going to see A Crazy Mule than wandering about like A Quilted Petticoat. One day he made the acquaintance of A Bucket of Swill who volunteered to introduce him to A Pugilist and help him spend his money as fast as A Lame Porpoise or a locomotive could run over A Bar of Soft Soap.

Peter was delighted and treated his friend to Punch and Judy and A Benighted Collier. They went together to the opera, and Peter bought A Sea Serpent to throw at the principal singer whom he said resembled A Boodle Alderman.

They next visited Ice Fried in Batter and Peter confessed that he liked the play of A Tough Old Gander better than A Dandy Dude. In this way he got rid of considerable money and A Bustle but he was having as nice a time as The Middle of Next Week ever had, and he felt he would rather be Peter Coddle than A Hot Sugar Pudding.

Peter's friend secured him an invitation to A Blue Monkey, for which it was necessary for him to have I Know Not What. Dressed in this he looked exactly like A Flannel Nightcap and imitated the manners of A Game of 'My Wife and I'. As he was not versed in the usages of good society, he bought A Bob-tailed Donkey which he studied diligently.

He went to the party dressed in A Hod of Coal and having A Swarm of Bees for a button-hole bouquet. In his efforts to be polite he made as many grimaces as A Fierce Bull-Dog and contorted his body equal to A Warm Poultice or A Glass Eye.

He was introduced to a young lady as beautiful as A Dynamiter who wore A Long-eared Donkey over A Motor Man.

The two promenaded until the band played A Fish Dinner which set the ladies and gentlemen dancing around like A White Elephant.

Peter, being anxious to please, exerted himself with the energy of A Poor Man's Plaster and the grace of A Pair of Trousers. He had no idea that he was acting like A Leg of Veal and making his partner feel as if she was dancing on A Poke Bonnet.

After the party, as he was going back to his hotel he was mistaken for A Tipsy Tar by a policeman, who arrested him and dragged him to the station, beating him with A Yellow Hen so that when he got there he looked like A Bob-tailed Rabbit; he was locked up for the night in a cell as cold as Blue Beard.

The next morning he was taken before the court, fined $5.00 and costs for disturbing An Emetic.

This experience greatly frightened Peter, and as soon as he was released he ran as fast as A Tin Soldier for the depot and took the first train home, after an absence of four weeks.

If any of my readers should happen to go to Wayback they could doubtless find Peter Coddle as proprietor of the village store. He has grown as fat as An Honest Lawyer and is as lazy as Puss in Boots.

It is perhaps needless to say that Peter has never since visited New York.

Peter Coddle Directions Peter coddle word tiles