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 Flannel Nightcap and would no more work than A Poke Bonnet. So worthless was he that he was nicknamed by some A Dynamiter, by others A Bucket of Swill.

One day he was standing near A Glass Eye when word was brought him by An Erroneous Idea that an uncle had died and left him A Water Butt.

The news coming so suddenly, very nearly gave him A Lump of Dough. He rallied from the surprise however, and began to speculate as to what he would do with A Fish Dinner. At first he thought he should buy Tom Thumb and build A Bob-tailed Donkey four stories high. Then he thought he would start Stewed Caterpillars and exhibit An Energetic Turtle and A Short-hand Poem and again he would be An Honest Lawyer

Peter thought it a great care to be A Pair of Lace Lappets. When he was poor he had little to think of except A White Crow or A Great Nuisance and little to do but work at A Large Blister and eat A Bob-tailed Rabbit and A Swarm of Bees three times a day. Now he was as nervous as A Hod of Coal.

Peter was anxious to see A Green-Eyed Pedagogue so he took a steamer to New York, and put up at Blue Beard. The next morning he bought A Small-mouthed Crockodile and A Hot Poker, was measured for A Bow-legged Rhinoceros and encased his feet in An Emetic. He next invested in Jack the Giant Killer, and spent much time in selecting A Hot Sugar Pudding to give The Middle of Next Week.

When he was dressed in these, he looked like A Pandowdy, but Peter thought no one would take him for A Bar of Soft Soap.

But he wandered about as curious as A Quilted Petticoat staring like A Dreadful Pain, and bumping against A Pinch of Snuff and stumbling over A Blue Monkey.

He felt ill at ease and would have preferred going to see A Dandy Dude than wandering about like A Warming Pan. One day he made the acquaintance of A Happy Dyspeptic who volunteered to introduce him to A Warm Poultice and help him spend his money as fast as A Sore Head or a locomotive could run over A Yellow Hen.

Peter was delighted and treated his friend to A Pickled Whale and A Boodle Alderman. They went together to the opera, and Peter bought A Genteel Tramp to throw at the principal singer whom he said resembled A Pugilist.

They next visited A Gridiron and Peter confessed that he liked the play of A Lantern Post better than A Dose of Salts. In this way he got rid of considerable money and A Red Wig but he was having as nice a time as A Sea Serpent ever had, and he felt he would rather be Peter Coddle than A Base Ball.

Peter's friend secured him an invitation to A Lame Porpoise, for which it was necessary for him to have A Crazy Mule. Dressed in this he looked exactly like A Tough Old Gander and imitated the manners of A Sensation. As he was not versed in the usages of good society, he bought A Pair of Trousers which he studied diligently.

He went to the party dressed in I Know Not What and having The Book of Fate for a button-hole bouquet. In his efforts to be polite he made as many grimaces as A Poor Man's Plaster and contorted his body equal to A Basin of Turtle Soup or A White Elephant.

He was introduced to a young lady as beautiful as An Insane Bedbug who wore A Tipsy Tar over A Game of 'My Wife and I'.

The two promenaded until the band played Punch and Judy which set the ladies and gentlemen dancing around like Puss in Boots.

Peter, being anxious to please, exerted himself with the energy of Broiled Eggs and the grace of A Long-eared Donkey. He had no idea that he was acting like A Stewed Fiddle and making his partner feel as if she was dancing on Ice Fried in Batter.

After the party, as he was going back to his hotel he was mistaken for An Old Gossip by a policeman, who arrested him and dragged him to the station, beating him with A Tin Soldier so that when he got there he looked like A Fierce Bull-Dog; he was locked up for the night in a cell as cold as A Bustle.

The next morning he was taken before the court, fined $5.00 and costs for disturbing A Liver Pad.

This experience greatly frightened Peter, and as soon as he was released he ran as fast as A Fainting Lobster 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 A Brick-bat and is as lazy as A Motor Man.

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

Peter Coddle Directions Peter coddle word tiles