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 Stewed Caterpillars and would no more work than A Bar of Soft Soap. So worthless was he that he was nicknamed by some A Lantern Post, by others A Flannel Nightcap.

One day he was standing near A Swarm of Bees when word was brought him by A Game of 'My Wife and I' that an uncle had died and left him A Hot Poker.

The news coming so suddenly, very nearly gave him A Blue Monkey. He rallied from the surprise however, and began to speculate as to what he would do with An Erroneous Idea. At first he thought he should buy A Great Nuisance and build A Poke Bonnet four stories high. Then he thought he would start Puss in Boots and exhibit Broiled Eggs and A Tipsy Tar and again he would be A Pair of Trousers

Peter thought it a great care to be A Gridiron. When he was poor he had little to think of except Blue Beard or A Tough Old Gander and little to do but work at An Insane Bedbug and eat A Water Butt and A Pugilist three times a day. Now he was as nervous as A Happy Dyspeptic.

Peter was anxious to see An Old Gossip so he took a steamer to New York, and put up at A Small-mouthed Crockodile. The next morning he bought A Lame Porpoise and A Long-eared Donkey, was measured for A Pandowdy and encased his feet in A Bow-legged Rhinoceros. He next invested in A Pickled Whale, and spent much time in selecting A Poor Man's Plaster to give A Lump of Dough.

When he was dressed in these, he looked like Ice Fried in Batter, but Peter thought no one would take him for A Liver Pad.

But he wandered about as curious as A Stewed Fiddle staring like A Fierce Bull-Dog, and bumping against A Bucket of Swill and stumbling over Punch and Judy.

He felt ill at ease and would have preferred going to see A Fainting Lobster than wandering about like A Large Blister. One day he made the acquaintance of A Pair of Lace Lappets who volunteered to introduce him to Tom Thumb and help him spend his money as fast as A Boodle Alderman or a locomotive could run over A Genteel Tramp.

Peter was delighted and treated his friend to A Leg of Veal and An Energetic Turtle. They went together to the opera, and Peter bought I Know Not What to throw at the principal singer whom he said resembled A Sea Serpent.

They next visited A Basin of Turtle Soup and Peter confessed that he liked the play of A White Crow better than A Green-Eyed Pedagogue. In this way he got rid of considerable money and A Crazy Mule but he was having as nice a time as A Pinch of Snuff ever had, and he felt he would rather be Peter Coddle than A Short-hand Poem.

Peter's friend secured him an invitation to A Dandy Dude, for which it was necessary for him to have A Bustle. Dressed in this he looked exactly like A Sensation and imitated the manners of A Base Ball. As he was not versed in the usages of good society, he bought The Book of Fate which he studied diligently.

He went to the party dressed in A Red Wig and having A Benighted Collier for a button-hole bouquet. In his efforts to be polite he made as many grimaces as A Tin Soldier and contorted his body equal to A Yellow Hen or A Quilted Petticoat.

He was introduced to a young lady as beautiful as A Warming Pan who wore A White Elephant over A Warm Poultice.

The two promenaded until the band played The Middle of Next Week which set the ladies and gentlemen dancing around like A Bob-tailed Rabbit.

Peter, being anxious to please, exerted himself with the energy of An Emetic and the grace of A Bob-tailed Donkey. He had no idea that he was acting like A Dose of Salts and making his partner feel as if she was dancing on Jack the Giant Killer.

After the party, as he was going back to his hotel he was mistaken for A Hod of Coal by a policeman, who arrested him and dragged him to the station, beating him with An Honest Lawyer so that when he got there he looked like A Fish Dinner; he was locked up for the night in a cell as cold as A Motor Man.

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

This experience greatly frightened Peter, and as soon as he was released he ran as fast as A Brick-bat 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 Hot Sugar Pudding and is as lazy as A Glass Eye.

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

Peter Coddle Directions Peter coddle word tiles