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 Yellow Hen and would no more work than A Hot Poker. So worthless was he that he was nicknamed by some Broiled Eggs, by others The Middle of Next Week.

One day he was standing near A Sensation when word was brought him by A Pinch of Snuff that an uncle had died and left him A Base Ball.

The news coming so suddenly, very nearly gave him A Happy Dyspeptic. He rallied from the surprise however, and began to speculate as to what he would do with A Pickled Whale. At first he thought he should buy A Bar of Soft Soap and build A Dose of Salts four stories high. Then he thought he would start A Benighted Collier and exhibit A Fierce Bull-Dog and A Bow-legged Rhinoceros and again he would be A Dandy Dude

Peter thought it a great care to be A Long-eared Donkey. When he was poor he had little to think of except Ice Fried in Batter or A Leg of Veal and little to do but work at A Motor Man and eat A Gridiron and A Boodle Alderman three times a day. Now he was as nervous as An Erroneous Idea.

Peter was anxious to see A Pair of Lace Lappets so he took a steamer to New York, and put up at A Crazy Mule. The next morning he bought A Green-Eyed Pedagogue and Punch and Judy, was measured for A Hod of Coal and encased his feet in A Dreadful Pain. He next invested in A Poke Bonnet, and spent much time in selecting A Glass Eye to give The Book of Fate.

When he was dressed in these, he looked like A Quilted Petticoat, but Peter thought no one would take him for Jack the Giant Killer.

But he wandered about as curious as A Basin of Turtle Soup staring like An Energetic Turtle, and bumping against A Bob-tailed Rabbit and stumbling over A Blue Monkey.

He felt ill at ease and would have preferred going to see A Tin Soldier than wandering about like A White Crow. One day he made the acquaintance of A Bob-tailed Donkey who volunteered to introduce him to A Brick-bat and help him spend his money as fast as A Swarm of Bees or a locomotive could run over A White Elephant.

Peter was delighted and treated his friend to An Insane Bedbug and A Genteel Tramp. They went together to the opera, and Peter bought A Tough Old Gander to throw at the principal singer whom he said resembled A Lame Porpoise.

They next visited An Old Gossip and Peter confessed that he liked the play of Blue Beard better than A Lantern Post. In this way he got rid of considerable money and A Red Wig but he was having as nice a time as A Poor Man's Plaster ever had, and he felt he would rather be Peter Coddle than A Dynamiter.

Peter's friend secured him an invitation to A Tipsy Tar, for which it was necessary for him to have A Pugilist. Dressed in this he looked exactly like A Fish Dinner and imitated the manners of A Hot Sugar Pudding. As he was not versed in the usages of good society, he bought Stewed Caterpillars which he studied diligently.

He went to the party dressed in A Liver Pad and having A Water Butt for a button-hole bouquet. In his efforts to be polite he made as many grimaces as Tom Thumb and contorted his body equal to A Great Nuisance or A Warming Pan.

He was introduced to a young lady as beautiful as A Lump of Dough who wore A Flannel Nightcap over A Bustle.

The two promenaded until the band played A Sore Head which set the ladies and gentlemen dancing around like A Stewed Fiddle.

Peter, being anxious to please, exerted himself with the energy of A Bucket of Swill and the grace of A Fainting Lobster. He had no idea that he was acting like A Pandowdy and making his partner feel as if she was dancing on A Small-mouthed Crockodile.

After the party, as he was going back to his hotel he was mistaken for I Know Not What by a policeman, who arrested him and dragged him to the station, beating him with An Emetic so that when he got there he looked like A Sea Serpent; he was locked up for the night in a cell as cold as A Warm Poultice.

The next morning he was taken before the court, fined $5.00 and costs for disturbing A Game of 'My Wife and I'.

This experience greatly frightened Peter, and as soon as he was released he ran as fast as A Pair of Trousers 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 A Short-hand Poem.

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

Peter Coddle Directions Peter coddle word tiles