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 Hot Sugar Pudding and would no more work than A Pair of Trousers. So worthless was he that he was nicknamed by some A Warm Poultice, by others A Green-Eyed Pedagogue.

One day he was standing near A Boodle Alderman when word was brought him by A Great Nuisance that an uncle had died and left him A White Elephant.

The news coming so suddenly, very nearly gave him A Long-eared Donkey. He rallied from the surprise however, and began to speculate as to what he would do with A Sensation. At first he thought he should buy A Bow-legged Rhinoceros and build A Base Ball four stories high. Then he thought he would start A Tin Soldier and exhibit A Dreadful Pain and A Quilted Petticoat and again he would be A White Crow

Peter thought it a great care to be A Benighted Collier. When he was poor he had little to think of except A Dynamiter or A Dose of Salts and little to do but work at A Warming Pan and eat A Hod of Coal and Jack the Giant Killer three times a day. Now he was as nervous as Stewed Caterpillars.

Peter was anxious to see A Hot Poker so he took a steamer to New York, and put up at A Liver Pad. The next morning he bought A Poke Bonnet and A Leg of Veal, was measured for A Poor Man's Plaster and encased his feet in Blue Beard. He next invested in A Short-hand Poem, and spent much time in selecting A Bustle to give A Basin of Turtle Soup.

When he was dressed in these, he looked like A Pinch of Snuff, but Peter thought no one would take him for A Pair of Lace Lappets.

But he wandered about as curious as A Bob-tailed Donkey staring like I Know Not What, and bumping against A Pickled Whale and stumbling over A Small-mouthed Crockodile.

He felt ill at ease and would have preferred going to see An Old Gossip than wandering about like A Fierce Bull-Dog. One day he made the acquaintance of A Tough Old Gander who volunteered to introduce him to A Pandowdy and help him spend his money as fast as A Fish Dinner or a locomotive could run over Broiled Eggs.

Peter was delighted and treated his friend to The Book of Fate and A Bob-tailed Rabbit. They went together to the opera, and Peter bought A Crazy Mule to throw at the principal singer whom he said resembled A Game of 'My Wife and I'.

They next visited Tom Thumb and Peter confessed that he liked the play of A Sore Head better than A Happy Dyspeptic. In this way he got rid of considerable money and A Glass Eye but he was having as nice a time as A Blue Monkey ever had, and he felt he would rather be Peter Coddle than A Lantern Post.

Peter's friend secured him an invitation to An Emetic, for which it was necessary for him to have A Water Butt. Dressed in this he looked exactly like A Sea Serpent and imitated the manners of A Lame Porpoise. As he was not versed in the usages of good society, he bought A Dandy Dude which he studied diligently.

He went to the party dressed in A Stewed Fiddle and having A Genteel Tramp for a button-hole bouquet. In his efforts to be polite he made as many grimaces as A Fainting Lobster and contorted his body equal to A Flannel Nightcap or A Brick-bat.

He was introduced to a young lady as beautiful as A Swarm of Bees who wore A Large Blister over An Erroneous Idea.

The two promenaded until the band played A Bar of Soft Soap which set the ladies and gentlemen dancing around like A Tipsy Tar.

Peter, being anxious to please, exerted himself with the energy of A Lump of Dough and the grace of Ice Fried in Batter. He had no idea that he was acting like An Insane Bedbug and making his partner feel as if she was dancing on A Bucket of Swill.

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

The next morning he was taken before the court, fined $5.00 and costs for disturbing The Middle of Next Week.

This experience greatly frightened Peter, and as soon as he was released he ran as fast as An Energetic Turtle 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 Puss in Boots and is as lazy as A Yellow Hen.

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

Peter Coddle Directions Peter coddle word tiles