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 An Emetic and would no more work than A Benighted Collier. So worthless was he that he was nicknamed by some A Small-mouthed Crockodile, by others A Crazy Mule.
One day he was standing near A Basin of Turtle Soup when word was brought him by A Flannel Nightcap that an uncle had died and left him Puss in Boots.
The news coming so suddenly, very nearly gave him Tom Thumb. He rallied from the surprise however, and began to speculate as to what he would do with A Dandy Dude. At first he thought he should buy A Bustle and build Punch and Judy four stories high. Then he thought he would start A Swarm of Bees and exhibit A Bow-legged Rhinoceros and Ice Fried in Batter and again he would be A Short-hand Poem
Peter thought it a great care to be A Large Blister. When he was poor he had little to think of except A Dreadful Pain or An Insane Bedbug and little to do but work at A Lantern Post and eat A Bucket of Swill and A Sore Head three times a day. Now he was as nervous as A Boodle Alderman.
Peter was anxious to see A Hod of Coal so he took a steamer to New York, and put up at A Liver Pad. The next morning he bought An Old Gossip and A Tipsy Tar, was measured for An Honest Lawyer and encased his feet in The Book of Fate. He next invested in A Leg of Veal, and spent much time in selecting A Sensation to give A Dose of Salts.
When he was dressed in these, he looked like A Red Wig, but Peter thought no one would take him for A Bob-tailed Rabbit.
But he wandered about as curious as A Pair of Lace Lappets staring like A Great Nuisance, and bumping against A Pandowdy and stumbling over Stewed Caterpillars.
He felt ill at ease and would have preferred going to see A White Crow than wandering about like A Genteel Tramp. One day he made the acquaintance of A Dynamiter who volunteered to introduce him to A Pickled Whale and help him spend his money as fast as A Pugilist or a locomotive could run over A Fainting Lobster.
Peter was delighted and treated his friend to A Green-Eyed Pedagogue and A Lame Porpoise. They went together to the opera, and Peter bought A Warming Pan to throw at the principal singer whom he said resembled A White Elephant.
They next visited A Hot Poker and Peter confessed that he liked the play of A Motor Man better than A Hot Sugar Pudding. In this way he got rid of considerable money and A Bar of Soft Soap but he was having as nice a time as A Poke Bonnet ever had, and he felt he would rather be Peter Coddle than A Glass Eye.
Peter's friend secured him an invitation to Jack the Giant Killer, for which it was necessary for him to have A Long-eared Donkey. Dressed in this he looked exactly like An Energetic Turtle and imitated the manners of A Yellow Hen. As he was not versed in the usages of good society, he bought A Fierce Bull-Dog which he studied diligently.
He went to the party dressed in A Brick-bat and having A Pair of Trousers for a button-hole bouquet. In his efforts to be polite he made as many grimaces as A Water Butt and contorted his body equal to Blue Beard or A Sea Serpent.
He was introduced to a young lady as beautiful as A Tin Soldier who wore A Pinch of Snuff over I Know Not What.
The two promenaded until the band played A Tough Old Gander which set the ladies and gentlemen dancing around like A Poor Man's Plaster.
Peter, being anxious to please, exerted himself with the energy of A Warm Poultice and the grace of A Game of 'My Wife and I'. He had no idea that he was acting like A Blue Monkey and making his partner feel as if she was dancing on A Stewed Fiddle.
After the party, as he was going back to his hotel he was mistaken for A Bob-tailed Donkey by a policeman, who arrested him and dragged him to the station, beating him with Broiled Eggs so that when he got there he looked like A Quilted Petticoat; he was locked up for the night in a cell as cold as A Happy Dyspeptic.
The next morning he was taken before the court, fined $5.00 and costs for disturbing A Fish Dinner.
This experience greatly frightened Peter, and as soon as he was released he ran as fast as A Base Ball 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 Lump of Dough and is as lazy as A Gridiron.
It is perhaps needless to say that Peter has never since visited New York.