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 Sore Head and would no more work than A Small-mouthed Crockodile. So worthless was he that he was nicknamed by some A Crazy Mule, by others A Great Nuisance.

One day he was standing near A Long-eared Donkey when word was brought him by A Fierce Bull-Dog that an uncle had died and left him A Warming Pan.

The news coming so suddenly, very nearly gave him A Motor Man. He rallied from the surprise however, and began to speculate as to what he would do with A Large Blister. At first he thought he should buy Broiled Eggs and build A White Crow four stories high. Then he thought he would start Tom Thumb and exhibit An Insane Bedbug and Puss in Boots and again he would be An Emetic

Peter thought it a great care to be A Pair of Trousers. When he was poor he had little to think of except A Pinch of Snuff or A Leg of Veal and little to do but work at The Middle of Next Week and eat A Red Wig and A Bucket of Swill 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 Blue Beard. The next morning he bought A Bar of Soft Soap and A Base Ball, was measured for A Brick-bat and encased his feet in The Book of Fate. He next invested in A Game of 'My Wife and I', and spent much time in selecting A Dynamiter to give A Genteel Tramp.

When he was dressed in these, he looked like A White Elephant, but Peter thought no one would take him for A Lump of Dough.

But he wandered about as curious as A Yellow Hen staring like A Dandy Dude, and bumping against A Bow-legged Rhinoceros and stumbling over A Liver Pad.

He felt ill at ease and would have preferred going to see An Old Gossip than wandering about like A Green-Eyed Pedagogue. One day he made the acquaintance of A Sensation who volunteered to introduce him to A Bob-tailed Donkey and help him spend his money as fast as A Dose of Salts or a locomotive could run over A Sea Serpent.

Peter was delighted and treated his friend to A Poor Man's Plaster and A Pickled Whale. They went together to the opera, and Peter bought A Hot Sugar Pudding to throw at the principal singer whom he said resembled A Dreadful Pain.

They next visited A Poke Bonnet and Peter confessed that he liked the play of A Fish Dinner better than Ice Fried in Batter. In this way he got rid of considerable money and A Quilted Petticoat but he was having as nice a time as A Bustle ever had, and he felt he would rather be Peter Coddle than A Pandowdy.

Peter's friend secured him an invitation to A Stewed Fiddle, for which it was necessary for him to have Punch and Judy. Dressed in this he looked exactly like A Glass Eye and imitated the manners of A Lame Porpoise. As he was not versed in the usages of good society, he bought A Hod of Coal which he studied diligently.

He went to the party dressed in A Flannel Nightcap and having A Hot Poker for a button-hole bouquet. In his efforts to be polite he made as many grimaces as A Short-hand Poem and contorted his body equal to Jack the Giant Killer or A Boodle Alderman.

He was introduced to a young lady as beautiful as A Tin Soldier who wore A Happy Dyspeptic over A Bob-tailed Rabbit.

The two promenaded until the band played A Benighted Collier which set the ladies and gentlemen dancing around like A Tipsy Tar.

Peter, being anxious to please, exerted himself with the energy of Stewed Caterpillars and the grace of A Water Butt. He had no idea that he was acting like A Pugilist and making his partner feel as if she was dancing on A Blue Monkey.

After the party, as he was going back to his hotel he was mistaken for An Energetic Turtle by a policeman, who arrested him and dragged him to the station, beating him with A Tough Old Gander so that when he got there he looked like A Warm Poultice; he was locked up for the night in a cell as cold as A Swarm of Bees.

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

This experience greatly frightened Peter, and as soon as he was released he ran as fast as A Basin of Turtle Soup 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 Lantern Post and is as lazy as A Fainting Lobster.

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

Peter Coddle Directions Peter coddle word tiles