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 Gridiron and would no more work than A Fainting Lobster. So worthless was he that he was nicknamed by some A Liver Pad, by others A Short-hand Poem.

One day he was standing near A Hot Sugar Pudding when word was brought him by A Small-mouthed Crockodile that an uncle had died and left him Broiled Eggs.

The news coming so suddenly, very nearly gave him A White Elephant. He rallied from the surprise however, and began to speculate as to what he would do with A Bustle. At first he thought he should buy Stewed Caterpillars and build A Motor Man four stories high. Then he thought he would start A Tough Old Gander and exhibit A Red Wig and A Flannel Nightcap and again he would be A Bob-tailed Donkey

Peter thought it a great care to be A Water Butt. When he was poor he had little to think of except A Yellow Hen or A Tin Soldier and little to do but work at A Crazy Mule and eat A Swarm of Bees and A Lump of Dough three times a day. Now he was as nervous as A Pair of Lace Lappets.

Peter was anxious to see An Honest Lawyer so he took a steamer to New York, and put up at A Boodle Alderman. The next morning he bought A Dose of Salts and A Bucket of Swill, was measured for Ice Fried in Batter and encased his feet in A Dandy Dude. He next invested in A Bob-tailed Rabbit, and spent much time in selecting Tom Thumb to give A Benighted Collier.

When he was dressed in these, he looked like A Hot Poker, but Peter thought no one would take him for A Pugilist.

But he wandered about as curious as I Know Not What staring like A Hod of Coal, and bumping against An Emetic and stumbling over A Stewed Fiddle.

He felt ill at ease and would have preferred going to see A Glass Eye than wandering about like A Warming Pan. One day he made the acquaintance of A Large Blister who volunteered to introduce him to Puss in Boots and help him spend his money as fast as A Pickled Whale or a locomotive could run over A Poor Man's Plaster.

Peter was delighted and treated his friend to A Happy Dyspeptic and A Long-eared Donkey. They went together to the opera, and Peter bought The Book of Fate to throw at the principal singer whom he said resembled A Bar of Soft Soap.

They next visited A Sensation and Peter confessed that he liked the play of A Dreadful Pain better than A Dynamiter. In this way he got rid of considerable money and A Blue Monkey but he was having as nice a time as A Sore Head ever had, and he felt he would rather be Peter Coddle than A White Crow.

Peter's friend secured him an invitation to Blue Beard, for which it was necessary for him to have An Insane Bedbug. Dressed in this he looked exactly like A Brick-bat and imitated the manners of Jack the Giant Killer. As he was not versed in the usages of good society, he bought An Erroneous Idea which he studied diligently.

He went to the party dressed in A Game of 'My Wife and I' and having A Warm Poultice for a button-hole bouquet. In his efforts to be polite he made as many grimaces as An Old Gossip and contorted his body equal to A Genteel Tramp or A Pair of Trousers.

He was introduced to a young lady as beautiful as A Lantern Post who wore A Sea Serpent over A Quilted Petticoat.

The two promenaded until the band played A Fish Dinner which set the ladies and gentlemen dancing around like A Pandowdy.

Peter, being anxious to please, exerted himself with the energy of An Energetic Turtle and the grace of A Bow-legged Rhinoceros. He had no idea that he was acting like A Tipsy Tar and making his partner feel as if she was dancing on Punch and Judy.

After the party, as he was going back to his hotel he was mistaken for A Fierce Bull-Dog by a policeman, who arrested him and dragged him to the station, beating him with A Green-Eyed Pedagogue so that when he got there he looked like A Leg of Veal; he was locked up for the night in a cell as cold as A Lame Porpoise.

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 A Poke Bonnet 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 Base Ball and is as lazy as A Basin of Turtle Soup.

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

Peter Coddle Directions Peter coddle word tiles