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 Lame Porpoise and would no more work than Puss in Boots. So worthless was he that he was nicknamed by some An Insane Bedbug, by others Broiled Eggs.

One day he was standing near A Bar of Soft Soap when word was brought him by A Boodle Alderman that an uncle had died and left him A White Crow.

The news coming so suddenly, very nearly gave him A Pair of Lace Lappets. He rallied from the surprise however, and began to speculate as to what he would do with A Fainting Lobster. At first he thought he should buy A Pugilist and build A Pickled Whale four stories high. Then he thought he would start A Fierce Bull-Dog and exhibit A Happy Dyspeptic and A Stewed Fiddle and again he would be A Large Blister

Peter thought it a great care to be A Small-mouthed Crockodile. When he was poor he had little to think of except A Short-hand Poem or A Bob-tailed Rabbit and little to do but work at A Lump of Dough and eat A Hot Poker and A Poor Man's Plaster three times a day. Now he was as nervous as Stewed Caterpillars.

Peter was anxious to see A Flannel Nightcap so he took a steamer to New York, and put up at A Bob-tailed Donkey. The next morning he bought A Bucket of Swill and A Base Ball, was measured for Jack the Giant Killer and encased his feet in A Brick-bat. He next invested in A White Elephant, and spent much time in selecting An Old Gossip to give A Game of 'My Wife and I'.

When he was dressed in these, he looked like A Fish Dinner, but Peter thought no one would take him for A Quilted Petticoat.

But he wandered about as curious as Tom Thumb staring like Blue Beard, and bumping against A Great Nuisance and stumbling over A Genteel Tramp.

He felt ill at ease and would have preferred going to see A Tipsy Tar than wandering about like A Dreadful Pain. One day he made the acquaintance of An Energetic Turtle who volunteered to introduce him to A Hot Sugar Pudding and help him spend his money as fast as A Leg of Veal or a locomotive could run over I Know Not What.

Peter was delighted and treated his friend to A Blue Monkey and A Water Butt. They went together to the opera, and Peter bought A Dandy Dude to throw at the principal singer whom he said resembled A Crazy Mule.

They next visited A Bustle and Peter confessed that he liked the play of A Hod of Coal better than A Yellow Hen. In this way he got rid of considerable money and A Poke Bonnet but he was having as nice a time as A Pandowdy ever had, and he felt he would rather be Peter Coddle than A Tough Old Gander.

Peter's friend secured him an invitation to The Book of Fate, for which it was necessary for him to have Ice Fried in Batter. Dressed in this he looked exactly like A Glass Eye and imitated the manners of A Lantern Post. As he was not versed in the usages of good society, he bought A Gridiron which he studied diligently.

He went to the party dressed in A Sensation and having A Motor Man for a button-hole bouquet. In his efforts to be polite he made as many grimaces as A Warm Poultice and contorted his body equal to A Liver Pad or A Green-Eyed Pedagogue.

He was introduced to a young lady as beautiful as A Bow-legged Rhinoceros who wore A Swarm of Bees over The Middle of Next Week.

The two promenaded until the band played A Basin of Turtle Soup which set the ladies and gentlemen dancing around like A Long-eared Donkey.

Peter, being anxious to please, exerted himself with the energy of An Honest Lawyer and the grace of A Sea Serpent. He had no idea that he was acting like A Dose of Salts and making his partner feel as if she was dancing on A Sore Head.

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

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

This experience greatly frightened Peter, and as soon as he was released he ran as fast as A Red Wig 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 Pair of Trousers and is as lazy as A Tin Soldier.

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

Peter Coddle Directions Peter coddle word tiles