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 Quilted Petticoat and would no more work than A Tin Soldier. So worthless was he that he was nicknamed by some An Old Gossip, by others A Boodle Alderman.

One day he was standing near A Warming Pan when word was brought him by A Leg of Veal that an uncle had died and left him A Pugilist.

The news coming so suddenly, very nearly gave him The Book of Fate. He rallied from the surprise however, and began to speculate as to what he would do with I Know Not What. At first he thought he should buy A Tough Old Gander and build Puss in Boots four stories high. Then he thought he would start A Hot Poker and exhibit A Short-hand Poem and A Stewed Fiddle and again he would be A Yellow Hen

Peter thought it a great care to be A Flannel Nightcap. When he was poor he had little to think of except A Blue Monkey or A Lantern Post and little to do but work at A Crazy Mule and eat Jack the Giant Killer and A Sea Serpent three times a day. Now he was as nervous as A Poor Man's Plaster.

Peter was anxious to see A Pandowdy so he took a steamer to New York, and put up at A Water Butt. The next morning he bought A Brick-bat and An Erroneous Idea, was measured for A White Crow and encased his feet in Broiled Eggs. He next invested in A Motor Man, and spent much time in selecting A Long-eared Donkey to give A Poke Bonnet.

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

But he wandered about as curious as A Glass Eye staring like A Hod of Coal, and bumping against A Hot Sugar Pudding and stumbling over A Green-Eyed Pedagogue.

He felt ill at ease and would have preferred going to see A Pair of Lace Lappets than wandering about like A Fish Dinner. One day he made the acquaintance of A Bob-tailed Donkey who volunteered to introduce him to An Insane Bedbug and help him spend his money as fast as A Great Nuisance or a locomotive could run over A Happy Dyspeptic.

Peter was delighted and treated his friend to A Pickled Whale and A Bob-tailed Rabbit. They went together to the opera, and Peter bought A Benighted Collier to throw at the principal singer whom he said resembled A Lump of Dough.

They next visited An Honest Lawyer and Peter confessed that he liked the play of A Gridiron better than A Dandy Dude. In this way he got rid of considerable money and Tom Thumb but he was having as nice a time as A Swarm of Bees ever had, and he felt he would rather be Peter Coddle than A Fierce Bull-Dog.

Peter's friend secured him an invitation to A Small-mouthed Crockodile, for which it was necessary for him to have A Red Wig. Dressed in this he looked exactly like A Basin of Turtle Soup and imitated the manners of A White Elephant. As he was not versed in the usages of good society, he bought A Genteel Tramp which he studied diligently.

He went to the party dressed in A Bar of Soft Soap and having A Warm Poultice for a button-hole bouquet. In his efforts to be polite he made as many grimaces as A Sensation and contorted his body equal to An Emetic or A Lame Porpoise.

He was introduced to a young lady as beautiful as Stewed Caterpillars who wore A Pair of Trousers over A Bucket of Swill.

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

Peter, being anxious to please, exerted himself with the energy of Blue Beard and the grace of An Energetic Turtle. He had no idea that he was acting like A Game of 'My Wife and I' and making his partner feel as if she was dancing on The Middle of Next Week.

After the party, as he was going back to his hotel he was mistaken for A Fainting Lobster by a policeman, who arrested him and dragged him to the station, beating him with A Dreadful Pain so that when he got there he looked like A Large Blister; he was locked up for the night in a cell as cold as A Dose of Salts.

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

This experience greatly frightened Peter, and as soon as he was released he ran as fast as Punch and Judy 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 Sore Head and is as lazy as Ice Fried in Batter.

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

Peter Coddle Directions Peter coddle word tiles