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 Fierce Bull-Dog and would no more work than A Pinch of Snuff. So worthless was he that he was nicknamed by some A Pickled Whale, by others A Genteel Tramp.

One day he was standing near A Game of 'My Wife and I' when word was brought him by An Old Gossip that an uncle had died and left him A Swarm of Bees.

The news coming so suddenly, very nearly gave him A Liver Pad. He rallied from the surprise however, and began to speculate as to what he would do with An Honest Lawyer. At first he thought he should buy A Gridiron and build The Book of Fate four stories high. Then he thought he would start A Benighted Collier and exhibit A Pugilist and An Energetic Turtle and again he would be A White Elephant

Peter thought it a great care to be A Yellow Hen. When he was poor he had little to think of except A Warm Poultice or A Quilted Petticoat and little to do but work at A Dose of Salts and eat A Red Wig and A Large Blister three times a day. Now he was as nervous as The Middle of Next Week.

Peter was anxious to see Punch and Judy so he took a steamer to New York, and put up at A Pair of Trousers. The next morning he bought A Boodle Alderman and A Bob-tailed Rabbit, was measured for A Great Nuisance and encased his feet in A Water Butt. He next invested in A Flannel Nightcap, and spent much time in selecting A Hot Sugar Pudding to give Broiled Eggs.

When he was dressed in these, he looked like An Emetic, but Peter thought no one would take him for A Brick-bat.

But he wandered about as curious as A Bustle staring like A Stewed Fiddle, and bumping against A Fish Dinner and stumbling over A Dreadful Pain.

He felt ill at ease and would have preferred going to see Ice Fried in Batter than wandering about like A White Crow. One day he made the acquaintance of A Motor Man who volunteered to introduce him to Jack the Giant Killer and help him spend his money as fast as A Happy Dyspeptic or a locomotive could run over Puss in Boots.

Peter was delighted and treated his friend to A Sea Serpent and Tom Thumb. They went together to the opera, and Peter bought A Pandowdy to throw at the principal singer whom he said resembled A Crazy Mule.

They next visited A Warming Pan and Peter confessed that he liked the play of A Lump of Dough better than A Poor Man's Plaster. In this way he got rid of considerable money and Blue Beard but he was having as nice a time as A Sore Head ever had, and he felt he would rather be Peter Coddle than I Know Not What.

Peter's friend secured him an invitation to An Erroneous Idea, for which it was necessary for him to have A Hot Poker. Dressed in this he looked exactly like A Leg of Veal and imitated the manners of A Base Ball. As he was not versed in the usages of good society, he bought A Tough Old Gander which he studied diligently.

He went to the party dressed in A Glass Eye and having A Tipsy Tar for a button-hole bouquet. In his efforts to be polite he made as many grimaces as A Fainting Lobster and contorted his body equal to A Lantern Post or A Blue Monkey.

He was introduced to a young lady as beautiful as A Tin Soldier who wore Stewed Caterpillars over A Short-hand Poem.

The two promenaded until the band played A Bow-legged Rhinoceros which set the ladies and gentlemen dancing around like An Insane Bedbug.

Peter, being anxious to please, exerted himself with the energy of A Bar of Soft Soap and the grace of A Basin of Turtle Soup. He had no idea that he was acting like A Sensation and making his partner feel as if she was dancing on A Green-Eyed Pedagogue.

After the party, as he was going back to his hotel he was mistaken for A Dynamiter by a policeman, who arrested him and dragged him to the station, beating him with A Bob-tailed Donkey so that when he got there he looked like A Hod of Coal; he was locked up for the night in a cell as cold as A Bucket of Swill.

The next morning he was taken before the court, fined $5.00 and costs for disturbing A Pair of Lace Lappets.

This experience greatly frightened Peter, and as soon as he was released he ran as fast as A Lame Porpoise 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 Dandy Dude and is as lazy as A Small-mouthed Crockodile.

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

Peter Coddle Directions Peter coddle word tiles