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 Happy Dyspeptic and would no more work than Puss in Boots. So worthless was he that he was nicknamed by some A Pandowdy, by others A Game of 'My Wife and I'.

One day he was standing near A Swarm of Bees when word was brought him by A White Elephant that an uncle had died and left him A Red Wig.

The news coming so suddenly, very nearly gave him A Warming Pan. He rallied from the surprise however, and began to speculate as to what he would do with A Liver Pad. At first he thought he should buy A Green-Eyed Pedagogue and build A Pickled Whale four stories high. Then he thought he would start A Bustle and exhibit A Base Ball and A Large Blister and again he would be A Pair of Trousers

Peter thought it a great care to be A Lantern Post. When he was poor he had little to think of except A Sore Head or A Bucket of Swill and little to do but work at A Quilted Petticoat and eat A Yellow Hen and A Dynamiter three times a day. Now he was as nervous as The Middle of Next Week.

Peter was anxious to see A Short-hand Poem so he took a steamer to New York, and put up at A Glass Eye. The next morning he bought A Pinch of Snuff and A Hod of Coal, was measured for A Fainting Lobster and encased his feet in A Pair of Lace Lappets. He next invested in A Stewed Fiddle, and spent much time in selecting A Lump of Dough to give A Blue Monkey.

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

But he wandered about as curious as A Sensation staring like An Erroneous Idea, and bumping against A Bob-tailed Rabbit and stumbling over A Basin of Turtle Soup.

He felt ill at ease and would have preferred going to see A Motor Man than wandering about like A Dose of Salts. One day he made the acquaintance of A Warm Poultice who volunteered to introduce him to A Tough Old Gander and help him spend his money as fast as A Hot Poker or a locomotive could run over A Gridiron.

Peter was delighted and treated his friend to A Bow-legged Rhinoceros and The Book of Fate. They went together to the opera, and Peter bought I Know Not What to throw at the principal singer whom he said resembled Stewed Caterpillars.

They next visited A Tin Soldier and Peter confessed that he liked the play of Blue Beard better than An Energetic Turtle. In this way he got rid of considerable money and A Poor Man's Plaster but he was having as nice a time as A Long-eared Donkey ever had, and he felt he would rather be Peter Coddle than A Tipsy Tar.

Peter's friend secured him an invitation to Jack the Giant Killer, for which it was necessary for him to have A Genteel Tramp. Dressed in this he looked exactly like An Honest Lawyer and imitated the manners of A Fierce Bull-Dog. As he was not versed in the usages of good society, he bought A Leg of Veal which he studied diligently.

He went to the party dressed in Punch and Judy and having A Poke Bonnet for a button-hole bouquet. In his efforts to be polite he made as many grimaces as A Sea Serpent and contorted his body equal to A Boodle Alderman or A Dandy Dude.

He was introduced to a young lady as beautiful as A Water Butt who wore An Old Gossip over A Brick-bat.

The two promenaded until the band played A Crazy Mule which set the ladies and gentlemen dancing around like An Insane Bedbug.

Peter, being anxious to please, exerted himself with the energy of Tom Thumb and the grace of Ice Fried in Batter. He had no idea that he was acting like A Pugilist and making his partner feel as if she was dancing on A Fish Dinner.

After the party, as he was going back to his hotel he was mistaken for A Lame Porpoise 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 Broiled Eggs; he was locked up for the night in a cell as cold as A Bar of Soft Soap.

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

This experience greatly frightened Peter, and as soon as he was released he ran as fast as A Small-mouthed Crockodile 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 Hot Sugar Pudding and is as lazy as A Bob-tailed Donkey.

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

Peter Coddle Directions Peter coddle word tiles