Comic Relief

We’re spending a few days at our seaside retreat in Wellfleet, Massachusetts, on the outer extremity of Cape Cod, and today found the memsahib and me poking around at a local flea market. I’m always on the lookout for odd books, and after I had already, with reluctance, been talked by my better half out of spending $14 on a well-kept copy of a lavishly illustrated tome from 1898 entitled Our New Possessions — about the then-recent US acquisition of the Phillipines, Cuba, Puerto Rico, and Hawaii — I slyly dropped a fin for a slim volume called The World’s Best Jokes, by one Lewis Copeland, copyright 1936. I always enjoy antique joke-books, and this looks like a real corker.

I haven’t had time to look it over yet, but here’s the table of contents (don’t get caught with this on a college campus):

I:      American Jokes
II:     Yankee Jokes
III:    Rube Jokes
IV:     Negro Jokes
V:      Irish Jokes
VI:     Scottish Jokes
         Glossary of Scottish Words
VII:    Jewish Jokes
VIII:   Hobo Jokes
IX:     Jokes about Drunks
X:      Jokes about Preachers
XI:     Jokes about Lawyers
XII:    Jokes about Doctors
XIII:   Broadway Wisecracks
XIV:    College Jokes
XV:     Witty Retorts
XVI:    Epitaphs
XVII:   Epigrams in Verse
XVIII:  Toasts
XIX:    Little Willies
XX:     Boners
XXI:    Limericks
XXII:   Comic Verse
XXIII:  Nonsense Poems
XXIV:   Parodies
XXV:    College Rhymes
XXVI:   Negro Dialect
XXVII:  Western Dialect Verse
XXVIII: Irish and Other Verses

“Little Willies”, indeed. Pure gold, friends. Stay tuned; hilarity will ensue.

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  1. Interesting that Little Willies immediately precedes Boners.

    Posted July 2, 2007 at 12:16 pm | Permalink
  2. Perhaps Little Willie is like Shorty when what follows follows:

    “Shorty’s Bar and Grill, Albequerque, New Mexico.”

    Not so short after all.

    Jeffery Hodges

    * * *

    Posted July 2, 2007 at 4:32 pm | Permalink
  3. Dammit. Shorty can’t spell “Albuquerque”!

    Jeffery Hodges

    * * *

    Posted July 2, 2007 at 4:34 pm | Permalink
  4. KR says

    Amazing. I was searching the Web for this book and this is the only hit that came up. I read this book as a child while visiting relatives. I wonder if they still have the book. Great buy!

    Posted July 7, 2008 at 5:53 pm | Permalink
  5. Malcolm says

    Hi KR,

    Glad you dropped by. You might like to take a look at Google’s files on this whimsical little masterpiece; you can find them here.

    Posted July 7, 2008 at 6:04 pm | Permalink