If you’re a fan of Reader’s Digest‘s “Life in These United States” feature, you’ll love this collection of humorous anecdotes collected by magazine writer Robert Rudd Whiting. Here’s a sample:
A big, husky Irishman strolled into the civil service room where they hold physical examinations for candidates for the police force.
“Strip,” ordered the police surgeon.
“Get your clothes off, and be quick about it,” said the doctor.
The Irishman undressed. The doctor measured his chest and pounded his back.
“Hop over this rod,” was the next command.
The man did his best, landing on his back.
“Double up your knees and touch the floor with your hands.”
He lost his balance and sprawled upon the floor. He was indignant but silent.
“Now jump under this cold shower.”
“Sure an’ that’s funny,” muttered the applicant.
“Now run around the room ten times. I want to test your heart and wind.”
This last was too much. “I’ll not,” the candidate declared defiantly. “I’ll stay single.”
“Single?” inquired the doctor, puzzled.
“Single,” repeated the Irishman, with determination. “Sure an’ what’s all this funny business got to do wid a marriage license anyhow?”
He had strayed into the wrong bureau.
If your sides don’t hurt too much from laughing, pick yourself up off the floor and enjoy another one:
The new minister in a Georgia church was delivering his first sermon. The darky janitor was a critical listener from a back corner of the church. The minister’s sermon was eloquent, and his prayers seemed to cover the whole category of human wants.
After the services one o the deacons asked the old darky what he thought of the new minister. “Don’t you think he offers up a good prayer, Joe?”
“Ah mos’ suhtainly does, boss. Why, dat man axed the good Lord fo’ things dat de odder preacher didn’t even knew He had!”
Wipe the tears of laughter from your eyes. Here’s one more:
James McNeill Whistler and a friend, strolling through a London suburb, met a small boy. Whistler asked him his age.
“Seven,” the boy replied.
“Oh, you must be more than seven,” said Whistler doubtingly.
“Seven,” insisted the boy, rather pleased at being taken for older.
Turning to his friend, Whisler said, “Do you think it possible that he really could have gotten as dirty as that in only seven years?”
I know what you’re thinking: How can I find more of these gems? Well, I have good news for you. The stories published in this article are part of a much larger collection that Whiting published under the title Four Hundred Good Stories, which you can download for free from Google Books. Bring a copy with you to Thanksgiving dinner and I’m sure you’ll be the life of the party.
SOME GOOD STORIES THAT BRING A LAUGH WITH THEM: Robert Rudd Whiting Makes a Collection of Tales and Anecdotes in Which many Old Friends Combine with New Ones to Entertain the Reader. (PDF)
From November 6, 1910