Tucson Daily Citizen, June 7, 1902. The administration and faculty of The Hope Chest wish you laughter and merriment but not congestion of the brain this holiday season. Please drink and eat mince responsibly.
Any one who could laugh himself into a stroke on the kind of jokes printed in the papers in 1902 was doomed to begin with. Thank God he never saw a Keystone Kops 2-reeler–his head would’ve exploded.
I suppose it was out of a sense of civic responsibility that the reporter here did not reproduce any of the neuropathogenic jokes.
I have a nasty little volume of newspaper jokes entitled *After Dinner Stories* (1905) of which the least offensive tale is this gem: “The baby was yelling at the rate of a mile a minute and the father and mother stood over the crib, with the laudanum bottle between them. “No,” he said, “You pour it out, Sara, I can’t trust myself.” The compiler, E.C. Lewis, leans pretty heavily on the anti-Hibernian and the anti-Semitic anecdote, and is perhaps at his best when combining the two.
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