#CreamofJokes: 16 more dark jokes published in 1891

Hahaha . . . wait, what?

In the 19th century, The Irish Times ran a joke competition and the writer of the best gag each week was awarded a half-crown. Recently, the Cream of Jokes competition has been revived online (part 1 and part 2). Below are 16 entries to the competition as published on Saturday, August 22nd, 1891.

The 2s 6d goes this week to Mr John T Max, Maxfort , Thurles, for the following:

- "You young scoundrel," said the father, seizing his disobedient son by the neck, "I'll show you how you ought to treat your mother!" and he gave him several bangs on the ears, and then shook him until his hair began to fall out.

- Said a gentleman to an Irish soldier who had seen plenty of service, "Did you come out of the last Egyptian campaign without a scratch, Pat?"


“Not I, your honour. Once a bullet went right through there,” and he pointed to his left breast.

“Surely not, Patrick. It must have hit your heart if it went through there, man!”

“Oh, yer honour, not at all. Why my heart was in my mouth all the time!”


- A gentleman complaining to his bookmaker that a pair of boots recently rent to him were too short, and that he wanted a pair to cover the whole calf, had the following jeu d'esprit sent to him:

“Those boots were never made for me,

They are too short by half;

I want them long enough, d’ye see;

To cover all the calf.”

“Why, sir,” said Last, with stifled smile,

“To alter them I’ll try;

But, if they cover all the calf,

They must be five feet high.”

By Retort

- "You will save half your fuel if you buy this grate," said a pushing shopman.

“Begorra,” said the customer of unknown nationality, “I’ll take two, and save it all.”


- A suddenly rich and very muscular young man from the oil regions stopped at a seaside hotel the other day for the first time, and had great difficulty in getting anything to eat. A sympathising stranger at his elbow whispered: "You will starve here if you don't tip the waiter." Two minutes afterwards the waiter found himself tipped over on the floor. The young man did not starve.


- A train was carrying in a compartment of the third class a clergyman and five or six young ragamuffins; the rascals, to annoy the minister, kept up scoffing at religion and telling disagreeable stories. The good man endured it all, hearing everything without answering, without being moved. Arrived at his journey's end, he remarked to them:"We shall meet again, my children."

“Why shall we meet again,” asked the leader of the band.

“Because I am prison chaplain,” was the reply.


- A butcher at Hull let a sailor have a shoulder of mutton on trust, and in a day or two, getting to hear the sailor had gone to America, he said: "My word, but if I had known he never intended to pay me for it, I would have charged him a half-penny a pound more than I did."


- "Do you think your sister likes me, Tommy?"

“Yes, she stood up for you at dinner.”

“Stood up for me? Was anybody saying anything against me?”

“No, nothing much. Father said he thought you were a good deal of an ass. But sis right up and said you wasn’t, and told father he ought to know better than to judge a man by his looks.”


- Zimmerman, the Court physician, went from Hanover to attend Frederick the Great in his last illness. One day the King said to him: "You have, I presume, sir, helped many a man into another world ?"

This was a bitter pill for the doctor, but the dose he gave in return was a judicious mixture of truth and flattery: “Not so many as your Majesty, nor with so much honour to myself.”


- Mick and Pat Rooney, witnessing the antics of a tame bear in an American city, came to the conclusion to capture a wild one, and afterwards exhibit it when tamed, so gaining an easy living thereby. Some few days after, Pat had the good fortune to discover two young bears in a cave somewhere in the backwoods. Whilst he was in the act of securing them, their dam appeared on the scene and was entering the den, when Micky seized her by the tail, and held on with grim determination. Bruin's form completely filled the entrance, and so caused the cave to be shrouded in total darkness. Pat, ignorant of the cause, cried out: "Hello! Mick, what's keeping out the light?"

Mick still grasping the tail, answers-“Begorra, Pat, if this stump happens to brake, you’ll soon know.”

By Ark

- Two gentlemen on an occasion had a little dispute before a friend as to what great thing or person might be fit to compare O'Connell to. One of the two, turning to the gentleman friend, asked him what he thought fit to compare Daniel O'Connell to. The latter replied he considered him

(O’C) like a sod of turf, because he came from the bogs to shine at the bar.


- A baby was out with the nurse, who walked it up and down the garden.

“Is it a laddie or a lassie?” asked the gardener.

“A laddie,” said the maid.

“Weel,” says he, “I’m glad o’ that, for there’s ower many women in the world.”

“Hick, mon” said Jess, “did ye no ken there’s aye maist sawn o’ the best crop.”

By Elf

- A lady in New York entered an already overcrowded tramcar. Looking round upon the impressionable males who seemed rooted to their seats she inquired if nobody would make room for a lady. . .

“Air you for women’s rights, ma’am?” asked a gentleman with a beautiful goatee.

“Certainly, I am,” was the reply.

“Wal, then, you’d, better stand up for them like a man,” remarked the gentleman.


- "Please your lordship's honour, said Jim "I shot the hare by accident; I was firing at a bush, and the darned beast ran across my aim, all of his own accord."

“The gamekeeper tells a different story,” replied his lordship.

“Och! Don’t believe what that man says, he never speaks the truth. He told me t’other day that your lordship was not so fit to fill the chair of justice as a jackass.”

“Indeed, and what did you say?” said his lordship.

“Plaise, your honour, I said your lordship was.”


- Englishman: "Pat, could you guess this conundrum- Why was Joseph put into the pit?"

Pat (who goes to the theatre): “Och, shure, there was no room for him in the family circle.”


- An Irishman on seeing a clock with 3 hands on it, asked what they were for, and being told that they were for English and Irish time, and that English time is 25 minutes before Irish, he exclaimed: "You lying rascal of a clock, how dare you put England before Ireland; take that for your meanness," giving it a whack of his trusty blackthorn that left neither English nor Irish time on it.


What do you think of this week’s selections? Think you can do better? Let us know @irishtimes using #creamofjokes.