29 May 2018


(Extracts from A Gentleman Publisher’s Commonplace Book by John G Murray)


‘Sex has become a serious international problem for which a solution hasn’t yet been found.’
(Introduction to a The Truth about Sex submitted by A M Macrae 1968)

‘The girl was beheaded, chopped into pieces and placed in a trunk but was not interfered with.’
(From a Fleet Street report)

‘What has one wheel and flies?’
‘A wheelbarrow full of manure!’
(A riddle from John Piper)

‘What is funny about legs?’
‘The bottom is at the top!’
(A riddle from a lady of 92)

 ‘I’m afraid,’ said a woman on entering a shoe shop, ‘that one of my feet is larger than the other.’
‘Oh no, madam,’ exclaimed the salesman, ‘if anything one is smaller.’

‘Exclusive Universal Tailors.’

‘Sole joint agents.’
(Sign outside a house)

‘Tattooed lady wishes to meet gentleman with similar views.’
(Advertisement from the agony column of the Observer)

‘Ears pierced while you wait’
(Notice in a Cork jeweller’s window)

‘St Margaret’s School of the Immaculate Conception for Girls’
and underneath
‘Preparatory for Boys’
(Sign outside a school in Berkshire)

Q. ‘What’s the difference between a snowman and a snow woman?’
A. ‘Snowballs.’
(Riddle from Anne Ridler)

A warden in the dark outside an air raid shelter during the war asked, ‘Are there any pregnant women here?’
A young cockney shouted, ‘Give us a chance, guv’, we’ve only been ‘ere ten minutes.’

Hotel notice: ‘If requiring breakfast please hang on door knob before 7am.’

‘Due to staff shortage the automatic ticket machines are not in use.’
(Notice in Farringdon Underground Station)

Wording on a form sent out by a Government department in 1962:
‘Separate departments on the same premises are treated as separate premises for this purpose where separate branches of work which are commonly carried on as separate business in separate premises are carried on in separate departments of the same premises’

‘Baths may be had by arrangement with the manageress only.’
(Notice in a Southport hotel)

‘Horse manure bagged 25p. Do it yourself 10p.’ 
(Advertisement outside a Sussex farm)


  1. Valerie, these were ALL wonderful! However, my two favorites are...

    "‘St Margaret’s School of the Immaculate Conception for Girls’
    and underneath
    ‘Preparatory for Boys’"

    "Q. ‘What’s the difference between a snowman and a snow woman?’
    A. ‘Snowballs.’"



    Thanks for the morning laughs, my friend! Have a terrific Tuesday!

    1. Hi Ron, so it was you I could hear laughing!

      I have a book full of these. Joe acquired it when he did an audit at a publishing firm. It was hard work selecting what I considered suitable for a blog post! I am pleased I shared a few.

  2. Haha I love them all. Ears pierced while you wait made me grin. Quite hard to do anything else really. :D

    1. Joe, I found it hard to fix a favourite but eventually I chose the scene in an air raid shelter.

  3. You couldn't make it up if you tried. Love the wheelbarrow riddle. Thanks for the laughs Valerie.

    1. My favourite is the air raid shelter with the guy pleading for more time!

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  5. Thanks for the laughs, Valerie, You posted some good ones and even more fun in that some were real like the ones for the hotel and ticketing machine!

    1. Glad you enjoyed them, Beatrice. I have a giggle whenever I go through the list of funnies.

  6. A wonderful selection of funnies. Thanks Valerie!

  7. Thanks for sharing, Val. I really enjoyed the ones about horse manure. I am not sure what that says about my personality.


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