Best American Humorous Short Stories
He then threw open the double gates for us to ride through.
"Now," said the old man, as he pulled the gates after us, "you've had a long journey."
"Why, how is that, Old Joe?" said my friend.
"Don't you see?" he answered; "there's the East hinges on the one side of the gate, and
there's the West hinges on t'other side--haw! haw! haw!"
We had no sooner got into the yard than a feeble little gentleman, with a remarkably
bright eye, came up to us, looking very serious, as if something had happened.
"The town has entered a complaint against the Asylum as a gambling establishment," he
said to my friend, the Director.
"What do you mean?" said my friend.
"Why, they complain that there's a lot o' rye on the premises," he answered, pointing to a
field of that grain--and hobbled away, his shoulders shaking with laughter, as he went.
On entering the main building, we saw the Rules and Regulations for the Asylum
conspicuously posted up. I made a few extracts which may be interesting:
SECT. I. OF VERBAL EXERCISES.
5. Each Inmate shall be permitted to make Puns freely from eight in the morning until ten
at night, except during Service in the Chapel and Grace before Meals.
6. At ten o'clock the gas will be turned off, and no further Puns, Conundrums, or other
play on words will be allowed to be uttered, or to be uttered aloud.
9. Inmates who have lost their faculties and cannot any longer make Puns shall be
permitted to repeat such as may be selected for them by the Chaplain out of the work of
Mr. Joseph Miller.
10. Violent and unmanageable Punsters, who interrupt others when engaged in
conversation, with Puns or attempts at the same, shall be deprived of their Joseph Millers,
and, if necessary, placed in solitary confinement.
SECT. III. OF DEPORTMENT AT MEALS.
4. No Inmate shall make any Pun, or attempt at the same, until the Blessing has been
asked and the company are decently seated.