"poker" lore

Victor Steinbok aardvark66 at GMAIL.COM
Sun Jan 2 09:01:47 UTC 2011

Three unrelated "poker" pieces from around 1830-1833. No, they have
nothing to do with the game of poker AFAIK

1. I spotted several appearances of the phrase "[won't] pay for heating
the poker", including in the piece I cited in an earlier message on
"sponge". I am assuming the idea is similar to "X and a dime will buy
you Y".

2. There are several appearances of a story of a Yankee biting an inch
off a hot poker. A printing of the anecdote in a newspaper produced a
letter with a similarly constructed story of General Putnam betting a
kid that he could make his horse jump as high as the house. After making
the jump, he proclaimed, "Now let's see the house jump this high!"

3. There are also several appearances of the joke about a patient asking
a doctor if s/he can eat supper. The doctor responded that s/he could
anything in the house but the poker and the bellows--"for one is hard on
the digestion and the other is full of wind".

Most of these are in Readex AHN, but some appear in GB scans as well.


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