Everyone has at least one “funny man” in their life. This reprint from the Chicago Sun appeared on the front page of the June 4, 1896 Chatham Record.
He Caught the Funny Man.
He was one of the “smart” kind. He belonged to a class of funny men who do things in public places calculated to turn the laugh on the other fellow. He was one of those who tell the barber to give him chloroform; who request the waiter to furnish an ax with the sirloin; who inquire of the grocer if the sand in the sugar is pure like grit; who say: “Is it warm enough for you?” and who “sass back” at the telephone girl. When the conductor held out his hand for the street-car fare this funny man bestowed a general wink, and said, loud enough for every one in the car to hear: “Can you change a $100 bill?”
“That depends on whether you have the bill,” replied the conductor, promptly.
Then the funny man hugged himself gleefully, drew a crisp “century” from his pocket and gave it to the nickel collector.
The conductor gravely examined the bill, and folding it nicely, placed it carefully in his trip book. Unbuttoning his overcoat he loosened his coat, opened his vest, and from the inside pocket he drew forth a bulky pocketbook. From it he took a roll of bills, and in matter of fact I-do-this-every-hour way, counted out $95. This he handed to the funny man, and then he shoveled out $5 in dimes and nickels and poured them into the funny man’s hand. Next he rang up the fare and said: “Transfers for Fullerton avenue.” And the funny man spent the rest of the time counting his ones and twos and fingering his nickels and dimes.
“I’ve been laying for just such a lamb for a month,” said the conductor to the man on the rear platform.—Chicago Record.