Banks County keeps ’em coming

Georgia’s mountain counties have always been a little different in attitude.

Dade County fashioned itself the “State of Dade” over its geographic divide with the rest of Georgia. The Cleveland Courier in White County carried a motto in the 1950s that it “covers the mountains like moonshine.”

The Banks County Journal carried on this proud tradition of being slightly subversive.

The Journal of the 1940s was not the most dedicated to local news. The Banks County school system was only rarely acknowledged in its pages.

But what the paper did carry in 1947-48 was a weekly column.

Labeled “Stolen,” this column was composed of one-liners and jokes. Stolen’s name quite possibly referred to them being borrowed from another source, print or word of mouth.

Being pre-George Carlin and even pre-Leave It to Beaver, it would be easy to assume that 1940s jokes would be extremely wholesome. “Why did the chicken cross the road?” level of wholesome.

Mostly it was, but in nearly every column, there were two or three jokes that were not.

The Banks County Journal was not seven words you cannot say on television … but it was not far off at times.

This compilation of dirty jokes from “Stolen” is probably not unsafe for most workplaces, but if you are unsure, here is an example. If believed safe, scroll past the Banks County Journal banner for the rest.

Lulu’s Uncle Henry plows without his pants on to keep the gnats out of his eyes. (December 5, 1947)

1947-05-30 Banks County Journal banner
The banner of the May 30, 1947 Banks County Journal. An early “Stolen” column was one of the lead stories.


July 4
Bellhop in Niagara Falls Hotel: “Call for Mr. Moore. Calling Mr. Moore.”
Clerk: “Who did you say?”
Bellhop: “Some gal up in 412 keeps calling for Moore.”

July 18
Sign: “Ladies Ready to Wear Dresses.”
(It’s about time. They look likhel in slacks.)

“Do you know how to tell a man is getting old?”
“Tain’t hard.”

News item: “Fortunately Mrs. Perkins was only slightly injured the other night when a piece of plaster fell while she was asleep in bed, striking her in the stomach. She reported that undoubtedly her husband would have suffered a back injury had the accident happened an hour earlier.”

1947-12-05 Banks County Journal
A typical “Stolen” column. This one comes from the December 5, 1947 edition. Most led off with “Evil to him who evil thinketh,” which might be an advisory that hey, it’s your mind that is in the gutter.  Note: The Reno joke near the end refers to its reputation as being a quickie divorce place.

August 22
Woman is the next best sex.

How a man feels depends a lot on what he feels.

What a sexy country this is. Look at our road signs -“Soft Shoulders,” “Dangerous Curves,” “Five Gals for $1.00,” “Try Ethyl,” and finally “Watch Out for Children.”

August 29
Mose: “Come here quick, Liza, the baby’s got something in his diaphragm.”
Liza: “Laws sakes! Eff [If] that don’t beat all – and jess done put it on him.”

“Does your husband always lie to you?”
“No, some nights I’m too tired to ask questions.”

September 5
Said one stork to another: “Is my face red – but how was I to know they weren’t married.”

September 19
A skunk, a dear [sic] and a giraffe stepped into a bar to have a drink. Said the skunk: “I can’t pay. I’ve just got one scent.” Said the doe: “Neither can I. I haven’t had a buck on me in years.” Said the giraffe, “Well, I guess the highballs are on me.”

The father of the household was becoming impatient at the lateness of the hour, when he said:
“I can’t see why that young twirp calling on Grace hasn’t sence [sic] to go home. It’s past midnight.”
The inevitable little brother spoke up and said:
“He can’t go, father; sister’s sitting on him.”

She: “Do you mean I’m being held here for ransom?”
Wolf: “Hell, no! Let Ransom get his own woman.”

October 17
Two bald-headed morons put their heads together and made a perfect ass of themselves.

December 5
Lulu’s Uncle Henry plows without his pants on to keep the gnats out of his eyes.

December 19
Mistress: “I’m glad to hear you’re engaged, Lizzy; when are your nuptials coming off?”
Lizzy: “On our wedding night and not a day before!”


January 23
Lulu – bless her heart – calls her boyfriend Moth because he likes to fool around in her sweater.

January 30
Sometimes the grass may be greener in other pastures – but it’s usually the same old bull.

February 6
If you buy two rabbits and after two years you still have two rabbits, they’re brothers.

The hand that rocks the cradle is usually the same hand that turned out the parlor lights.

There is one more comment, one more dirty joke. You might have wondered if the Journal ever went beyond mildly risque.

Indeed it did.

January 16, 1948

1st Guy: “I’m going to give my girl a car. Guess I’ll give her a Frazer and amaze her.”
2nd Guy: “I’ll give my gal a Kaiser and surprise her.”
3rd Guy: “I’ll give mine a Tucker.”

And yes, it’s real. It really printed in the Banks County Journal.

1948-01-16 Banks County Journal

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