A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

Recent entries:
“Your mind is a garden, your thoughts are the seeds…” (12/19)
“Never mix the grape and the grain” (drinking adage) (12/19)
“My mother taught me about the science of osmosis—‘Shut your mouth and eat your supper!‘“ (12/19)
“Yo mama’s so stupid, she asked for a price check at the 99-cent store” (12/18)
“In a dog-eat-dog market, get yourself a big dog” (12/18)
More new entries...

A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z


Entry from December 24, 2012
“A bicycle can’t stand alone; it is two-tired” (pun)

"A bicycle can’t stand alone; it is two-tired” (a pun on “too tired") is a frequently told bicycle pun with a long history. “Unless the wheel is two tired it can’t be ridden; and if the rider is too tired he can’t ride” was cited in April 1896; “Although the bicycle is never fatigued it does not run well until it is two-tired” was cited in August 1896.  The “two tired” bicycle pun (in its various forms) is one of the oldest of puns told in the United States.


12 April 1896, The Daily Herald (Grand Forks, ND), “Nubs of News,” pg. 4, col. 4:
The Park River Gazette has discovered something curious in the bicycle line: unless the wheel is two tired it can’t be ridden; and if the rider is too tired he can’t ride.

Google Books
14 August 1896, The L.A.W. Bulletin and Good Roads, pg. 229, col. 1:
ALTHOUGH the bicycle is never fatigued it does not run well until it is two-tired.

2 June 1898, Colored Citizen (Topeka, KS), “Tipped by the Way,” pg. 3, col. 4:
Strange, isn’t it, that a bicycle can’t go except when it is two tired?

Google Books
March 1922, The Pedagogical Seminary, “Notes on the Psychology of Recreation” by G. Stanley Hall, pg. 81:
A bicycle cannot stand alone because it is too tired (two tired).

Google Books
August 1952, Boys’ Life “Think and Grin,” pg. 50, col. 3:
Nit: Why can’t a bike walk?
Wit: It’s two tired. — Wayne Pierce, Columbus, Ind.

Google Books
February 1960, Boys’ Life, “Think and Grin,” pg. 90, col. 1:
Why can’t a bicycle stand up by itself? Because it’s two-tired. — Richard Williams, Brooklyn 6, N.Y.

Google Books
November 1962, Boys’ Life, “Think and Grin,” pg. 82, col. 2:
Joe: Why doesn’t a bicycle stand up by itself?
Moe: I don’t know. Why?
Joe: Because it’s two tired. — Carl Lundeen, Jr., Minneapolis, Minn

Google Books
The Rise and Fall of American Humor
By Jesse Bier
New York, NY: Holt, Rinehart and Winston
1968
Pg. 18:
The very lowest form of sound-effect punning is that in which only one of two terms has any truth at all: A bicycle cannot stand up because it is . . . two-tired.

Google Books
April 1970, Boys’ Life, “Think & Grin,” pg. 82, col. 1:
Quiz: Why can’t a bike stand up by itself?
Whiz: Because it’s two-tired. — Rosemary Monagle, Medford, Mass.

Google Books
Biggest Riddle Book In The World, Part 2
By Joseph Rosenbloom
Illustrations by Joyce Behr
New York, NY: Sterling Publishing Company, Inc.
1976
Pg. 102:
Why can’t a bicycle stand up by itself?
Because it is two-tired (too tired).

Google Books
Kids’ Funniest Jokes
Edited by Sheila Anne Barry
Illustrated by Jeff Sinclair
New York, NY: Sterling Publishing COmpany, Inc.
1993
Pg. 16:
Why can’t a bicycle stand?
Because it’s two-tired.
MICHAEL KILPATRICK, 10

Google Books
Tyrannosaurus Lex:
The Marvelous Book of Palindromes, Anagrams, and Other Delightful and Outrageous Wordplay

By Rod L. Evans, Ph.D.
New York, NY: Perigee Book
2012
Pg. ?:
A bicycle can’t stand alone; it is two tired.

Google Books
Your Sense of Humor:
Don’t Leave Home Without It

By K B Chandra Raj
Victoria, BC: Trafford Publishing
2012
Pg. 114:
“Why doesn’t a bike stand up by itself? Because it’s two-tired.”

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityTransportation • Monday, December 24, 2012 • Permalink