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:
“If you ran like your mouth, you’d be in good shape” (3/28)
“Do I like my coffee black? There are other colors?” (3/28)
“Sorry, I can’t go to work tomorrow. I fractured my motivation” (3/28)
“My favorite childhood memory is not paying bills” (3/28)
“If I ate beans and you ate beans how old would we be?” (riddle) (3/28)
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 January 09, 2017
“How do you make a Venetian blind?"/"Poke him in the eye.”

The term “Venetian blind” (a type of window blind) is used in a classic riddle:

Q: How do you make a Venetian blind?
A: Poke him in the eye.


The joke has been cited in print since at least 1873.


Wikipedia: Window blind
Venetian
A Venetian blind (or venetian blind) has horizontal slats, one above another. Venetian blinds are basic slatted blinds made of metal or plastic; wooden slats are sometimes used but in the US these are now usually referred to as wood blinds or bamboo blinds. They are suspended by strips of cloth called tapes, or by cords, by which all slats in unison can be rotated through nearly 180 degrees. The slats can be rotated such that they overlap with one side facing inward and then in the opposite direction such that they overlap with the other side facing inward. Between those extremes, various degrees of separation may be effected between the slats by varying the rotation. There are also lift cords passing through slots in each slat. When these cords are pulled, the bottom of the blind moves upward, causing the lowest slats to press the underside of the next highest slat as the blind is raised

10 January 1873, The Evening Post (Wilmington, NC), “Waifs,” pg. 2, col. 3: 
How do you make a Venetian blind?—put out his eyes.

25 July 1885, Brooklyn (NY) Daily Eagle, pg. 4, col. 9:
How would you make a Venetian blind? Put out his eyes.

Chronicling America
5 May 1902, Omaha (NE) Daily Bee, pg. 4, col. 6:
Senator Platt, of Connecticut, was building a house. He had occasion to hire a carpenter, who was a plain, unvarnished son of New England.

“You know all about carpenter-work?” asked Senator Platt.

“Yes, sir,” was the reply.

“You can make windows, doors, and blinds?”

“Oh, yes, sir.”

“How would you make a Venetian blind?”

The man thought steadily for several minutes. “I think,” he remarked finally, “that I would punch him in the eye.”

Google Books
June 1902, The Pacific Unitarian, “Recreation,” pg. 286, col. 1:
Senator Platt, of Connecticut, was building a house. He had occasion to hire a carpenter, who was a plain, unvarnished son of New England. “You know all about carpenter-work?” asked Senator Platt. “Yes, sir,” was the reply. “You can make windows, doors, and blinds?” “Oh, yes, sir.” “How would you make a Venetian blind?” The man thought steadily for several minutes. “I think,” he remarked finally, “that I would punch him in the eye.”

Google Books
Biggest Riddle Book in the World
By Joseph Rosenbloom
Illustrations by Joyce Behr
New York, NY: Sterling Publishing Company, Inc.
1976
Pg. 103:
How do you make a Venetian blind?
Stick a finger in his eye.

Google Books
Super-Duper Good Clean Jokes for Kids
By Bob Phillips
Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers
2000
Pg. 113:
How do you make a Venetian blind?
Poke him in the eye.

Google Books
Best Ever Classroom Jokes:
Because some of us never grow up

By Mike Haskins
New York, NY: Pvailion Books
2015
Pg. ?:
How do you make a Venetian blind?
Poke him in the eye.

Reddit—Jokes
How do you make a venetian blind?
submitted May 8, 2016 by mischief95
Poke his eyes out
Credits go to my 90 year old grandfather, currently completing his PhD

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityBuildings/Housing/Parks • Monday, January 09, 2017 • Permalink