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.

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Entry from June 30, 2014
“If you have one day left to live, let it be at a swim meet because they go on forever”

Swim meets have such a reputation for lasting a long time that a popular joke has been put on T-shirts:

“If you have one day left to live, let it be at a swim meet because they go on forever.”

“If I have but one day to live, please take me to a swim meet, because they last forever” was cited in March 1999. “If I have only one day left to live I want to spend it at a swim meet because they seem to last forever” was cited in August 1999. It’s not known who first came up with the jocular saying.


Google Groups: rec.sport.swimming
Looking for swimming phrases
dpenn
3/26/99
how about “man can live 5 days without water, but not if he is on a swim team.
or “if i have but one day to live, please take me to a swim meet, because they last forever.”

Google Groups: rec.sport.swimming
T-shirt slogans/sayings
Marianne Eagan
8/25/99
(...)
One of MY favorite sayings is: “If I have only one day left to live I want to spend it at a swim meet because they seem to last forever.”

15 January 2003, The Telegraph (Alton, IL), “Edwardsville swimmer learns value of hard work” by Pete Hayes, pg. D1, col. 1:
If God told me I had only one day left to live, I’d pick a day with a swim meet—because they never end.

LiveJournal—morgancrazy
From: lovewrite
2005-11-07 12:10 am (UTC)
I would definitely not be able to watch an entire marathon… that would be like watching an entire distance swim… which is SO boring!

That reminds me of a T-shirt my hubby has:

“If I have only one day left to live, please let it be at a swim meet because they go on forever!”

Zazzle
Swim Meet T-Shirt
I HAVE BUT ONE DAY TO LIVE PLEASE TAKE ME TO A SWIM MEET BECAUSE THEY LAST FOREVER!
Product ID: 235799583294336583
Made on: 7/14/2010 8:55 AM

Twitter
TN Aquatics
‏@TNPilotAQ
Remember the quote @good8820 @ESFleming - if I only had one day left to live I’d spend it at a swim meet - they last FOREVER
3:37 PM - 4 Jun 2011

Twitter
Kalie Coyne
‏@KalieCoyne
this guys shirts says “if I have but one day to live, send me to a swim meet because they last forever” #TRU
7:56 AM - 16 Mar 2014

hydro + logic
You want more competitive swimmers? Make swim meets shorter!!
Doug Cook posted by Doug Cook - June 20, 2014
“If I had only one day left to live I would spend it at a swim meet because they last forever.” I’ve seen this on swimmers’ t-shirts at swim meets across the country, and I couldn’t agree more.

The Baxter Bulletin (Mountain Home, AR)
Hurricanes eighth at three-day meet
Submitted Report 9:08 p.m. CDT June 30, 2014
There is an old saying among swim families that if you have one day left to live, let it be at a swim meet because they tend to go on forever.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CitySports/Games • Monday, June 30, 2014 • Permalink