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:
“Why does no one starve in a desert?” (joke) (11/27)
“How many apples grow on a tree?/"All of them.” (11/27)
“How many cranberries grow on a bush?"/"All of them.” (11/27)
“What’s the best thing to put into a cake or pie?"/"Your teeth.” (11/26)
“What are unhappy cranberries called?"/"Blueberries.” (11/26)
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Entry from November 27, 2014
“Why does no one starve in a desert?” (joke)

Entry in progress—B.P.

Wikipedia: Pun
A compound pun is a statement that contains two or more puns. For example, a complex statement by Richard Whately includes four puns: “Why can a man never starve in the Great Desert? Because he can eat the sand which is there. But what brought the sandwiches there? Why, Noah sent Ham, and his descendants mustered and bred.” This pun uses “sand which is there/sandwiches there”, “Ham/ham”, “mustered/mustard”, and “bred/bread”.

15 March 1847, Boston (MA) Post, “All Sorts of Paragraphs,” pg. 2, col. 3:
A friend asked us yesterday, why no man could possibly starve in the Great Desert of Sahara? We could not conjecture. “Because,” said he, “of the sand-which-is there.”

18 November 1853, The Plain Dealer (Cleveland, OH), “News Items and Scraps,” pg. 2, col. 3:
A friend asked us yesterday why no man could starve in the Great Desert of Sahara? We could not conjecture. “Because,” said he, “of the sand which is there.”

9 June 1857, Daily Advocate (Baton Rouge, LA), “All Sorts of Items,” pg. 2, col. 4:
Why should a man never starve on the desert of Arabia? Ans.—Because of the sand which is there. How came the sand which is there? The generations of Ham were bred and mustered there.

5 September 1862, The California Farmer (San Francisco, CA), pg. 191, col. 4:
We have seen it stated somewhere that “the people of Cape Cod will never die of starvation, on account of the sandwiches (sand which is) there.”

Google Books
Wit and Humor:
Their Use and Abuse

By William Mathews
Chicago, IL: S. C. Griggs and Company
1888
Pg. 242:
It was Whately who said that Noah’s ark was made of gopher-wood, but Joan of Arc was maid of Orleans. Some of the most mirth-provoking conundrums that are familiar to us fell from his lips. At a meeting of the famine-board in Dublin, Dr. Whately asked his next neighbor, “Why is Ireland the richest country in the world? Because its capital is always Dublin.” Again, “Why can a man never starve in the Great Desert? Because he can eat the sand which is there. But what brought the sandwiches there? Why, Noah sent Ham, and his descendants mustered and bred.”

Google Books
The Sahara:
A Cultural History

By Eamonn Gearon
New York, NY: Oxford University Press
2011
Pg. XI:
Perhaps the commonest view of the Sahara, as nothing but a sandy place, is neatly summed up by the nineteenth-century Anglican Archbishop of Dublin, Richard Whately, who is responsible, some would say guilty, of the following speculation: “Why can a man never starve in the Great Desert? Because he can eat the sand which is there. Not content with one groan-inducing pun, Whately went on to ask, “But what brought the sandwiches there? Why, Noah sent Ham, and his descendants mustered and bred.”

Twitter
Brenda Fin
‏@Brenda_Fin
You can never go hungry at the beach because of all the sand which is there
5:45 AM - 27 Nov 2014

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityFood/Drink • Thursday, November 27, 2014 • Permalink


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