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 July 11, 2012
“Shoes are required to eat in the cafeteria; socks can eat any place they want”

"Shoes are required to eat in the cafeteria” is an old joke sign that supposedly appeared in a college cafeteria in 1975. Underneath the sign was scribbled, “Socks can eat any place they want.” The joke was popularized in a 1975 issue of The Reader’s Digest and has been included in many humor collections.


Google Books
The Reader’s Digest
Volume 106
1975
Pg. 42:
A notice in a University of Colorado campus cafeteria stated: “Shoes are required to eat in the cafeteria.”

Someone wrote below: “Socks can eat wherever they want.”
— Contributed by Mike Shrout

20 May 1975, Bennington (VT) Banner, pg. 4, col. 7:
Humor
Cafeteria rules

A notice in a University of Colorado campus cafeteria stated: “Shoes are required to eat in the cafeteria.”

Someone wrote below: “Socks can eat wherever they want.”
-- Reader’s Digest

1 December 1975, The Express (Lock Haven, PA), pg. 10, col. 2:
Watch that syntax!...Catholic Digest’s Kenn Maloney tells about the sign at Georgetown University which reads: “Shoes Are Required to Eat in the Cafeteria.”...Underneath, someone scribbled: “Socks May Eat Where They Want To.”

6 June 1976, The Sun (Baltimore, MD), pg. SM30: 
Sign in a university cafeteria: “Shoes are required to eat in the cafeteria.” Someone wrote below: “Slacks can eat wherever they want.”

Google News Archive
22 November 1976, Prescott (AZ) Courier, “Quips & Quotes,” Magazine, pg. ?, col. 2:
A sign on a university bulletin board reads: “Shoes Are Required to Eat in the Cafeteria.”
Underneath, somebody had scribbled, “Socks may eat wherever they want to.”
-- Dorothea Kent

Google Books
Fractured English
By Richard Lederer
New York, NY: Pocket Books
1996
Pg. 81:
At the entrance of a college cafeteria: SHOES ARE REQUIRED TO EAT IN THE CAFETERIA. Penciled underneath: SOCKS CAN EAT ANYWHERE THEY WANT.

TheTrucker.com
Joke Of The Day
Say what?

The Trucker Staff
7/12/2009
(...)
Sign in a cafeteria: “Shoes are required to eat in the cafeteria. In pencil beneath the sign: Socks can eat anyplace they want.”

San Diego (CA) Union-Tribune
Give us this season just 2 more wins
Written by Tom Blair‎
4:04 a.m., Dec. 19, 2010
(...)
Evan Bostich, a veteran of the grammar police, wonders at the sign he saw posted outside a North County diner: “Shirts and shoes are required to eat inside.” “So why,” he asks, “can’t shoes and shirts eat outside?”

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityRestaurants/Bars/Bakeries/Food Stores • (3) Comments • Wednesday, July 11, 2012 • Permalink


Nice saying. I have seen it in several restaurants and cafeterias in school. It’s kind of funny saying but when you know it, you’ll understand and appreciate it. A simple thought but with a good meaning.

Posted by Harley Davidson  on  07/19  at  02:47 AM

yeah.... it is really a stunning joke. I do not have listen about it. I love to wear matching shoes means, id I wore blue dress then I will wear blue shoes.

Posted by Shoe Care Products Montreal  on  08/24  at  03:56 AM

Great blog! It’s hard to find quality writing like yours these days. I really appreciate people like you.

Posted by Catholic school California provides well rounded e  on  10/05  at  06:44 AM

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