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 05, 2018
“Diner: What’s wrong with these eggs I ordered? Waiter: Don’t ask me. I only laid the table.”

A restaurant joke is:

Diner: What’s wrong with these eggs I ordered?
Waiter: Don’t ask me. I only laid the table.


The joke was in the comic strip Moon Mullins by cartoonist Frank Willard (1893-1958) that was published in newspapers on January 12, 1931.


12 January 1931, The World-Herald (Omaha, NE), “Moon Mullins—A Short Order House” comic strip by Willard, pg. 10, col. 2:
Man: HEY, MAMIE! WHAT’S THE MATTER WITH THESE EGGS?
Woman: OH DON’T ASK ME. I ONLY LAID THE TABLE.

4 September 1931, Boston (MA) Globe, “Batch of Smiles,” pg. 34, col. 1:
A waiter in a small restaurant was having a trying time with a fractious customer. His patience reached its limit when, coming back from the fifth journey the presence of the man had occasioned him, the customer mumbled” “Waiter! What on earth’s wrong with these eggs?”

“I don’t know, sir,” said the waiter, glancing mildly at the man, then at the offending articles. “I only laid the table.”—London Tit-Bits.

8 October 1931, The Arizona Daily Star (Tucson, AZ), “The Boiling Pot Jokes,” pg. 20, col. 4:
Muggins: Hey, waiter, what’s wrong with these eggs?
Waiter: I don’t know. I only laid the table.
ROSE PETAL ANDY.

Google Books
The Virginia Reel
Volume 13
1936
Pg. 41:
“Waitress, what’s wrong with these eggs?”
“I don’t know, I only laid the table.” —Bored Walk

Chronicling America
29 September 1939, Midland Journal (Rising Sun, MD), pg. 6, col. 4:
Not Her Job
Dinocan—Waitress, these eggs are terrible. What’s wrong with them?
Waitress—I don’t know, sir; I only laid the table.

Google Books
All-Time Awesome Collection of Good Clean Jokes for Kids
By Bob Phillips
Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers
2006
Pg. 359:
Diner: Waiter, these eggs are awful.
Waiter: Don’t blame me. I only laid the table.

Twitter
Frank Hoang
@fhoang7
Joke of the Day:
Customer: Waiter, this egg is bad.
Waiter: Don’t blame me sir, I only laid the table
12:45 AM - 25 Jun 2009

Twitter
lorraine Jo King
@LahLahBean
#tuesdaytitters
What’s wrong with these eggs I ordered?
Waiter: Don’t ask me. I only laid the table.
12:25 AM - 5 Jun 2018

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityRestaurants/Bars/Coffeehouses/Food Stores • Tuesday, June 05, 2018 • Permalink