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 17, 2019
“I used to work in a tiddlywinks factory, but it was counter productive”

Some jobs are “counter productive, but what if it’s a job making counters? “My dad used to work in a tiddlywink factory. But he didn’t like it. He said it was counter productive” was said by British comedian Alex Horne, and cited in newspapers since at least August 2004.


Wikipedia: Tiddlywinks
Tiddlywinks is a game played on a flat felt mat with sets of small discs called “winks”, a pot, which is the target, and a collection of squidgers, which are also discs. Players use a “squidger” (nowadays made of plastic) to shoot a wink into flight by flicking the squidger across the top of a wink and then over its edge, thereby propelling it into the air. The offensive objective of the game is to score points by sending your own winks into the pot. The defensive objective of the game is to prevent your opponents from potting their winks by “squopping” them: shooting your own winks to land on top of your opponents’ winks. As part of strategic gameplay, players often attempt to squop their opponents’ winks and develop, maintain and break up large piles of winks.

Wikipedia: Alex Horne
Alexander James Jeffrey Horne (born 10 September 1978 in Petworth, West Sussex) is a British comedian. Horne is the creator of Taskmaster, a comedy panel show in which he is the assistant to “Taskmaster” Greg Davies, who judges comedians on various absurd tasks they are asked to perform. He is also the host of “The Horne Section”, a live music variety show which has been broadcast on BBC Radio 4 and Dave.

24 August 2004, Evening Standard (London, UK), “Edinburgh Comedy: Gags for the middle classes” by Bruce Dessau, pg. 59:
He (Alex Horne—ed.) steers clear of technological overload by including a cute sideline in corny jokes, explaining that his father worked in a tiddlywinks factory: “It was counter productive.”

29 August 2004, Scotland on Sunday (Edinburgh, Scotland), “A funny thing happened...” compiled by Fiona Leith, pg. 9L
“It was counter productive.”
Alex Horne explaining that his father worked in a tiddlywinks factory, the Pleasance

7 August 2005, The Observer (London, UK), “Review: Edinburgh Comedy” by Stephanie Merritt, pg. 7:
One man who laughs in the face of narrative structure is the increasingly brilliant Alex Horne , whose shows resemble ‘choose your own adventure’ fantasy books, in which an unfeasible number of potential outcomes might happen, according to individual choices.
(...)
It’s almost impossible to describe in mere words the absurd inventiveness of this show - you can only see it for yourself (quoting individual lines, such as ‘working at the tiddly-wink factory was counter-productive’ can’t really do it justice).

15 May 2006, Evening Standard (London, UK), “Staying In: Fun as old timers head under coven” by Terry Ramsey, pg. 19:
(Alex—ed.) Horne is not averse to a nifty simple gag: “My dad worked in a tiddlywinks factory. It was counter productive.”

Twitter
Punbelievable
@Punbelievable
I used to work in a tiddly-winks factory, but it was counter productive. #joke
5:22 AM - 30 Oct 2009

Twitter
Neil Morton
@neil_morton
I used to work in a tiddly-winks factory, but it was counter productive. #joke (via @punbelievable)
5:52 AM - 30 Oct 2009

Twitter
Jamie
@JamieCutteridge
Replying to @DerrenBrown
@DerrenBrown I used to work in a tiddly wink factory, but it was counter-productive
7:07 AM - 12 Jan 2010

The Telegraph (London, UK)
Christmas cracker jokes on us
Dominic Cavendish
12:54AM GMT 27 Nov 2011
(...)
Alex Horne
My dad used to work in a tiddlywink factory. But he didn’t like it. He said it was counter productive.
http://www.alexhorne.com

Google Books
Wordwatching:
One Man’s Quest for Linguistic Immortality

By Alex Horne
London, UK: Virgin Books
2011
Pg. 127:
My dad worked in a tiddly-winks factory. It was counter-productive.

Reddit—Jokes
Posted by u/madazzahatter May 26, 2017
I just quit my job at the tiddlywink factory…

Twitter
🤣 The Dad Joke Man 😉
@DadJokeMan
I once had a job in a tiddlywinks factory… I didn’t like it, it was counter productive… #Mondaymirth
1:55 AM - 17 Jun 2019

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityWork/Businesses • Monday, June 17, 2019 • Permalink