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. Now a Popeye's fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from September 15, 2020
“When God gave out legs, I thought He said kegs, so I took two short fat ones”

"When God passed out brains, I thought He said trains —and I missed mine...” is one of several lines explaining how someone because such a mess. The lines were printed in many 1942 newspapers, but authorship is unknown. “CARELESS LISTENER REGRETS by Edith Scharff” was posted on the newsgroup bit.listserv.hellas in 1997, but this author had not been credited earlier.

“When He gave out ears, I thought He said beers, so I took two big ones” was printed in the Dayton (OH) Herald on January 23, 1942. “When God was giving out ears, I thought He said beers, I said I’ll take two big ones” was printed in the Brainard (NE) Clipper on March 26, 1942.

“When He gave out brains, I thought He said trains, and I missed mine” was printed in the Dayton (OH) Herald on January 23, 1942. “When God was giving out brains, I thought He said trains. So I missed mine” was printed in the Brainard (NE) Clipper on March 26, 1942.

“When God was giving out legs, I thought He said kegs. I said I’ll take two short fat ones” was printed in the Brainard (NE) Clipper on March 26, 1942. “When God gave out legs, I thought He said kegs, And I wanted two short fat ones” was printed in the Ogden (UT) Standard-Examiner on March 28, 1942.

“When He was giving out chins, I thought He said gins; So I ordered a double” was printed in The Surrey Leader (Cloverdale, BC) on December 9, 1942.

“It’s not my fault I have a double chin. When God was giving out chins, I thought he said ‘gin’ so I said I’ll have a double” is a joke that has been printed on many images. “Its not my fault I have a double CHIN… when God was giving out chins i thought he said GIN so i said i’ll have a DOUBLE!” was posted on Twitter by Nancy Suzette Luleff on February 12, 2010. “It’s not my fault I have a double chin, when God was handing chins out, I thought she said GIN and I said, I’ll take a DOUBLE!” was posted on Twitter by ShellyRantz on February 17, 2010.


Newspapers.com
23 January 1942, Dayton (OH) Herald, “The Observatory” by Jerry Fox, pg. J-23, col. 7:
In self defense: Some folks claim it is old, but it fell on our ears for the first time this week. Maybe you’ll like it.

“When God gave out looks, I thought he said book, and because I can’t read, I didn’t take any. When He gave out noses, I thought he said roses, and I took a red one. When He gave out ears, I thought He said beers, so I took two big ones. When He gave out brains, I thought He said trains, and I missed mine. I’m in an awful mess.”

Newspapers.com
26 March 1942, Brainard (NE) Clipper, pg. 8, col. 1:
WHAT I THOUGHT HE SAID
When God was giving out ears, I thought He said beers, I said I’ll take two big ones.

When God was giving out noses, I thought He said roses. I said I’ll take a big red one.

When God was giving out feet, I thought He said meat. I said I’ll take six pounds of each.

When God was giving out legs, I thought He said kegs. I said I’ll take two short fat ones.

When God was giving out looks I thought He said books. I said I didn’t want any.

When God was giving out brains, I thought He said trains. So I missed mine.

Lord, ain’t I a mess?

Newspapers.com
28 March 1942, Ogden (UT) Standard-Examiner, “Sol’s Sunshine and Shadow,” pg. 3, col. 7:
P.S. Leona, the office vamp, repeats:

When God gave out brains,
I thought He said trains,
And I missed mine.

When God gave out looks,
I thought he said books,
And I didn’t want any.

When God gave out noses,
I thought he said roses,
And I wanted a Big Red one.

When God gave out ears,
I thought He said beers,
So I wanted two long ones.

When God gave out legs,
I thought He said kegs,
And I wanted two short fat ones.

Boy! Am I a mess!

Newspapers.com
8 April 1942, Ashland (NE) Gazette, pg. 1, col. 8:
HEED THIS LESSON --
LISTEN!
“Oh what a mess I am,” crabbed the pessimist. “When God made me he asked if I wanted looks and I thought he said “Books” and I told him I didn’t want any. Then He asked me if I wanted brains and I thought He said “trains” and I said that I didn’t need any. Then he asked me if I wanted “Ears” and I thought He said “Beers” and I told Him to give me 2 little ones. Then He asked me if I wanted a “Nose” and I thought He said “Rose” and I told him I wanted a big red one. Then He asked me if I wanted “Legs” and I thought He said “Kegs” and I told Him to give me two big, fat ones. And Oh what a mess I am!
--Contributed.

Newspapers.com
9 May 1942, The Ventura County Star-Free Press (Ventura, CA), “Chat Awhile” with Marie Cochran, pg. 4, col. 5:
We cribbed this from Rita Scoles’ “Chatterbox” which appears every Thursday in the Oxnard newspaper. Don’t know whether it is original with her or not but we ethically credit her for using it. After all this introduction you are probably expecting a serious dissertation on the problem of life. It isn’t; don’t run away—yet.

When God passed out brains, we thought He said trains — we missed ours. When God passed out the looks, I thought He said books—and we didn’t want any. When God passed out ears, I thought He said beers—and we got two long ones. When God passed out noses, I thought He said roses—and I asked for a large, red one.

When God passed out legs, I thought He said kegs—and ended up with two round ones. When God passed out hips, I thought He said lips—well, it’s just too bad our hearing wasn’t better at the time.

Aren’t we the one?

Newspapers.com
18 August 1942, Valley Times (San Fernando, CA), “Customers Column,” pg 18, col. 1:
Editor, Valley Times: My sister in Spokane sent me this poem and I thought it too good to keep to myself.
Mrs. H. E Groff,
Pacoima.

When God gave out brains,
I thought he said trains,
And I missed mine.

When God gave out looks,
I thought he said books,
And I didn’t want any.

When God gave out noses,
I thought he said roses,
And I ordered a big red one.

When God gave out legs,
I thought he said kegs,
And I ordered two fat ones.

When got gave out ears,
I thought he said beers,
And I ordered two big ones.

When God gave out gave out heads,
I thought he said beds,
And I asked for a soft one.

When God gave out necks,
I thought he said checks,
And I jokingly asked for a rubber one.
Boy! Ain’t I a mess?
(Author Unknown)

Newspapers.com
12 October 1942, Chicago (IL) Daily Tribune, “White Collar Girl” by Ruth MacKay, pg. 18, col. 1:
From India she sends back (via her sister) a bit of British humor going the rounds:

God was giving out noses and I thought he said roses so I said I’ll take a big red one --
then God was giving out ears and I thought he said beers so I said I’ll take two large ones --
then God was giving out legs and I thought he said kegs so I took two huge ones --
then God was giving out brains and I thought he said trains
And as usual I missed mine.
Ain’t I the mess?


Newspapers.com
20 October 1942, Paducah (KY) Sun-Democrat, “Sidelights on Paducah” by Fred G. Neuman, pg. 6, col. 7:

When God passed out brains, I thought He said trains —and I missed mine.
When He passed out looks, I thought He said books—and I didn’t want any.
When He gave out heads, I thought He said beds—and I asked for a soft one
When He passed out noses, I thought He said roses—and I asked for a red one.
When He passed out ears, I thought He said beers; I ordered two long ones.
When He passed out hips, I thought He said lips—and I asked for two big round ones.
When He passed out legs, I thought He said kegs; So I ordered two fat ones.

Newspapers.com
9 December 1942, The Surrey Leader (Cloverdale, BC), pg. 1, col. 6:
An advance scout has contributed the following little ditty for this week’s wanderings:

When God was giving out brains, I thought He said trains; So I missed mine.
When He was giving out looks, I thought He said books; I didn’t want any.
When He was giving out ears, I thought He said beers; I ordered two long ones.
When He was giving out legs, I thought He said kegs; So I ordered two fat ones.
When He was giving out chins, I thought He said gins; So I ordered a double.
When He was giving out noses, I thought He said roses; So I asked for a red one.
Am I a mess!


Newspapers.com
5 August 1943, Kerrville (TX) Mountain Sun, pg. 5, col. 1:
From a collection of “Carbon Copy Poetry,” comes one which can stand the light of the printed page. The title is “Careless Listener Regrets.”

When God gave out brains, I thought He said trains, and I missed mine.
When He gave out looks, I thought He said books, and I didn’t want any.
When He gave out noses, I thought He said roses, and I asked for a red one.
When He gave out legs, I thought He said kegs, and I ordered two fat ones.
When He gave out ears, I thought He said beers, and I ordered two long ones.
When He gave out chins, I thought He said gins, and I ordered a double.
Am I a mess!

Newspapers.com
24 February 1944, Lehi (UT) Free Press, pg. 1, col. 1:
STOP, THINK AND LISTEN
When God gave out brains, I thought He said trains, and I missed mine.
When He gave out looks, I thought He said books, and I didn’t want any.
When He gave out noses, I thought He said roses, and I asked for a red one.
When He gave out legs, I thought He said kegs, and I ordered two fat ones.
When He gave out ears, I thought He said beers, and I ordered two long ones.
When He gave out chins, I thought He said gins, and I ordered a double.
Gee, am I a mess.
--Contributed.

Newspapers.com
8 April 1951, Chicago (IL) Sunday Tribune, “Books Alive” by Vincent Starrett, pt. 4, pg. 13, col. 2:
Well, as nearly as I can reconstruct it from several versions, that “noses and roses” thing asked by Ann Siewers, a few weeks ago, goes like this:

CARELESS LISTENER REGRETS
When God gave out brains, I thought He said trains, and I missed mine.
When God gave out looks, I thought He said books, and I didn’t want any.
When God gave out noses, I thought He said roses, and I asked for a red one.
When God gave out legs, I thought He said kegs, and I ordered two fat ones.
When God gave out ears, I thought He said beers, and I ordered two long ones.
When God gave out chins, I thought He said gins, and I ordered a double.
When God gave out heads, I thought He said beds, and I asked for a soft one.
Gee, am I a mess!


Newspapers.com
7 November 1964, Chicago (IL) Tribune, “A Line o’ Type or Two,” sec. 1, pg. 12, col. 3:
When God gave out brains, I thought He said trains, and I missed mine.
When God gave out looks, I thought He said books, and I didn’t want any.
When God gave out noses, I thought He said roses, and I asked for a red one.
When God gave out legs, I thought He said kegs, and I ordered two fat ones.
When God gave out ears, I thought He said beers, and I ordered two long ones.
When God gave out chins, I thought He said gins, and I ordered a double.
When God gave out heads, I thought He said beds, and I asked for a soft one.
Gee, am I a mess!


Google Groups: alt.tv.red-dwarf
Question
The Cat
Feb 14, 1996, 3:00:00 AM
In article <824236...@cobalt.demon.co.uk>
“Friday” writes:
> --
> When God gave out brains, I thought he said trains,
> and asked for a small, slow one.

And when God gave out chins, i thought he said Gins so i asked for a large double. And when God gave out noses, i thought he said Roses so i asked for a large red one......
(I could go on but i wont)

Google Groups: bit.listserv.hellas
CARELESS LISTENER REGRETS (funny poem)
Alexandros Vergidis
Apr 19, 1997, 3:00:00 AM
CARELESS LISTENER REGRETS
by Edith Scharff
When God gave out brains,
I thought He said trains,
and I missed mine.

When God gave out looks,
I thought He said books,
and I didn’t want any.

When God gave out noses,
I thought He said roses,
and I asked for a red one.

When God gave out legs,
I thought He said kegs,
and I ordered two fat ones.

When God gave out ears,
I thought He said beers,
and I orderd two long ones.

When God gave out chins,
I thought He said gins,
and I ordered a double.

When God gave out heads,
I thought He said beds,
and I asked for a soft one.

Gee, am I a mess!

Google Groups: alt.support.stop-smoking
My Non-Smoking adventures in Health...(5) (Long)
Jez
Dec 5, 1999, 3:00:00 AM
(...)
I so fat, people can see my butt from the front and I have more chins than a Hongkong telephone directory. In fact when God was handing out chins I thought he said “Gin” so I said I’d have a double.

Twitter
Nancy Suzette Luleff
@nancyluleff
its not my fault I have a double CHIN… when God was giving out chins i thought he said GIN so i said i’ll have a DOUBLE!
4:01 PM · Feb 12, 2010·Twitter Web Client

Twitter
ShellyRantz
@shellyrantz
it’s not my fault I have a double chin, when God was handing chins out, I thought she said GIN and I said, I’ll take a DOUBLE! *laughs*
10:26 PM · Feb 17, 2010·Twitter Web Client

Twitter
Janie St. Charles
@janiechef
It is not my fault that I have a double chin. . . . When God was giving out chins, I thought he said “gin” so I said I’d like a double grin)
11:00 PM · Mar 8, 2010·Twitter Web Client

Twitter
Lindsey
@LindseyA88
Its not my fault I have a double chin… when God was giving out chins i thought he said gin so i said ill have a double…
8:40 AM · Mar 9, 2010·TweetDeck

Twitter
Shit Jokes
@ShitJokes
Its not my fault I have a double-chin…
When God was giving out chins..
I thought he said Gin so I said I’ll have a double.
4:27 PM · Mar 24, 2018·Twitter for Android

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityFood/Drink • Tuesday, September 15, 2020 • Permalink