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 Popeyes fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from February 06, 2012
“A clean tie attracts the soup of the day”

“The Diner’s Dilemma - A clean tie attracts the soup of the day” is from the book More Murphy’s Law (1982) by Arthur Bloch. A new (or newly cleaned) tie becomes an immediate target for soup in the “if it can go wrong, it will go wrong—and in the worst possible way” philosophy.
Bloch satirized an old tradition of neckties attracting soup. John Porter East (1931-1986), a Republican senator from North Carolina, had new ties that attracted so much soup that he told senatorial dining partner Jesse Helms that it could be called “East’s law,” a version of Murphy’s law.
Google News Archive
9 December 1955, Vancouver (BC) Sun, “Quiz Kid’s Father Turns Red, White and Then Whew!” by Jack Wasserman, pg. 27, col. 5:
Quick as a drip of soup on on a clean tie the kid fired back, “What do you think you are—a movie star or something?”
Google News Archive
17 March 1960, Calgary (Alberta) Herald, “Just Looking—thanks!” by Vera Willmore, pg. 34, col. 7:
The days are over when a man must be careful about spilling soup on his best necktie.
OCLC WorldCat record
More Murphy’s law : wrong reasons why things go more!
Author: Arthur Bloch
Publisher: London : Methuen, 1983, ©1982.
25 February 1983, Philadelphia (PA) Daily News, “A half-dozen books that are just plain fun,” pg. 49:
The Diner’s Dilemma - A clean tie attracts the soup of the day.
Google News Archives
16 April 1983, Evening Times (Glasgow, Scotland), pg. 5, col. 2:
According to Murphy
THE fundamental premise of Murphy’s Law is that, if anything can go wrong, it will.
In a funny collection of examples, rounded by Arthur Bloch we have the opportunity to learn that all life’s verisimilititudes are rooted in experience.
For example, there’s the Diner’s Dilemma which states — “A clean tie attracts the soup of the day.”
20 June 1984, Steinbach (Manitoba) Carillon, “This week’s laughs,” pg. 4, col. 7:
Murphy’s Law says a clean tie attracts the soup of the day.
Google News Archive
6 June 1987, Toledo (OH) Blade, “Ties That Blind,“sec. F, pg. 2, col. 6:
Also, ties wear out or they get dirty (soup stains, for instance — usually the first time a new tie is worn): so they need replaced.
Google News Archive
25 June 1987, The Times-News (Hendersonville, NC), “Friends, staff remember John East,” pg. 6, col. 3:
They all had stories about the senator spilling soup on his tie.
Helms, for instance, told about the time the two were having lunch in the private Senate dining room. When a spot of soup landed on East’s new tie, the junior senator told Helms, “that’s East’s law working again. It’s kind of like Murphy’s law, anytime I wear a new tie, I spill soup on it.”

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityFood/Drink • Monday, February 06, 2012 • Permalink

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