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.

Recent entries:
“After winning, I threw the ball into the crowd. Apparently, that’s unacceptable in bowling” (5/23)
“She made French toast and got her tongue caught in the toaster” (5/22)
“The universe is made of protons, neutrons, electrons and morons” (5/22)
“The job requires me to get a potato clock” (get up at eight o’clock) (5/22)
Entry forthcoming—B.P. (5/22)
More new entries...

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Entry from July 22, 2015
“Busier than a one-legged man in an ass kicking contest”

"Busier than a one-legged man in an ass kicking contest” is one way to say that someone is very busy. “Busier than a one-legged man at a kicking contest” was cited in print in 1917. “I’ve been busier than a one-legged man in an ass-kicking contest” was cited in 1981. The saying is now infrequently used and is regarded as politically incorrect.

“Busier than a one-armed paper hanger” is a similar saying.


26 October 1917, Evansville (IN) Courier, “Rural Teams Report $20,050,” pg. 3, col. 2:
Mr. Nolan said that both Mr. May and Mr. Messick were out to beat Mr. Bosse and “if that big Dutchman wants to win out he’ll be busier than a one-legged man at a kicking contest.”

7 June 1923, Hattiesburg (MS) American, “For Kiwanians of Hattiesburg Only,” pg. 9, col. 3:
According to the Kiwanis Daily Henry was busier than a one-legged man in a buck and wing dance but he has not lost his smile nor his sincere word of welcome.

1 June 1924, Atchison (KS) Daily Globe, “Globe Sights,” pg. 4,col. 1:
The Democratic national committee is said to be busier than a one-legged man on roller skates trying to climb a steep hill pared with banana peels.

14 June 1928, Evening Tribune (San Diego, C), “Telling the World” by Neal O’Hara (New York Evening World), pg. 4, col. 7:
KANSAS CITY, June 14.—The Credentials Committee is already busier than a one-legged drop-kicker making a field goal.

25 February 1942, Blytheville (AR) Courier News, “The Dope Bucket” by J. P. Friend, pg. 6, col. 4:
Barring unforseen accidents, Aaron (Jack) Byrd, Blytheville’s ace welterweight, is going to be busier than a one legged man in a kicking contest during the next few weeks.

15 April 1973, Bluefield (WV) Daily Telegraph, “How You Gonna Keep it Down On The Farm” by Otto Whittaker, pg. D1, col. 3:
Its seed goeth wherever the wind goeth, and once it begins to pop up in your nice velvety lawn, you are going to stay busier than a one-legged man at a fanny-kicking.

Google Books
Four Complete Novels
By Trevanian
New York, NY: Avenel: Distributed by Crown
1981
Pg. 111:
“Whew! I’ve been busier than a one-legged man in an ass-kicking contest.”

Urban Dictionary
busier than a one legged man in an ass kicking contest
To be so busy, that you will never finish your job
“There is no way I can finish that too!” “Im busier than a one legged man in an ass kicking contest!”
by Frainslug November 04, 2005

Google Books
In a Manner of Speaking:
Phrases, Expressions, and Proverbs and How We Use and Misuse THem

By Colin McNairn
New York, NY: Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.
2015
Pg. ?:
Some absurd images carry an overtone of mockery. When we describe someone as “busier than a one-armed paper-hanger” or “busier than a one-legged man at an ass kicking contest,” we risk giving offence. Because they draw attention to the limitations resulting from certain physical disabilities, these expressions are sometimes viewed as politically incorrect and, therefore, to be avoided.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityWork/Businesses • Wednesday, July 22, 2015 • Permalink