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:
“Can you buy an entire chess set in a pawn shop?” (5/23)
“I passed my physical exam! But I only got a C in Hepatitis” (5/23)
“I like to play chess with old men in the park…although it’s hard to find 32 of them” (5/23)
“I like to play chess with old men in the park…although it’s hard to find 32 of them” (5/23)
“Some people say I have a bad attitude. I say screw them!” (5/23)
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Entry from September 03, 2007
“Come on Vacation, Leave on Probation”

"Come on vacation, leave on probation” probably started in Florida, but the saying has spread to other vacation towns. In 1986-1987, Fort Lauderdale police arrested many of the disruptive students who came there on spring break. The slogan quickly also spread to Palm Springs and Key West.


13 March 1987, New York Times, “Spring Break Brings Blues to Fort Lauderdale...,” pg. A14:
“Come on vacation, leave on probation,” goes one student slogan.

20 April 1987, San Francisco Chronicle, “Students Grumble in Palm Springs”:
Palm Springs—Thousands of high school and college students ended their spring vacations here complaining about heavy-handed treatment by police.

Upset by the use of hundreds of police to keep the peace, many of the students were wearing T-shirts saying “Palm Springs for spring break - come on vacation, leave on probation.”

The catchy phrase conveyed the frustration that many of the sun- and fun-seekers have expressed after being slapped with tickets for the slightest infractions.

11 February 1992, New York Times, “Fort Lauderdale Rides New Wave” by Edwin McDowell, pg. D5:
In 1986, 750 visitors during student break were charged with offenses largely related to drinking, and the next year about 2,000 were arrested. That tough new attitude gave rise to the slogan, “Come on vacation, leave on probation.”

Google Books
The Future of Ritual
by Richard Schechner
Routledge
1995
Pg. 80:
That finished it for Fort Lauderdale, about which students rhymed, “Come on vacation, leave on probation.”

Google Groups: alt.fan.jimmy-biffett
Newsgroups: alt.fan.jimmy-buffett
From: (John Meaker)
Date: 1996/06/24
Subject: Re: Fantasy Fest in Key West

The visitors to Key West will have to wonder whether the costumes that they planned to wear will get them arrested or not, so most people will be conservative rather than risk arrest.  Why arrive on
vacation only to leave on probation? 

Google Books
Key West Graffiti
by W. J. Tolien
Buffalo, NY: Thorner Press
2001
Pg. 208:
Arrive on Vacation—Leave on Probation. 

Google Books
New Orleans
by John T. Edge and Tom Downs
Lonely Planet
2003
Pg. 62:
Don’t join those who come on vacation and leave on probation. 

Speed Trap Exchange - Vernon, Texas
Comment (8/2003): This is major drug traffic route and from Vernon, Texas to Amarillo, Texas vehicle and driver profiling is effectively used. You might end up with speeding ticket for any infraction just so they can take a closer look at you and your car. If you are unfortunate enough to have out-of-state tags and happen to be a person of color, my advice would be to accept the ticket and do not question the officer even if you know you are not in violation of any law. “go to Texas on vacation and leave on probation.”

Austinist
March 21, 2007
Texas Hill Country Wine & Food Festival to Kick Off 22nd Year
(...)
Last year, we have to admit, we were dubious about the move to Williamson County, but were pleasantly surprised, not only by the beauty of the setting, but also the City of Georgetown’s seeming ability to overcome stigma of the unofficial Williamson County Motto - Come on Vacation, Leave on Probation. 

Posted by Barry Popik
Florida (Sunshine State Dictionary) • (2) Comments • Monday, September 03, 2007 • Permalink


The slogan sounds fantastic! You really captured the energy of the human.This saying should be the secret of success for those who are always in a hectic schedule.
http://atlanticcity.com

Posted by jessica  on  11/19  at  01:22 PM

I must admit that I saw this quote plenty of times but I could not remember who said that for the first time. Anyway it was good to read your article because It was like a privilege for me to take some time off and relax.

Posted by International Oddities  on  09/21  at  09:12 AM

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