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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“Sorry, I can’t go to work tomorrow. I fractured my motivation” (3/28)
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Entry from June 07, 2013
“Drink triple, see double, act single”

"Drink triple, see double, act single” has been printed on many gift items, such as T-shirts, buttons and posters. “The big trouble with drink is that it makes too many people see double and act single” was printed in an American newspaper in 1945. “Why does whisky make a married man see double but act single?” was cited in 1959.

“Triple” (first “pay triple,” then “drink triple") appears to have been added to the expression by the 1980s. “That stuff’ll make you act single, see double and pay triple” was cited in a 1983 book. “Drink triple, see double, stay single” was cited in 2002 and “Drink Triple...See Double...Act Single” in 2005.


Alcoholipedia
Act single. See double. Knock back a triple!
- Author Unknown

10 May 1945, The Daily Ardmoreite (Ardmore, OK), “Barbs!,” pg. 4, col. 6:
The big trouble with drink is that it makes too many people see double and act single.

15 September 1950, The Echo (Richardson, TX), pg. 6, col. 4:
The big trouble with drink is that it makes too many people see double and act single.

11 June 1959, State-Times (Baton Rouge, LA), “Boyle Notebook” by Hal Boyle (Ed Creagh substituting for Hal Boyle), pg. 2A, col. 7:
Why does whisky make a married man see double but act single?

Google Books
Living in a Legacy:
Virginia’s Executive Mansion

By Katherine Godwin
Richmond, VA: Virginia State Chamber of Commerce
1977
Pg. 35:
It is said of its potency that after two drinks “you see double and act single”.

Google Books
Redneckin’:
A hell-raisin’, foot-stompin’ guide to dancin’, dippin’, and doin’ around in a gen-u-wine country way

By Kathryn Jenson
New York, NY: Perigee Books
1983
Pg. 25:
“That stuff’ll make you act single, see double and pay triple.”

Kirupa.com
December 21st, 2002, 12:32 PM#1
Sherman
(...)
Drink triple, see double, stay single.

InvisionFree ASP.NET Help Forums
Title: Drink Triple… See Double…
Description: Act single
CoDandChips - August 8, 2005 09:13 PM (GMT)
A pretty funny phrase, until it’s your girlfriend saying it.

Google News Archive
12 March 2007, TimesDaily (Florence, AL), “Profile: Man Turns Southern Sayings Into Hobby” by Bernie Delinski, pg. 4A, col. 5:
Killen also has heard, “Drinking will make you act single, see double and pay triple.”

Chatham (Ontario) Daily News
POINT OF VIEW
PoV: Post-prom T-shirts don’t promote clean fun
Sun Media
Thursday, June 6, 2013 10:52:44 EDT AM
(...)
In 2011, one high school principal told his students to turn in their after-prom party T-shirts or forget about prom altogether. Those shirts said, “Drink triple. See Double. Act single” with the school name splashed across the front.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityFood/Drink • Friday, June 07, 2013 • Permalink