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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Entry from August 18, 2006
“Go east until you smell it, south until you step in it” (Texas directions)

The classic directions to go from California to Texas is to go “east until you smell it, south until you step in it.”

The directions were used in a joke involving Dallas and Fort Worth (below) from at least 1973.


Google Groups: rec.humor
From:  bsutesch
Date:  Mon, Sep 23 1991 1:28 pm

How do you go from Texas Tech to Aggieland?
Go east until you smell it, then go south until you step in it! 

Google Groups: rec.humor
From:  JMH
Date:  Thurs, Jan 30 1992 3:26 pm

Californian’s way of finding Texas
“Go east until you smell it, then south until you step in it.”

1 February 1973, Upland (CA) News, part 2 (News of the Valley), pg. 1:
A major Dallas industry is Fort Worth jokes. Dallas people like to tell visitors about the stranger, stranded in North Texas, who asked directions to Fort Worth. “Wal,” he was told, “you just keep on walkin’ south until you smell a barnyard. That’s Dallas. Then you turn west and go on until you step in it. That’s Fort Worth.”

30 September 1983, Los Angeles Times, pg. D15:
Nobody at Florida State seems to like anyone at Florida, which is about 100 miles east and 50 miles south. A traveler asking directions to Gainesville is told to “go east until you smell it and south until you step in it.”

Posted by Barry Popik
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • (0) Comments • Friday, August 18, 2006 • Permalink