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 July 16, 2016
“How come if ants are always so busy they always get time to show up at picnics?”

Ants always seem to be working, and there’s a joke:

“How come if ants are always so busy they always get time to show up at picnics?”

The joke has been cited in print since at least 1939.


1 May 1939, Pittsburgh (PA) Post-Gazette, “The Benchwarmer,” pg. 17, col. 3:
“Well, if you say the ants is so busy and industrius like, how come they always find time to go to all the picnics?”

Old Fulton NY Post Cards
15 February 1946, The Skaneateles N. Y. Press (Skaneateles, NY), “Around the Town,” pg. 3, col. 1:
If ants are so busy, why do they find time to show up at picnics?

20 May 1954, Tyrone (PA) Daily Herald, “Noah Numskull,” pg. 11, col. 5:
DEAR NOAH—IF ANTS ARE SO BUSY ALL THE TIME, WHY DO THEY GO TO SO MANY PICNICS?
J. R. McDOWELL
BOWLING GREEN, OHIO

18 May 1956, Illinois State Journal (Springfield, IL), “Making Conversation” by J. Emil Smith, pg. 6, col. 7:
AMBITIOUS ANTS?
If ants are so busy
And work all the time,
How come they’re always
At picnics where I am?
-- Dorothy D. Sims.

1 January 1965, Chicago (IL) Tribune, “A Line o’ Type or Two,” sec. 1, pg. 14, col. 3:
If ants are always so busy, hw come they find time to go to picnics?
Bob Margolis

Google News Archive
6 June 1978, Daily News (Bowling Green, KY), “Barbs,” pg. 10, col 6:
Every summer, we wonder: If ants are so busy, how do they find time to attend all picnics

27 June 1983, Trenton (NJ) Times, Frank Tyger column, pg. B1, col. 1:
“If ants and bees are so busy,” asks F. Luplow in the Globe, “how come they find time to go to so many picnics?”

Google Books
20,000 Quips & Quotes
By Evan Esar
New York, NY: Barnes & Noble Books
1995, ©1968
Pg. 34:
If ants are so busy, how is it that they attend all the picnics?

Google Books
Over 1500 Fantastic Jokes
By Guy Campbell and Paul Moran
London: Dean
2002
Pg. 30:
How come if ants are always so busy they always get time to show up at picnics?

Google Groups: Palace of Adult Humor
ant jokes
Dangermo...@aol.com
11/7/06
(...)
How come if ants are always so busy they always get time to show up at picnics ?

VR-Zone
Thread: A joke a day
Mobile_Crazy
Sep 12th, 08, 08:18 AM
Ant jokes
(...)
How come if ants are always so busy they always get time to show up at picnics?

Twitter
John Taylor
‏@John_Taylor
How come if ants are always so busy they always get time to show up at picnics?
2:39 PM - 11 Sep 2009

Twitter
Phil
‏@Phil_Timmermans
How come if ants are always so busy they always get time to show up at picnics? http://bit.ly/08sDAiQ
1:24 PM - 21 Nov 2009

Google Books
The Mammoth Book of Really Silly Jokes
By Geoff Tibballs
London: Constable & Robinson Ltd
2011
Pg. 13:
If ants are so busy, how come they always have time to show up at picnics?

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityFood/Drink • Saturday, July 16, 2016 • Permalink