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 September 26, 2010
“I must have money because I still have checks left”

"I must have money because I still have checks left” is a humorous line about someone who can’t budget money. “How could I be overdrawn?—I still have checks left” appeared in “The Neighbors” comic strip, by George Clark, on April 3, 1971. (A wife used the line to her husand.) Comedian Joan Rivers wrote in 1974: “Broke? My husband keeps saying we are. But that’s impossible. l still have checks left.”

“I can’t be overdrawn — I still have checks left!” has been used on bumper stickers. In the 1990s and 2000s, the line has been used to illustrate a bloated federal government, spending freely and saddled with crushing debt.


Zazzle.com
I CAN’T be Overdrawn.
I still have Checks!

Mesh Hat

3 April 1971, Oregonian (Portland, OR), “The Neighbors” comic strip by George Clark, sec. 3M, pg. 5, col. 7:
(Wife is talking to Husband—ed.)
“How could I be overdrawn?—I still have checks left.”

Google Books
Having a baby can be a scream
By Joan Rivers
New York, NY: Avon
1975, ©1974
Pg. 8:
Joan: Broke? My husband keeps saying we are. But that’s impossible. l still have checks left.

Google Books
The Impact of the Computer on Commercial Banking
By Frank J, Fabozzi
Hempstead, NY: Hofstra University, School of Business
1975
Pg. 58:
... a majority of bank customers, yet one bank official quoted a customer as saying when informed his account was overdrawn, “How can I be overdrawn? I still have checks left in my checkbook!”

New York (NY) Times
Metro Matters; In High School, A Chance to Test Wall St. Waters
By SAM ROBERTS
Published: November 30, 1987
(...)
‘’A lot of the kids come from backgrounds where even their parents don’t have bank accounts,’’ said Dee Topol, a vice president for American Express’s philanthropic program. (Indeed, Ms. Dolch cautioned her banking and credit class the other day as she recalled the credo a friend taped to her refrigerator: “How could I be overdrawn? I still have checks.")

Google Books
January 1990, Changing Times, pg. 74, col. 2:
After the classic “I can’t be overdrawn, I still have checks” routine, the student’s most common excuse for fiscal ruin is, “The money machine gave me $50, so I guess my balance is okay, right?”

Google Books
Boundaries:
When to say yes, how to say no to take control of your life

By Henry Cloud and John Sims Townsend
Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Pub. House
1992
Pg. 209:
A now-famous bumper sticker reads, “I can’t be overdrawn — I still have checks left!”

Google Books
Reinventing America:
The Common Sense Domestic Agenda for the 90’s

By Michael Foudy
Scottsdale, AZ: Inst. for American Democracy Press
1992
Pg. 8:
You have heard the joke, “I must have money, I still have checks.” Well, the joke is on America, which has been over-indulging itself on a fifty year spending spree.

Google Books
Dollars & Sense for Kids:
What they need to know about money--and how to tell them

By Janet Bodnar
Washington, DC: Kiplinger Books
1999
Pg. 203:
That old joke about not being overdrawn if you still have checks is sometimes painfully on the mark.

OCLC WorldCat record
Nasco’s “I must have money because I still have checks left!”
Author: Lyn West
Publisher: Ft. Atkinson, WI : NASCO, ©2001.
Edition/Format: Book : English

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityBanking/Finance/Insurance • (0) Comments • Sunday, September 26, 2010 • Permalink