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 25, 2016
“Jack and Jill work together in an office (joke)

"Lay off” is a common business term and the subject of a popular joke:

“Jack and Jill were hired by a big computer corporation.  They worked there for about half a year until hard times hit the company. The boss was forced to lay people off until it he got to Jack and Jill’s department.  Jack was on his coffee break, so the boss told Jill:

“‘I’m sorry, Jill.  But I’m gonna have to lay you or Jack off.’

“‘Well I’m sorry too,’ replied Jill.  ‘You’re gonna have to jack off cause I have a headache!’”


The joke has been cited in print since at least the 1980s.


Truly Tastless BBS
Jack and Jill were hired by a big computer corporation.  They worked there for about half a year until hard times hit the company. The boss was forced to lay people off until it he got to Jack and Jill’s department.  Jack was on his coffee break, so the boss told Jill:

“I’m sorry, Jill.  But I’m gonna have to lay you or Jack off.”

“Well I’m sorry too,” replied Jill.  You’re gonna have to jack off cause I have a headache!”
(This page is supposedly from January 28, 1986. It is archived from 2001.—ed.)

Google Books
1,001 Great Jokes
By Jeff Rovin
New York, NY: New American Library
1987
Pg. 250:
“Well, sir, all I said was, “Jill, I don’t know whether to lay you or Jack off,’ and she was gone!”

Google Books
Split Britches:
Lesbian Practice/Feminist Performance

By Sue-Ellen Case
New York, NY: Routledge
1996
Pg. 70:
I’m going to have to lay you or Jack off. So she says WELL JACK OFF, I HAVE A HEADACHE THIS AFTERNOON!!

Google Groups: alt.tasteless.jokes
Layoffs!
Marco
10/3/96
The manager of OK Enterprises received a call from the president and told him that the company is losing money, therefore one of its two employees
Mary or Jack would have to be layed off.
“But they are both such good employees, sir” Said the manager. “Jack just got married, and Marry has two kids; thier lives will be ruined.”
So the manager was up all night worrying about how he was to break the news, and whom to lay off. Finally, he decided that the one who walks into work first, the following morning will be the unfortunate one.
So the next morning came and at 5 minutes to eight Mary walked in.
“I have some bad news for you Mary” said the manager.
“What is it?”
“I have to lay you or Jack off!” He cried.
“Jack off, I have a headache”.

Google Groups: alt.tasteless.jokes
giggles & grins
m...@anywhere.com
2/22/98
1… “Laying Off Sarah Or Jack”
Mr. Smith owned a small business. He had two employees, Sarah and Jack. They were both extremely good employees - always willing to work overtime and chip in where needed.

Mr. Smith was looking over his books one day and decided that he wasn’t making enough money to warrant two employees and he would have to lay one off. But both Sarah and Jack were such good workers he was having trouble finding a fair way to do it. He decided that he would watch them work and the first one to take a break would be the one he would lay off.

So, he sat in his office and watched them work. Suddenly, Sarah gets a terrible headache and needs to take an aspirin. She gets the aspirin out of her purse and goes to the water cooler to get something to wash it down with. Mr. Smith follows her to the water cooler, taps her on the shoulder and says, “Sarah, I’m going to have to lay you or Jack off.”

And Sarah says, “Can you jack off? I have a headache!”

Google Groups: alt.penpals.forty-plus-yrs
JOKE : Lay you or Jack off
Wouter Plaasvark
5/7/03
The boss had to get rid of one of two loyal employees, Susan and Jack. But he could not make up his mind, both were good and dedicated workers. So he decided to give each 10 minutes first thing the next morning to explain why he or she should not be the one to be axed. He would then make his choice. He went to Susan and started to explain: “Susan, I have to lay you or Jack off. So ....”

She gave him an irritated look and snapped: “Please jack off, I am having a terrible day...”

Google Books
Friars Club Private Joke File:
More Than 2,000 Very Naughty Jokes from the Grand Masters of Comedy

Edited by Barry Dougherty
New York, NY: Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers, Inc.
2006
Pg. ?:
Mr. Smith, the president of a large corporation, calls his vie president into his office and says, “Dave, we’re making some cutbacks, so either Jack or Barbara will have to be laid off.”

“Well,” says Dave, “Barbara is my best worker, but Jack has a wife and three kids. I don’t know whom to fire.”

The next morning, Dave waits for his employees to arrive. Barbara is the first to come in. Dave says, “Barbara, I’ve got a problem. I’ve got to lay you or Jack off—and I don’t know what to do.”

“You’d better jack off. I have a headache.”

Reddit
Jack and Jill work together in an office…
submitted September 25, 2016 by tugboater203
Things are getting very slow and the manager realizes he has to let one of them go but he can’t decide. The manager approaches Jill and says “I have to lay you or Jack off”.
“Jack off!” snaps Jill “I have a headache”.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityWork/Businesses • Sunday, September 25, 2016 • Permalink