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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“The job requires me to get a potato clock” (get up at eight o’clock) (5/22)
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Entry from December 10, 2016
“Philosophy majors ask why you want fries with that”

“Do you want fries with that?” is a popular question asked at many fast food restaurants. By extension, it’s used in several jokes about liberal arts graduates who seemingly can’t find employment with that major. A joke about college majors was printed in the newsgroup rec.humor.funny on October 8, 1992:

Engineering: “How will this work?”
Science: “Why will this work?”
Management: “When will this work?”
Liberal Arts: “Do you want fries with that?”


An extended liberal arts joke specifically about philosophy majors is that they ask “why” you want fries with that. “Two things to do with a Phd in Philosophy: 1. Teach. 2. Pose the question: ‘But do you know why you want fries with that?’” was posted on Twitter on June 8, 2009. “A degree in philosophy qualifies you to ask why you want fries with that” was posted on Twitter on March 29, 2013.


Google Groups: rec.humor.funny
Questions
Jesse N. Schell
10/8/92
Someone once asked me if there was any real difference between engineers, scientists, and managers in today’s high tech companies. Although the differences are often subtle to an outsider, you can tell one from another simply by the questions they ask.

Engineering: “How will this work?”
Science: “Why will this work?”
Management: “When will this work?”

And in today’s technological environment, this is often followed by:

Liberal Arts: “Do you want fries with that?”

Google Groups: rec.humor
FLORIDE MIND CONTROL VICKI
JOHN AMSLER
9/28/95
(...)
Science major:  “Why does it work?”
Engineering major:  “How does it work?”
Accounting major:  “How much will it cost?”
Liberal Arts major:  “Do you want fries with that?”

Google Books
San Diego Magazine
Volume 49
1996
Pg. 24:
A science or philosophy major will always ask why something works the way it does. A business major will ask how much it costs to make it work. And a journalism major will always ask, “Do you want fries with that?”

25 April 1999, Indiana (PA) Gazette, “Academic job market saturated” by George F. Will, pg. A-8, col. 1:
The science Ph.D. asks, “Why does it work?” The engineering Ph.D. asks, “How does it work?” The liberal arts Ph.D. asks, “Do you want fries with that?”

Google Books
A Treasury of Humor:
Thousands of humorous stories, jokes, anecdotes and one-liners, up-to-date and categorized for ease of use

By Lowell D. Streiker
Peabody, MA: Hendrickson
2000
Pg. 87:
Seen on a T-shirt: I have a degree in Liberal Arts — Do you want fries with that?

Twitter
Ed Robinson
‏@SirGavriel
Two things to do with a Phd in Philosophy: 1. Teach. 2. Pose the question: “But do you know why you want fries with that?”
6:30 AM - 8 Jun 2009

Twitter
Ali A. Cha’aban
‏@AliAChaaban
You want to major in Philosophy, start practising “Why do you want fries with that, sir?”
12:39 PM - 27 Jun 2011

Twitter
Mother Catressa
‏@Alter_Sama
When a philosophy major graduates, he is given the authority to ask “WHY do you want fries with that?”
5:37 AM - 11 Aug 2011

Twitter
Seán Murtagh
‏@strepsum
A degree in philosophy qualifies you to ask why you want fries with that
8:00 AM - 29 Mar 2012

Bungie
Subject: Is Philosophy Important?
Darth1Snyder | Exalted Mythic Member
It’s for being smug in college, and knowing why you want fries with that.
05.04.2012 12:15 PM PST

Twitter
Austi Farley
‏@AustiJay
Jobs for Philosophy majors: Asking WHY you want fries with that.
7:29 PM - 9 May 2012

Twitter
Marvin Van Bueran
‏@MistahMarvin
Philosophy majors ask WHY you want fries with that…
3:49 PM - 7 Jun 2012

Reddit—Jokes
What’s the difference between an art student and a philosophy student?
submitted December 11, 2016 by MZA87
A philosophy student asks you why you want fries with that

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityEducation/Schools • Saturday, December 10, 2016 • Permalink