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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“I like coffee because it gives me the illusion that I might be awake” (3/26)
Entry forthcoming—B.P. (3/26)
“If you are not coffee, chocolate, or bacon, I’m going to need you to go away” (3/26)
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Entry from September 10, 2007
Texas Fairy Tale ("Y’all ain’t gonna believe this” instead of “Once upon a time")

According to the joke, the difference between a “fairy tale” and a “Texas fairy tale” is how it begins. A fairy tale begins “Once upon a time...” A Texas fairy tale begins “Y’all ain’t gonna believe this...”

This joke possibly originated in the armed services during the Vietnam era, describing the difference between a fairy tale and a war story. The joke has been spreading around the internet since at least 1998, when this was described as the difference between a Northern fairy tale and a Southern fairy tale.


Urban Dictionary
Texas Fairytale
While a fairytale begins with, “Once upon a time...” a Texas fairytale begins with, “Hell, you ain’t gonna believe this...”
Bubba asked me how big the bass I caught was, so I told him a Texas fairytale: “Hell, you ain’t gonna believe this, but it was a good 20 pounds!”
by Calvin Smellage Texas May 17, 2006

Google Groups: alt.war.vietnam
Newsgroups: alt.war.vietnam
From: (Mac Mc Kinzie)
Date: 1996/08/09
Subject: Once upon a time…

When I was in the service, I heard someone ask, “Boy, you know the difference between a war-story and a fairytale?  No?  Well, boy, a fairytale starts like this, ‘Once upon a time...’ and a war-story
begins with ‘you ain’t gonna believe this sh**...’

Google Groups: alt.fan.brad-pitt
Newsgroups: alt.fan.brad-pitt
From: (Alicatcher)
Date: 1998/08/14
Subject: Re: Fairytales

>What’s the difference between a Northern fairytale and a Southern
>>fairytale?
>>In the North they all begin with “Once upon a time...” In the South
>>they begin with “Y’all ain’t gonna believe this sh*t...”

Google Groups
Newsgroups: borland.public.discussion
From: ilcrawford.at.hotmail.dot.com (Iman L Crawford)
Date: 12 Jul 2001 13:04:13 -0700
Local: Thurs, Jul 12 2001 4:04 pm
Subject: Re: Answer

>What’s the difference between a fairy tale, and a texas tall tale?

A fairy tale begins:
Once upon a time

and a texas tall tale:
Ya’ll sombitches ain’t gonna believe this

Sweater Project
What’s the difference . . .
Friday, August 26th, 2005
By way of my stepdad:
What’s the differnce between a Fairy Tale and a Texas Tall Tale?
A Texas Tall Tale begins, “Sumbitch, you ain’t gonna believe this . . .”

Gypsy Cowgirl Thinks
Saturday, October 01, 2005
Fairy Tales
Fairy Tales begin with, “Once Upon a Time.”
Texas Fairy Tales begin with, “You SOB’s ain’t gonna believe this shit...”

ITtoolbox
dbyerley(Systems Engineer) Posted 4/25/2006
A fairy tale begins “Once upon a time”. This is not a fairy tale and since I’m from Texas my story begins:
“You ain’t gonna believe this S***!!!”

Dad Gone Mad
Posted by: George W. | November 15, 2006 at 01:30 PM
The fairy tale starts out with “Once upon a time...” and the Texas tale starts with “You sumbitches ain’t ever gonna’ believe this, but....”

Rayrangutan
Fairy Tales
Tuesday, January 16th, 2007

Every once in a while someone says words that make me spritz my drink. It happened today.

Him: “Do you know the difference between an ordinary Fairy Tale and a Texas Fairy Tail?”
Me: “No.”
Him: “An ordinary fairy tale starts with ‘Once upon a time…’” A Texas fairy tale starts with: “You won’t belive this shit but…”

Posted by Barry Popik
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • (0) Comments • Monday, September 10, 2007 • Permalink