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 June 08, 2016
“The butcher backed up into the meat grinder and got a little behind in his work”

There’s a joke about being a little behind in work:

“The butcher backed up into the meat grinder and got a little behind in his work.”

The joke has been cited in print since at least 1938.


20 August 1938, Hutchinson (KS) News, “Kansas Kernels,” pg. 4, col. 3:
According to the Augusta Gazette a butcher there backed into a running meat grinder and got a little behind in his work.

28 August 1940, Ogden (UT) Standard-Examiner, “Sol’s Sunshine and Shadow,” pg. 8-B, col. 2:
Here’s a bum joke: Down at the butcher shop they tell about a butcher who sat down on the meat grinder and got a little behind in his work.

6 November 1941, Elgin (IA) Echo, “The Broadcaster,” pg. 8, col. 5:
Then there was the butcher who sat on the meat grinder and got a little behind in his work.

17 July 1942, Columbus (GA) Enquirer, “Jimmie Fidler In Hollywood,” pg. 10, col. 4:
Red Skelton phoned me this morning to report the sad case of the butcher who backed into a meat grinder. He wasn’t seriously injured, but he got a little behind in his work.

19 August 1949, The Echo (Richardson, TX), pg. 3, col. 5:
Then there’s the one about the butcher who backed into the meat grinder and got a little behind in his work.

Google News Archive
21 January 1968, Gadsden (AL) Times, “Pertinent Paragraphs” by Burns Bennett, Alabama Sunday Magazine, pg. 11, col. 2:
Then there was the butcher who got a little behind in his work when he backed into the meat grinder.

17 September 1971, Chicago (IL) Tribune, “Line o’ Type,” sec. 1, pg. 14, col. 5:
Did you hear about the butcher who backed into the meat-grinder and got a little behind in his work?
Sally Parnos

Google Books
Blanche Knott’s Book of Truly Tasteless Anatomy Jokes, Volume 2
By Blanche Knott
New York, NY: St. Martin’s Press
1991
Pg. 45:
Did you hear about the butcher who got behind in his work?
He backed into the meat grinder.

Google Books
Get Thee to a Punnery:
An Anthology of Intentional Assaults Upon the English Language

By Richard Lederer
Layton, UT: Wyrick & Company
1988
Pg. 68:
Have you heard about the butcher who backed into the meat grinder? He got a little behind in his work.

Twitter
KarrieLyne
‏@KarrieLyne
The butcher backed up into the meat grinder and got a little behind in his work.
10:53 AM - 16 Jul 2007

Google Books
Tyrannosaurus Lex:
The Marvelous Book of Palindromes, Anagrams, and Other Delightful and Outrageous Wordplay

By Rod L. Evans, Ph.D.
New York, NY: A Perigee Book (Penguin Books)
2012
Pg. ?:
The butcher backed up into the meat grinder and got a little behind in his work.

reddit
What happened when the butcher backed into his meat grinder?
submitted June 26, 2014 by EatMoreKale1
He got a little behind in his work.

reddit
Did you hear about the butcher who backed into the meat grinder?
submitted June 8, 2016 by MHG73
He got a little behind in his work

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityFood/Drink • Wednesday, June 08, 2016 • Permalink