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.

Recent entries:
“What did the bunny say when he had only thistles to eat?"/"Thistle have to do!” (8/18)
“What did the bunny say when he had only thistles to eat?"/"Thistle have to do!” (8/18)
“Programming is like sex: one mistake and you have to support it for the rest of your life” (8/18)
“If you do pass the McKinley bill, we shall have to come over to your country and thrash you” (8/18)
“There are so many scams on the internet. But for $19.99 I can show you how to avoid them” (8/18)
More new entries...

A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z


Entry from May 04, 2012
“The difference between a farmer and a pigeon is the pigeon can make a deposit on a John Deere”

A standard joke is told whenever there’s a financial downturn. “What’s the difference between a banker and a pigeon? The pigeon can still make a deposit on a Mercedes!” The joke was popular during the financial downturns of both 1987 and 2008.

Jim Hightower, commissioner of the Texas Department of Agriculture, appears to have coined the joke in 1985, when farmers were going through hard times. “The only difference between a farmer and a pigeon today is that a pigeon can still make a deposit on a John Deere,” Hightower said. In 1986—when the Texas oil industry collapsed—the joke involved a Texas oilman (instead of a farmer) and the pigeon was making a deposit on a Mercedes (instead of a John Deere tractor). The banker version of the joke appeared by October 1987.


Wikipedia: Jim Hightower
James Allen “Jim” Hightower (born January 11, 1943) is an American syndicated columnist, liberal political activist, and author who served from 1983 to 1991 as the elected commissioner of the Texas Department of Agriculture.

Google News Archive
21 November 1985, Lodi (CA) News-Sentinel, “An evangelist for populist politics” by Martin Smith, pg. 4, col. 3:
“The only difference between a farmer and a pigeon today is that a pigeon can still make a deposit on a John Deere.”
(Jim Hightower, Texas agricultural commissioner—ed.)

27 February 1986, Ottawa (KS) Herald, pg. 7, col. 4 ad:
FarmFest Is Fun
We are proud to present two shows, starring farm humorist Patricia Leimbach, a Vermillion, Ohio, farm wife who The Wall Street Journal recently described as “The Erma Bombeck of the Farm Belt.”

The Wall Street Journal also said of Mrs. Leimbach, “At a time when many farmers are saddles with debt and threatened with foreclosures, Mrs. Leimbach gets her audiences to laugh at their troubles. She quips, “What’s the difference between a farmer and a pigeon? A pigeon can still make a small deposit on a tractor!”

2 April 1986, The Telegraph (Alton, IL), “Woman tickles funny bone of the Farm Belt” by Sharon Cohen (Associated Press), pg. C5, col. 1:
For farmers scraping to get by, she (Pat Leimbach—ed.) poses this question: “What’s the difference between a farmer and a pigeon? A pigeon’s the one that can still afford to put a small deposit on a piece of machinery.”

Google News Archive
18 May 1986, Lakeland (FL) Ledger, “Ronald Reagan? Populist?” by Donald Kaul, pg. 10A, col. 2:
He says things like: “The only difference between a pigeon and the American farmer is that a pigeon can make a deposit on a John Deere,” and ‘The Republican philosophy is: ‘I’ve got mine; adios chump.’”
(Jim Hightower, Texas agricultural commissioner—ed.)

25 May 1986, The Times-Picayune (New Orleans, LA), “Taking a ride with the carnies” by Angus Lind, pg. F8, col. 3:
Q. What’s the difference between a Louisiana oilman and a pigeon?
A. A pigeon can still make a deposit on a Mercedes.

3 August 1986, The Times-Picayune (New Orleans, LA), “Dark laughter ends grace to fall of Texas oil empire” by Dave Maraniss (Washington Post), pg. K4, col. 2:
What’s the difference between a pigeon and a west Texas oil driller?

A pigeon can still make a deposit on a Mercedes.

16 November 1986, Chicago (IL) Sun-Times, “Stores leaving Santa Claus out in the cold” by Greg Burns, pg. 2:
Among the tall tales told: “What’s the difference between a Texas oil man and a pigeon?” A pigeon can still make a deposit on a Mercedes.

25 October 1987, Newsday (Long Island, NY), “They’re Along for the Slide,” pg. 4: 
Among the jokes that made the rounds: “What’s the difference between a pigeon and an investment banker? A pigeon can still make a deposit on a BMW.”

New York (NY) Times
A Pigeon and a Stock Trader Are Stranded on an Island, See ...
By TIM ARANGO
Published: September 26, 2008
On Wall Street, a black day is almost always followed by black humor.

Over the last two weeks, in trading floor jokes, finance blogs, videos circulated on YouTube and doctored photos sent by e-mail between traders, Wall Street’s tradition of gallows humor has been alive and well.

Here is one example making the rounds: “What’s the difference between a Lehman trader and a pigeon? A pigeon can still make a deposit on a Ferrari.”

BBC News
Page last updated at 11:53 GMT, Friday, 10 October 2008 12:53 UK
Your credit crunch jokes
(...)
What’s the difference between Investment Bankers and London Pigeons? The Pigeons are still capable of making deposits on new BMW’s
Rob, London, UK

Crain’s New York Business
Heard any good Wall St. jokes?
By Valerie Block
January 4, 2009 5:59 a.m.
On Wall Street—or what’s left of it—jobs and bonuses have been replaced by the best gallows humor to emerge since, well, the last time the market collapsed. Top jokes to emerge from the wreckage:
(...)
Question: What’s the difference between a Lehman Brothers banker and a pigeon?
Answer: A pigeon can still make a deposit on a Ferrari.

Posted by Barry Popik
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • (0) Comments • Friday, May 04, 2012 • Permalink