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:
“If I had a dollar for every time someone said not to look directly at the eclipse…” (8/21)
“I give the eclipse one star” (8/21)
“Yo mama is so fat, when she went skydiving she caused an eclipse” (8/20)
Entry forthcoming—B.P. (8/20)
“Solar energy is just nuclear energy from a safe distance” (8/20)
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Entry from January 31, 2017
“What’s the difference between a bus driver and a cold?” (riddle)

A “one stops the nose, and the other knows the stops” riddle has had three difference variations. A “church organist” variation was cited in 1862:

“What is the difference between a church organist and the influenza? Ans.—One stops the nose, and the other knows the stops.”

A “railroad conductor” version was cited in 1869:

“Why is a railroad conductor like a bad cold? One knows the stops, the other stops the nose.”

A “bus driver” version was cited in 1976:

“What is the difference between a bus driver and a cold? One knows the stops, the other stops the nose.”


13 December 1862, Saturday Evening Post (Philadelphia, PA), “Conundrums,” pg. 8, col. 6:
What is the difference between a church organist and the influenza? Ans.—One stops the nose, and the other knows the stops.

Google Books
March 1863, Ballou’s Dollar Monthly Magazine, [g. 257, col. 2:
RATHER HARD.—What is the difference between a church organist and the influenza? One stops the nose, and the other knows the stops.

18 May 1869, The Spirit of Democracy (Woodsfield, OH), pg. 1, col. 3:
Why is a railroad conductor like a bad cold? One knows the stops, the other stops the nose.

Google Books
May 1874, Gleason’s Monthly Companion (Boston, MA), pg. 239, col. 1:
What is the difference between a railroad conductor and a bad cold? One knows the stops, and *e other stops the nose.

Google Books
October 1919, Boys’ Life, “THink and Grin,” pg. 31, col. 2::
It’s Sneezy Guess
First Scout—What’s the difference between a cold in the nose and a street car conductor?
Second Scout— A cold stops the nose and a conductor knows the stops.

Google Books
Biggest Riddle Book in the World
By Joseph Rosenbloom
Illustrations by Joyce Behr
New York, NY: Sterling Publishing Companhy, Inc.
1976
Pg. 49:
What is the difference between a bus driver and a cold?
One knows the stops, the other stops the nose.

Google Books
1001 Really Stupid Jokes
By Mike Phillips
London: Constable & Robinson Ltd
2000
Pg. ?:
What’s the difference between a bus driver and a cold in the head?
A bus driver knows the stops, and a cold in the head stops the nose.

Google Books
Sensible Nonsense.. Frank’s Comic Pack:
Humour Pack Series

By Frank Paul
BookBaby
2014
Pg. ?:
“What’s the difference between a bus driver and a cold? A bus driver knows the stops, and a cold stops the nose.”

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityTransportation • Tuesday, January 31, 2017 • Permalink