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 forthcoming—B.P. (6/22)
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Entry from March 21, 2016
“What’s the worst vegetable to bring on a boat?"/"A leek.”

A children’s food joke involving leeks—which sounds like “leaks”—is:

Q: What’s the worst vegetable to bring on a boat?
A: A leek.


The joke was cited in print in 1892 and 1924, but became popular by about 2008.


21 July 1892, Bridgeton (NJ) Evening News, pg. 1, col. 2:
Theodore Baker, Cumberland’s boss trucker, says the worst vegetable you can have about a ship is a leek.

Google Books
L̀istening-in’: and Other Addresses to Children
By William Hay
Paisley (UK): Alexander Gardner. Limited
1924
Pg. 42:
They would ask, “ What was the worst vegetable they brought with them from England?” And the answer to this conundrum was “ The Scottish leek.”

Google Books
Stowaway!:
Adventures at Sea

By Tracey West
New York, NY: Grosset & Dunlap
2008
Pg. 56:
“What’s the worst vegetable to have on a ship?” you ask Rockhopper.

Rockhopper looks at you. “I don’t know, matey. What?”

“A leek!” you say. “Leek! Get it?”

Twitter
Emily Neil
‏@emmmmily_
what is the worst vegetable to have on a boat-a leek..haha (:
9:45 AM - 25 Dec 2009

Twitter
Gemma Byers
‏@gemmabyers
@RedHouseBooks What’s the worst vegetable to have on a boat? A leek!
3:43 AM - 14 Jan 2011

Twitter
hanna cody
‏@hannacody
@MetalChristine @jessacass What’s the worst vegetable to take on a boat??
A Leek #badjokefriday
9:04 PM - 22 Sep 2011

Google Books
Food Jokes For Kids 6
By Peter Crumpton
PeteyRF Creative
2015
Pg. ?:
What’s the worst vegetable to serve on a boat?
Leeks!

Facebook
Woodman’s - Altoona, WI
April 24, 2015 ·
What’s the worst vegetable to serve on a boat? “Leeks!” ‪#‎FoodJokeFriday‬

reddit
What’s the worst vegetable to bring on a boat? (self.dadjokes)
submitted March 9, 2016 by jay_el_ess
a leek

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityFood/Drink • Monday, March 21, 2016 • Permalink