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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“Big Apple” explained in a film (2010) (11/18)
“No matter how loud car alarms are, cars never seem to wake up” (11/18)
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Entry from January 08, 2016
“A pedestrian is someone who thought there were a couple of gallons left in the tank”

Some people continue to drive their cars when the gas gauge reads “empty,” thinking that a gallon or two is still left in the tank. The Wall Street Journal originated a frequently reprinted joke on June 7, 1954:

“Pedestrian: The man who thought there were still a couple of gallons left in the tank when the gauge read empty.”


7 June 1954, The Wall Street Journal, “PEPPER ...... and Salt,” pg. 10:
Pedestrian: The man who thought there were still a couple of gallons left in the tank when the gauge read empty.

10 June 1954, The News and Courier (Charleston, SC), “Doing The Charleston” by Ashley Cooper, pg. 4-A, col. 5:
Q. Can you give me the definition of a pedestrian? (Teacher)
A. Well, there’s the old one about the two-car owner whose sons are home from college on vacation. But better still, I like the one where the pedestrian is defined as the man who thought there were a couple of gallons left in the tank even after the gas gauge read empty.

27 September 1954, San Luis Obispo County (CA) Telegram-Tribune, pg. 10, col. 5:
THAT DID IT
Pedestrian: The man who thought there were still a couple of gallons left in the tank when the gauge read empty.—Wall Street Journal.

Google Books
The Reader’s Digest
Volume 65
1954
Pg. 6:
Pedestrian — man who thought there were still a couple gallons of gas left in the tank (The Wall Street Journal).

Google News Archive
9 April 1963, The Daily Reporter (SPencer, IA), “Cousin Cuz” by Cuz Ottavi, pg. 2, col. 2:
Whenever I see a man with a gas can in his hand, it brings to mind the definition of a pedestrian being one who thought there were still a couple of gallons left in the tank.

Google News Archive
18 June 1982, Gainesville (FL) Sun, pg. 1A, col. 4:
Laughing Stock: A pedestrian is a guy who feels sure there are still several gallons of gas in the tank when the gauge points to empty.

Google News Archive
14 May 2001, Bangor (ME) Daily News, “Bridge” by Frank Stewart, pg. D6, col. 6:
“Can you define ‘pedestrian’?’"a club player asked.

“Someone who thought the tank still had gas in it when the needle read empty?” I offered.

Google Books
CAR OWNERSHIP for Mommies
By Mommies Line
Lulu Publishing, Inc. (Lulu.com)
2008
Pg. 45:
“A pedestrian is someone who thought there were a couple of gallons left in the tank” (Unknown Author)

Twitter
Clean Jokes
‏@CleanJokes247
#CleanJokes PEDESTRIAN, n: Someone who thought there were a couple of gallons left in the tank. ---Unknown http://ow.ly/39RcFt
6:34 AM - 8 Jan 2016

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityTransportation • Friday, January 08, 2016 • Permalink