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 May 21, 2019
“My idea of housework is to sweep the room with a glance”

"My idea of housework is to sweep the room with a glance” is a jocular saying that has been printed on many images. The saying has sometimes been credited to American humorist Erma Bombeck (1927-1996) since at least 2011, but she never said it.

This exchange was printed in many newspapers in 1907:

Novelist’s Wife—Why does your heroine “enter and sweep the room with a glance”?
Novelist (scornfully)—Because she has no vacuum cleaner.—Town Topics.


“‘My maid’s idea of housework is to sweep the room with a glance,’ ABC-TV’s Joey Adams comments” was printed in Columbus (OH) Dispatch on December 20, 1953. New York City-born comedian Joey Adams (1911-1999) wrote in his book Cindy and I: The Real Life Adventures of Mr. and Mrs. Joey Adams (1957):

“My wife’s idea of housecleaning is to sweep the room with a glance.”


Wikipedia: Joey Adams
Joey Adams (born Joseph Abramowitz; January 6, 1911 – December 2, 1999) was an American comedian, vaudevillian, radio host, nightclub performer and author, who was inducted into the New York Friars’ Club in 1977 and wrote the book Borscht Belt in 1973.

26 December 1907, Barre (VT) Daily Times, pg. 7, col. 5:
Inhabited by Dust.
Novelist’s Wife—Why does your heroine “enter and sweep the room with a glance”?
Novelist (scornfully)—Because she has no vacuum cleaner.—Town Topics.

20 October 1927, Emporia (KS) Daily Gazette, “Sally Sallies” (one panel comic strip), pg. 11, col. 4:
It doesn’t help mother to sweep the room with a glance.

20 December 1953, Columbus (OH) Dispatch, “The Dispatch Tab” sec., pg. 19, col. 4:
My maid’s idea of housework is to sweep the room with a glance,” ABC-TV’s Joey Adams comments.

Google Books
Cindy and I:
The Real Life Adventures of Mr. and Mrs. Joey Adams

By Joey Adams
New York, NY: Crown Publishers
1957
Pg. 8:
My wife’s idea of housecleaning is to sweep the room with a glance.

18 July 1962, Chicago (IL) Daily Tribune, “A Line O’ Type Or Two,” pt. 1, pg. 10, col. 3:
Brevity.
My wife’s idea with work is to sweep the room with a glance.—Wilfred E. Beaver.

27 July 1992, Toronto (ON) Star, “One-Liner Bar serves up insults” by George Gamester, pg. A4:
You’re just in time to join us for a visit to one of our favorite Monday hangouts - the One-Liner Bar.
(...)
“Really? So how come you’re out tonight? What about the housework?”

MY IDEA OF HOUSEWORK IS TO SWEEP THE ROOM WITH A GLANCE.

Twitter
Jessica Sellers
@jlsellers
“My idea of housework is to sweep the room with a glance.” ~Author Unknown
12:29 PM - 19 Dec 2008

Google Books
Tweet This Book:
The 1,400 Greatest Quotes of All Time in 140 Characters or Less

Compiled and edited by Sayre Van Young and Marin Van Young
Berkeley, CA: Ulysses Press
2011
Pg. 38:
My idea of housework is to sweep the room with a glance.
Anonymous

Twitter
Jenn Rian
@jennrianblogs
My idea of housework is to sweep the room with a glance - Erma Bombeck #nohousework Link Up!: http://wp.me/p10IIL-12S
5:11 PM - 7 Apr 2011

16 January 2012, The Courier-Mail (Brisbane, Queensland), “Finesse art of sloppy housework” by Sue Wighton, pg. 21:
Humorist Erma Bombeck defiantly said: “My idea of housework is to sweep the room with a glance.” Me too.

Google Books
Organized Enough: The Anti-Perfectionist’s Guide to Getting--and Staying—Organized
By Amanda Sullivan
Boston, MA: Da Capo Press
2017
Pg. ?:
My idea of housework is to sweep the room with a glance. —ERMA BOMBECK

Twitter
Fat-Bottom-Fifties Get Fierce
@FatBottom50s
My idea of housework is to sweep the room with a glance.  ~Erma Bombeck #humor #housework #funnyquote
3:00 PM - 26 Jan 2019

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityBuildings/Housing/Parks • Tuesday, May 21, 2019 • Permalink