Head in the oven, feet in the freezer = average

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Sun Jan 19 20:17:26 UTC 2014

Jonathan Lighter wrote:
> A CNN guest today mentioned "the old joke" about an economist whose
> head was in an oven and feet in a freezer; asked how he felt he said
> "About average."
> Earliest I've found:
> 1977 Joanne Omang in_The New Mexicam_ (Santa Fe) (May 12)  A12:
> To say that Latin America's exports rose 14 per cent in value in 1976
> is like saying a man with his head in the oven and his feet in the freezer
> is comfortable on the average.

Here is a instance of the joke presented in verse in 1960.

[ref] 1960 June 11, San Antonio Express and News, For Land's Sake:
Don't Give It Back to the Indians by Arthur L. Coleman, Quote Page
6-C, Column 7 and 8, San Antonio, Texas. (NewspaperArchive)[/ref]

[Begin excerpt]

(To be served median rare, a la mode)

An old statistician named Angus McPheezer
Kept his head in the stove and his feet in the freezer.
The strain was immense,
But to him it made sense--
On the average, he was a comfortable geezer.

[End excerpt]


The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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