Sunday, November 25, 2012

And she made him a feast at his earnest wishOf eggs and buttercups fried with fish;-And she said,- ‘It’s a fact the whole world knows,That Pobbles are happier without their toes.’

Edward Lear, The Pobble who has no toes, illus. Kevin W.Maddison (London: Ash & Grant, 1977).


And she made him a feast at his earnest wish
Of eggs and buttercups fried with fish;-
And she said,- ‘It’s a fact the whole world knows,
That Pobbles are happier without their toes.’

Edward Lear, The Pobble who has no toes, illus. Kevin W.Maddison (London: Ash & Grant, 1977).

Mayonnaise of mineral oil

Humming a little song without a tune, he put on the coffee and began preparing his breakfast. He selected the two brownest eggs in the icebox as he had convinced himself that brown eggs were more nourishing than the white ones. After months of practice, with many a gooey slip, he had learned to crack an egg and slip it carefully into the poacher. While the eggs were poaching he buttered his bread lightly and put it in the oven as he disliked toaster toast. Finally, he put a yellow cloth on the breakfast table and blue salt and pepper shakers. Although it was a solitary meal, the Judge did not want it to be a dismal one. The breakfast finished, he carried it item by item to the table, using only the good hand. Meanwhile the coffee was perking merrily. As a final touch he brought mayonnaise from the refrigerator and put a careful dollop on each poached egg. The mayonnaise was made of mineral oil and had, thank God, few calories. The Judge had found a wonderful book, Diet Without Despair, which he read constantly. The only trouble was that mineral oil was laxative and it behooved you to be careful not to eat too much for fear of sudden bathroom accidents, bathroom accidents which he knew were unbecoming to a magistrate … especially if it occurred in the courthouse office as it had two times. Being sensitive to his dignity, the Judge was careful to ration the helpings of the delicious, low-calorie mayonnaise.
[ … ] He ate the whites of his eggs first … the least delicious part of his breakfast … then he carefully mashed up the peppered and mayonnaised yolks and spread them delicately on his toast. He ate with careful relish, his maimed hand curved lovingly around the rationed food as though to defend it from some possible aggressor.
[ … ] Breakfast over, the old Judge was still hungry. He picked up Diet Without Despair which was on the kitchen shelf and commenced to read studiously, hungrily. It almost comforted him to know that anchovies, large-sized, were only twenty calories and a stalk of asparagus only five, and that a medium-sized apple was a hundred. But though this knowledge almost comforted him, he was not quite soothed, for what he wanted was more toast, dripping with butter and spread with the homemade blackberry jam that Verily had made. He could see in his mind’s eye the delicately browned toast and feel in his mouth the sweet, grainy blackberries. Although he had no intention of digging his grave with his teeth, the anxiety that had sharpened his appetite had at the same time weakened his will; stealthily he was limping to the breadbox when a low growl in his stomach made him stop, his hand outstretched toward the breadbox, and start toward the bathroom which had been put in for him after the ‘little seizure.’ He veered on his way to pick up Diet Without Despair in case there should be any waiting.

— McCullers, Clock Without Hands
[the passage continues here]
Cf much of Amis and Updike

Monday, August 20, 2012
His black silk tie was starting to resemble a worn carbon ribbon. There were medallions of kebab gravy and fried egg on the lapels of the new suit. William Gibson, Neuromancer — cp the heraldic device of egg yolk in Amis
Wednesday, July 11, 2012

shifting from ham to ham

Plate-scraping at the sink, she consecrates
To Christ her Lord the misery in her legs.
Tinges of spring engage the bulbous land.
Packets of dyestuff wait for Easter eggs.

Frail-boned, stooped low as she, forsythia
In its decrepitude still ventures flowers.
How can He die and common life go on?
A beer truck desecrates God’s passionate hours.

He died for those who do not give a damn.
Brooding on sorrowful mysteries, she shoves
Into its clean white forehead-fat the ham’s
Thorn crown of cloves.

X. J. Kennedy: “Aunt Rectita’s Good Friday"

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Once the egg is down below in your bag…

  The Brother can’t look at an egg.
  Is that so?
  Can’t stand the sight of an egg at all. Rashers, ham, fish, anything you like to mention — he’ll eat them all and ask for more. But he can’t go the egg. Thanks very much all the same but no eggs. The egg is barred.
  I see.
  I do often hear him talking about the danger of eggs. You can get all classes of disease from eggs, so the brother says.
  That is disturbing news.
  The trouble is that the egg never dies. It is full of all classes of microbes and once the egg is down below in your bag, they do start moving around and eating things, delighted with themselves. No trouble to them to start some class of an ulcer on the sides of the bag.
  I see.
  Just imagine all your men down there walking up and down your stomach and maybe breeding families, chawing and drinking and feeding away there, it’s a wonder we’re not all in our graves man, with all them hens in the country.
  I must remember to avoid eggs.
  I chance an odd one meself but one of these days I’ll be a sorry man. Here’s me Drimnagh bus, I’ll have to lave yeh, don’t do anything when your uncle’s with you, as the man said.
  Good bye.

Flann O’Brien, The Best of Myles

Tuesday, May 1, 2012
On the mode of preparing bulbs Philemon says: “Look, if you please, at the bulb, and see what lavish expense it requires to have its reputation — cheese, honey, sesame-seed, oil, onion, vinegar, silphium. Taken by itself alone it is poor and bitter.” And Heracleides of Tarentum, restricting the use of bulbs at a symposium, says: “Too much eating must be eliminated, especially in the case of foods which contain sticky, glutinous matter, such as eggs, bulbs, beef-extremities, snails, and the like. For they stay too long in the stomach, and becoming entangled they check the flow of the humours.” Athenaeus
Monday, April 23, 2012
Ford would spend all day in a dressing gown stained with bacon fat. That same ingredient of breakfast food was also a theme in the life of Cyril Connolly … [who] could use a cold rasher of cooked bacon as a bookmark [ … ] Auden lived long enough for me to see his tie. I thought it had been presented to him by Jackson Pollock until I realized it was a plain tie plus food.

Clive James

previously on ties: Waugh

Wednesday, April 4, 2012
The egg-sucking fox
licks his copper chops.
The shell cups
lie scattered from
the orange debauch.
Kay Ryan, “Theft”
Tuesday, March 6, 2012
He was looking more than usually wild-eyed and dishevelled this morning. There was a small golden emblem on his tie resembling some heraldic device or other, but proving on closer scrutiny to be congealed egg-yolk. Substantial traces of the same nutritive were to be seen round his mouth, which was now ajar. Amis, Lucky Jim
[S]he tried to beef me up with stuff like Parrish’s Chemical Food, a fearful reddish liquid which was supposed to turn your teeth black unless you bypassed them by sucking it through a straw. More directly, she would sit opposite me at the dinner-table pushing forkful after forkful into my mouth, not an ideal way of encouraging the appetite — for solids, that is. Here again I feel I can spot a contributory cause of later developments.

Amis, in the Zachary Leader biography.

More gobbets over the next few pages, e.g.: “[the badly hungover Jim] darted back to the sideboard, picked up a slippery fried egg and slid it into his mouth whole… . Chewing violently, he doubled up a piece of bacon and crammed it between his teeth, then signalled he was ready to move. Intimations of nausea circled round his digestive system.” Leader notes that the bacon is “vermilion”-colored later.)