Sunday, January 01, 2006


Practical Remedies

Pliny the Elder
2 owl's eggs, raw

To be taken neat.

The Plinys, like many other top-drawer Roman families, enjoyed the pleasures of good food and drink. Fortunately, they could also pen a word or two on the subject so that we are left with a little knowledge of their tastes.

Pliny the Elder, for example, was something of a cheese buff and was particularly attracted to pecorino--and not just any old pecorino, but the one made in Tuscany. And as wine goes so well with cheese it is not surprising that every now and then he overdid it. When that happened, the Pliny family knew what to do.

Fried Canary
1 canary
1 pint cooking oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Grab the canary and with a large pair of scissors cut off its head. Make a small incision in the skin near the breast-bone; slip a finger inside, and deftly pull off the skin with all the feathers attached. Heat the oil until almost smoking, pop the bird in, undrawn, and deep-fry for two minutes. Remove from the oil, dust with salt and pepper and serve. (Some people recommend flambéing the canary with cognac immediately upon removing from the pan. This step is optional.)
W.C. Fields
A martini made of 1 part vermouth, 4 parts gin and one olive

To be taken round the clock.

F. Scott Fitzgerald

Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, characters from F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby, drank their way through two continents, terrifying some, disgusting others and thrilling even more. The Fitzgerald cure is found in a note, which he wrote upon request of a friend that he write something especially for her. He wrote (sic):

Skot Fisgurel by Merry Mac-Caul

"I have never scene Skot Fisgurelsober but he is a grate freiend of mine. He has offen toled me about his methods. He begins in the mawning with 3 (three) strong whiskeys and from then on for years and years he seldom stops. I myself am a danscer and kan skarecely write my own name."

Kingsley Amis

Another writer cited by Outerbridge is Kingsley Amis, who wrote the following:

Upon awakening: 'If your wife or other partner is beside you, and (of course) is willing, perform the sexual act as vigorously as you can. The exercise will do you good, and--on the assumption that you enjoy sex--you will feel toned up emotionally.

'Warnings: (1) if you are in bed with somebody you should not be in bed with, and have in the least degree a bad conscience about this, abstain. Guilt and shame are prominent constituents of the Metaphysical Hangover, and will certainly be sharpened by indulgence on such an occasion.

'(2) For the same generic reason, do not take the matter into your own hands if you awake by yourself.'

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Santa Cruz, CA, United States
I am a very shy introverted photographer. My psycho-therapist says that I may be able to come out of my shell almost any time now.