A LITTLE DINNER AT CHICAGO.
Vanity Fair (UK), June 7, 1906
(After Walt Whitman.)
ALLONS, camarados! I do not doubt that the Government
Inspector has passed it.
I do not doubt that he said it was the bulliest stuff he had ever struck.
I do not doubt that the packing company would cry like children if you hinted that their pies were not the same as mother makes.
Oh, you packers!
I see the British soldier eating Chicago German sausage.
I see a bed in the hospital, and a doctor.
I see a military funeral. Such a pretty sight.
I see a Beef Trust magnate wallowing in dollars.
I see whole families rolling on the floor in agony.
I see the father rolling on the floor, and the mother and children rolling on the floor.
They have been eating the Trust’s Nulli Secundus ham-sandwich.
I see the President of the Trust signing a cheque for a million dollars for
a house at Newport.
Of Public Opinion,
Of a calm, cool fiat, sooner or later (generally later).
Of a number of Trust magnates slain seriatim by their own sausages.
I knew a man.
He was engaged in a Chicago packing-house.
It was his duty to convert into Potted Chicken the bodies of gazekas (deeply lamented, no flowers by request).
This sounds difficult, but he did it.
One day, going about his work, he fell into the machine.
It never occurred to anybody to stop the machine.
It was a pity, in a way.
I say that there is more in a pork-pie than the casual observer might suppose.
I say that it wants watching.
I say that it is only by accident that a robustly healthy pig ever wanders into the packing-house.
I have a pain!
So bad for Little Mary.
The torment of the twinge, the acuteness of the agony, the severity of the spasm!
I am in great pain.
In future (if I have a future, which I doubt) I shall go to Eustace H. Miles’ restaurant.
Behold, I am not a man who—OW!!
(Left in convulsions.)
P. G. Wodehouse.
gazeka: a fictional beast of comical appearance; a joking reference to it was interpolated into the London production of the operetta The Little Michus by actor George Graves in 1905, and the idea of it became a fad, with competitions to depict it, advertisements on the theme, and mentions of it in other shows. Wodehouse used it as a nickname for Firby-Smith in Mike (Jackson, Junior) and in two Punch items: A Novelist’s Day and Our Military Critic Speaks.
Eustace H. Miles: (1868–1948), British athlete, author, and advocate of meatless diets (though including milk, eggs, and other animal proteins)