Monday, April 7, 2008

Victorian Nonsense, Animal Cruelty: the Solution to End-of-Semester Bitterness?


Edward Lear, famed 19th century master of nonsense was not only responsible for popularizing the limerick form and writing such poetic staples as "The Owl and the Pussycat" - he was also well-versed (har har) in the art of Nonsense Cookery.

Nothing like some Gosky Patties to quench the terrible hunger of paper-writing:

Take a Pig, three or four years of age, and tie him by the off-hind leg to a post. Place 5 pounds of currants, 3 of sugar, 2 pecks of peas, 18 roast chestnuts, a candle, six bushels of turnips, within his reach; if he eats these, constantly provide him with some more.
Then procure some cream, some slices of Cheshire cheese, four quires of foolscap paper, and a packet of black pins. Work the whole into a paste, and spread it out to dry on a sheet of clean brown waterproof linen.
When the paste is perfectly dry, but not before, proceed to beat the Pig violently, with the handle of a large broom. If he squeals, beat him again.
Visit the paste and beat the Pig alternately for some days, and ascertain if at the end of that period the whole is about to turn into Gosky Patties.
If it does not then, it never will; and in that case the Pig may be let loose, and the whole process may be considered as finished.


- Lear, Edward. A Book of Nonsense. Alfred A. Knopf, New York: 1992.

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