just like a chocolate milkshake only crunchy

We’ve written about eating insects already at the Gimcrack but now that I’ve discovered The Food Insects Newsletter, I see there’s lots more to talk about

Buy the book here

“According to Dick Reavis, one restaurant providing this kind of fare is Don Chon’s in Mexico City, “a back-street landmark for rustics and adventurous connoisseurs. The owner, Leopoldo Ortega, notes that back in the fifties, the restaurant was mainly patronized by the vendors who came from the countryside. Because pre Hispanic food has become relatively expensive, tourists and people with bohemian tastes now outnumber the country folk. A plate of red agave worms is priced at 30,000 pesos or about $11, nearly two times the daily wage of most Mexicans. Reavis also tried a side dish of live worms and describes the indelicate maneuvers required to remove one when it bit him.

image found here

Reavis concludes his article with the following paragraph: “In my opinion, the finest delicacy at Don Chon’s is escamoles in green sauce, sprinkled with diced onion and bits of cilantro. Escamoles are the larvae of black ants. When boiled, they look like cottage cheese. Rank amateurs scoop them up with a spoon, and ordinary Mexicans with a corn tortilla But the blase know, and the bold quickly see, that a torta de ahuatli – a wafer made of batter and the eggs of a swamp fly – does the trick in higher style. The season for escamoles is in the spring. By then, Don Chon’s will also be serving white worms as big as your fingers. I don’t know if they bite, but take my advice:” They’re tasty when toasted, but I wouldn’t eat them alive.”  

Escamoles found here

The eggs of water bugs are toasted, ground up and made into little cakes held together with turkey egg. In the late 18th Century, they were apparently a garnish for the festive dish called revoltijo, served on Christmas Eve. Other insects still eaten include locusts, which can be eaten raw, roasted, fried, jellied and mashed, and are a seductive combination of a crisp exterior and a creamy filling; mountain chinch bugs, eaten toasted or living; oak-boring beetles which are popular as snacks among Mixtec peasants; ant larvae and pupae; and wasps.

Edible locust farm found here

For those of you who turn up your nose at the idea of eating insects, the Food and Drug Administration have published a booklet listing the allowable percentages of “natural contaminants” in processed foods.

CHOCOLATE AND CHOCOLATE LIQUOR

Insect filth: Average is 60 or more insect fragments per 100 grams when 6 100-gram subsamples are examined OR any 1 subsample contains 90 or more insect fragments

Chocolate Wine found here

 Rodent filth: Average is 1 or more rodent hairs per 100 grams in 6 100-gram subsamples examined OR any 1 subsample contains 3 or more rodent hairs

CITRUS FRUIT JUICES, CANNED

Insects and insect eggs: 5 or more Drosophila and other fly eggs per 250 ml or 1 or more maggots per 250 ml

RED FISH AND OCEAN PERCH

Parasites: 3% of the fillets examined contain 1 or more parasites accompanied by pus pockets

MACARONI AND NOODLE PRODUCTS

Insect filth: Average of 225 insect fragments or more per 225 grams in 6 or more subsamples

Rodent filth: Average of 4.5 rodent hairs or more per 225 grams in 6 or more subsamples

Noodle chair found here

 PEANUT BUTTER

Insect filth: Average of 30 or more insect fragments per 100 grams

Rodent filth: Average of 1 or more rodent hairs per 100 grams

Peanut Butter Mice found here

Published in: on November 14, 2011 at 8:53 pm  Comments (66)  
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a Proustian moment in time

In a Paris hotel in 1922, two society hosts brought off an amazing coup when they threw a party for Proust, Joyce, Diaghilev, Stravinsky and Picasso.

Diaghilev and Stravinsky found here

The party was a gem of cultural history. The Majestic was second choice as a venue; the Ritz had been discounted because it did not allow music to be played after 12.30am. The menu was chosen to appeal to both the Russian exiles in attendance – caviar and Russian hors d’oeuvres – and to the Proustians within the group, with dishes plucked straight from the pages of his novels – asparagus, boeuf en gelée, almond cake and coffee, and pistachio ice cream.

Cacao Pistachio Florentine and Mint Ice Cream Sandwich found here

The Schiffs might have been the hosts, but Diaghilev was the master of ceremonies. He “netted” Stravinsky and Picasso, who were both involved with the Ballets Russes, but the Schiffs really wanted the two great modernist novelists, James Joyce and Proust, both of whom were notoriously flaky when it came to social engagements.

James Joyce found here

James Joyce eventually rolled through the doors, visibly intoxicated and paralysed with nerves, as the diners were drinking coffee. The Schiffs were delighted, but the evening wasn’t complete until 2.30am, when “a small dapper figure … clad in exquisite black with white kid gloves … entered with an insinuating air“. Marcel Proust had arrived.

Marcel Proust found here

His attendance was a coup. Proust, one-time social butterfly, became a recluse in his final years, too fond of his sickbed-cum-writing desk to leave his apartment. This party was his first outing for a fortnight; he had been too ill to socialise since scorching his throat with a hefty dose of adrenalin, taken, ironically, to give him strength for dinner with the Schiffs.

image found here

On New Year’s Eve 1921, he built up to the evening’s celebrations with typically hysterical panache. “From fear of being unable otherwise to come to you, I have taken drugs in such profusion that it will be a man half-aphasic and especially wobbly on his legs, from vertigo, that you behold,” he wrote in advance to the host. He also asked his maid Céleste to call ahead 10 times to ensure that he was greeted with “a cup of scalding tea“, and that there were no draughts at the venue. In the last year of his life, this hypochondria became so extreme that he requested his morning post to be steamed in disinfectant. 

ducklings in a teacup found here

The inveterate social climber was no doubt tempted out of his bed by the stellar company on the menu at the Majestic. Diaghilev, “the most wonderful Falstaffian character”, impressed the author. He was fascinated by Diaghilev’s turbulence in his emotional life, his desperate, passionate love for sometimes very inappropriate young men, for which he was willing to risk artistic success.

Diaghilev and Serge Lifar found here

As for Picasso: “Although one mustn’t read too much into this, Proust was quite attracted to stocky, not very tall, southern-looking men. The great love of his life, his chauffeur, Alfred Agostinelli, looked like a plumper version of Picasso. So Proust was definitely pro-Picasso, though I don’t suppose Picasso was pro-anyone very much except Picasso.

Picasso found here

Proust’s conversation with Stravinsky had a less-than-auspicious start. Princesse Violette Murat flounced out of the party, looking daggers at him as he arrived. Gossip about her meanness was rife, and she was mortally offended by rumours that one of Proust’s particularly parsimonious characters was based on her. With her strange lack of physical proportions, he once said of her “She looks more like a truffle than a violet

The meeting of the two modernist minds was by far the most eagerly anticipated of the evening and, as a result, there are varying accounts of the exchange between Proust and Joyce. Joyce  was quoted as saying, “Our talk consisted solely of the word ‘no’. Proust asked me if I knew the duc de so-and-so. I said ‘no’. Our hostess asked Proust if he had read such and such a piece of Ulysses. Proust said ‘no’. And so on. The situation was impossible.”

oil me up Scotty*

Back in ancient Greece, it was customary for the very rich to coat their hair with butter. It kept down vermin and helped preserve order in an elaborate hair-do. In many societies, including ancient Egypt and modern Ethiopia, a lump of fatty incense or perfumed butter was placed on the head at dinner parties and allowed to melt and drizzle voluptuously down one’s face and body.

learn about melting hair here

In Rome there were professional anointers who offered massage for a fee in the gymnasia and public baths. Every athlete who took his sport seriously had two trainers: a gymnastic master for physical training and an anointer who advised him about diet, gave him medical check ups and prescribed oil rubs.

Gymnasia y Esgrima found here

Before wrestling naked, one first did a few warm up exercises to open the pores, then poured on oil and rubbed it in. Next one sprinkled oneself from head to foot with sand or dust, which stuck to the oil and provided a kind of protective second skin. This prevented the body from being too slippery for one’s opponent to grasp; in addition the oil and sand were thought to keep the body temperature constant and ward off colds.

image found here

After exercise, one was rinsed and scraped with an iron tool called a strigil, with more oil to soften the instrument’s abrasiveness. After a bath in water and lye made from wood ash or lime, or a rubbing with Fuller’s Earth to remove any remaining sweat, sand and grease, one was ready for yet another generous application of oil.

The poet Martial, complaining about the young men of his day who refused to do any work, said they spent “most of their lives in oil” meaning that sport and luxurious massages were all they cared for.

Turkish Oil Wrestlers found here

*information found in Margaret Visser’s interesting book “Much Depends on Dinner – The Extraordinary History and Mythology, Allure and Obsessions, Perils and Taboos of an Ordinary Meal”.

rancid cheese, nettle soup and whisky

Not so long ago, the oldest patient at the Gimcrack died. He was 104 at the time, still with all his faculties intact. When he was interviewed by a local paper the previous year, he put his longevity down to a glass of whisky a day and an overriding interest in horse racing. “Everyone needs a hobby” he said.

image found here

Thomas Parr arrived at his great age by a different regime

Parr was said to have been born in 1483 near Shrewsbury, possibly at Wollaston. He joined the army around 1500 and did not marry until he was 80 years old. He had two children, both of whom died in infancy. He existed and even thrived on a diet of “subrancid cheese and milk in every form, coarse and hard bread and small drink, generally sour whey

Milk Bottle Chandelier ($2112.50) found here

When he was about 100 years old, he supposedly had an affair and fathered a child born out of wedlock. After the death of his first wife, he married a second time at the alleged age of 122 to Catherine Milton who presented him with a child.

world’s oldest father (?) found here

As news of his purported age spread, ‘Old Parr’ became a national celebrity and was painted by Rubens and Van Dyck. In 1635, the Earl of Arundel brought him to London to meet Charles I. Charles asked what Parr had done that was greater than any other man, and the latter replied that he had performed penance (for his affair) at the age of 100.

image found here

A post-mortem was performed on Parr’s body. No apparent cause of death could be determined, and it was assumed that he had simply died of overexposure. A modern interpretation of the results of the autopsy suggest that Thomas Parr was probably under 70 years of age. It is possible that Parr’s records were confused with those of his grandfather. 

Henry Jenkins was said to have been 169 years old at his death

Jenkins’s age was investigated by Ann Saville, who lived near him in Bolton-on-Swale. Several of the other villagers were about a hundred, and they said he was an old man even when they were children. He could remember historical events from ancient times. And he was often consulted by lawyers about traditional land rights.

Jenkins’ Memorial found here

One of the lawyers told how he went to see Henry Jenkins in his cottage. Outside was an old man. The lawyer asked him a question, and the man said to go inside and see his father about it. In the cottage was an aged “wreck of humanity” nodding by the fire. He was too old to understand the question. “Ask my father”, he mumbled, pointing to the back door. Out in the yard was Old Jenkins, aged 166. He was busily chopping wood, and looked younger than his grandson. His mind was perfectly clear and he told the lawyer all he wanted to know.

Wood Chopper found here

Ann Saville asked him the secret of his long life, and again he was clear. Drink plenty of tar-water and nettle soup, he advised, wear flannel next to the skin and eat simply – bread and cheese, raw onion and cold meat. Old Jenkins could never read or write. Up to the age of 161 he worked every day in his garden or doing odd jobs. For some time he was butler in the house of a local lord. The date of his service there is recorded, giving proof* of his great age.

Nettle Soup with Seared Scallop & Candied Orange Peel found here

*Take with more than one grain of salt

no people like show people

I wish I’d been around when Pete Collins was presenting his “You’ll Never Believe It” shows. Luckily Don Stacey was and he wrote about it here

I saw it at the Croydon Empire theatre but cannot tell you what the bill comprised of since my father did not buy the show’s printed programme. Instead, he bought me a signed photograph of the show’s giant attraction, Lofty, a Dutchman born in 1897 whose real name was Albert Johan Kramer. He was nearly six feet tall by the time he was seven, and eventually grew to nine feet three and a half inches. He married the sister of the Swiss midget Seppetoni, who partnered Lofty in his stage appearances. 

image found here

Lofty was quite a character. In his prime he weighed thirty-two stone and every item he wore had to be specially made for him. On tour in Britain, he liked nothing more than to stroll into the famous Thirty Shilling Tailors and order half a dozen suits and a couple of overcoats. A typical breakfast for him was six plates of Scotch porridge, followed by eight kippers, two pounds of grilled sausages and half a dozen tomatoes, topped off with a dozen bread rolls and eight cups of black coffee. During the deprivations of war in Nazi-occupied Holland, he shrunk to eleven stone. After the Liberation, it took one and a half years to regain his normal health. 

A visit to his town by Bostock and Wombwell’s Circus introduced Pete Collins to his first sideshow, with a Fat Lady, Tattooed Man, Indiarubber Man and other attractions of the time. Pete forged a career with what became billed as “The Strangest Show the World Has Ever Seen”. His telegraphic address was “Incredible, London”, and those two words summed up his link with some of the strangest acts the world has known.

image found here

A chance meeting in a barber’s shop with a French robotic performer led him to form a show beginning with Lofty and Sepetoni, the 23 inch high midget, Madame Fifi the educated pig, Radiana, an electrical machine which performed conjuring tricks, Elroy the armless artist, and Rene Mazie, the Mechanical Man, Lemo the tame lioness trained by Prince Mercado, and other artistes like Professor Cheer, the Man with the Xylophone Skull

Radiana found here

Fifi the pig developed a hankering for greasepaint sticks and was eventually banished to a pen rather than her trainer’s dressing room. A theatre manager’s son was attacked by Lemo the lioness when the boy ventured into her dressing room, and endured 16 stitches in his scalp as a result of his injuries. 

image found here

I have a programme in my collection for December 1948, when Collins presented Fredel (“Is he Man or is it a Wax Dummy?”); Elroy the armless artiste; Crotchet, the Mad Musician; Stuthard, “the Incredible Canadian”; the Man with the Xylophone Skull; the Bespalys with their Unbreakable Doll; Lofty and Pippi, “the famous midget from Olympia, London”; and Mushie, the forest-bred lion which ate a steak from Ellen’s forehead twice nightly

James Elroy filleting fish with his feet found here

In its 17th year of touring, Collins presented Katja, the tallest woman in the world (eight feet four and a half inches in her nylons, and weighing 33 stone) and The World’s Fattest Family (weighing in at half a ton); along with Radiana, the ‘machine that shaves a man with an ordinary razor'; Nemec and Violet’s frog contortion phantasy; Hans Vogelbein’s comedy brown bears; and a Fakir Show that included “The Living Fountain” (a man who could drink 30 glasses of water and spout plain and fancy fountains); “The Human Ostrich”, who swallowed a lighted neon tube containing 10,000 volts; and “The Painless Wonder”, who allowed flaming arrows to be shot at him and exploded a bomb on his chest.

Katja found here

Many were the fascinating acts shown or discovered by Pete Collins. There was Thea Alba, the “Woman with Ten Brains”, who could write ten different things at the same time, she was also able to converse in twenty-five different languages. Monteerrat Alberich could paint pictures, not with a paint brush, but with an ancient typewriter. He presented a genuine Flea Circus on stage, a Human Gasometer and a bed of nails fakir, Amir Rahvis, who had been a London income tax official before taking up his more “restful” occupation. And let’s not forget Rayo (Austrian Rudolf Schmid), a yoga who created a sensation by staying in a bottle for a year.

image found here

when you’re tired of bacon and beer

Vincent M Holt published an excellent pamphlet in 1885 suggesting his readers look further afield than bacon and beer for delicious menu items

image found here

“What a pleasant change from the labourer’s unvarying meal of bread, lard, and bacon, or bread and lard without bacon, or bread without lard or bacon, would be a good dish of fried cockchafers or grasshoppers.

Fried grasshoppers found here

Cheese-mites, the grubs of a small fly, are freely eaten by many persons, whom I have often heard say “they are only cheese.” There is certainly some ground for this assertion; as these grubs live entirely upon cheese; but what would one of these epicures say if I served up to him a cabbage boiled with its own grubs? Yet my argument that “they are only cabbage” would be fully as good as his. As a matter of fact, I see every reason why cabbages should be thus served up, surrounded with a delicately flavoured fringe of the caterpillars which feed upon them.

Sushi caterpillar found here

At one time, insects being prescribed as remedies by village quacks and wise men made people, at any rate, familiar with the idea of swallowing them. Wood-lice, which conveniently roll themselves up into the semblance of black pills, were taken as an aperient; centipedes were an invaluable specific for jaundice; cockchafers for the plague; ladybirds for colic and measles.

Steelblue Ladybird found here

In Arabia, Persia, and parts of Africa there are regular locust shops where they are exposed for sale; and among the Moors they are highly valued, appearing in the menu at the best tables. Their method of cooking is to pluck off the head, wings, and legs, boil for half an hour, flavour with pepper and salt, and fry in butter. As I can myself bear witness, of which more hereafter, this recipe applied to our English grasshoppers renders that despised insect a truly tasty morsel.

cooked grasshopper found here

The Chinese, making use of “the worm, a thing that crept on the bare earth, then wrought a tomb and slept” as food, eat the chrysalids of the silkworms after the silk has been wound from off the cocoons. They fry them in butter or lard, add yolk of eggs, and season with pepper, salt, and vinegar.

male silkworm found here

Even Spiders have been relished as tid-bits, not only by uncivilized nations, but by Europeans of cultivation. For Reaumur tells of a young lady who was so fond of spiders that she never saw one without catching and eating it. Lalande, the French astronomer, had similar tastes; and Rosel speaks of a German who was in the habit of spreading spiders, like butter, upon his bread.

spider cupcakes found here

Wood-louse sauce is equal, if not distinctly superior to, shrimp sauce.The following is the recipe: Collect a quantity of the finest wood-lice to be found, and drop them into boiling water, which will kill them instantly, but not turn them red, as might be expected. At the same time put into a saucepan a quarter of a pound of fresh butter, a teaspoonful of flour, a small glass of water, a little milk, some pepper and salt, and place it on the stove. As soon as the sauce is thick, take it off and put in the wood-lice. This is an excellent sauce for fish. Try it.

Published in: on April 3, 2011 at 9:41 pm  Comments (47)  
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the luckless duck

A letter to the Editor of The Times, May 1878

Sir,

Last year you recorded the curious incident that a wagtail had built her nest on the framework beneath a third class carriage on the London and South-Western Railway, running between Cosham and Havant four times daily. The male bird was regularly observed by the station master to be waiting with manifest interest and anxiety for the return of his family from their periodical tours.

Australian Wagtail (image by David Satterthwaite)

I would like to again report the somewhat remarkable coincidence that this year the same bird has returned and built her nest in precisely the same position under a third class carriage, and with her family of four little ones, takes the same daily return journeys from Cosham to Havant.

Cosham Home Guard found here

The framework being nearly the same in all the carriages, it is difficult to account for the selection of third class. The same interest and anxiety has been evinced by the male bird. During the absence of his family he promenades or rests impatiently on the telegraph wires, but no sooner are the carriages shunted into the siding than he enters the nest, doubtless to exercise the supervision of a good father.

Good father found here

And from The High Peak Advertiser, August 1893

Nearly 300 years ago in 1601, a duck was seen flying towards an ash tree in the village of Sheldon. It entered the tree and then mysteriously disappeared. This tale was passed down from one generation to the next and the tree became known as the duck tree.

Flying Duck Game found here

Recently the tree became decayed at the bottom and it was cut down and sold to Messrs. Wilson and Son, joiners of Ashford. When it was cut open, two boards taken from the centre gave unmistakable evidence of the genuineness of the lost duck story.

Duck carved from a single grain of rice found here

On one side of each of these boards, about an inch in thickness, was the perfect form of a full sized duck, minus the feet and tail. The body measured 8 inches across and the length from beak down was 21 inches. The bird appears to have flown head foremost into a hole which was known to be in the tree, and couldn’t get out again. In the course of time, the parts became united and thus there was an end to the duck.

recipe for Duck with Root Beer Glaze found here

circles of purchasable beauty

Sophia Baddeley (1745-1783) was a celebrated actress and courtesan.

image

In 1764, Sophia eloped with Robert Baddeley, a Drury Lane theater player almost twice her age. The marriage was not a happy one, but Robert Baddeley recognized an opportunity when a rich Jewish friend of his approached him about becoming involved with Sophia. Robert encouraged her to accept, saying that such rich friends were not to be slighted.

Rich but definitely not Friendly

Most scholars record Sophia’s first acting gig as her 1764 role as an understudy for the role of Cordelia in King Lear; when the lead was unable to perform, Sophia Baddeley played the part. However, she’d never actually seen the play, and upon seeing the actor playing Mad Tom she was so afraid she screamed and fell over. The audience was immediately emotionally drawn to her, and thus began Britain’s love affair with Sophia Baddeley.

Not this Mad Tom

As a courtesan, Sophia Baddeley was renowned for her beauty. One of Sophia’s many paramours, the Duke of Ancaster, compared her eyes to that of the basilisk. “Absolutely one of the wonders of the age. No man can gaze on you unwounded…whose eyes kill those whom they fix on.” In 1771 Samuel Foote opened his satirical comedy The Maid of Bath at the Haymarket. The playwright himself acting in the play extemporized, “Not even the beauty of the nine Muses, nor even that of the divine Baddeley herself, who there sits, could exceed that of the Maid of Bath.” Upon remarking on Sophia’s magnificence, he pointed to where she sat in a theater seat, and she stood, bowing. Twenty five minutes and three encores later she finally sat back down.

more amazing eyes here

Most women who were in “circles of purchasable beauty” were all the rage for a short time before their popularity waned. Sophia Baddeley’s rampant desirability and vogue as a top courtesan only lasted from 1771-1774. Her extravagance makes one gasp: she spent the modern equivalent of £200 a day on hothouse flowers, a quarter of a million on diamonds, and thousands a month on hats and linen. A present from Lord Melbourne for the equivalent of £3,000 would last her barely four days. But then with sex with this gentleman Sophia had much to endure. “Lord Melbourne bored Sophia, she often had a headache which mysteriously disappeared as soon as he was gone.”

flowers found here

Sophia’s memoirs were penned by her lifelong friend and companion, Mrs. Eliza Steele. Eliza was noted to wear men’s clothing and declared that she had fallen in love with her. To protect Sophia, she also carried a pair of pistols. Today, there is much speculation over whether there was any erotic or sexual relationship between Steele and Baddeley.

Girls’ Rifle Team found here

Her husband, Robert, is remembered for something other than his love life.

In his will Baddeley bequeathed £650 towards the maintenance of decrepit actors. He also left £100, invested at 3% per annum, to provide for a twelfth night cake to be supplied to the Drury Lane cast in his memory. This sum covered the provision of a good quantity of ‘lamb’s wool’, wine with baked apple dissolving in it to give a woolly texture, but that part of the tradition seems to have gone by the wayside.

image

Many years ago, the New York Times reported on one such celebration here:

Oscar Wilde, in conventional evening dress, apologises to young Tennyson, a handsome bright faced youth, as he pushes by him to make a place for Jennie Lee. Oscar has grown stout and looks domestic.

image

The curtain rises on a stage with a small white table in the centre and long white tables on either side. Banks of crystal glasses glitter and the dark green bottles of champagne have a cool inviting look. Mr Fernandez, custodian of the Drury Lane fund, takes up a Damoscletian sword and holds it over the large round white cake with red and green icing.

Endless bottles of champagne flow like water, their consumption greatly disproportionate with the cotelettes de homard, foie gras and other delicacies. The dance begins. It is a gay scene, very gay, and it rapidly grows gayer and gayer. The theatre rings with laughter and music and the popping of more champagne corks. Not until the yellow sun is beginning its daily struggle with the London mist do the guests go forth to slumber more or less disturbed by memories of the Baddeley cake.

image by Dav Thomas


Published in: on December 19, 2010 at 8:08 am  Comments (34)  
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ginger up your apple cake

Last night I made apple, ginger and creme fraiche cake to take to my weekly mah jongg game. queenwilly lent me this beautiful floral apron for the occasion….

Published in: on December 10, 2010 at 7:10 am  Comments (43)  
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hypnosis with a grain of salt

In 1941, 27 year old Andrew Salter was being touted as the next big thing in the field of hypnosis.

image

“Teaching alcoholics to cure themselves is only a small sample of the work which Salter performs with the minds of his subjects. Since starting his odd profession a couple of years ago, he has worked on upwards of 250 cases. Some two dozen of these were obese females who couldn’t stick to their diets.

image from Wellcome Collection 1887

By the time Salter got through with them they had learned to despise such things as Fudge Sundaes, Charlotte Russe, Lobster Thermidor and other flesh building dishes, and were smacking their lips at the thought of raw carrots, lettuce salad with mineral oil dressing and similar atrocities.

Charlotte Russe

Then there was the case of the melancholy magazine editor who came to Salter to ask if he “couldn’t get a little fun out of life.” Not long afterwards Salter was visited by the editor’s wife who was greatly agitated by the change in her husband. Formerly he had gloomed about the house and spent his time complaining. Now he bounded out of bed with a merry laugh, sang in the shower, chuckled as he read the paper and was turning into a practical joker. “I’m so relieved it’s only hypnotism” she told Salter. “I was afraid he’d found another woman.”

Practical Joker

Salter says “In psychology, hypnotism has a bad name. The average person seems to think that hypnotists specialise in seducing females or in making subjects sign false wills or commit murder. He believes there are few psychoneuroses that can’t be straightened out in a good subject. This excludes morons, young children and the insane, none of whom can be hypnotized.

image

He is convinced that the US Army should pay heed to the value of self hypnosis in war. “Soldiers could march 30 miles a day and not be fatigued. They could fall asleep in open trenches with an artillery barrage going on overhead and sleep soundly for as long as they pleased. In fact, they could learn to forget the war entirely.”

image

Published in: on December 2, 2010 at 8:33 pm  Comments (36)  
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