Monday, October 24, 2011

From the Mailbag and In Time for Thanksgiving

Over the weekend the following note was passed over the transom:
Since I assume that you know all things Benchley, I must ask you this pertinent (or IMpertinent) question: when I was in college I read a wonderful essay or short story that I sincerely believe was written by B.O.B about a family in the future sitting down to Thanksgiving dinner that mother worked so hard to prepare and finally, wiping her brow, she announced that it was ready. They all assembled at the table and she brought in a huge tray...with one large PILL-- Thanksgiving dinner for 17 people. As they all bowed their heads to give thanks, the baby reached over and grabbed the pill....and ate the entire TG dinner for 17 people. (think the baby exploded after that...)

DO YOU REMEMBER THAT STORY...AND WHERE CAN I FIND IT???!! I want to give a speech reading from it, and no one has been helpful. I remember at the time noting that it was written by Robert Benchley! Please CAN YOU HELP ME??! Sound familiar to you???

Many thanks, J.T.R.

To which Gordon Ernst replied:
That is a Stephen Leacock piece titled "The New Food" which appears in the book Literary Lapses. Here is a link to it:

A rather ghastly ending.

Gordon Ernst

Mr. Leacock was an admirer of Mr. Benchley who wrote:
"Here, for example, is Robert C. Benchley, perhaps the most finished master of the technique of literary fun in America. Benchley's work is pure humor, one might almost say sheer nonsense. There is no moral teaching, no reflection of life, no tears. What Benchley pursues is the higher art of nonsense and he has shown in it a quite exceptional power for tricks of word and phrase."
--Greatest Pages of American Humor (1936).

1 comment:

princeminski said...

Leacock was a major forerunner of the Golden Age of humorous essays of which Mr. Benchley was the acknowledged master. Groucho Marx was also a great admirer of Leacock, having been introduced to his work by Jack Benny in their vaudeville days.

Robert Benchley Society

For more information about the Robert Benchley Society, local chapters near you, our annual Award for Humor, and our Annual Gathering, visit The RBS Website