Read THE EATING HABIT of Said the Observer, free online book, by Louis John Stellman, on

“My friend,” said the Observer to his vis-a-vis, who was studying the bill-of-fare on the other side of the table, “did you ever stop to consider in what an advanced age we are living? Have you ever studied the laws of the universe and sought to figure them out?”

“‘Never had time,’ you say; ’keeps a man busy providing cash to feed his family.’ Well, that’s just the point. Have you never realized that half of our time is spent in preparing, eating and digesting food, while the other half is employed in making money enough to buy it? Now, students of psychology say that, in time, the human body will become so refined that it will be able to absorb all necessary nourishment from ‘universal life,’ and need not gorge itself with animal or vegetable organisms.

“What vast changes such a condition will inaugurate. The Frenchman will no longer clog his digestive apparatus with ‘pate de foi gras;’ the rodent will pursue the even tenor of his way in the land of the heathen Chinee, without danger of being converted into a stew; the aged mutton of Merrie England will gambol on the green, with chops intact; the Teuton will forsake his sauerkraut; the benighted heathen his missionary pot-pourri, and the ghosts of slaughtered canines shall cease to haunt the sausage-maker of our own beloved country.

“It means the elimination of the dyspeptic and the ’autocrat of the breakfast table,’ who frowns coldly upon the efforts of his young wife in the culinary line and carries off her biscuits to serve as paper weights. The scoffer at occidental table manners will cease to cavil at the genial westerner who eats vegetables with a knife, pie with a spoon, and drinks his coffee from the saucer, a napkin tucked in graceful folds beneath his ample chin.

“The picturesque phraseology of the Bowery-waiter will fade from view when he ceases to hustle ‘stacks of whites,’ ‘plainers,’ and ‘straight-ups’ to waiting customers, or bawl a hoarse-voiced ’draw one,’ to the white-capped cook.

“The grafter will lack his usual excuse for making a ‘touch;’ the after-dinner speech will no more pave the politician’s ways to fame, and the portrait of the baby that thrived on Malter’s Malted Milk, which now embellishes the pages of newspaper and magazine, will become naught but a lingering memory of the past.”