David Bruce: Food Anecdotes

For a party, gay author Joel Perry ordered a turkey to be prepared by HoneyBaked. Unfortunately, when he arrived with his reservation number to pick up the turkey, he was informed that it had already been sold. One other turkey was on display, so he asked if he could buy it, but the salesperson informed him that someone else was buying it. A gay man expecting 20 people for dinner is not to be trifled with, so Mr. Perry jumped over the counter, grabbed the turkey, threw down $50, and dashed out of the store.

Often, gymnasts from other countries have liked American junk food — sometimes way too much. At a 1977 exhibition, Romanian gymnast Nadia Comaneci gave American gymnast Jackie Cassello a $20 bill, then whispered to her, “Chocolates, doughnuts, Cokes, candy bars ….” And in 1973, at the Chunichi Cup, American gymnast Joan Rich helped satisfy Soviet gymnast Ludmila Tourischeva’s sweet tooth by using a rope to lower Coca-Colas from her hotel window two stories below to Ms. Tourischeva’s window.

Ed Asner, who played Lou Grant on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, kept kosher as a child, but gave it up later. Forum magazine once asked several celebrities, “Did you ever have a sensual or emotional experience that caused you to exclaim, ‘That’s better than sex!’” Mr. Asner replied, “My first pork tenderloin sandwich.” He ate his first pork tenderloin sandwich in Kansas, where it was difficult to obtain kosher food. He says, “I took a bite, and it was ambrosia. I could have died for the elegance of that taste.”

Comedian Flash Rosenberg’s mother brought her up to be analytical. For example, if she refused to eat her peas, her mother wouldn’t just let her say that she didn’t like peas. She had to have a reason whyshe didn’t like peas. So she would say, “I don’t like the way the skin is kind of tough and the inside is kind of mushy. I just don’t know how to get my teeth ready.” And her mother would reply, “That’s a good reason,” and so young Flash didn’t have to eat her peas.

Because an aged Catholic priest had become deaf, people going to confession were accustomed to write out their sins on a piece of paper and pass the paper to him in the confessional. One day, a sinner slipped a piece of paper to the priest. The priest read the paper — “Fish sticks, two cans of beans, bread, milk” — then passed the note back to the sinner. The sinner looked at the note, then exclaimed, “Mother of God, I’ve left my sins at the grocery store.”

Cynthia Kahn owned a small sweets shop that competed with a national chain. In fact, she was winning the competition. Reporters asked her for the secret of her success, and she explained, “In the other store, when customers order a pound of candy, the salesgirls scoop up more than a pound of candy, then they start taking away. In my store, I scoop up less than a pound of candy, then start adding.”

For a book, Susan Horowitz interviewed Lucille Ball, Carol Burnett, Phyllis Diller, and Joan Rivers. Of course, her friends asked her what these celebrities were like in real life. She says that they were all nurturing women — Lucy fed her tea and cookies, Carol gave her a big lunch, Phyllis gave her a huge fruit basket to take home, and Joan cooked scrambled eggs and toast for her.

Umpire Eric Gregg is black, and sometimes his color played a role in his life as an umpire. One game, when he was behind home plate in Atlanta, a fan yelled at him, “Boy, I’ve got this big watermelon, and every time you miss a pitch, I’m gonna take a bite.” As the game progressed, the fan kept Mr. Gregg informed about how much smaller the watermelon was growing.

“Our government has thrown away about 150 billion dollars on the Hubble space telescope. Already it has discovered a third moon over Neptune. I just wish I was there when they broke this news to the Ethiopian children just to see the smiles on their little faces.” — Teddy Bergeron.

Jay Leno was kicked out of an apartment by a roommate early in his career. The roommate saw Mr. Leno washing dishes with the same sponge that he had earlier used to clean the toilet. This didn’t bother Mr. Leno, who figured “a sponge is a sponge,” but the roommate shouted at him, “Get out!”

Wally Frederick, a friend of Peg Bracken, once hosted a luncheon for 30 at the Tour d’Argent. After the luncheon, two rows of waiters appeared, with each waiter holding his hand out for a tip. Smiling broadly, Mr. Frederick walked down the two rows and shook each waiter’s hand.

Often, the first thing two deaf people do when they go to a nice restaurant is to remove the centerpiece so they have an unobstructed view of each other’s hands. (In addition, they make certain that the restaurants they go to are well lit.)

Elizabeth Alexander’s mother once said, “It’s not hard to lose weight. You just eat no sugar, no carbohydrates, and half of everything else.” Elizabeth’s little brother replied, “But there is nothing else.”

During World War II, Spike Milligan knew an army cook who had started wearing a monocle as a precautionary measure after an unfortunate accident in which his glass eye fell into the porridge.

Enrico Caruso played many practical jokes. Once when a soprano was belting out an aria, he looked into her wide-open mouth and asked, “How would you like a nice, juicy steak?”

After woman jockey Joan O’Shea lost a race, a man in the crowd yelled to her, “Go home where you belong and cook dinner!” She replied, “I can’t cook, either.”

“If you actually like me, you’ll invite me to lunch when it isn’t Brotherhood Week.” — black comedian Dick Gregory.

“I hate restaurants. I eat at home. I go to the butcher in the morning and buy steaks by the yard.” — Constantin Brancusi.

“A hungry man is not a free man.” — Adlai Stevenson.


Copyright by Bruce D. Bruce; All Rights Reserved


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