Thursday, July 31, 2008

Day 31: Finis, or Curtain, or "And...Scene!"

Fare thee well, July, and fare thee well, NaBloPoMo. I told David I am never doing this again, and that he should remind me I said that, if I forget. He said I wouldn't listen to him anyway. I had fun writing about food, but 31 posts, like 31 flavors, is a lot.

For my last food-themed post, I wanted to share some famous quotes about food, but that's sort of a big field. Then I remembered that my favorite play of all time, Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest, is fairly food-centric. In fact, it contains a pair of scenes that use the ritual of afternoon tea as an implement of social discourse. So I am going to share famous food quotes, but they are all from the same source.

For those of you who have never seen or read Earnest, well, what is your problem? It's the apex of awesome. Go find a show--it's not hard; someone is always doing it. I might also modestly mention that I am a professional Earnest reader, and I'm available for hire.

The play centers on two London friends and their pursuit of marriage under the guise of false identity. The first, John ("Jack") Worthing, has invented a younger brother named Ernest, whom he pretends to be when he wants to kick up his heels in town. The second, Algernon Moncrieff, suspects Jack's double life, and "borrows" Ernest's identity to visit and woo Jack's ward, Cecily Cardew. Jack has fallen in love with Gwendolyn Fairfax, but his lack of aristocratic background is a red flag to her mother, Lady Bracknell. The men are surprised to find that Gwendolyn and Cecily's affection for them is inextricably linked to the name Ernest.

The play debuted in London in 1895, and remains Wilde's most popular work. Shortly after its premiere, Wilde was jailed for alleged homosexuality.

Jack: (to Algernon, regarding his preparations for Lady Bracknell's visit)

"Hallo! Why all these cups? Why cucumber sandwiches? Why such reckless extravagance in one so young?"

Lady Bracknell: (finding favor with Jack's response to her query, 'I have always been of the opinion that a man who desires to get married should know either everything or nothing. Which do you know?')

"I am pleased to hear it. I do not approve of anything that tampers with natural ignorance. Ignorance is like a delicate exotic fruit; touch it and the bloom is gone."

Cecily: (to Algernon, who [as Ernest] has pledged to 'reform himself this afternoon')

"How thoughtless of me. I should have remembered that when one is going to lead an entirely new life, one requires regular and wholesome meals."

Dr. Chasuble: (on the charms of older women)

"Maturity can always be depended on. Ripeness can be trusted. Young women are green. (ahem) I spoke horticulturally. My metaphor was drawn from fruits."

Gwendolen: (who, having just met Cecily, suspects she has designs on Ernest)

"You have filled my tea with lumps of sugar, and though I asked most distinctly for bread and butter, you have given me cake. I am known for the gentleness of my disposition, and the extraordinary sweetness of my nature, but I warn you, Miss Cardew, you may go too far."

Jack and Algernon: (awaiting the verdict from Gwendolen and Cecily, who have just learned that neither of their intendeds is named Ernest)

J: "How you can sit there, calmly eating muffins, when we are in this horrible trouble, I can't make out. You seem to me to be perfectly heartless."

A: "Well, I can't eat muffins in an agitated manner. The butter would probably get on my cuffs. One should always eat muffins quite calmly. It is the only way to eat them."

J: "I say it's perfectly heartless your eating muffins at all, under the circumstances."

A: "When I am in trouble, eating is the only thing that consoles me. Indeed, when I am in really great trouble, as anyone who knows me intimately will tell you, I refuse everything except food and drink. At the present moment I am eating muffins because I am unhappy. Besides, I'm particularly fond of muffins."

Cecily: (to Gwendolen, peering at Jack and Algernon from the house)

"They have been eating muffins. That looks like repentance."


Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

Yum. Muffins.

Mel, A Dramatic Mommy said...

Congratulations on making it 31 days!

Mary and Paul said...

Muffins are one of my comfort foods!



Caroline said...

You did it, lady! Woohoo! I'm sure it was difficult (if I manage a post a week, I consider myself prolific), but it sure was enjoyable to your readers. Thank you so much for another wonderful month. :)

Jen said...

Sorry not to have written sooner, but I was off Bunburying.

I loved catching up on all of these posts upon my return!

xoxoxo This was a great month!
Miss J

Cheri @ Blog This Mom! said...

I love the 31 days, 31 flavors comparison! Excellent ending to a wonderful month. I am so IMPRESSED that you did it, and did it so WELL! I may go at Nablopomo once again in the fall, but I just fancied PLAYING as much as POSSIBLE this summer, although I missed sharing the daily writing experience with you.

Sam said...

@Jenn, Mary, Mel and Caroline: Thanks for your support! It means a lot to me! :)

@Miss J: I always suspected you for a confirmed Bunburyist! :) I'm so glad you're home.

@Cheri: I take it back, the one way I'd consider doing it again is if you were doing it, too. It was really different without your daily inspiration! :) Did you see August's theme--"Hot?" No thanks!

The Wades said...

Don't say never again!!! Ahh. I love finding a new Sam post every day. I must say I didn't comprehend much of this last post. It was written way above my intellectual and educational level. Still, candy to the eyes. Off to read my people magazine. :)

Anonymous said...

I've always wondered what exactly the muffins are that they are eating in that play -- I assume it's not the American kind we're used to (like a blueberry muffin). I had always pictured something like a tea cake. Do you know, Sammy? :) Lix

The Wades said...

Oh no, you're on a break! I'm sad now.

I guess you deserve it after all that food talk, but that won't stop me from pouting.