Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Food poisoning

Food poisoning, the illness that, like seasickness, frightens you at first because you think you're going to die, then again later because you're afraid you won't. My latest bout with this problem was over the weekend. During that time I had occasion to recall the first two lines of "Fat Man's Prayer," by that wonderfully talented character actor and entertaining poet, the late Victor Buono. He published a volume of poetry in 1972, "It Could Be Verse," which is available on amazon.com and a few other sites. Mr. Buono recorded an album, "Heavy!" on which he read a selection of his own poetry. I used to own them both, and I endorse them still for fun purchases.

"Fat Man's Prayer"

Lord, My soul is ripped with riot
incited by my wicked diet.
"We Are What We Eat," said a wise old man!
and, Lord, if that's true, I'm a garbage can.
I want to rise on Judgment Day, that's plain!
But at my present weight, I'll need a crane.
So grant me strength, that I may not fall
into the clutches of cholesterol.

May my flesh with carrot-curls be sated,
that my soul may be polyunsaturated
And show me the light, that I may bear witness
to the President's Council on Physical Fitness.

And at oleomargarine I'll never mutter,
for the road to Hell is spread with butter.
And cream is cursed; and cake is awful;
and Satan is hiding in every waffle.

Mephistopheles lurks in provolone;
the Devil is in each slice of baloney,
Beelzebub is a chocolate drop,
and Lucifer is a lollipop.

Give me this day my daily slice
but, cut it thin and toast it twice.
I beg upon my dimpled knees,
deliver me from jujubees.

And when my days of trial are done,
and my war with malted milk is won,
Let me stand with the Saints in Heaven
In a shining robe--size 37.

I can do it Lord, If You'll show to me,
the virtues of lettuce and celery.
If You'll teach me the evil of mayonnaise,
of pasta a la Milannaise
potatoes a la Lyonnaise
and crisp-fried chicken from the South.

Lord, if you love me, shut my mouth.

1 comment:

Alison Boon said...

Sorry to hear about the sickness but loved the poem