Monday, 7 February 2011


^Mr Creosote, Monty Python's "The Meaning Of Life"

“How are your steaks, tonight?”

“Our steaks, sir, are if I may say so quite simply superb. Only the choicest cuts of beef, carefully selected and even more carefully aged, cooked to perfection as perfection is defined by your instructions, served with your choice of potato and vegetable and richly delicious dessert.”

“Sounds scrumptious.”


“I’ll have nine.”

“Pardon me?”

“Bring me nine steaks, please.”

“you want nine steak dinners?”


“And who, sir, may I ask is going to eat them?”

“You see anybody else sitting here? I’m going to eat them.”

“And how on earth are you going to do that, sir?”

“Well, gee, let’s see, I think I’ll use my right hand to cut, tonight. I’ll put pieces into my mouth, I’ll masticate, acidic elements in my saliva will begin breaking down the muscle fibre. I’ll swallow. Et Cetera. Bring ‘em on!”
“Sir, nine steaks would make anyone sick.”

“Look at me. Look at this stomach. Do you think I’ll get sick? No way. Come here –no, really come around and look at this stomach. Let me lift up my shirt… here. See how much I can grab with my hand? I can’t even sit close to the table. Have you ever seen anything so hugely disgusting in your whole life?”

I’ve seen bigger stomachs.”

“You’re just being polite, you just want a tip. You’ll get your tip, after you’ve brought me nine steak dinners, with perfection being defined as medium-rare, which is to say pink yet firm. And don’t forget the rolls.”

“Sir, this is simply beyond my range of experience. I’ve never served any one individual nine simultaneous orders on my own authority. I could get in horrible trouble. What if, for example, you have an embolism, God forbid? You could rupture organs.”

“Didn’t I say look at me? Cant you tell what I am? Listen to me very carefully. I am an obese, grotesque, prodigal, greedy, gourmandizing, gluttonous pig. Is this not clear? I am more hog than human. There is room, physical room, for you in my stomach. Do you hear? You see before you a swine. An eating fiend of unlimited capacity. Bring me meat.”

“Have you not eaten in a very long time? Is that it?”

“Look, you’re beginning to bother me. I could bludgeon you with my belly. I am also, allow me to tell you, more than a little well-to-do. Do you see that building over there, the one with the lit windows, in the shadow? I own that Building. I could buy this restauarant and have you terminated. I could and perhaps will buy this entire block, including that symbolically tiny Weight watchers establishment across the street. See it? With the door and the windows so positioned as to form a grinning, leering, hollow-cheeked face? It is within my financial power to buy that place, and to fill it with steaks, fill it with red steak, all of which I would and will eat. The door would under this scenario be jammed with a gnawed bone; not a single little smug psalm-singing baggy-skinned apostate from the cause of adiposity would be able to enter. They would pound on the door, pound. But the bone would hold. They’d lack the bulk to burst through. Their mouths and eyes would be wide as they pressed against the glass. I would demolish, physically crush the huge scale at the end of the brightly lit nave at the back of the place under a weight of food. The springs would jut out. Jut. What a delicious series of thoughts. May I see a wine list?”

“Weight Watchers?”

“Garcon, what you have before you is a dangerous thing, I warn you. Human beings act in their own interest. Huge, crazed swine do not. My wife informed me a certain time-interval ago that if I did not lose weight, she would leave me. I have not lost weight, as a matter of fact, I have gained weight, and thus she is leaving. Q.E.D. And A-1, don’t forget the A-1.”

“But sir, surely with more time…”

“There is no more time. Time does not exist. I ate it. It’s in here, see? See the jiggle? That’s time, jiggling. Run, run away, fetch me my platter of fat, my nine cattle, or I’ll envelop you in a chin and fling you at the wall!”
“Shall I fetch the maître d’, sir? To confer?”

“By all means fetch him. But warn him against getting too close. He will be encompassed instantly, before he has time to squeak. Tonight I will eat. Hugely, and alone. For I am now hugely alone. I will eat, and juice might very well spurt into the air around me, and if anyone comes too near, I will snarl and jab at them with my fork –like this, see?”

“Sir, really!”

“Run away for your very life. Fetch something to placate me. Im going to grow and grow, and fill the absence that surrounds me with the horror of my own gelatinous presence. Yin and Yang. Ever growing, waiter, Run!”
“Right away, sir!”

“Some breadsticks might have been nice, too, do you hear? What kind of place is this, anyway?”


Extract from “The Broom Of The System”, David Foster Wallace, Abacus (7 Aug 1997)

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