I’m 49ing the vanilla on the stool next to me eating a yard of with a side of Jack Benny in the red and glass of a deep one through Georgia. Boy, she’s gonna need a Mary Garden after that foul ball! The obvious 95 on the other side is deep in his cup of mud, with a plate of two cackles in oink, in the southern way, on a raft with plenty of axel grease. Brother! Me, I’m no Bay State bum, I stick to the murphies and Hebrew enemies, with maybe some nervous pudding after. Or, on Sunday, Jiggs, whistleberries, and two in the dark. Or, when I’m a thin man, I just ask them to twist it, choke it and make it cackle. And for breakfast, just a Blue Heaven a.k.a, an Emerson cocktail, and a sinker.
In The Food of a Younger Land, cobbled together from an uncompleted WPA Federal Writers Project book on what American eats, editor Mark Kurlansky has included a list of New York Soda-Luncheonette Slang and Jargon. How great is that?
What I've written above may be translated as: I’m ogling a good-looking dame who’s eating spaghetti and strawberry jell-O and a glass of Coke with chocolate. I think she’s going to need some citrate of magnesia, a laxative, after that mistake. Next to me is a guy, who looks like he’ll skip without paying, drinking coffee and eating ham and eggs on well-buttered toast. I think I’m a good tipper, and I like potatoes and pork chops, with Jell-O for dessert. On Sundays I go for the corned beef and cabbage, beans, and two pieces of rye toast. But when I’m poor, and unable to tip much, I get a chocolate malted with egg. Breakfast is a Bromo and a donut. Urp!
Kurlansky uses this Nelson Algren quote for an epigram:
"Never play cards with a man called Doc. Never eat at a place called Mom's."