Hardly tricked or treated

October 31, 2007

With Halloween upon us, Dash finds himself in the midst of his annual October dilemma: to eat a melange of Brach’s, ghost cupcakes, candy corn and pumpkin beer, or


to continue to engage in monophagy. No, not “The action or process of eating alone. Obs. rare,” but “The eating of only one kind of food.” (Although, how the OED decided that the G.W. Dasent quote, “Monophagy makes a man melancholy and unsocial” goes with the first of these definitions and not the latter is beyond me. ) While it can, and probably should, be argued that eating only salads (and here you thought the salad of Yesterday was related to the police, as in salad basket; slang, police van) constitutes polyphagy, as the typical salad is composed of more than one type of vegetable (though one hardly needs to be Bruce Robbins/Mark Bittmann to come to this realization), if eating only salads results in melancholy (and scurvy!), perhaps it qualifies as monophagy. Note: if melancholy sets in, please consider engaging in Xerophagy, “The eating of dry food, esp. as form of fasting practised in the early church,” or, if you’re really desperate, theanthrophagy, a system of belief involving the theanthtropos, “A title given to Jesus Christ as being both God and man.” For what it’s worth, all these great words come from the 17th century when one was apparently apt to monophagize, to eat alone.

Nonetheless, regardless of today’s esn, the day itself calls for a bit of word related play. For example, let us replace hallow-v1 with hallow-v2 so that halloween now has to do with shouting rather than sanctification. Surely that would better explain the noises coming from the square than supplications to the Gods. Although, perhaps the two are combined at a werewolf bar mitzvah.

5 Responses to “Hardly tricked or treated”

  1. Annie Says:

    Unrelated to Halloween, I saw a review of this in the paper this morning and thought that you might want to see it.

  2. Annie Says:

    Apparently my HTML isn’t as good as it used to be….

    Link is here for real

  3. dailysalad Says:

    Thanks Annie. You know, I just saw this at the library the other day. I didn’t pick it up, but I certainly should have. I did take out, “The Great Society Subway,” for which I have overly high expectations.

  4. Annie Says:

    As long as you’re not reading “Away” (which features mass transit in the 1920s or so), which my book club hated.

  5. Sophie Says:

    Interesting that monophagy has both those meanings. One of the King Jameses said that one should never eat alone. The presence of other people imposes necessary barriers, as in “no thanks, I don’t need seconds on desert,” that can be harder to muster alone (“peanut butter mixes well with yogurt doesn’t it?”).

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