Welcome to my page of quotations about middle-of-the-night indigestions and strange encounters of the mind brought about by the evening meal or by eating at bedtime.
Stored away in some brain cell is the image of a long-departed aunt you haven’t thought of in 30 years. Stored away in another cell is the image of a pink pony stitched on your first set of baby pajamas. All it takes to get that aunt mounted on the back of that pony is to eat a hunk of meatloaf immediately before going to bed. ~Robert Brault, 2009, rbrault.blogspot.com
“Why do you doubt your senses?” asked the Ghost. “Because,” said Scrooge, “a little thing affects them — a slight disorder of the stomach. You may be an undigested bit of beef, a blot of mustard, a crumb of cheese, a fragment of an underdone potato. There’s more of gravy than of grave about you, whatever you are. Humbug, I tell you — humbug!” ~Charles Dickens, “Stave I: Marley’s Ghost,” A Christmas Carol, 1843 [a little altered
Now you can say you have seen the spectre, and there can be, of course, no mistake about the matter when it is seen in broad daylight, and not, like most ghosts, after dinner. ~O., “Our Croquet Party,” in London Society, June 1864 [a little altered
If ever I ate a good Supper at Night,
I dream’d of the Devil, and wak’d in a Fright…
~Christopher Anstey (1724–1805), “Mr. Simkin
And all that stuff about ghosts, what, did he get, like, a bad clam in his jambalaya one night? ~The Haunted Mansion (film), 2003, written by David Berenbaum [Jim Evers
It’s just that I make it a rule never to eat red meat before I work. It sometimes has an odd effect… ~Noël Coward, Blithe Spirit: An Improbable Farce in Three Acts, 1941 [Madame Arcati, a medium, declares before performing a séance.
Lettuce, greens and celery, though much eaten, are worse than cabbage, being equally indigestible without the addition of condiments. Besides, the lettuce contains narcotic properties. It is said of Galen, that he used to obtain from a head of it, eaten on going to bed, all the good effects of a dose of opium. ~William Andrus Alcott, The Young House-keeper: or, Thoughts on Food and Cookery, 1838
When you are in a melancholy fit, first suspect the body… a little bit of gristle sticking in the wrong place, an untimely consumption of custard, excessive gooseberries, often cover the mind with clouds and bring on the most distressing views of human life.
I start up at two o’clock in the morning, after my first sleep, in an agony of terror, and feel all the weight of life upon my soul…. But stop, thou child of sorrow… and tell me on what you dined. Was not there soup and salmon, and then a plate of beef, and then duck, blanc-mange, cream cheese, diluted with beer, claret, champagne, hock, tea, coffee, and noyeau? And after all this, you talk of the mind and the evils of life! These kind of cases do not need meditation, but magnesia. ~Sydney Smith (1771–1845), “A Little Moral Advice: A Fragment on the Cultivation and Improvement of the Animal Spirits”
I would like to find a stew that will give me heartburn immediately, instead of at three o’clock in the morning. ~John Barrymore, unverified