The Quote Garden

 I dig old books.

 Est. 1998

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Quotations about Eating
Before Bed & After-Dinner Ghosts

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. –ღTerri

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,

"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 –tg]

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 –tg]

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 B–N–R–D, to Lady B–N–R–D, Letter IV: A Consultation of Physicians," The New Bath Guide: or, Memoirs of the B—R—D Family. In a Series of Poetical Epistles, 1766

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 –tg]

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. –tg]

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 do not, of course, mean to say that all ghosts are real ghosts. There are plenty of bogus ghosts, and there always will be, as long as men eat and drink too much, play practical jokes on one another, and allow their houses to become... infested by rats and mice. ~H. Addington Bruce, Adventurings in the Psychical, 1914

All the knives and forks were working away at a rate that was quite alarming; very few words were spoken; and everybody seemed to eat his utmost in self-defence, as if a famine were expected to set in before breakfast time to-morrow morning... The poultry, which may perhaps be considered to have formed the staple of the entertainment — for there was a turkey at the top, a pair of ducks at the bottom, and two fowls in the middle — disappeared as rapidly as if every bird had the use of its wings, and had flown in desperation down a human throat. The oysters, stewed and pickled, leaped from their capacious reservoirs, and slid by scores into the mouths of the assembly. The sharpest pickles vanished, whole cucumbers at once, like sugar-plums, and no man winked his eye. Great heaps of indigestible matter melted away as ice before the sun. It was a solemn and an awful thing to see. Dyspeptic individuals bolted their food in wedges; feeding, not themselves, but broods of nightmares, who were continually standing at livery within them. ~Charles Dickens

Last night I single handed fought a gang of murderers that came
      To get my money or my life, and very nearly did the same;
      I struggled with them on a cliff, and over it I toppled two,
      I hit another one a biff that dazed him, but I wasn't through,
      As fast as one was overpowered another villain forced the fight,
      Because four doughnuts I devoured and used a cider wash last night.
The horse that I was riding ran away with me at furious pace,
      He tossed me up against a tree, I ploughed a furrow with my face!
      A farmer's bull was grazing near, and he took up the battle then
      And landed me upon my ear upon the farmer's cattle pen;
      An aeroplane came whizzing by, I grabbed it with all my might,
      Because four doughnuts that you buy, with cider I washed down last night.
A strange and angry beast then came, a creature with a horrid grunt,
      The way he used me was a shame, he galloped up and down my front;
      He had the roughest kind of feet that ever I have gazed upon,
      His breath was hardly fresh and sweet, of nostrils he had only one
      But that belched fire and brimstone, too; his tusks were long and sharp and white—
      It's awful what doughnuts will do when mixed with cider late at night!
~Edgar A. Guest, "Doughnuts and Cider," Just Glad Things, 1911

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

The treatment of nightmares may be briefly summed up in these words: Avoid heavy suppers. ~N. E. Yorke-Davies, One Thousand Medical Maxims and Surgical Hints, 1883

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published 2017 Dec 22
last saved 2023 Aug 15