Once upon a Time a Rugged Character from the Middle West was in New York City fixing up a Deal.
Although he wore overlapping Cuffs and a ready-made Tie, he had a Rating, so a certain Promoter with an Office in Broad Street found it advisable to make a Fuss over him.
The Promoter invited the prospective Mark to Luncheon and arranged to have the same served in a snug Corner entirely screened by Oleanders and Palms.
The Chef received private Instructions to throw himself, so he personally supervised a dainty Menu.
When the Visitor entered the far-famed Establishment and found himself entirely protected from the Vulgar Gaze he knew that at last he was in the Headquarters for sure-enough Food.
“What is it?” he asked, gazing into the liquid Amber of the First Course.
“Turtle Soup,” replied the Host.
“We shoot the Blame Things just for Practice, out our Way,” said the Guest, “but if I went home and told my Wife I’d been eatin’ Turtle she wouldn’t live with me.”
So the Alsatian Nobleman hurried it away and substituted a Tid-Bit with Cray-Fish as the principal Ornament in the Ensemble.
“It’s a Craw-Dabber!” exclaimed the horrified Man from the Plains. “I see Ten Million of them little Cusses every Spring, but I wouldn’t touch one with a Ten-Foot Pole.”
To relieve the embarrassing Situation, the Host gave a Sign and the Menials came running with the Third Course, a tempting array of Frog Saddles.
“A Frog is a Reptile,” said the Hoosier, backing away from the Table. “I’ve heard they were Et, but I never believed it. I can go out any Morning and gather a Car-Load.”
The next Serving was Breast of Guinea Hen with Mushrooms under Glass on the Side.
“On my Farm I’ve got a lot of these Things,” said the Guest, poking at the Guinea Hen timidly with his Fork. “We use them as Alarm Clocks, but I’d just as soon eat a Turkey Buzzard.”
“How about the Mushrooms?”
“Eight People in our Township were poisoned this Summer from foolin’ with that Truck. My pasture’s speckled with ’em, but we never pick ’em. Most of them are Toadstools. I tried a Real One once at a K. P. Banquet. It tasted a good deal like a Rubber Glove.”
The only remaining Item before Dessert was a tempting Salad of Water Cress.
The Guest identified it as something that grew in the Crick below the Spring and was commonly classified as Grass.
“Perhaps you had better order for Yourself,” said the Host, as the lowly Water Cress followed the others into the Discard.
The Guest motioned the Waiter to come close and said: “I want a nice Oyster Stew and some Sparkling Burgundy.”
MORAL: A Delicacy is something not raised in the same County.