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by Matt

I got a chance to hit up Atwater Market recently and since Julia couldn’t make it I brought along my ol’ pal Ben Franklin, polymath.

I’ve been in talks with a travel agent to do a Matt’s Montreal Tour with a large group of German visitors in September so I headed down to the market to do some cost analysis.  Turns out bread, cheese and pate for 20-25 people will cost roughly $120.  That’s the easy part, the hard part is finding a place for 20-25 proper european tourists to eat all of it.  Come Fall I hopefully shouldn’t have too much difficulty.

While I was down there I thought I’d check out some of the new stuff going on outside at the north end.  I was particularly excited to try the Satay Bros. Malaysian stand but it being a Tuesday they were closed so I had to “settle” for a lobster roll from the Homard des Iles kiosk.

Matt: This looks to be a pretty decent Maine-style lobster roll but with real mayo rather than the Miracle Whip Julia and I had at the Two Lights lobster shack in Cape Elizabeth.  Nice garnishes, too.  We’ve got some chive, red onion, celery and even some anise seed.

Ben:  “New England rum,” in the olden time, was as universal an article, from Maine to Georgia, as Monongahela whisky is now, and far more generally used.

Matt:  I hear you, Ben that would be a nice touch.  There’s hardly anything more appetizing than a nice glass of liquor and a good rum would sure enhance the maritime theme.  I really like the celery, it adds a nice, fresh, green aspect that I haven’t had in a lobster roll.

Ben:  I turned and went down Chesnut-street and part of Walnut-street, eating my roll all the way, and, coming round, found myself again at Market-street wharf, near the boat I came in, to which I went for a draught of the river water; and, being filled with one of my rolls, gave the other two to a woman and her child that came down the river in the boat with us, and were waiting to go further.

Matt:  That’s very generous of you.  Well, I’m still hungry.  It’s a good thing we picked up this Si Pousse sausage A la Biere Noire de Montreal and this Marco Birch beer to wash it down with.

Ben: I found at my door in Craven-street, one morning, a poor woman sweeping my pavement with a birch broom; she appeared very pale and feeble, as just come out of a fit of sickness.

Matt:  That’s a pretty good description of this Marco birch beer, Ben.  Pale and feeble.  It’s a lot like their spruce beer, vaguely tasting of birch and too sweet.  I prefer Bertrand’s spruce beer anyday but I at least give Marco marks for making a birch beer at all.  You don’t see that everyday.

Ben:  From my example, a great many  left their muddling breakfast of beer, bread, and cheese, finding they could with me be supplied from a neighboring house with a large porringer of hot water-gruel, sprinkled with pepper, crumbled with bread, and a bit of butter in it, for the price of a pint of beer, viz., three half pence. This was a more comfortable as well as a cheaper breakfast, and kept their heads clearer.

Matt:  Tell me about it, I’m running up quite a bill here.  Lobster roll: $12.50, birch beer: $2.50, sausage: $5.  That’s $20 for breakfast.  Mind you I do have some left-over sausage, which was quite good, to munch on later.  I could have saved some money by not getting a lobster roll, I guess but I really wanted one.

Ben:  If then a way can be proposed, which may tend to efface the memory of injuries, at the same time that it takes away the occasions of fresh quarrels and mischief, will it not be worth considering, especially if it can be done, not only without expense, but be a means of saving?

Matt:  Sure.

Matt: Well, thanks for coming out with me today, Ben.  I had a great time as usual.  You’re always pleasant if occasionally ribald company.

Ben:  I think I never knew a prettier talker.  Many pleasant walks we have had together on Sundays in the woods, on the banks of the Schuylkill, where we read to one another, and conferred on what we had read.

Matt:  And eaten.

All Benjamin Franklin quotes taken from Benjamin Franklin: His Autobiography.

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by matt

A Post-Existence Roundtable

This week featuring Ben Franklin, Walt Whitman, Sun Ra and Homer.

The question: How early is too early?

BF – “Late children,” says the Spanish proverb, “are early
orphans.” A melancholy reflection to those whose case it may be!

H – Tutor’d by early woes, grow early wise!

SR – I’m not a minister, I’m not a philosopher, I’m not a
politician, I’m in another category.

WW – Now I tell what I knew in Texas in my early youth. ‘Tis the
tale of the murder in cold blood of four hundred and twelve young.

BF – By the original law of nations, war and extirpation were the punishment of

injury.  Humanizing by degress, it admitted slavery instead of death.

H – A nation ever to the stranger kind.

SR – The world is in such a bad condition that if they don’t find what you call a

redeemer, every man, woman and child on this planet will be eliminated.

WW – How curious you are to me!

SR – When they push that button, your ass got to go.

BF – “I have not taken from this people the value of an ass, nor done them any other

injury,” said Moses.

WW – The saviours countless, latent within thyself.

SR – What I’m dealing with is so vast and great that it can’t be called the truth. It’s

above the truth.

H – With truth I answer; thou the truth attend.

WW – All is truth.

BF – By the collision of different sentiments, sparks of truth are struck out, and

political light is obtained.

H – Attest, O Jove! the truth I now relate! This sacred truth attest each genial

power.  Fame speaks the Trojans bold; they boast the skill to give the feather’d

arrow wings to kill, to dart the spear and guide the rushing car with dreadful

inroads through the walks of war.

WW – Served the fluent-tongued and subtle-sensed Greek and long ere the Greek.

SR – What you gonna’ do without yo’ ass?

WW – I hear the chirp of the Mexican muleteer and the bells of the mule.

BF – There I ordered something for dinner.

WW – Now we advance our latent and ampler hunger to fill.

H – Imperious hunger bids and I obey.

SR – A world is in danger, this planet is in great danger!

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