All in Bad Taste…

Johnny-on-the-Spot … by John Foster

Mark Twain said, “Part of the secret of success is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside.”

Maybe that’s the hidden message behind the nursery rhyme song of the early 50’s, “I know an old lady.”

It was written by Rose Bonne and Alan Mills.

Burl Ives sang it in 1953.

Remember?

Allow me to refresh your memory.

I know an old lady, she swallowed a fly.

But I don’t know why she swallowed the fly.

I guess she’ll die.

(I understand flies are actually quite edible. They’re high in iron. But you should refrain from eating the ones hanging out around rotten garbage or pooh.)

I know an old lady who swallowed a spider.

It wiggled and jiggled and tickled inside her.

She swallowed the spider to catch the fly.

But I don’t know why she swallowed the fly.

I guess she’ll die.

(It’s a myth that we humans swallow up to 8 spiders while we sleep.)

I know an old lady who swallowed a bird.

Isn’t that absurd to swallow a bird?

She swallowed the bird to catch the spider.

It wiggled and jiggled and tickled inside her.

She swallowed the spider to catch the fly.

But I don’t know why she swallowed the fly.

I guess she’ll die.

(By the way, several types of bird are actually toxic; the North American ruffed grouse, the bronzewing pigeon and the red warbler to name a few. “Bird Nest Soup” is actually an edible bird’s nest, called the “Caviar of the East”.)

I know an old lady who swallowed a cat.

Just imagine that. She swallowed a cat.

She swallowed a cat to catch the bird.

She swallowed the bird to catch the spider,

It wiggled and jiggled and tickled inside her.

She swallowed the spider to catch the fly.

But I don’t know why she swallowed the fly.

I think she’ll die.

(Cats can be and are eaten in Vietnam; they’re often listed on the menu as “baby tiger”. Cat meat is illegal in the United States with the exception of Native American religious ceremonies.)

I know an old lady who swallowed a dog.

Ooh! What a hog!

She swallowed a dog.

She swallowed the dog to catch the cat.

She swallowed the cat to catch the bird.

She swallowed the bird to catch the spider.

It wiggled and jiggled and tickled inside her.

She swallowed the spider to catch the fly.

I don’t know why she swallowed the fly.

I think she’ll die.

(Folks in China, Nigeria, Switzerland and Vietnam eat dog meat. While taboo in the United States, there’s no actual law banning the consumption of dog meat here. It’s not very nutritious and there’s the risk of parasites and worms.)

I know an old lady who swallowed a goat.

She just opened her throat and swallowed a goat.

She swallowed the goat to catch the dog.

She swallowed the dog to catch the cat.

She swallowed the cat to catch the bird.

She swallowed the bird to catch the spider.

It wiggled and jiggled and tickled inside her.

She swallowed the spider to catch the fly.

I don’t know why she swallowed the fly.

\I think she’ll die.

(Goat is the most-eaten meat in the world but not so much in the West, otherwise we’d see “McGoats” or “Bah-King” restaurants here in the States. It is a good, healthy meat to eat. There’s about 1 goat for every 14 people in the world.)

There was an old lady who swallowed a cow.

I don’t know how she swallowed a cow.

She swallowed the cow to catch the goat.

She swallowed the goat to catch the dog.

She swallowed the dog to catch the cat.

She swallowed the catch the bird.

She swallowed the bird to catch the spider

It wiggled and jiggled and tickled inside her.

She swallowed the spider to catch the fly.

I don’t know why she swallowed the fly.

I think she’ll die.

(Cow meat, or beef, is the 3rd most widely-consumed meat in the world.)

I know an old lady who swallowed a horse.

She’s dead of course.

She swallowed the horse to catch the cow.

She swallowed a cow to catch the goat.

She swallowed the goat to catch the dog.

She swallowed the dog to catch the cat.

She swallowed the cat to catch the bird.

She swallowed the bird to catch the spider.

It wiggled and jiggled and tickled inside her.

She swallowed the spider to catch the fly.

I don’t know why she swallowed the fly.

I think she’ll die.

(Eating horsemeat in the United States is taboo but horses can be sold and shipped to countries where it is legal to slaughter them for food,)

Lucretius, the Roman poet said, “One man’s food is another man’s poison.”

I think that little old lady we know just might need some Pepto-Bismol.

And, what about that old lady who lived in a shoe?

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