At the urging of the Lord Peter group, I got Connie Willis’ comedic time-travel novel To Say Nothing of the Dog from the library (and liked it enough to buy it). It starts off confusing (first-person narration by someone who’s time-lagged will do that) but is pretty funny, and full of golden age mystery fiction references.
It also contains several homages to the 1889 book Three Men in a Boat (To Say Nothing of the Dog) by Jerome K. Jerome, of which a copy is on Project Gutenberg. Looking at the first chapter we find the narrator has a touch of Bibliochondria – he believes he has any illness that he reads about. He takes this to his doctor, who gives him the following prescription:
1 lb. beefsteak, with
1 pt. bitter beer
every 6 hours.
1 ten-mile walk every morning.
1 bed at 11 sharp every night.
And don’t stuff up your head with things you don’t understand.
He reports: “I followed the directions, with the happy result – speaking for myself – that my life was preserved, and is still going on.”
I find myself wondering how realistic that prescription was at the time – and what the current prescription would be.
- Whole grains, fruits & vegetables every day.
- Fish twice a week.
- 1 glass red wine each evening.
- 1 three-mile walk every morning.
- 1 bed at 11 sharp every night.
- And don’t believe everything you read.
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