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May 28, 2008

Shallow Thought Wednesday



Multimedia Editor and Resident Cheeseburger, Wings and Gas Station Food Expert John Lindner continually surprises me. First of all, he's convinced he had cholera last week when he missed his deadline. I find that unlikely. My guess is too much gas station sushi, as you know.

In any case, in this week's edition of Shallow Thought Wednesday, he dips into the paranormal: ... 

In an eerie twist on the mystery of socks disappearing in the dryer, a spoon recently materialized in our flatware drawer. No one brought it in. No one knows whence it came. It just showed up.

Careful examination revealed that it’s no mere spoon. It is a spoon with a past, a history revealed by the name engraved on its handle: Fred Harvey.

Turns out, Harvey was a foodie of no meager renown. More on him here.

How the "hell" his spoon got into our drawer remains a curiosity. One conjecture has it that our house is connected however tenuously to the rail business via which Harvey made a fortune. It’s a 1918 farmhouse believed by some to have been a "Sears house" conveyed to the area by train.

Add to that the fact that our house is haunted by a glassware poltergeist and you can see that the spoon’s appearance is most likely the work of paranormal kitchen agents.

Some Wednesday, I shall work up the courage to discuss the glassware poltergeist. The little bastard breaks rims off glassware. Uncanny accurate breaks, always about three quarters of an inch from the rim down.

If you possess any information on dealing with phenomena like this, please contact me immediately, as we’ve had numerous self-styled experts lead us down twisted paths to heartbreak in the hopes of purging our grounds of the destructive imp.


(Photo courtesy of Bonnie Lindner) 

Posted by Elizabeth Large at 5:29 AM | | Comments (23)


The Wikipedia article on Fred Harvey links to another Wikipedia article on the Fred Harvey Company, which is claimed to have been "the first restaurant chain ever."

Hmmm ... perhaps the appearance of the spoon can be attributed to the Ghost of Restaurant Chains Past?

Have you tried waving a bleached chicken bone and chanting "expelliarmus"?

I had a spoon from the Read's Drug Store lunch room appear in my drawer.

I was considering calling the Ghost Hunters.

Please let John know that it is probably not an imp but more likely a one-time Harvey Girl who choked on her starched collar while trying to serve a traveling tycoon a tureen of turkey tetrazzini while simultaneously singing "The Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe."

Hmmm, a glassware poltergeist. That would explain why my wine glasses seem to multiply. Every time I turn around, there are a few more, all with various logos and winery names on them.

As far as I can tell, none are named Fred, though. Next time I see them, I'll ask.

I've heard of ghosts rattling chains; but hmpstd, what you're saying is this is a chain ghost that's rattlingly me?

Cool! I see a D@L field trip to the JL manse for some foodie ghostbusting. Maybe we all can rent Harleys for the event.

Just a thought: I'm guessing the JL manse would rather have very angry ghosts than a visit from the Sandbox, Harleys or no.

jl -- perhaps, rather akin to Markey's ghost, you wear the chain you dined at in life. You ate it bite by bite, and meal by meal; you gorged on it of your own free will, and of your own free will you now wear it. Is its pattern strange to you? (Apologies to Dickensians everywhere.)

If Judy Garland shows up let me know. Somewhere in the Great Plains there is a Harvey House still operating. Perhaps a pilgrimage there will solve the problems.

Wasn't there a Harvey House on Charles Street in Mount Vernon a couple of decades ago? It too had its girls, but no one would have dreamed of casting Judy Garland as one of them.

Mark - I saw Judy Garland at a drag show just the other week. In fact there were two of them there.

Hmpstd, if you ask Elizabeth she can fix your misspelling of Marley.

Dahlink, bleached chicken bones? I thought they only worked on silicon-based issues? This is a ferrous item we're talking about. And "expelliarmus" is a crystal wave incantation, chiefly used in the cleaning of auras.

jl--just trying to be helpful here, but I see I am out of my depth. Perhaps Rosebud can help you with this matter.

Hal -- I think it's too late to correct the typo that's been posted there for the last several hours. (Good catch, though.)

I seem to recall a Fells Point ghost that used to turn on the vacuum cleaner at odd hours. That is certainly more attention-getting than just making the lights flicker. The people in the house got it to settle down by speaking to it and nicely asking it to lay off, if memory serves.

Dahlink, a point of etiquette, here, if I may trouble you for it: Would it not be correct for the guest (in this case the poltergeist) to initiate conversation with the owner (moi) of the property? I mean, I would gladly speak to the imp -- even nicely if it's not too early in the morning -- should it present itself.
Otherwise, I mean really, why ought I proffer appeasement when I'm the offended party? Some of the glasses whose rims it removed were handed down from my grandmother, for cry eye!
And by the way, shortly after moving in, we thought we had one of those light-flickering ghosts, too. Turned out it was BGE.

jl--Im afraid I am not an expert on these matters--anyone want to chime in here? But I gather that poltergeists and other spirits may act out rather than speak, except perhaps in the pages of Harry Potter.

I am sorry about your glasses, though. We treasure some glasses that belonged to my husband's grandmother and I know we would be devastated if anything should happen to them. Maybe the spoon was left as compensation--?

My dear long lost sister, Dahlink posted - jl--just trying to be helpful here, but I see I am out of my depth. Perhaps Rosebud can help you with this matter.

I would but I kind of stay away from doing magic in public, since...
"Nobody expects the Spanish inquisition!"

I was tempted earlier to post "Ring the Bell, Close the Book, Extinguish the Candle," but that's for excommunication, which probably would not mean much to a poltergeist.

I like the spoon compensation theory.
Another friend suggested I leave the poltergeist alone as hauntings raise the market value of old farm houses.
I'd drink to that, but of course, I'd cut myself.

Rosebud--"Nobody expects the Spanish inquisition!" You're Monty Python fan, too! But of course ... ;->

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About this blog
Richard Gorelick was appointed The Baltimore Sun's restaurant critic in September 2010. Before joining the paper staff fulltime, he contributed freelance criticism and features articles about food to area and regional publications. Along the way, he dispatched for short-distance trucking companies, shilled for cultural non-profits, and assisted in cognitive neurology research – never the subject, always the control.

He takes restaurants seriously but not himself, and his favorite restaurant is the one you love, too.

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