The Torture of TS Eliot

 Posted by on January 31, 2008  Add comments
Jan 312008

When TS Eliot took shelter in a monastery, he could hardly have known how difficult his life was about to become.

Desperate for a peaceful haven to reflect, and suffering from a growing obesity problem, Eliot hoped that his Spartan surroundings would afford him the calm he needed to look inside himself, and he hoped the simple food would help reduce his bulging stomach.

The Brethren were a mixed bunch, but all were gentle, kind and saintly. Brother David was a jovial American with an interest in motorcycles and French Symbolism. Eliot detested motorbikes, and every hour spent in David’s workshop was torture for him. Brother Stephen was a gifted brewer and had an enormous collection of shaggy-dog stories which he was delighted to share with the new visitor, to Eliot’s horror. Brother Benedict wanted Eliot to learn about gardening and bee-keeping, two things he hated.

But of all the brethren, Eliot detested the identical twins most. Brother Cain and Brother Abel were both superb cooks and between them they ran the best kitchen for a hundred miles in any direction. Their skill was legendary, and many a gourmet made the pilgrimage to their door. None was ever turned away by the jolly, laughing, twin, saintly chefs.

Eliot couldn’t abide them.

Intensely conscious of his spreading midriff, he suffered to the core of his being every time Brother Cain forced another delicious ramikin of brulée on him, but if anything, Brother Abel was an even better cook than his sibling, and when the mouth-watering aroma of roast butterflied leg of lamb drifted into Eliot’s cell, it was worse than the temptation of a thousand devils.

Damn you Brother Cain, he’d mutter in the darkness. Damn you Brother Abel.


When Eliot left the monastery after only a few months, he reflected on the unintentional torture the Brethren had inflicted on him.

And that was why, when he came to write his defining work, The Waistline, he started it with the words, Abel is the cruellest monk …

Sort of related (at a stretch): No More Heineken Cup?


  12 Responses to “The Torture of TS Eliot”

Comments (12)

    Here, Bock:
    Funny, or a sign that the Internet is collapsing in on itself like a dying star? I say both.


    Dunno. I don’t really get that lolcat thing, although someone put a lot of work into the page you linked. A frightening amount of work, in fact. Beyond a fucking joke.


    My god that is terrible. Seriously, seriously terrible.


    Muttering retreats…


    Nice one. I kept expecting Keats and Chapman to pop up.


    FattyS Elliot knew that depriving himself of food would throw him into poetic ketosis, and thus would he devour himself.


    Yeah. The Pounds just wouldn’t go away..


    Is someone adjusting a cravat somewhere, while drinking madeira, smoking a cigar, and muttering about Keats?




    poetic ketosis eh, abel is the cruelest monk and every other bloody monk of the year. why poor able though ?


    lol! brilliant stuff!

    world cries ‘jub jub bird,’
    or is diffrent poem?


    He thought of slobbering government ministers thus: twit twit teru.

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