A line in Woody Allen’s 1966 Broadway comedy, Don’t Drink the Water, has become much-quoted with food writers: “WALTER. I will not eat oysters. They’re alive when you eat them. I want my food dead—not sick, not wounded—dead.”
Wikipedia: Don’t Drink the Water (play)
Don’t Drink the Water is a play written in 1966 by Woody Allen. The farce, a cascade of comedy and a big hit on Broadway, takes place inside an American Embassy behind the Iron Curtain.
While returning home from a European tour, caterer Walter Hollander, his wife Marion and daughter Susan have an unplanned stop in Vulgaria. There the family accidentally wanders into a restricted area and takes photos for Walter’s new hobby of photography and are caught and ensued by Krojack, the head of the Vulgarian secret police, who suspects espionage and attempts to arrest them.
Although the United States attempts to rescue the family by repatriating Vulgarian agent Grey Fox, he commits suicide before an exchange can be negotiated. When middle-aged student agitators picket and bomb the embassy, Magee accidentally thinks up an escape plan that Susan forces him to share with the rest of the family. The Hollanders dress up as dignitaries and attempt an escape, but when the escape fails, Walter and Marion don the robes of a visiting sultan and his harem and rush out of the embassy. Susan happily bids her parents farewell and secures diplomatic immunity by marrying Magee.
Don’t Drink the Water: a comedy in two acts
By Woody Allen
New York, NY: Samuel French
WALTER. I will not eat oysters. They’re alive when you eat them. I want my food dead—not sick, not wounded—dead.