A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry forthcoming—B.P. (9/19)
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Entry from March 16, 2009
“No man is lonely while eating spaghetti, for it requires so much attention”

"No man is lonely while eating spaghetti, for it requires so much attention” is a quip from author Christopher Morley (1890-1957). The quotation is often attributed—incorrectly—to rotund British screen actor Robert Morley (1908-1957). Christopher Morley used the line is a story published in Harper’s Magazine in 1926, later reprinted in his book, The Arrow (1927).

Spaghetti eating requires twisting the strands of spaghetti around a fork, and perhaps that was exciting in America in the early 1900s. Also, other diners need to pay attention that spaghetti sauce doesn’t fly in their direction.


Wikipedia: Christopher Morley
Christopher Morley (5 May 1890–28 March 1957) was an American journalist, novelist, essayist and poet. 

Wikipedia: Robert Morley
CBE (May 26, 1908 – June 3, 1992) was an Oscar-nominated English actor who, often in supporting roles, was usually cast as a pompous English gentleman representing the Establishment. In Movie Encyclopedia, film critic Leonard Maltin describes Morley as “recognizable by his ungainly bulk, bushy eyebrows, thick lips, and double chin, […] particularly effective when cast as a pompous windbag”. More politely, Ephraim Kurtz in his International Film Encyclopaedia describes Morley as a “a rotund, triple-chinned, delightful character player of the British and American stage and screen.”

Google Books
Harper’s magazine
By Making of America Project
Published by Harper’s Magazine Co., 1926
Item notes: v. 152
Pg. 273:
No man is lonely while eating spaghetti, for it requires so much attention.

Google Books
The Arrow
By Christopher Morley
Garden City, NY: Doubleday, Page & Company
1927
Pg. 33:
No man is lonely while eating spaghetti, for it requires so much attention.

10 July 1942, Lowell (MA) Sun, pg. 15, col. 7:
FOOD: Christopher Morley writes: No man is lonely while eating spaghetti—it requires so much attention.

21 June 1950, Hagerstown (MD) Daily Mail, pg. 12, col. 7 ad:
CY COLOGY SEZ:
NO MAN IS LONELY WHEN EATING SPAGHETTI BECAUSE IT REQUIRES SO MUCH ATTENTION
(Community Finance Service, Inc.—ed.)

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityFood/Drink • (0) Comments • Monday, March 16, 2009 • Permalink