Date: Fri, 28 Nov 1997 18:17:04 -0500 From: "Barry A. Popik" Subject: Chop Suey Just in time for Thanksgiving--chop suey! Oh, c'mon--"turkey" has been overdone! I was cleaning out my files and realized that I hadn't posted (nor published) this item. It's agreed that "chop suey" is an Americanism, but there has been a New York Chinatown vs. San Francisco Chinatown "chop suey" debate. The Dictionary of Americanisms has: 1928 ASBURY _Gangs of New York_ 301 The tongs are as American as chop suey--the latter is said to have been invented by an American dishwasher in a San Francisco restaurant,.... 1947 _Democrat_ 7 Aug. 8/1 Chop suey, unknown in China, was originated in New York City by an American chef. The word chop suey in Chinese means "hash." John Ayto's A GOURMET'S GUIDE: FOOD & DRINK FROM A TO Z has the OED citation and states: "..._chop suey_ is first recorded (in the October 1888 issue of _Current Literature_, an American publication). It represents a slightly mangled rendition of Cantonese Chinese _shap sui_, 'odds and ends', literally 'miscellaneous bits'." This is from the Brooklyn Times, 24 July 1886, pg. 3, col. 1: NEW YORK'S CHINA-TOWN. A DINNER IN MONG SING WAH'S RESTAURANT. Not Altogether an Affair of Dogs and Bats --The Joss of the Kitchen--How to Order a Chinese Dinner--Tea in Oriental Style. (...) "Chow chop suey, chop seow, laonra an, san sui-goy, no ma das," glibly ordered my friend, and the white-robed attendant trotted off and began to chant down a dumbwaiter. It sounded as if he was intoning a service to some mysterious downstairs Joss of the kitchen, but he wasn't, he was ordering our dinner. (...) ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ ------------------------------------------- AUTOMAT, continued I really liked that article from January 1903 on the first New York City Automat (in 1902). I decided to check the ENCYCLOPEDIA OF NEW YORK CITY: automats. Self-service restaurants operated by the Horn and Hardart Company of Philadelphia; the first in New York City opened at 1557 Broadway in Times Square on 2 July 1912. 1912?? ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ ------------------------------------------- AUTOEROTIC ASPHYXIATION, continued The press has neatly downplayed this, saying that INXS lead singer Michael Hutchence (whose biggest hit was probably "New Sensation," and who was starting an anniversary tour called "Lose Your Head") died under "mysterious circumstances." Australia police are flying to interview Sir Bob Geldof, Hutchence's girlfriend's estranged husband. SICKEST INTERNET JOKE: If Michael Hutchence had given Lady Diana his belt, they'd both be alive today. ADDITIONAL _AUTOEROTIC ASPHYXIATION_ THOUGHT: Wow! You miss one issue of Hustler, and you miss so much!