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David Hines [userpic]

APED: "tanstaafl"

July 9th, 2009 (07:41 pm)

There used to be a bounty, fabled, it is told,
for glory and delight to every man.
You found it in the barrooms -- yes, sir, even in the dives;
and it spread its gift of joy across the land.
But then came Prohibition, and its habitation died,
and extinction was the order of the day.
Repeal of prohibition came, but couldn't turn the tide,
for something had forever gone away.

The free lunch is what it was called, a thing of glory true,
a little piece of splendor in your day.
Go into the barroom and then drink a beer or two.
And the spread was there so you could eat away.
One beer alone sufficed, but the bartender would scowl,
but a second pleased him moderately well
and if you drank a third -- why, then you're a real guest, now,
so just you go ahead and eat your fill.

Pickled eggs and onions, pigs' knuckles, fresh from brine,
a tongue of cow, and bread to put it on,
and more and more and more besides -- oh, wasn't that a time!
a shame to say: for years it's all been gone.
The lunch of blessed memory, by foul temp'rance slain,
a curse on Carrie Nation and her crew.
Would that some good man's saloon would bring it back again,
but there ain't one now, alas, that's true.