Monday, May 26, 2008

He Had a Whisky Diet

New York, 1895


He Consumed Ten Quarts of Whisky and Sixteen Quarts of Milk, Took Seventy-five Cents' Worth of Medicine, and Ate Ten Dollars' Worth of Victuals.

Otto Buhler, who keeps a saloon somewhere in Morris Park, has sent a peculiar bill to the Board of Health. Buhler had a man working for him named Soney. Soney fell sick. Buhler did not report the case to the Overseer of the Poor, but proceeded to take care of the sick man himself, and the way he did it is illustrated by the items in his bill, as follows:

[see above graphic]

The patient appears to have had a robust appetite in spite of his illness. What he was ill of doesn't appear. In six days he required but 75 cents worth of medicine, and in the same time he consumed $10 worth of victuals. But the most extraordinary thing about the bill is the quantities of whisky and milk that he consumed.

On the first day he consumed three pints of whisky and three quarts of milk. He must have been a great deal sicker on the second day, for he added a pint of whisky and cut off a quart of milk. Three pints of whisky and three quarts of milk served to keep him alive on the third day. On the fourth day he had need of more whisky than milk and took them in the proportion of three and two. On the fifth day he consumed the life saver in equal proportions, three and three, and then he must have had a serious relapse, for the sixth and last day of his illness it was necessary to supply him with four pints of whisky and three quarts of milk. He consumed altogether ten quarts of whisky and 16 quarts of milk, an average consumption of four and a half quarts a day.

He got no medicine at all until the last day, according to the bill.

How a sick man could get away with four and a half quarts of liquor and milk each day, and $1.67 worth of food each day, perhaps Mr. Buhler can explain. The quality of the whisky must have varied, for the cost of it differs on different days.

In his well days Soney ought to be able to eat a load of hay, or drink a brewery dry.

No charge is made for nursing the sick man. Mr. Buhler must have forgotten this service.

—The Long Island Farmer, Jamaica, NY, Feb. 22, 1895, p. 1.

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