FRYING-PAN, n. One part of the penal apparatus employed in that
punitive institution, a woman's kitchen. The frying-pan was invented
by Calvin, and by him used in cooking span-long infants that had died
without baptism; and observing one day the horrible torment of a tramp
who had incautiously pulled a fried babe from the waste-dump and
devoured it, it occurred to the great divine to rob death of its
terrors by introducing the frying-pan into every household in Geneva.
Thence it spread to all corners of the world, and has been of
invaluable assistance in the propagation of his sombre faith. The
following lines (said to be from the pen of his Grace Bishop Potter)
seem to imply that the usefulness of this utensil is not limited to
this world; but as the consequences of its employment in this life
reach over into the life to come, so also itself may be found on the
other side, rewarding its devotees:
Old Nick was summoned to the skies.
Said Peter: "Your intentions
Are good, but you lack enterprise
Concerning new inventions.
"Now, broiling in an ancient plan
Of torment, but I hear it
Reported that the frying-pan
Sears best the wicked spirit.
"Go get one -- fill it up with fat --
Fry sinners brown and good in't."
"I know a trick worth two o' that,"
Said Nick -- "I'll cook their food in't."