Later, the Captain explains his food philosophy to Celestine, the beautiful chambermaid (played by Paulette Goddard), as she feigns fascination:
"Everybody in the world except me gets into a rut about food. They have no pioneering spirit. Possibly the first man who ate an oyster, they called him crazy or eccentric. Now the same with me. I've discovered new foods that nobody ever heard of before. I'm willing to eat absolutely anything. Keeps me young and vigorous."The startling image of an older eccentric eagerly gobbling a rose was possibly borrowed by Agnes Varda in her amazing L'Opera Mouffe (1958). That film deserves its own post (I'm working on it), but here is a salient clip in gif animation form, created by Hristos, via his flickr channel (click on gif for best quality).
~A post-script to this post, prompted by the comment regarding Harpo Marx's habit of eating non-edibles: I looked through some U-tube clips of Cocoanuts, and though I couldn't find the telephone-eating scene, I did find Harpo munching on some buckwheat flowers:
Related Post: The Little Fellow Is Appetizing (Charlie Chaplin eats a shoe)