'Matter of Laugh or Death,' a humor column
By Bill Dunn
Interesting observations on this thing we call life
(appearing each week in the Republican-American newspaper, Waterbury, CT)
TABLE MANNERS FOR THE 21ST CENTURY
There are many etiquette books that teach proper table manners. For example, this is taken directly from an Emily Post book: “After a fine meal, never pick your teeth with your fork. You could inadvertently stab your lip. Instead, use the sharp tip of your steak knife. If fish was served and therefore no steak knives are handy, it is acceptable to borrow someone’s ballpoint pen.”
However, I wonder why they continue to publish table manner etiquette books when hardly anyone eats at a table anymore. Nowadays most meals are consumed everywhere except at an actual dining table. The most common places where meals are eaten today are: at your desk at work, in the car, on the couch, in bed, and while sitting on the porcelain throne in the bathroom. (As a bonus, if you happen to be eating food from Taco Bell, your burrito can make its entire journey—from take-out bag to city sewer system—all in one fell swoop. Hopefully the medicine cabinet is within arm’s reach to get some Pepto.)
There should be etiquette books about proper manners when eating a meal in these unconventional locations. (That’s the third time I’ve typed the word “etiquette” in the last few minutes—oops, fourth time now—and every time I attempted to spell it a different way, which has been very stressful for my computer’s Spell-Check function. After the last time, Spell-Check said to me, “If you try to use that word again, pal, I’m going to have the computer mouse bite your finger.”)
Anyway, there are some important rules to keep in mind for the modern food connoisseur. (Spell-Check didn’t have a clue what to do with my first attempt at spelling THAT word.) In our current crass and coarse culture, this may not exactly be an issue of proper etti— whoops, I mean, manners. But these guidelines will help people avoid unnecessary problems.
There, I’m glad I could be of help to all you connasewers of fine eddakitt.
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