Saturday, September 22, 2012

Dinner list

I have lots of files on my computer--hundreds and hundreds--and sometimes I glance through them to see what all I have. I found one tonight called 'dinner list'. What it is, I think, though I don't remember writing it or when--is a list of rules for children when going to another person's house for dinner. Surely I didn't write it so long ago as when our children needed such a list. I didn't have a computer back then. I suspect I went to what I expected was going to be an adult dinner party and sat next to a child too young to come to an adult dinner party. Who knows. At any rate, I share it with you tonight... DINNER LIST 1.You will not take off any of your clothes during dinner, lest you die. 2.You will not wipe your hand on your clothes after shaking hands with our hosts, lest you die. 3.YOU WILL SHAKE HANDS LIKE NORMAL PEOPLE…..Lest you die. 4.If our hosts have any pets, you will not twist their legs or ears or tails or otherwise annoy them lest you die. 5.You will take your napkin and put it in your lap. There it will stay, verily, throughout your meal. 6.You will accept anything passed to you in way of food—no matter how icky it is—and take only the smallest amount of the most icky things and not scream about how icky they are, lest you die. 7.You will not spit food on your sister/brother or on your plate or on the dinner table, lest you die. 8.If you must—lest you die—spit food at all, it will be into your napkin on your lap. 9.You will not comment on any body part of our hosts either to your sister/brother, or your parents or anyone else lest you die. 10.You will not say any of those 14 words we all know you know but have agreed you will not say, lest you die. 11.You will not—under any circumstances—tell any stories about your siblings or parents that will humiliate and mortify them…lest you die. 12.You will stay at the table throughout dinner, even if you think you are going to explode; especially if you think you are going to explode…and you will not mention your impending explosion under any circumstances, lest you die. 13.No matter how good dessert is, you will not eat dessert from someone else’s plate nor lick your plate nor say, GIMME MORE CAKE, nor do anything to humiliate and mortify your parents, lest you die.

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some ponderings by an aging white man who is an Episcopal priest in Connecticut. Now retired but still working and still wondering what it all means...all of it.