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God Damned Food-Slopping Young People Make Me Sick

The problem with young people today is that they don’t have any table manners.

When I was a lad, the evening meal was a trial by pot roast. There were rules to eating and we were terrified of breaching them. We ate tentatively and fearfully, ever mindful of our peas and social cues.

But these young people today? They’re nothing but uncouth, vulgar, ham-fisted Neanderthals. They storm the dinner table like a barbarian horde descending on an unattended virgin. They sit with their elbows on the table, shirts un-tucked and hands unwashed – yelling at one another while they burp, slurp and fart their way through their evening repast.

And they sure as Hell don’t bother with cutlery. Knives are reserved for mugging seniors, forks are just for picking teeth and the only use they have for a spoon is in boiling up their god damned heroin.

They use their grubby hands to stuff food in their mouths and then leave them hanging open while they slop the contents around for all to see. It’s like watching the rinse cycle of a front loading washing machine.

It’s damned sickening. I’ve been to zoos where the rending of flesh was more civilized for Christ’s sake.

In my day, young people sat with eyes downcast, napkins spread across our laps and elbows tucked to our sides. If I had ever reached my arm across the table my old dad would have cut it off with a steak knife and used the stump to ladle our soup. Etiquette demanded it, for Christ’s sake.

These damned young today people eat exactly the same way they live there lives – sloppily, haphazardly and with all the grace of a circus carnie on a 3-day drunk. I’m telling you, if this disgraceful trend keeps up it won’t be long before we’re nothing but a nation of farm animals gorging ourselves from a communal trough and then rolling around in our own filth afterward.

And that’s a future I just can’t stomach.

They don’t have any table manners. That’s the problem with young people today.

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131 Comments leave one →
  1. 12:24 am

    Well, you can look at the bright side, Don….if we do become that nation one day, we won’t have to be around to watch it! :-)

    • 12:29 am

      Thanks for visiting Yorksnbeans,

      True, we may not be here for the ribbon cutting of the new McTrough Franchises but it’s still pretty damned revolting watching our country slide down that particular path. Besides, despite my interest in obituaries, estate planning and writing headstone slogans, I still plan to be around for a good long time.

      And at the rate society is declining, who knows what affronts to decency I might live to see.

      Hope you’re well and thanks for visiting.

      Don

  2. 12:36 am

    Dear Mr. Mills,

    A nation of farm animals is being kind. Have you been eating with one of my nephews? I swear he was raised by wolves.

    Once again, you raise a number of excellent points. One can only hope that someday manners will be one of the skills that young people will be forced to learn. Among so many other skills they still need to learn.

    Always nice to see you post.

    Sincerely,

    Carol King, M.D., Ph.D.

    • 1:03 am

      Thank you very much Dr. King,

      I can assure you that I have most certainly not been eating with one of your nephews. I make it a rule not to eat with anyone under 55. I also refuse to break bread with circus people, men wearing shorts or anyone named Clive.

      Always a pleasure to hear from you, Carol.

      Best regards,

      Don

    • Susi Spice permalink
      4:47 am

      lmao really? did you have to put the MD PHD in it to post a comment on a blog!? lol so wankerish haha

      Im a Gen Y – you would expect nothing in a comment from me! :P

      • Susi Spice permalink
        4:48 am

        no your Mr Mills i loves you… it was just a joke to liven up CazzK

        • 9:52 am

          Squadron Leader DMH BSc(Hons), MBBS, MRCPsych, RAF (rtd)

          better known as dave

          • Susi Spice permalink
            2:16 pm

            Mr Dave… ill just call you..hey you!

            • 4:24 pm

              Well thankyou, much better than the “Oi, you, dog’s breath!” that I have been known to repsond to…

        • 7:59 pm

          Thank you Susi but Ms. King was just making a bit of joke. I rely on her for medical advice as well as some psychological counselling.

  3. 12:42 am

    I agree, Don. Lack of table manners is the “broken windows” of societal cohesion. If we don’t repair and turn back the compounded effect of the neglected and broken rituals of life we shall see worse things to come.

    Little things mean a lot, and if we foolishly keep demanding that the important yield to the urgent, we shall soon be no better than hyenas.

    • 1:06 am

      Thank you Joan,

      You really do know how to turn a phrase Joan. Beautifully stated and bang on as well.

      All the best and thanks again.

      Don

  4. 12:50 am

    Blaahahahaha Mr Mills you are making a rather large assumption that “young people today” eat at a dinner table or with kitchen utensils. Isn’t it usually in a car after they pick up their “two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce cheese on a sesame seed bun” from the drive through window. I’m just saying!

    • 12:55 am

      Whoops, scratch the using kitchen utensils…they are obviously master chefed in that area :(

      • Susi Spice permalink
        4:57 am

        LOL loony im with you.. my sister usually eats at the kitchen bench from the pan. such a boy lol .. my mum hates! she is always saying “ive taught you better than this!” and my sister’s response is “ahh but you cant complain that ive dirtied up any of your dishes mum..yeah be grateful about that”. hehe touche.

    • 1:09 am

      Many thanks Frigginloon,

      Yes, the dinner table was an assumption on my part. As I explained to Dr. King I don’t make it a practice to eat with the damned young people. My comments were based on my observations of their gorging at various “food courts” (the early prototype of the communal food trough?) throughout town.

      Nasty business. It’s like a non-sexual, dimwit orgy. “Gorge-o-poloza” as the young people might say.

      All the best, loon.

      Don

    • The Celtic Queen permalink
      11:37 am

      You forgot the pickles Loon

      • 6:39 am

        Blahahahaha young people don’t order pickles :)

        • The Celtic Queen permalink
          11:32 am

          You’re right, I see them pick them out of their burger and throw them at the person across the table. What fun!!

  5. 1:07 am

    ” If I had ever reached my arm across the table my old dad would have cut it off with a steak knife and used the stump to ladle our soup.”

    Hahahah!

    Good Lord, that’s HARSH. (But effective, I must admit).

    Though based on your photo, you appear to have both your arms. So I assume that means you must have behaved at the table when you were a tad.

    How have the rest of your siblings fared? Have they lost any of their appendages?

    • 1:15 am

      Thanks Friar,

      My old dad was a harsh man (but fair). And he couldn’t abide poor table manners. The steak knife was really a 3rd strike type of punishment (he believed in progressive discipline) and both me and my brothers learned quickly not to step out of line.

      While York has a bit of a nervous twitch, and brother Erin still can’t look at a melon baller, we all survived childhood with arms, legs, fingers and toes in tact.

      All the best Friar. I’ll be over for a visit shortly.

      Don

  6. 1:24 am

    i blame it on cheerios. remember the day when babies’ first meals were pablum, shoved in their faces with a spoon? then they graduated to baby food from a jar, shoved in their faces with a spoon. nowadays, all babies eat those damned cheerios with their fingers. then they graduate to “finger foods.” it’s no wonder they don’t know that utensils exist.

    p.s. you really need to write an etiquette book, don. you put emily post to shame.

    • 2:11 am

      Thank you Nonnie,

      An excellent theory. All the babies in my family were force fed until they could damn well differentiate between a relish fork and a soup spoon.

      And those damned Cheerios may well be to blame. In my day if I had an appetite for whole grain outs I was given a scythe, a bowl and pointed toward the fields.

      All the best,

      Don

  7. 1:28 am

    Mr. Mills:

    I think part of the problem must fall upon what we laughingly call the “public school system.” What happened to deportment classes? Citizenship? Penmanship?

    Even worse, how can we expect the youth of our nation to learn table manners when all they are provided in the nation’s lunchrooms is a “spork”? An abominable combination of fork and spoon, it is inadequate for either picking up solid food or lifting soup. And don’t even think of trying to cut anything with it. No wonder kids eat with their hands and gooble food like mandrakes- their “learning environments” provide no other options.

    Thank You

    • 2:29 am

      Thank you bmj2k,

      I’m always happy to lay some blame at the feet of public education. High schools are little more than prison prep schools as far as I’m concerned. That’s likely why they have them use those damned sporks – just to get them use to San Quentin cutlery. (Who the Hell invented those things anyway?)

      All the best bmj2k. I appreciate your stopping in to visit.

      Don

  8. 1:40 am

    Dear Don,

    Whatever happened to polite conversation while sitting at the table? I remember taking time to converse while sitting down to enjoy a meal. Rarely does anyone speak anymore as the young ones prefer to constantly text on their phones throughout the meal.

    I find the increasing use of mixing bowls instead of a soup bowl utterly distasteful as well. Since when did a soup bowl cross the line and turn into a mixing bowl filled to the brim? We were taught that second helpings were always availed to us, we needed only to politely request. Never mind the incredibly loud sound of slurping to the very last drop only to be emphasized by a thunderous belch at the end. (That little German man with the mustache named Adolf had these issues. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/4678840/Adolf-Hitler-had-poor-table-manners-and-suffered-flatulence.html)

    Well, there I went again. Another rant on the social ills of our young and uncivilized ones. Thank you for allowing me the rant, it does feel good to get that bowl thing off my chest.

    Regards,
    mcnorman

    • 2:40 am

      Thank you mcnorman,

      Polite conversation? There’s a novel idea. Sadly, damned young people don’t believe in conversation (they can do the talking part if pressed, but listening…no) and have no concept of the meaning of the word polite. You’d have just as much luck asking them to speak in Epigraphic Mayan.

      I haven’t seen the mixing bowls of soup but it sounds no different than those 10 gallon drums they consume soda pop out of. Barbaric and sickening as well.

      Thank you for the rant. I enjoyed reading it.

      As always, good to hear from you mcnorman.

      Best regards,

      Don

  9. momromp permalink
    2:16 am

    When I taught at an all boys’ high school, I used to avoid walking through the cafeteria during lunch. It was like watching some kind of National Geographic special about wild animals fighting over the last bit of food in the desert. That, or Lord of the Flies. (Of course, I don’t think any of the young men I taught would have understood the Lord of the Flies reference.)

    Not that poor table manners are limited to young men, obviously. I was just lucky enough not to have to witness the eating habits of teenage girls when I taught. Thank God.

  10. 2:47 am

    My goodness momromp,

    That sounds like a damned nightmare. An all boys high school cafeteria? I don’t think even National Geographic would have the nerve to send a crew in there. I can only imagine. You were lucky to survive with your life!

    A shame those boys wouldn’t know the Lord of the Rings either. It’s been about 40 years since I read it last but it’s a damned fine book. Now that I think of it, I’m fairly sure my grade 6 teacher read chapters of it to my class. I wonder if he was trying to make a point?

    Thanks for visiting and best regards,

    Don

  11. 3:29 am

    Might as well make some money of these God damned punks. I’m opening up a inter-vainel fast food joint. Implant receptacles in their damn arms so when they cruise by the drive through, they stick out their arm, you hook up a hose to them, turn on whatever flavor they want, be it crack, cheeseburger, Vegemite, yesterdays leftovers, last weeks garbage, plastic bags . . . whatever. Then send em on their merry way. I make money, they get fed . . . win/win.

    • 4:47 am

      Blahahaahaha Jammers, Vegemite might just kill them….hmmm, natural selection :)

    • 1:27 pm

      Many thanks Jammer,

      An idea that’s as frightening as it is entirely plausible. And I’m sure the young people would be delighted to take their nutrition intravenously. It’s not like they are without experience in this area. A super value combo meal of liquefied metho-cheeseburger, saline and diet Coke would undoubtedly be a big seller and could turn you a tidy profit.

      Rather than use a drive through and actually have to interact with them, you may want to consider more of a “gas station” model of delivery. The damned kids could just hook themselves up to tanks, take in three gallons of Jammer-juice, swipe their parents credit card and be on there way.

      I think you’re on to something.

      All the best,

      Don

      • 3:47 pm

        Great minds think alike. Install the feed station at Dillons gas stations, The damned kids can use their parents Dillons cards to get a discount on jammer-juice (I like that :-) ), while filling up on gas as well. A twofer. Self-service and delicious.

  12. Lily Fossil permalink
    4:06 am

    Dear Donald,

    Before I forget, here is some interesting (not) information about the “spork”.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spork

    Of course when I was growing up there was no such thing as a “spork” and I daresay to even utter the word would have earnt myself a swift cuff over the ear from my Father who would’ve thought I was blaspheming against the Great Cutlery Gods.

    I am of that generation who was taught the use of each of the different pieces of cutlery and sometimes I think I may be the last person left on the planet who actually knows the difference between a sugar spoon and a jam/jelly spoon. It was considered the height of bad table etiquette to use a sugar spoon for the jam or vice versa and we would be chastised accordingly.

    Of course jam spoons are certainly a relic from the past. A young person these days would no more spoon jam from the jar into a jam bowl and serve it with the proper jam spoon, much less even know what a table is nor how to set it properly for a sit down meal.

    I have heard young people talk about “spooning” but I suspect it has nothing to do with jam/jelly.

    Lily

    • 10:10 am

      Jam and jelly spoons? Young people today find that, like mustard and caulk, jam and jelly comes from a squeeze bottle! Spoons of all types will soon be relics of the past.

    • 1:41 pm

      Many thanks Lily,

      I have to admit I had no idea that the spork had such a lengthy history. I would have sworn that Harland Sanders was the mastermind behind their invention – for some reason I always associate them with his damned disgusting macaroni salad. I appreciate the clarification.

      I have no doubt that there are less than a handful of young people worldwide that know what a jam spoon is. If they ventured a guess I’m sure it would be “a spoon used to cook drugs before jamming the needle in your arm.” A shame but I’m not surprised. Most of the cutlery they’ve seen is made of plastic, rolled in a paper towel and bound with an elastic band.

      All the best, Lily, and thanks for visiting.

      Always a pleasure to hear from you.

      Best regards,

      Don

  13. 4:44 am

    And even worse than the table manners?

    PANTS ON THE GROUND
    PANTS ON THE GROUND
    LOOKIN’ LIKE A FOOL
    WITH YOUR PANTS ON THE GROUND

    GOLD ON YOUR TEETH
    HAT TURNED SIDEWAYS
    LOOKIN’ LIKE A FOOL
    WITH YOUR PANTS ON THE GROUND

    • 4:48 am

      Blahahahahahah Sekan I saw that dude too….it’s a friggin Youtube phenomenon now :)

    • 1:45 pm

      Thank you sekanblogger,

      A friend sent me a link to that ditty. It’s no Paul Whiteman but it’s catchy as Hell and you can’t argue with the truth.

      All the best,

      Don

      • 4:18 pm

        Don;

        No coincidence that the gentleman who wrote that was in his 60’s.

        It’s refreshing to see at least one senior on American Idol, who speaks the truth.

    • 3:49 pm

      The General does have something going on, doesn’t he.

  14. 4:58 am

    No, they don’t have table manners, and like Don and others, I have watched in horrified fascination the chow down in food courts. It’s not a pretty sight watching someone holding up a bowl of soup and drinking it.

    There was a time when people were expected to know how to use a fish knife and how to eat soup “ever mindful of our peas and social cues.” It was the mark of a civilised person.

    However, Don, I don’t think we can blame the young for being uncouth and uncivilised this time. It’s a lot of hard work teaching the young table manners. I did, so I know how much effort goes into it.

    But many parents these days just don’t bother because they’re too tired, poor things, after a hard day down the mines. Or they don’t cook meals for their families anymore, it’s take out or it comes from a packet, thawed and heated in the microwave and then eaten in front of the TV.

    Yes, “it’s damned sickening” but if they weren’t taught how to when young, we can’t blame them.

    I know I’m not taking your post in the spirit in which it was intended and your post, as always, is nevertheless funny and clever.

    • 2:03 pm

      Many thanks Kate,

      I appreciate the comment and agree that the parents shoulder some of the blame for allowing their unruly offspring to ear like damned pigs. As you say, good table manners are taught and modeled – young people aren’t likely to learn them on their Nintendos or on the television.

      Regardless, there comes a time when every young person needs to take stock and assume responsibility for their own behavior. You need only see one person licking their greasy fingers at a food court to realize it’s unappealing behavior and something that you personally should not engage in.

      Always nice to have you stop in, Kate. I appreciate you sharing your views.

      Thanks again.

      Don

      • 4:09 am

        I’m glad someone finally pointed out that the only way a young person learns table manners is to actually eat at a table with other people, an activity that is in short supply in this over-scheduled fast food world.

        And people who lick their greasy fingers in a food court are courting a visit from the latest virus.

  15. 5:55 am

    I’m with you on this one. I swear no one under the age of 70 has a bit of manners, even in public.

    They come in the restaurant and can’t take the time to read the menu because they are too busy talking on their cell phones. They expect me to read the menu for them, but they can damn sure read the text they just recieved.

    They blow straw papers at each other, have public displays of affection best left to No-Tell Motels, chew with their mouths open, throw their scraps on the table, under the table, or in the aisle. When they leave, the restaurant looks like an abandoned refugee camp.

    They let their kids scream and watch as their kids throw enough food to feed a third world country on the floor. They think it’s cute when the little brats colour on the tables and menus or tear up the caddies and the table tents.

    They belch and fart at the tables, and make jokes with me about how the beans are going to give them gas, as if I cared to know that detail. They pee on the restroom floor, clog up the toilets and throw trash all over the restrooms. They let their kids use the restrooms unattended so they can lock the stall doors and throw urnal cakes in the toilet.

    Sometimes I wonder if I’m working at a truck stop.

    After they have eaten until they are ready to pop, they complain about the food in order to get a free meal. Some people outright skip on the ticket. Most people tip for shit.

    • Kate permalink
      6:49 am

      Ha, I worked in the Student Union cafetaria when I was at Uni. The behaviour was appalling; a popular activity was to have food fights, throwing food at each other and at the staff as well. We often had to stay after hours cleaning up the mess. At least the floors were polished concrete!
      Some of those people went on to become ‘well-known’ in their fields. One person in particular, the biggest, most inconsiderate, and most immature slob of the lot, has been a celebrity for some years.

    • 2:45 pm

      Many thanks Yellowcat,

      I honestly have no idea how you do it. The way people comport themselves in restaurants is damned revolting nowadays and I feel sorry for anyone that makes their living in that particular sector.

      It sometimes seems that just because people are outside of their house and paying for a meal they feel they are free to behave in anyway they see fit. People are entitled to decent and courteous service, but they aren’t entitled to act like complete and utter assclowns just because they’re paying $6 for a toasted western and a cup of coffee.

      And it wouldn’t kill them to put on a clean shirt before they go out for a meal too.

      Many thanks and good luck.

      Don

  16. 8:15 am

    Using the stump as a soup ladle is all every well for a beef broth made with a nice handful of shin bones, a head of celery and a couple of carrots.

    But I think it would spoil the colour of lobster bisque

    • 2:46 pm

      Many thanks nursemyra,

      You’re likely right but my family didn’t eat a lot of lobster bisque. We tended more toward split-pea and cockaleekie soups. Tasty, inexpensive and flavor-enhanced when ladled with the stump of a young man’s arm.

      All the best,

      Don

  17. 10:07 am

    Dear Mr Mills, I’ve just dropped by to see how you are. I’m wondering about the constipation that I suspected you might have. Better? I do hope so. However, I’m now becoming concerned about your blood pressure. All this stress you are under can’t be doing you any good at all. I’m wondering where it is that you go that you see so many of these ‘damned young people’ to have such excellent knowledge of their mores and customs. My advice to you, Mr Mills, with all due respect to someone of your advanced years and corresponding wisdom is this: avoid the young at all costs; they clearly are bad for your health and well-being. Yours sincerely and with affection, Miss Eyeball. P.S. If you do choose to venture to the mall again, be sure to pick up a large bottle of castor oil, I’ve heard it works wonders on a sluggish digestive system.

    • 2:46 pm

      Many thanks Miss Eyeball,

      I appreciate your concern about my regularity and blood pressure. I’ve just returned from a visit with my new family physician, Dr. Skippy Shand, and he has assured me that I am in reasonably good health.

      Not that I trust his assessment – I’m not convinced he has started shaving yet and am suspicious of his pimply complexion. When you combine that with his offer to send me the results of my blood work by twitter, it leads to some question about his judgment and ability to make an accurate diagnosis.

      As for my encounters with young people, I assure you that I take every step possible to avoid direct contact. I tend to do my shopping before noon when they are still asleep and rarely leave my home after nightfall. Despite these precautions, I can’t seem to avoid them entirely. They seem to be damned near everywhere.

      In any case, I will take your advice and pick up a large bottle of castor oil. Not because my digestive system is particularly sluggish but just because its been a while since I’ve had any and I’ve always been fond of the taste. Reminds me of the good old days.

      Many thanks for visiting.

      Don

  18. 10:21 am

    Excellent post as usual Don!

    Quick question though, is it P’s and Q’s or peas and cues? I always get confused about that one as much as whether it’s intents and purposes or intensive porpoises??

    Anyway, you had more guffaw worthy lines and quotables in here than in a Laurel and Hardy movie. And of course I mean one of the ones that had sound.

    I have to admit though that I’ve learned something here today. I had no idea that young people even ate at home these days, much less at a table. That is a very scary thought indeed. I guess I just assumed that they all ate genetically modified ‘meat products’ while driving around on their 24 inch rimed wheelchair crushers and wreaking ‘blood on the roads’ type of havoc. I think I may actually prefer the latter scenario.

    One can only hope that many of them put too much heroin in their soup spoons and overdose before they can reproduce. Or maybe they could even choke on a corndog.

    • 3:11 pm

      Many thanks Scott,

      I’m fairly sure it’s Peas and Cues. Or Pees and Queues. I tend to get confused. My apologies.

      I think you may well be right that young people rarely eat at home these days. And when they do, I doubt it is actually in a formal setting. Far more likely that they are sitting in front of the television with a half dozen pizza pops and a three gallon jug of soda.

      Keep a good thought on the corndogs. Choking on one may be less lethal than actually ingesting one.

      All the best,

      Don

      • Lily Fossil permalink
        6:44 am

        For anyone curious about Peas and Queues, (I always thought they were P’s and Q’s) here is a wiki explanation.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mind_your_Ps_and_Qs

        I tend to go with Pleases and Thankyous {thanQue} taught to children to remember those 2 little words “Please” and “Thankyou”.

        your walking wiki,
        Lily

  19. 10:55 am

    Don, you nailed it! And I am in splits :-)
    I may be the odd man out here; not being from US and at 33 not one of those people you will share a dinner table with. But I agree with almost all of what you wrote. Manners are not for just some moments of our day. They are our day. The full day.
    I also take offense to the use of cheap plastic cutlery that we are made to use fartfood (pun intended) joints. Those damned things turn dining into a wrestling match.
    God damn young people Don, though not all of them.

    • 3:12 pm

      Thank you very much Gurdas and welcome,

      Very well said. Manners are not something you turn on and off depending on the situation, they are part of a way of life. Unfortunately, they seem to be going the way of the milkman, the paper boy and the straight edged razor.

      And I agree on the plastic utensils. I can only think that they are meant to be like safety scissors and designed to keep young people from inadvertently piercing their tongues (although, they may view that as a plus).

      All the best and thanks for stopping in. Hope to hear from you again.

      Don

    • 4:13 am

      Oh please. Eating at a fast food joint can in no way be construed as “dining.”

  20. 5:31 pm

    What about eating what is put in front of you. My friends seem to give into their kids and give them whatever they want for dinner. They have become short order cooks instead of parents.

    In my day, mom made it…you ate it.

    • 6:14 pm

      I agree, bearman. My son-in-law’s father wouldn’t put up with any complaints about what was on the dinner table. He would admonish the kids with “Jes’ put yer head down ‘n eat.” Words to live by…

      • 1:32 am

        And thanks, texastrailerparktrash, for stopping in to visit. Always nice to hear from you.

        Don

    • 7:52 pm

      Many thanks Bearman,

      It’s hard for to imagine what might have happened if I had not eaten whatever was put in front of me but I suspect it might have gone a little something like this:

      (Interior – Mills Home – Evening Meal)

      Mrs. Mills sits the pot roast on the dinner table and takes her seat. Mr. Mills leads the family through Grace and then begins to carve.

      Mr. Mills: Pass your plate, boy, and be quick about it.

      Wee Donald: I don’t want pot roast. What else is there?

      Mr. Mills: Else? What the Hell is wrong with you boy?

      Mrs. Mills: He must have the brain fever. Pass me the meat thermometer.

      Wee Donald: I want something else.

      Brothers York and Elgin quickly duck under the diningroom table.

      Mr. Mills: (standing and unhooking belt) I’ll be happy to give you a heaping serving of the back of my hand if it would be more to your liking, boy.

      Wee Donald: Pot roast is fine, sir.

      Mr. Mills: Well the dogs will be eating yours. Now get to your room before I lose my temper. Perhaps you’ll find your mother’s meals more to your liking after a night sleeping with an empty belly.

      Wee Donald: Yes, sir. (exits in shame).

      Mr. Mills: It’s those damned radio programs.

      Mrs. Mills: And comic books.

      Mr. Mills: Damned young people…ungrateful little bastards, each and every one.

  21. 7:28 pm

    “Aa nation of farm animals gorging ourselves from a communal trough and then rolling around in our own filth afterward”…

    Two legs good, four legs baaaaaaaad, right?

    Are you hinting that the US will become a socialist state? I’ve heard the socialists have *shocking* table manners…

    • 1:38 am

      How very nice to hear from you NDM.

      Keeping well, I trust? Hopefully my grandson, young John Sam has at long last made his way to Australia and found your house. We Mills like to pay our debts.

      And, yes, that was exactly what I was hinting. It’s quite obvious to me. First we lose our table manners. Our morals quickly follow which leads to us questioning government and God. Once we are free-roaming morally bankrupt athiests, it’s just a short hop, skip and a face plant to communal feeding and total socialism or worse. It’s a slippery slope and we are rapidly nearing bottom.

      Anyway, keep a good thought. If John Sam does show up tell him to call his mother. She’s quite worried.

      All the best,

      Don

      • 5:08 am

        Dear Don,

        I have not seen John Sam since Ram boxed him up and sent him sea-mail to Australia. Ram assured me he’d given him enough food and water – but let’s face it, Ram was a little on the stingy side.

        I went to the local post-office to get an update on my package’s arrival, but they denied all knowledge. One of the Post Office juniors later came up to me in the toilet paper aisle of Coles and told me that someone matching John Sam’s description was seen in a gimp suit out in the back of the PO – in the so-called “sorting room”.

        How he could tell it was John Sam through the gimp suit, he would not say.

        You know John Sam better than I (alas, fate has denied me the chance to know him at all). Do you think he would be doing such a thing willingly or under the evil influence of drugs or yellow food colouring?

        Yours anxious to finally receive her prize (even if it is now considered “spoilt goods”)

        The NDM.

  22. Manson48 permalink
    7:57 pm

    Don,

    Most of what you say is correct. I fear, however, that you exagerate to some extent. Contrary to your belief, all young folks are not on drugs. And, surprisingly, a large percentage of “older” folks participate in recreational drug abuse. Your argument is an old one, dating back to at least the days of Plato, who was disgusted with the disobedience of children. Dr Spock contributed much to the mess we have with children today, and the state has not helped the parents.

    I’ve peronally been threatened, with a call to Social Services, by my own children, who were informed in school with their “rights” as children to threaten Mom and Dad with such tactics.
    It’s a sad situation. My wife and I, have raised five children in this complicated world, and it has not been easy. I doubt your father had to worry about the state prosecuting him for not sparing the rod. JM

    • 1:58 am

      Many thanks Manson48,

      I confess that on occasion I have been known to exaggerate very slightly in order to make a point. I also acknowledge that not all young folks are on drugs….at this exact moment. Some of them are sleeping and won’t get high until morning.

      I’m interested in this notion of recreational drug use among older folks too. It would damned well explain the funny smells at the seniors centre recently and the sudden interest in “putting our teeth in and getting us some munchies.” I suspect Leonard Schwartz is behind this and will confront him in the morning.

      If I may be serious, though, I am sorry that your own children have threatened a call to social services. I wouldn’t want to be a parent in this current climate and can only imagine how difficult it must be. I don’t envy you the task but respect the fact that you appear to have worked damn hard at it.

      All the best,

      Don

  23. robinaltman permalink
    8:34 pm

    Eek! Have you been spying at my house? That’s not very nice, you know.

    When my kids have to set the table, they never remember the napkin. How’s that for a Freudian slip?

    • 2:11 am

      Thank you Robinaltman,

      I prefer not to think of it as spying…just as a really aggressive Neighbourhood Watch Campaign.

      You have young people in your home, after all. It’s only prudent to keep an eye on them – Freudian slips and all.

      All the best,

      Don

  24. 8:35 pm

    Don,

    I have to say that the more I hear about your father, the harsher (but fairer) he seems.

    I agree with you (of course), but I also think the problem to do with the parents, trying too hard not to raise their children the way they themselves were raised. For some reason they think if their kids are treated more like free-thinking individuals and less like a waste of food stamps, they will grow up to be well-rounded individuals.

    Well, they’ll be well-rounded, all right. They shovel so much food into their ungrateful faces that they’ll be about as well rounded as a contestant on The Biggest Loser, bawling his eyes out during the elimination round not because he has to kick off one of his friends, but because there’s a big fridge of junk food behind him and no way for him to get at it.

    If these kids knew how it felt to dread family dinners like the plague (and dread the plague while they’re at it), living each day in fear that their next family meal may be their last, it’s safe to say that manners would be up and the nation’s BMI would be down.

    Regardless, Don, this post just proves why you’re so old and other people aren’t. You are truly a man beyond reckoning.

    And on behalf of myself and all of the other unattended (and born again) virgins out there, I want to thank-you for continuing to fight the “impregnable” (ha! just a little unattended virgin pun for you) fight.

    Your friend,

    Bschooled

    • 1:55 pm

      Many thanks Bschooled,

      I think you’ve raised a damned good point about these young parents filling their offspring’s heads with dangerous notions about free-thinking, individuality and freedom. In my view, parents would be far better served teaching valuable lessons on blind obedience, conformity and how to keep your damned mouth shut.

      And I fully agree that a family meal should be tinged with a certain amount of fear. Not only does it ensure proper mastication, as you point out it tends to curb your appetite and keep you lean.

      Many thanks for the comment, Bschooled.

      Your friend.

      Don

  25. 2:55 am

    “I’ve been to zoos where the rending of flesh was more civilized . . .”

    A classic line Don, from a classic humorist (and damn observant realist)!

    When I was first dating my wife, she was invited to dinner at my parent’s home and was stunned by our silent, deadly attack on everything not nailed down, with no conversation whatsoever. All eyes and mouths were focused on the business at hand:

    Stab and consume.

    “Like wolves at a kill,” she said later.

    My dad explained only once, saying, “We’re Celts, and eating is deadly serious.” Then he would blather something-something in Gaelic, and swill more stout.

    Hell if I know what that means, and I still have issues with talking at the table — it just wasn’t allowed. Fortunately, my wife has taught our daughter to converse and eat politely. Damn good multi tasking, and far beyond my limited (Celt) skill sets. Great post Don!!!

    • 2:41 pm

      Many thanks Dan,

      I have to say that your family dinners sound somewhat similar to those of the Mills family. There wasn’t a great deal of polite conversation at our dinner table either. My old dad tended to view dinner as a task to be completed as quickly, quietly and efficiently as possible. And while we were expected to demonstrate some measure of restraint in our “attack” on the evening meal, there was certainly an aspect of “stab and consume” to the whole exercise.

      As you point out, it must be something to do with the Celtic background.

      All the best Dan and thanks for taking the time to stop in and visit.

      Regards,

      Don

    • The Celtic Queen permalink
      12:45 pm

      Now just a minute Dan, I’m a Celt and we never ate like a pack of wolves, EVER. Lol. We always dined as a family in a civilised manner at the dining table. We discussed family matters, trivia or school projects. We never left food on our plates because it was drummed into us that other children in the world were going hungry ! I used to say that they could have my tomato anytime but it wasn’t appreciated by my fundamentalist Presbyterian grandfather. And Don, you are correct with many of your descriptions but when you say that ‘once we become morally corrupt athiests’…. we have already arrived at that point. The world is fraught with moral decay and anything goes. What is there left to deal with that can be any worse than by today ‘s standards?
      You just have to read a few blogs per day and you’ll see it everywhere.

      • Lily Fossil permalink
        2:05 am

        Dear Ms Celtic Queen,

        You sound like you had a very similar upbringing to mine, except my staunchly Presbyterian parents did not allow conversation at meal times, unless we were spoken to. The dictum in our household was “Children were to be seen and not heard.” We sat down as a family for breakfast, lunch and dinner. My Father came home for lunch each day and we as schoolkids, especially in High School were allowed to go home for lunch.

        The main reason we weren’t allowed to talk at mealtimes was because they coincided with the Abc Radio News and my Father was adamant about not having the News interrupted.

        One other thing; I am no longer a Presbyterian. I do take issue with the whole “atheists being immoral” business.
        I am atheist and if anything I take the high moral ground on almost everything (or so I have been told). So the “atheist as immoral” is a fallacy in my opinion. You don’t need religion or a belief in a supernatural being to be a moral person.

        Just saying..

        Kind regards,

        Lily

        • The Celtic Queen permalink
          5:15 am

          Dear Lily,

          Yes grandfather was a bit like yours but we could talk but not in a whisper AT THE TOP OF YOUR VOICE as they do today.

          I’ll just share mine and my twin sister’s ghostly experience with you and it may shed some light as to why I’m a believer that there is ‘something’ else.

          When we were fourteen we had a visit from a ‘thing’. I feel that’s what best describes it and it was not pretty. Two of us saw it and my other sister didn’t as she slept through it.
          It had huge black spaces where I assume eyes once were. It was about 5 feet tall and made a kind of odd sounding noise. I don’t know where it came from or where it went but it did come and stayed long enough to put the wind up us both for the rest of our lives. Now I’m not saying there’s a heaven or a hell but I feel that there’s definitely another dimension somewhere. I assume heaven would have a few angels or even someone that resembled a human but this thing was scary. It reminded me more of something out of Michael Jackson’s thriller album.
          Firstly, I believe that we all need to try to be decent human beings and live decent law abiding lives. Be kind to each other and try not to offend. I think if you live by that law you can never go too far wrong.

          Secondly I’d like to believe that what I saw was not from God so where did it come from? I know what I saw and seeing is believing.

          I feel that my beliefs have guided the path my life took and a bit like your good self have no problem telling people what I find offensive. I can’t sit back and do nothing or say nothing if I feel that there is craziness in my midst.
          If I didn’t have those beliefs I don’t think that I personally would be bothered too much about about who’s doing what and with whom and at what cost. We can already see the toll it’s talking on Mr Mills. My fundamentalist grandfather made sure of that as he took all of us grandchildren to The Kirk each Sunday. We all got a huge mint if we were quiet. Good memories of a truly respectable man and I still have the little flowers we found whilst walking to church which he then pressed in my bible.

          I’m no bible basher but I think for me personally I need to know that we go somewhere else and I hope to God it’s not where the thing came from that’s all I can say.
          Sometimes when I think about it in a way I’m really glad I saw it because ‘the dimension’ part is still an enigma . All I know is I don’t fancy looking like that.

          The Celtic Queen.

          • Lily Fossil permalink
            6:06 am

            Dear Celtic Queen,

            That is certainly a wonderful story and I must admit it gave me goosebumps! However, as a rationalist I like to think that there is a perfectly logical explanation for what you describe (as there is for most, if not all paranormal experiences).
            Firstly, you and your twin were 14, and as we all know, 14 year olds are probably the least rational creatures on the planet.
            (no offence!).

            Secondly, hallucinations are quite common in humans and as we both know, different substances, even foods like curry can produce them. I don’t suppose you remember what you ate for dinner?

            Heightened emotional states can also produce these paranormal experiences, where one senses a parallel universe, or a different dimension which I too, have experienced. However, never once did I think it was “God”. There is always a scientific rational explanation which I would accept over any supernatural irrational claim and I suspect in the next decade we will begin to see huge discoveries in neuroscience which will explain exactly why some humans cling to their “beliefs” (and will go to war over them) whilst others are more rational and demand science – based evidence for any claim.

            Lily

            • The Celtic Queen permalink
              9:04 am

              Dear Lily

              I hear what you’re saying and we all went down that track many times but living in Scotland in those tiny villages with cemeteries on either side of you we can find no explanation as to why we both were awakened by milk bottles rattling. In Scotland you leave your milk bottles outside the door and the milkman delivers from the coop each morning. It was a cold February night and both of us awoke startled by the noise of the bottles. At fist I thought it was younger sister who used to sleep walk but she was tucked up asleep. The whole event was so scary neither of us could even muster a scream.
              We had a talk with school counselors and were even taken into separate rooms to draw it and we both drew exactly the same picture.
              A Neurologist I had to go to once, as I get neuralgia from the cold and I suspect Scotland was a contributing factor as it was minus 8 degrees some days in winters and we had to walk to school. However we got on to talking ‘supernatural’ as he said he made a point of asking all his patients this question !!!! He told me that he saw his grandfather walk into a fireplace and burn. EEEEKKKK! I said , “did he?” and he said that he didn’t but that’s what he saw and he was only 8 years old..
              We need explanations for everything these days but I saw what I saw and it was very very ugly.
              I can’ t think of any emotional upheavels as we had a wonderfully happy childhood and doting grandparents.
              As I’ve said we went down that track many times and in those days we had no spicy foods or any kind of preservatives to bring on these hallucinations. Very normal food from the garden.
              I was telling the kids at school and it turned out that one of the boys a class above us had seen a ghost but in the form of a woman dressed in 18th century clothing. He’d wake up and she’s be sitting on the chair in his room. She walked towards his bed, bow her head then just go. He was so traumatised by this occurrence that he started to wet the bed.
              He was also younger than my sister and I. I still believe it was ‘something’ and I do believe with all the stars and planets out there, there definitely has to be other life that we don’t know of.
              It’s certainly puzzling.

              The Celtic Queen.

  26. Troy permalink
    3:58 am

    Dear old man,

    I need your help. Last night I went to the movies on a blind date with a girl. During the film, she felt me up. I know I can’t get pregnant from this but I need to know… Does this make me a slut?

    • 5:23 pm

      Dear Troy,

      After careful consideration, I’ve come to the conclusion that this does not make you a “slut.” A slightly odd, less than intelligent youngster for sure, but a “slut” no.

      In my view, you have a lot going for you, boy. In fact, you remind me of a younger version of my brother, York. You just need to polish the edges.

      Take the salutation line of your comment for instance. You started out showing a great deal of promise with your use of the word “Dear.” Unfortunately, you quickly soured this by referring to me as “old man.” That’s rather rude, Troy, and somewhat condescending. You’ll note that in my reply I refrained from writing ‘Dear slightly odd, less than intelligent youngster” and used your given name. It’s a small thing but it shows respect. Keep working on that.

      You also show some common sense in acknowledging you understand that a young man cannot get pregnant by having a woman touch his chest. While you may not be able to squeeze a thesis out of this particular insight, it does demonstrate a Sesame Street level understanding of basic human anatomy. Given the state of young people today, this gives you an intellectual advantage and competitive edge and in the workplace. Good on you, lad! Keep learning.

      Further, your concern about being labeled a “slut” hints that you may have some basic understanding of morality. While somewhat misplaced and – as noted early – rather odd, this is a rare trait in a young person and I commend you for it.

      You’re not without promise, lad. Build on your strengths, crack a few books and one day you may end up serving popcorn at the movies – not just getting “felt up” in the back row of them.

      I hope you take this advice in the spirit intended lad. Good luck to you.

      Best regards,

      Don

  27. DJ Mills permalink
    3:35 pm

    Listen old man,
    Ettiquette and manners are nothing more than a bunch of BS archaic rules and guidlines created by a God Fearing society in an attempt to control and manipulate our behaviors. I cant and wont be controlled. I do what I want. If you dont like it, dont look. Have you ever tried to feed a table full of kids? I havent, but I have seen that Nanny 911 show, and it looks nearly impossible. Power to the youth, they make those parents look like a bunch of no good lazy ass marshmellows. Besides, my moms and pops know that if they even think of looking at me the wrong way all I have to do is go to my teacher and make them think I was touched wrong, or hit or anything else and child services is going to be all up in thier stuff. Power to the youth.

    Lil D.J. Mills

    • 5:38 pm

      What the hell is with all of the “old man” business? I’m tempted to respond in kind and address my response with “Listen you Damned Lil Twerp” but I will assume you’re just ignorant and not mean-spirited. So….

      Thanks for your comment Lil D.J. Mills,

      I have to say I’m as impressed as I am frightened by your comment.

      I find myself somewhat torn, as well. Part of me would like to believe that you are who you say and that a young person sporting a backward ball cap and a chin that has never felt the sting of a razor is capable of using the word “archaic” and writing a reasonably readable paragraph. (It’s all hogwash, nonsense and prepubescent bluster but I could understand it – and for that I thank you.)

      The other part of me is petrified of the notion that you are who you say you are. Because you’d be one terrifying little piece of work. With your small measure of intelligence, horrific point of view and sheer bravado, you have all the markings of a monster in the making. (I suspect the Lil stands for Little Boots. Am I right?)

      I’d say more but, frankly, you scare the Hell out of me kid.

      Don

      • DJ Mills permalink
        7:58 pm

        Mr. Mills,
        I used the term “Old Man” more or less as a poking type of greeting. After all, and correct me if I’m wrong, you are an old man, that’s kind of your shtick, right?

        As for the photo, well its a few years old, but it always gets quite a few laughs. Thank you for the compliments on my writing, makes me feel good about myself. However, I do not appreciate the list of snap judgments. That shows an enormous lack of character and is well, downright mean. I was simply trying to share my opinion.

        And no sir, the lil does not stand for “Little Boots”. It is a nickname my family gave me for being a third, as in Donald Mills III. My father is Donald Mills Jr, known as Donald Junior. They call me Little Don, or DJ. In any case, I will drop the prefix for aesthetic purposes. With that being said, the feeling is mutual Sir, you scare the hell out of me. Imagine my horror when I Googled myself and found some Crabby Old Fart tarnishing my good name and reputation. But you make me laugh, so I have no beef.

        Respectfully,
        D.J. Mills

        • 8:30 pm

          Young Mr. Mills,

          You’re a bit of a puzzler, lad. I have to say I find your assertion that I was “mean” rather surprising given the content and tone of your original comment but we don’t need to harp on that. You’re a plucky kid, and I have to give you full credit for it.

          Sounds like we’ll both just have to sit back and be horrified by one another. But I like your moxie, D.J., so I have no beef either.

          All the best and try to stay the Hell out of trouble. I wouldn’t want to see our fine name tarnished.

          Don

          • YellowRoses610 permalink
            2:25 am

            Oooh one of Don’s children he forgot about. Or York’s daughter’s bastard.

          • Susi Spice permalink
            5:02 am

            DJ Mills, what if Don Mills is your future self come back in a time machine to warn u of what is waiting for you when you get there… ahh didnt think of that did ya!?

            • 8:03 pm

              My God Susi! You’ll give the lad a heart attack. He’s horrified enough about just having to share a name with me.

              I think D.J. should be more concerned about his aging process. His picture appears to have aged 10 years in the last 2 days. At this rate, we’ll be peers by Spring.

              All the best

              Don

        • 12:18 pm

          Uh oh Miranda’s back.

    • Lily Fossil permalink
      11:16 pm

      Dear Dj

      “Ettiquette and manners are nothing more than a bunch of BS archaic rules and guidlines created by a God Fearing society in an attempt to control and manipulate our behaviors. ”

      I have a few problems with this statement or assertion of yours. Firstly, “etiquette” only has 3 “t’s” and secondly etiquette and manners are not archaic and have nothing to do with God or religion and have everything to do with self respect and how you would like to be treated by others.

      In my vast experience having been on this planet and travelled around the sun for approximately 586 billion miles, I am able to tell you that polite human beings have a good deal of self respect and are capable of respecting other people, whereas bad – mannered impolite people have a much harder time and suffer more because they basically lack self respect and cannot respect others.

      Manners and politeness are necessary for a civilized society and social cohesion and are a way of indicating to others that you are a self respecting citizen and believe in the value of respecting others in the name of harmonious relations. The alternative is disharmony, anarchy and unhappy people.

      Lily

  28. 7:08 pm

    “Dr. Skippy Shand”.

    Sir Donlad, a freudian digression, OK?

    Studying at a britland centre of excellence in psychogeriatrics, I overheard a man in his 80’s bewailing after a young female doctor had examined his scrotum, skippy hands (oh never mind).

    • 5:03 pm

      Many thanks Dave,

      Skippy hands you say? Surprised he was complaining. In any case, I always welcome a Freudian digression. They’re far superior to those damned Jungian asides.

      Many thanks,

      Don

  29. Micky-T permalink
    9:11 pm

    Don, I think your whole beef can be the fault of one guy and his ambition to sell the first million hamburgers, McDonald.

    And my, that little DJ Mills certainly has some Moxie. I miss the drink Moxie, I really enjoyed it, and that made people wonder about me.

    • 5:16 pm

      Thanks very much Micky-T,

      I suspect that the fast food industry has played a role in the death of table manners but I’m hesitant to lay all the blame at the feet of that sector alone. This kind of affront requires a group effort. But, certainly, if you’re purchasing all of your meals through a talk box in a drive through lane – you’re headed for damned problems

      And I haven’t thought of “Make mine a Moxie” in a good long time. I was more of a ginger ale man myself.

      All the best Micky-T and thanks for stopping in.

      Don

  30. Mary permalink
    12:23 am

    Mr. Don, please don’t ever walk into an elementary school lunchroom. Your heart would probably give out right then and there at the noise and mess and absolute lack of civilization. I’ll cut the little ones, kindergarten and first grade, a little slack, but by the time you’re in 2nd grade, around 9 years old, you should be able to eat decently. Most kids have the hand-eye coordination for eating by then. But they get their trays of food or open their lunchboxes, and next thing you know, they’ve mixed their applesauce with their peas and are whining about wanting their ice cream because they don’t like what is on their plates.

    *sigh* These kids. Stay well, Mr. Don, and out of the food courts. Those places will kill you.

    Best regards,
    Mary

    • 5:21 pm

      Nice to hear from you Mary,

      Fortunately, I have no call to enter an elementary school lunchroom. In fact, I give schools in general a wide berth. As you know, they tend to be overrun with damned young people.

      Regardless, if I’d had any inkling to pay a visit, your description would certainly have put an end to it. Chilling…

      And thanks you, I will do my best to stay well and avoid food courts in the future. I hope you stay well too. It’s always a pleasure to hear from you.

      All the best,

      Don

  31. YellowRoses610 permalink
    2:17 am

    I eat decently. Now Given my hands sometimes shake if my blood sugar is low, so I’m a tad messy. But Godamnit I use fucking table manners. Don’t lump me in with those subpar retards I have to deal with int he cafetera who think staring at my chest is acceptible. Next time that happens,I’ll march across the room and slap them silly.

    Sorry, I’m stuck with a bunch of idiot gansters in class,trying to get me to help them with their homework. Sorry buddy I’m not putting my arse on the line for some one who won;t even hold a door for a girl.

    Other than that I’m doing well,proff.’s love me,even the old crazy guy. He cusses and once threw a cellphone. Got to Love Proff.Rose,crazy bastard.

    • 5:29 pm

      Many thanks Rose,

      Very nice to hear from you. I’m glad to hear that with the exception of a few annoyances you are doing well and enjoying school. I hope you’re able to ignore the ass-clown class-clowns and continue to focus on your studies.

      Your comment did make me laugh, Rose. “I use fucking table manners!” It appears to be young people “moxie” week!

      And I have to point out that in general Emily Post considered “slapping someone silly” to be a slight breach of etiquette.
      Still, given your circumstances and surroundings, I’d say that even Miss Post would relent on this point and advise you to start slapping anytime you see fit.

      All the best and thanks for the comment. Keep up the good work.

      Don

      • YellowRoses610 permalink
        9:45 pm

        Thank you. I think You may be related to my Proff., Proff Rose.
        He’s crazy. He’s sixty one screams at technolgy cusses out rude students, and once after a guy was texing after five warnings, he screamed and threw the cellphone against the wall it shattered.

    • mystsong permalink
      9:17 pm

      If they want homework help, make ‘em pay for it. fifty cents a problem, ten dollars an hour for essays. I am seriously considering implementing this for my math class, as many of my class mates are too lazy to run across the quad to the free homework help center in the library and instead come to me ten minutes before class in the building lounge.

  32. 4:37 am

    I truly loved this post, Don.

    However, I believe that you are blaming the products of their poor raising for their ignorance of manners. How can you learn table manners if you never eat at a table with someone who gives a rat’s ass about whether you act correctly? Let’s shorten that sentence a bit. How can you learn table manners if you never eat at a table?

    I don’t know how it is in other parts of the country, but in the lovely Buckle on the Bible Belt where I live, children get both their breakfast and lunch at the school cafeteria, where there are approximately 3 adults supervising 300 screaming brats, and their dinner is purchased at some fast food place and eaten in the car on the way to dance, gymnastics, football, basketball, volleyball, baseball, tennis, wrestling, you name it. Actually sitting down at a table with the rest of the family and consuming food that was produced in the kitchen of the home the dining table is in seems to be a lost art. I think we can attribute the quickly increasing rotundity of our children to this sort of dietary suicide pact.

    We ate breakfast and dinner at home since my parents could not afford to take us out to eat anywhere. I remember how exciting it was when my mother had the extra $.60 required by Dairy Queen to purchase four $.15 cones as a treat for us children. At the time it escaped my notice that usually she did not also have a cone, largely because she had 60 cents, and not 75 cents, so she could not afford to buy one for herself. That car did not move until we had all consumed the treats and our napkins had been deposited in the trash receptacle at the side of the building.

    Furthermore, there was no question about whether you were going to eat what was on the dinner table. There wasn’t anything else available, and if you didn’t like it you were welcome to not eat it. Everyone else would be happy to have your unwanted portion, and you were sure to be quite hungry and non-judgmental about what was offered for breakfast.

    Manners were enforced and the point of a fork, and I can remember being stabbed (not hard enough to break the skin, mind you) by my mother when I had the unmitigated gall to reach across the table for an item like the salt shaker rather than asking for it to be passed. Elbows on the table earned you a smack on the tender “funny bone” with the handle of her dinner knife. We learned to set the table properly because dinner was not put on the table until all the requisite utensils and napkins were in place. You didn’t leave the table without asking to be excused.

    From what I can glean from the comments above, the problem is that people are confusing picking up “fast food” (an oxymoron if I ever saw one) with actual dining. What do you expect when the substance being served is designed to be eaten with no utensils whatsoever?

    Finally, I object to the statement: “nation of farm animals gorging ourselves from a communal trough and then rolling around in our own filth afterward.” This is a base canard against farm animals, who, given a choice, will not gorge from a communal trough but gently and with great delicacy eat pasturage and then find someplace clean to lie down and digest their repast. You can not judge animals by their behavior when they are confined to a feed lot, which is in many ways similar to a fast food joint or food court.

    Well, thanks for the opportunity to vent.

    • 4:40 am

      Also, I have to relate to you the fact that there was an actual restaurant in the area that called itself “The Feed Lot.” I am happy to report that it only lasted about 2 months before it shut it doors. What were they thinking?

    • 5:46 pm

      Thank you so much healingmagichands,

      I always enjoy your comments a great deal and you’ve not disappointed this time around.

      The whole issue of institutionalizing children is one that I am quite disheartened by. My neighbor’s sprog appears to be about 5 and attends a before school daycare program until she is shipped to school – and then attends an after school daycare program until about 6 p.m. I’d be shocked if anyone in the family has the time or energy to prepare a meal and sit down to enjoy it together. I realize that this is a reality for a number of families but I have to say, it scares me.

      Thank you again for the comment. Your description of your family dinners and the trips to the Dairy Cream for an ice cream were quite wonderful.

      (And my apologies for the comment farms on animals. You are absolutely right and I shouldn’t be disparaging their good name with uncalled for comparisons to damned young people.)

      All the best,

      Don

  33. 2:23 am

    Hmm, this might be the first time I’ve disagreed significantly with your views, Mr. Mills. Us norwegians don’t hold with “table manners” a whole lot. Just around Christmas I learned that “(Please excuse my) norwegian hand” is actually a real expression in England. It entails precisely the reaching across the table to fetch the salt, gravy, or whatever appears to be out of immediate reach from your dining position, rather than asking someone to pass the said item.

    I suppose this is one of our few remaining virtues from the viking era, when people had better things to do with their time than passing condiments owing to some traditional rule of etiquette. The order of the day was to stuff your grub down double-quick(before someone else got to it) and then go and do important things like pummeling bears to death with your bare hands or sacking a british city.

    That being said, I do enjoy a good, quiet dinner with no reaching over, but I don’t mind a good feast either.

    -TJ

    • 1zzy permalink
      8:59 am

      “That being said, I do enjoy a good, quiet dinner with no reaching over, but I don’t mind a good feast either.”

      I’ve seen him eat. He has about twise the amount of food on his plate, but I use the twise the amount of time when I eat… There he is one with the vikings ;)

      On the other hand, he can pretend to be civilized if the situasjon needs him to be. I’ll give him that… And that he knows how to make a good meal… ;)

      And as TJ almost said, I think that in Norway things are changing for the better… I for one use much better tablemanners than my father and grandfather, but that might just be because I’m a girl and we all know we are prettier ;)

      All the best to the both of you;
      Don, I know you love us youthfull deep in your heart!
      TJ, see you tomorrow!

      Love from 1zzy

      • 8:34 pm

        Nice to hear from you 1zzy.

        It certainly used to be the case that young ladies had better table manners (and better manners in general) but I’m not sure if that holds true anymore. Based on the lasses I see riding the bus, I’d say they can be just as uncouth and rude as the lads nowadays.

        Nevertheless, I’m glad to hear that you’ve adopted an interest in good table manners. In my view it will serve you well. Have TJ fix you up one of those good feasts he enjoys and then see if you can convince him to change his point of view.

        All the best 1zzy.

        Don

    • 8:30 pm

      Many thanks TJ.

      I’ve never heard the English expression “excuse me Norwegian hand.” That’s quite interesting. (Although I’m not sure that English should be taking shots at anyone when it comes to table manners. Based on my memory of Carry-On Movies and the television program “On the Buses” they have a thing or two to learn in that department as well.)

      Sorry we aren’t in agreement, TJ, but it I do appreciate the education on Norwegian dining habits, British colloquialisms and Viking bear pummelling. Always a damned entertaining read, TJ.

      Many thanks for visiting.

      Don

  34. David permalink
    4:54 pm

    >>>It’s like watching the rinse cycle of a front loading washing machine.

    Perfect description!

  35. 10:41 am

    Reminded me of an awkward event which happened the other day. I was walking down the street minding my business as usual. However, I noticed this middle-aged individual in a suit, heading somewhere probably to attend whatever business required his presence. So far, so common.

    But why did I notice this man?

    Because he was using his bank card (can’t confirm whether it was credit or debit, though) to pick/clean his teeth.

    • 1zzy permalink
      1:33 pm

      vell the bank card is often used to make “stripes” og kokain to those bloody sniffers, so maybe he used it for both?

      And talking of unhygiene things to do: what about all the shoes on the table! After walking in dogpoo ans spit from halvamillion people… Thinking of that makes me glad of the tradition of not eating at the table, it’s healthy

      1zzy

      • 9:33 pm

        1zzy,

        Shoes on the table? That’s not only horrible manners… my old Aggie always said it brought about bad luck. Very, very bad luck.

        Don

        • 1zzy permalink
          2:41 pm

          In schools the “cooool” kids have the shoes on the same desk/tables they eat on…

          This might be mora an Scandinavian/Norwegian problem since we don’t buy food in a schoolkafeteria, but bring the lunch from home… And there does not have kaffeteria and therefor eat in the classrooms…

          And bad luck from having feet on the table might be right. The “coool” kids are often more inclined to use drugs by my account… ;)

          1zzy

    • 9:32 pm

      Many thanks Citizen Pete (and welcome).

      That’s a fairly disturbing sight. I’m sure the next store clerk to be handed that card wouldn’t be entirely thrilled to learn where the card had been. I’ll never understand how people can just stand around in public and lick their damned fingers, chew with their mouths hanging open, pick their teeth with matchbooks/credit cards, or spend 5 minutes just scratching their ass.

      It’s no wonder I stay inside.

      Many thanks Citizen Pete and all the best,

      Don

  36. 6:29 pm

    You know…. cutlery was invented to separate man…or be it child, from the apes..and so that is what I tell my kids over and over again…let us hope they let that sink in! haha

    • 9:36 pm

      Many thanks Cazzie,

      You keep pressing that point home with the kids. Although, now that I think about it I’m fairly sure I saw some damned chimp on the television using a stick to extract and then eat termites. That’s a fair sight better than what I’ve seen at the food court!

      Good luck with the young ones and thanks for visiting.

      Don

  37. Lily Fossil permalink
    2:16 am

    Dear Donald,

    In view of this case in the UK

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/theyve-been-condemned-now-they-must-be-understood-1876391.html

    “Just getting up at the same time every day and eating regular meals is a big change for a lot of them,” she says. “Some have to be taught how to use a knife and fork. Many have never eaten at a table.”

    Lily

    • 2:35 am

      Lily,

      That has to be one of the most disturbing articles I’ve read in a good long time. It’s the total lack of empathy that always gets me. Scary as Hell.

      Don

  38. 3:19 am

    My dad kept a sling shot at the ready at our table…needless to say we acquired manners in a hurry. Timely reminder Don.

  39. 2:43 pm

    Donald, you have stumbled across a bug-bare of my own.

    Professionally I’m a Chef, so I can safely say I’ve witnessed the eating habits of today’s feculent youth more so than most. The simple basic ability to keep even the most sturdy of food on the plate is sadly missing, instead they just randomly disperse it all within a 3 metre radius of the plate with no regard for the people who have to clean up after them.

    As you can imagine, a self-service station or cavery goes into a whole new catergory of mess, and one that I won’t horrify your further by describing in detail.

    • 3:07 am

      Many thanks Jay-Jay,

      Nice to hear from you lad. Hope you’re keeping well. Thank you for sparing me the more gruesome details – what you desrcibed sounds quite horrible enough.

      Many thanks for visiting.

      Don

  40. lianamerlo permalink
    1:29 am

    As you might say, I eat the same way I have sex. Sloppy, fast, and apologetically.

    • 1:39 am

      Thanks lianamerlo,

      I can assure you that I would most certainly not say that – I have never seen you do either and it would be rude of me to speculate.

      It’s an interesting approach but not one I would personally endorse. I would recommend you consider slowing down, taking smaller bites and using a fork and spoon. And try to be more careful while you eat too.

      Best regards,

      Don

  41. Anonymous permalink
    3:21 am

    I don’t know about youngsters, but I’m sick of watching fat-ass, hairy drunk old guys slab down store-bought microwave sandwiches while mustard and mayo forms a lovely mosaic around their collars.

    Newsflash asshole. Old people aren’t excluded from the bad mannered, food-slurping world. In fact, you fuckers are some of the biggest contributers. Get bent.

  42. 10:38 pm

    Oh yeah my grandad slurps!

Trackbacks

  1. ADAM LAMBERT: HAS THIS BOY EVER USED AN IRON? « Horiwood's Blog
  2. Ceasar Rian: What’s Wrong With the Young People of Today « Adventures In Writing

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