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Remember to pass the port to your left.

Posted by Big John on October 12, 2006

We all know that George Bush speaks with his mouth full. Remember him greeting our excuse for a prime minister with … “Yo, Blair!” as he was enjoying his lunch. Now it appears that a good many of us confess to having bad table manners.

According to a recent survey people admitted to such things as putting their elbows on the table and putting too much food in their mouths. Well I’m sure that most of us have done that at some time. I will even confess to the odd ‘burp’ after a good meal, excusing myself with the explanation that this is considered to be a compliment in ‘Arab society’. I also consider a knife to be useless when eating such things as pasta and rice dishes, so I adopt the American habit of eating with my fork in my right hand; although I have never gone totally ‘American’ by transferring my fork from my left to my right hand after cutting up my food. (Why do they do that ? Something to do with cowboys or covered wagons I believe.)

What I do find hard to believe is that some of those questioned were honest or stupid enough to confess to … Licking their plate clean … Using their fingers to scoop up last bits of food … Throwing food at someone across the table … and … can you believe ? …  Blowing their noses on their napkins !

One admission I can confirm to be true, although it has little to do with table manners, is that many people … ‘eat straight out of the packaging’… How do I know this ?   …  because …

….  Most of that bloody packaging ends up in my front garden.  


5 Responses to “Remember to pass the port to your left.”

  1. Betty said

    I once knew a man who, after a meal in a restaurant, would take his partial plate out and dunk it in his water glass. Top that one. 🙂

  2. gawilli said

    It is hard these days to find families who actually sit down and eat together at the dinner table. How can manners be learned it they are not experienced?

  3. Terri said

    Unfortunately, I think table manners have disappeared with the younger group. I’ve always loved to watch the Brits and Europeans eat with that fork in their left hand….It just looks so….well…proper.

  4. Julia said

    We were convinced, as children, that holding the fork in our right hand was the “proper” thing to do; that it came from the Victorian era, along with all those little forks and spoons and salt cellars and other fun stuff my grandmother saved for very special occasions. (Because she didn’t have a maid to wash them?) We got to use the demitasse spoons for our tea parties if we were good. We somehow were convinced that holding the fork in one hand and the knife in the other while one was eating was barbaric or gluttonous. I grew up in cattle & covered wagon country (far North of Mr. Bush, our excuse for a president). Funny how we all get a little brainwashed! But I must say, that my eating habits (fork in right hand) have caused me to be a “slow eater” and keep me trim & healthy; I’m frequently commended for this eating habit.
    I agree that families need to sit down to the table together more frequently, table manners would be one of the many benefits. I found your blog looking for Port-passing etiquette, as I’ve heard that it is bad luck to pass the port to the left for the New Year. Hmm!

  5. Big John said

    Thanks for the comment, Julia. Nice to know that people are still reading my old blogs. I still have a cabinet full of that “other fun stuff” which belonged to my mother, including a set of silver and ivory fish knives. I wonder if anyone still uses such things ? 🙂

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