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Table Manners! February 5, 2011

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Humor, Poetry.

As students cleared the halls
And their shuffling feet grew still
Principal Berlin cleared his throat
And placed the mic up on the sill

Students, we need to talk about your table manners
And why we needed to remove the cafeteria sports banners.
While we’re pleased you’ve stopped painting graffiti on bathroom walls
And that you’ve been well behaved, as you move about the halls

In the cafeteria, we seem to have, a bit of a messy impasse
The ketchup you’ve decorated with causes the other decor to clash
We know the walls are rather drab and that the food’s not great
But your daily chocolate pudding fights, we can no longer tolerate

So, if you don’t enjoy your meal, please throw it in the trash
Or we’ll have no choice, but to break this nutritional impasse
By handing out paint and brushes, instead of ziti and meatballs
And you’ll spend your lunch breaks . . . re-painting cafeteria walls.

Principal Berlin paused a moment
To let his comments sink in
As students laughed and hollered,
“Food fight!  Let the games begin!”

 * * * * *

Submitted in response to Sidey’s Weekend Theme ~ MANNERS


1. Carol Ann Hoel - February 5, 2011

I’m not sure I’d hand any one of them a paint brush and a bucket. It might be safer to stop feeding them for a week. Just sayin’… Blessings…

nrhatch - February 5, 2011

You’ve got a point, Carol Ann. Food is probably easier to hose off the cafeteria walls.

2. Paula Tohline Calhoun - February 5, 2011

Great! My response will be a poem I’m going to post that says, in effect, that the most apalling manners I have seen displayed at schools has been from the parents and other so-called “adults!” Besides, silly Principal Berlin! Did he really believe that woul work? Apparently he came from a totally different era and/or generation!

Great poem – thanks! 😀

nrhatch - February 5, 2011

Yay! A point~counterpoem!

Principal Berlin, my high school principal, had his work cut out for him. What an unruly bunch we were.

3. Paula Tohline Calhoun - February 5, 2011

P. S.: In respect to the “boundaries” of my behavior you mentioned in my most recent “confession,” do you think I ought to photograph a printed copy and enter the current photography challenge? 😀

nrhatch - February 5, 2011

Sure. When I saw you pushing the “boundaries,” I wondered whether you would tie it to a photo for the challenge.

4. Josè Pascal - February 5, 2011

Surfing the waves of the web I am pleasantly stranded in this beautiful blog.

I write under the pseudonym of Josè Pascal (a descendant of the great Colonel Aureliano Buendía).

I invite you to visit my italian writing blog http://parolesemplici.wordpress.com/mytinbox/. I define this blog “In parole Semplici” as a “virtuacultural tin” box where they are guarded thoughts, memories, images, sounds, and simple stories. ”

If you want to participate and to have more informations send me a letter to inparolesempli@gmail.com

Good life and I hope to soon

nrhatch - February 5, 2011

Thanks for the invite, Jose.

Sadly, I don’t speak Italian . . . except for the most basic of words (amore, vino, bueno, scusi). Bueno fortuno!

Josè Pascal - February 10, 2011

Infact you can collaborate sending an english text 🙂
The purpose of the blog is to create a international community of writers 😉

nrhatch - February 10, 2011

Thanks, I’ll think about it. That’s one of the things I like best about blogging ~ the international scope.

Right now, SLTW has regular readers visiting from Portugal, South Africa, Canada, England, Ireland . . . Pretty cool!

5. Tammy McLeod - February 5, 2011

How querky and funny! Not at all what I expected when I popped over here today Nancy. And no, will not let my kids read it lest they come up with ideas.

nrhatch - February 5, 2011

Thanks, Tammy. Definitely not something to broadcast to the kiddies while they are still young and impressionable.

6. theonlycin - February 6, 2011

Oh dear, bunch of hooligans the youth are!

nrhatch - February 6, 2011

Hooligans?! Nah. Just a bunch of exhuberant youngsters who don’t care for cafeteria food, cafeteria decor, authority, rules, regulations, manners, societal constraints, . . . oh, wait, I guess that does make them hooligans. 😉

7. flyinggma - February 6, 2011

While Dad was working at 3M they actually had someone come in and teach their new hires table manners and proper dinner conversation so when they were out for dinner with clients they would properly represent the company. This was something Mom and Dad taught us at home. Apparently it is a lost art.

nrhatch - February 6, 2011

Excellent idea. At least to cover the basics ~ don’t talk with a mouth full of food, which fork is the salad fork, don’t wipe your butter knife on the tablecloth, don’t belch so loudly that you startle the other patrons (sorry, Kate), don’t drag your politics and religion into the midst, etc.

I expect my manners are about a “B” ~ but I rarely dine anywhere where the other patrons are “A’s.” 😉

If I’m invited to dine at Buckingham Palace, or at a debutante ball, I shall have to take a brush up course.

8. viewfromtheside - February 6, 2011

I have never understood the food-fight thing. In a world where so many starve or don’t have quite enough to eat, it seems unbearable arrogance.

Manners really are about consideration for others. The world seems to be moving further away from that ideal into some dog-hit-dog kind of behaviour

nrhatch - February 6, 2011

Good point, Sidey. I hate food waste ~ at restaurants, at home, and in schools.

I’ve seen grade schoolers throw away unpeeled oranges and apples, and unopened milk cartons because they ran out of time (or interest).

There should be an adult stationed there, collecting the unopened food.

viewfromtheside - February 7, 2011

YOu don’t see as much REAL hunger as we do here

nrhatch - February 7, 2011

Not first hand, certainly.

But the world is small enough that we should all recognize the folly of wasting food.

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10. Tilly Bud - February 7, 2011

Great fun! Sounds like our local high school.

nrhatch - February 7, 2011

The only “Food Fight!” I’ve ever seen is the one started by John Belushi in Animal House. That iconic scene, superimposed on our HS caf, gave me the idea.

Thanks, Tilly Bud

11. clarbojahn - February 8, 2011

Good poem. Good idea. When our grandson visited I was appalled at his manners. The mother doesn’t teach any to him. They eat separately in front of the TV. I have a job cut out for me. If only we saw him more often. Vacations don’t really hack it.

nrhatch - February 8, 2011

The Mother? What about The Father? Where is he in the equation?

Aren’t both parents responsible for teaching manners?

clarbojahn - February 17, 2011

The father is sick in Scottland. They are separated these six years. She (my step-daughter) has been raising my step-grandson by herself. I guess I should give her some slack. Wish I could help more.

nrhatch - February 17, 2011

It’s hard being a single parent ~ and a doting grandmother who wants to set a good example.

Life takes practice and patience. Good luck!

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