Worthless Guide to Social Graces - Part 2: Table Manners

Table Manners
Table manners have existed since long before the invention of the table. For example, did you know that: In ancient Rome, wiping your mouth with the back of your arm was deemed illegal by the emperor? Or that early Egyptians used to begin each meal with a prayer to the god of the stomach to ensure good digestion? Perhaps you’ve heard that in 16th century China, chewing with your mouth open was believed to have been poor luck for gamblers. Pretty interesting huh? Well, maybe not quite as interesting as you may have thought, because it turns out that those were all lies. Not even remotely true. Really makes you think, doesn’t it? So anyway, now that I’ve taught you all a valuable lesson about dishonesty in modern society, I present to you this hard-hitting look at table manners around the world. I would also like to point out that it would probably be considered no-holds-barred, and also that it pulls no punches. So look forward to that.

Part 1 - Restrooms
Part 2 - Table Manners
Part 3 - More Table Manners
Part 4 - Japanese Culture



Russia



Russian Table Manners


The strong and highly moral peoples of Mother Russia have a long history of eating. Go ahead. Search as far back in their history books as you can to try and prove me wrong, I dare you! … Hmm? Yeah I knew you wouldn’t do it. You’re nothing but a coward.


Seating Customs
  • Elderly members of the family should be seated as close to the door as possible. This is so that in the event of a fire, their chair can be toppled over more easily by younger family members as they scrabble desperately for the door, eyes aflame with fear. If possible, ensure their chairs are perched precariously on the edge of a steep stairwell or chasm (if one is available).  

  • Morbidly obese diners are encouraged to ask for two chairs (one for each cheek). Don’t worry about being able to reach the table either, because you can probably just eat off your own fat stomach just like it was a fat table of lard, fatty.


Serving Suggestions
  • Do not take second servings of food without asking, the host is obligated to offer you more. If for some reason they do not do this within 3 minutes of you finishing your plate, you should say “what the hell is this crap” and disgustedly slap the side of your plate, sending it crashing to the floor. If eating on the floor, pick your plate carefully up by both sides and slam it to the ground.  

  • Traditionally food is eaten with bare hands, but sometimes utensils are provided for the use of western guests. In this case you should entertain the other guests by saying things like “Here’s how we get things done back home!” and pretending to fight imaginary assailants with your knife. You can also pretend to scoop out your own eye with a spoon and then sit there for a while with that eye closed. I wouldn’t do this if there was some old guy there with an eyepatch though.


Giant Burger


Thanks and Insults
  • If the food displeases you, don’t be afraid to say so. Dishonesty is considered much ruder than telling the truth. If you don’t feel completely comfortable directly telling your host that food is gross, simply grimacing or pretending to gag after each bite should get the message across. Then throw down your napkin and say “F**k this, I'm going to Wendy's.”

  • If you drop a piece of bread on the floor, never fear: it is still OK to eat. Just remember that it is rude to pick off any loose bits of dirt, toenails, or pet dander that might have accumulated on it. 



America



Fat American


Americans are often thought of as uncouth slobs who press triple cheeseburgers into their mouths with little regard for politeness or manners. This is true for most Americans, but not all. Well OK, maybe all.


Drinks
  • Beverage glasses are usually placed to the left of the main plate, but if you get sick to your stomach and one hasn’t been provided, feel free to just vomit into your cupped hand. If you are starring in a film about wild children attending summer camp with little or no adult supervision, you should vomit into the lap of the well-to-do elderly woman next to you while all the other kids shout “ewwwwwww!” and begin to throw pieces of food as a Smash Mouth song plays.

  • Alcohol is often served with dinner in America, but If you happen to be having dinner with family or friends on St. Patrick’s Day, the etiquette is a bit different. Consume dangerous amounts of alcohol very very quickly; becoming gruff and hostile. Begin insulting all the other guests, upsetting trays of things, and licking your lips while leering at prepubescent girls. If anyone challenges you on this, say “Obviously you don’t know what this day is all about, I’m celebrating that guy who killed all the snakes in Ireland.” When they reply that there probably never even were any snakes in Ireland in the first place, shout “It’s the luck of the Irish!” and shatter a glass mug across their face, sending a sharp shard of glass through their eye and slicing through the optic nerve, blinding them permanently. Then go vomit into some drapes while sobbing uncontrollably. In conclusion: St. Patrick’s Day is a worthless holiday for drunks.


Vomit
Happy St. Patty's Day Everybody!


Seating Customs

  • At family dinners, the father should always be seated at the head of the table and served first. This is because he has often had a hard day of sitting at his desk at the office and then pretending to work late so he can go sit in a dark bar and then coming home to a bunch of screaming kids whom he never wanted and now secretly despises and a starry-eyed young wife who was so enamored with the romantic idea of marriage that she married when she was far too young and now he ignores her almost completely and is probably cheating on her, only a few years into their marriage. She has begun taking antidepressants and drinking heavily while the children are at school. It does little to numb the pain. Somewhere in the distance, a trains whistle blows. She takes three more of the blue pills and begins to feel as if she were falling into the sky.


Religious Customs
  • In deeply religious families, make sure each person is within arm’s reach of the person sitting next to him or her. Now, if a natural disaster, nuclear holocaust, or giant monster invasion occurs, everyone at the table will easily be able to join hands and being praying solemnly as the building collapses around them.

  • Often “Grace” or a prayer is said at the beginning of meals, and everyone is expected to participate. If you’re uncomfortable with this, it isn’t impolite to excuse yourself from the table, muttering threats under your breath while fingering a switchblade.




China



China


Aside from careless and gleeful pollution, China’s favorite pastime is eating. Often the Chinese have been known to combine both of these loves together by eating Mercury-rich fish which come from their rivers, which actually contain more fossil fuels and fecal matter than most raw sewage dumps. Also I heard they ruined the Olympics.


Chopsticks
  • Chopsticks should always be used in the correct fashion. That is: Scoffing and tossing them haphazardly over your shoulder into a pile of rubble or garbage and using a spoon and fork instead, because chopsticks are antiquated and ridiculous.

  • If someone is droning on and on during a meal and you become bored, feel free to grab the chopsticks of the person next to you and drum with them like drumsticks, or pick at scabs with them. If anyone protests, stab them.


Offerings

  • When you first arrive at a person’s home, they may offer you drinks and snacks. It is extremely important that you accept this offering; it would be a serious offense to refuse. No, I don’t care if you’re a recovering alcoholic who’s been sober for 28 years, or if you’re dangerously allergic to the snacks, THAT STUBBORN CHINESE MAN IS GOING TO BE ANNOYED IF YOU DON’T DO WHAT HE WANTS.

  • At the table, the host will often place more food on your plate without asking. If you’re not hungry, don’t try to refuse. Instead you should shake your head sadly as your eyes fill with tears of regret and you cup your face gently in your hands. As tears stream from between your fingers, begin to sob, and then allow the sobs to slowly turn into laughter. Soon everyone at the table will be laughing along with you, and you can wrap the food in a napkin and throw it up on top of the cupboards when they aren’t looking.


Pepper Steam Ears


Hands

  • You should keep your hands above the table at all times. If you happen to move your hands out of sight (even accidentally), everyone will assume you are reaching for a dagger in order that you might use it to assassinate the king. You will surely be killed.

  • If at any point during the meal someone accidentally upsets a glass with their arm or drops a piece of silverware to the floor, you should politely applaud while nodding your head and shouting “Yeah! Yeaaah!” You can get away with this because Chinese people will be much smaller than you, and won’t dare try to fight you. And no, they don’t all know Karate, you racist. That’s Japanese people.  
 



This information should help a great deal if you ever visit a foreign country. Remember that you are a guest in these lands, and this means you are morally obligated to learn and abide by every pointless and quirky custom its people have come up with. After all, what else are you going to do? Sit around and waste your time reading some piece of crap website about nothing? I think you’re better than that.