Manners and Morals of Barbarians . . .
My brother John told us an amusing story yesterday evening.
He was about 20 years old and in the military when he and some other soldiers were invited to a dinner by still another soldier living in the same military housing. This other soldier came from a very proper, very well-to-do family, and that family's visit was the occasion for the dinner and invitations.
John had rarely been invited to dinners at other folks' homes, so he attended casual: tee-shirt and overalls. That might have contributed to what transpired, for the others were dressed up. John, however, was unconcerned.
As the dinner began, John was using the edge of his fork to cut his food - a normal practice where he and I come from - when the proper and well-to-do mother of the soldier who'd invited John looked at him and said, "How barbaric."
John looked up and said, "Excuse me?"
The mother replied, "Cutting with a fork. How barbaric. Didn't your mother ever teach you manners?"
John looked at the woman a moment, then said, "Barbaric? You haven't seen barbaric. I'll show you barbaric." He then scooped up a handful of beans, smushed them into his mouth, and wiped his hand on his teeshirt.
The woman screamed in terror at the sight of actual barbarism.
John stood up and walked out the door, not even offering a backward glance.