Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Manners and Morals of Barbarians . . .

Barbarians at Dinnertime
Clockwise from left: Finnegan,  John, Mom, and me

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.

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At 9:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice! Hope you and Sun-Ae had a safe and uneventful trip back home.


At 3:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ho! Tremendous. I clearly missed out by being so much older than John and thus not getting to know this-a one (beyond witnessing his rug-rattedness at your house a time or two before you took off for college)...! --Pete
(if cutting one's food with one's fork-edge is a crime, I'm way overdue for incarceration I'm afraid...)(as are all my children I've evidently taught how to eat...)

At 5:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pete - I personally think using a fork on a tender piece of meat is a sign of great food, but heck, what does an hillbilly know. Jeff is currently on his way home from his brief stay in the Ozarks. We had a great 40th HS reunion where Jeff sang us a song and sewed us up...LOL Look for the poem "SO..." on his blogsite.


At 11:59 AM, Blogger Carter Kaplan said...

Ahem. I noticed in the picture your napkin is not in your lap.

Consider yourself "ahemed".

At 10:21 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Jay and Pete, thanks for your comments, which will surely also elicit an appreciative growl of thanks from the barbarian . . . depending on his mood.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 10:27 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Carter, that light-blue cloth is a placemat, but if you look more closely, I believe you'll find a darker blue, which is probably the official napkin.

As for the white paper napkin under the fork, well, something has to offer support to the poor, much-maligned fork . . .

Jeffery Hodges

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At 3:14 PM, Blogger Dario Rivarossa said...

One barbarian, some Conan, even became Governor :-)

At 5:52 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

But that one stared too long into the abyss of debt . . .

Jeffery Hodges

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At 8:06 PM, Blogger Dario Rivarossa said...

A true Renaissance Lord!

At 6:19 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Just raise taxes a bit more . . .

Jeffery Hodges

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