Before you set the table or get in the car, you have to figure out what you want to eat. This process takes my family at least an hour. I want pizza — dad is not in the mood for pizza. Okay, how about Chinese? Nope, dad had Chinese food yesterday for lunch. Are you kidding me? Centuries ago, our ancestors would kill a mammoth and be stuck eating mammoth for the rest of the week. They weren’t like, “There is a giant dead mammoth here full of fresh mammoth meat — but we had that yesterday. I’m in the mood for duck.” No! They ate the mammoth until it was just bones and eyeballs. They didn’t eat the eyeballs because that’s gross.
A horrible phenomenon is sweeping the nation; restaurants think adults don’t like to color and are depriving them of crayons. In my opinion, every restaurant should give out free crayons without question. By assuming that I don’t want crayons, makes an ass out of them and not me when I give the waitress a bad tip. Besides, they secretly have a whole stash of crayons in the back that they are saving for the children. But since when are the children important? I don’t care that they are the future — I’ll be dead in the future. To sum up my thoughts about the prohibition of crayons, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said it best, “I have a dream where every color, no matter their age, can color.”
If I don’t have any crayons I play with the next best thing — the packets of butter and jelly. I use them to build towers and pyramids. The problem is restaurants never have enough packets to amuse me for a long time. I end up having to steal packets from other tables. But once I’ve gathered enough packets, I’m able to build anything. I can build New York City, then destroy it like King Kong. I can build Tokyo, then destroy it like Godzilla. I can build my hopes and dreams, then destroy them like my mother.
I don’t understand why I need proper dining etiquette. Why does it matter if I use the wrong type of fork to eat my salad or if I start eating before everyone else’s food has arrived? They need to mind their own business, it’s not like I’m affecting them. For example, I know I’m supposed to finish whatever is on my plate, but I refuse to eat the Brussels sprouts. They taste like mammoth eyeballs. My mom used to say, “Dustin! There are little kids starving in Africa who would love to eat your Brussels sprouts!” And I would respond, “Great, give me an address and I’ll ship them.” Why should my mom care whether or not I eat my Brussels sprouts? It’s not like it’s her job to take care of me.
My mom would also yell at me for playing with my food. I prefer the term “experimenting”. I would mix different foods to find the ultimate mashup. Do you want to know my greatest creation? Put a little hot sauce on vanilla ice cream and mix it around. I call it “hot cream”. It’s the Hannah Montana of foods, the best of both worlds. Katy Perry described it in one of her songs, “You’re hot then you’re cold.” I think that captures the sensation pretty well. But some people don’t seem to understand my experiments. They tell me that ice cream and hot sauce mixed together is gross. I guess they’ve never tried mammoth eyeballs.
Although hot cream is delicious, there is one delicacy that is tastier. Which is… Hungarian goulash. I was just going to say “goulash” but my mom makes Hungarian goulash. Actually, I don’t know if it’s Hungarian — and I’m not quite sure if it’s goulash either. My mom tends to put together all sorts of mystery stews. You might have heard of her famous “Cabbage Patch Squid” recipe. It’s like Russian roulette with every bite. Sometimes you’ll make it through the meal — barely — and other times you can’t tell the difference between the stew and what just came out of you.
The one piece of dining etiquette that I actually enjoy is holding my pinky up when I take a sip from my drink. Patrick Star says it’s fancy. I really do feel fancier, but the problem is water spills all over me when I do it. Without having my precious pinky for support, I have less grip on the glass. I guess that’s why you’re supposed to put a napkin on your lap when you eat. My mom takes that concept to another level. If you see a woman at McDonalds with a napkin on her lap, there is a good chance it’s my mom.
If people weren’t clumsy and didn’t spill their drinks so often, then they wouldn’t have to worry whether or not to put a napkin on their lap. I think everyone should start using sippy cups. They prevent spilling and they have fun characters on the bottle. What’s better than that? (Besides for hot cream of course.) Honestly, compare a sippy cup to a typical glass. A sippy cup is 102 times better. No spills, no mess, it is more durable and fun. I should be the next Billy Mays.
You know what really bothers me? After I’m done eating and building my mini replica of New York City, I’m ready to leave. Just give me the check and I’m out of here. But no, it’s not that easy. My brother has to order the double fudge chocolate brownie deluxe with a cherry on top and we all have to wait and watch him slowly savor every bite. I’m pretty sure there is a law stating that if only one person wants dessert, that person isn’t allowed to order it.
Even if my brother didn’t order the chocolate mousse volcano supreme, I’d still be waiting for my dad and poppy to figure out who has the privilege of paying the check. It’s like The Butter Battle between the two of them. Personally, I would let the other person pay the bill if they insist. But even if they didn’t offer, maybe I’d pretend I lost my wallet.