Tine Wars

So Nana and I are talking about culinary karma. It’s really a blizzard of emails, but – oooh! – such fun.

Me: I can’t tell you how the history of dinners is littered with

dispute-related corpses.

Nana: Ohhhhh…I feel a good book topic coming on. What dinners did you have in mind, hmmm?

Me: If you read Miss Manners for fun, you find that eating utensils and manners developed in Europe and Japan based on the potential harm dinner guests occasionally did to one another. Perhaps it happened in other places too, but on the European and Japanese customs I can be specific. In Japan, a knife at the table is considered barbaric. Because you stab people with them! And in European place settings, the knife sits to the right of the plate, blade facing the plate, so dinner guests didn’t spend the evening waiting to be – say it with me – STABBED. Apparently, stabbing is an indoor-outdoor sport, practiced without worry about gender or station in life. Miss Manners is pretty damned hilarious on the subject of place settings.

Nana: Gentle reader, it is not for this outspoken writer to condemn the place settings or wittisicms of others, and so hope that you will accept my deepest and heartfelt acknowlegement without fear of misunderstanding. Furthermore, it is with the greatest of pleasures that I peruse the etiquette titles carried locally.

Me: You can’t hear me, but I’m squealing with glee! Glee! There’s at least a short story here.

Nana: Tell me! Which part?!

Me: WHEN DINERS ATTACK. Somehow this plot includes powdered wigs. It’s an etiquette manual based on brutal and disastrous meals.

Nana: I wouldn’t miss this for anything. Especially the powdered wigs.

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