Everyday Ethics

Everyday Ethics


What Not To Eat On A Date (Or A Business Lunch)

posted by hfields

Recently, gentle readers, I had myself the most hilarious luncheon I can recall in many a day. ‘Twas racy, ’twas raunchy… ’twas vegetarian Indian cuisine.

It began innocently enough. My adorable (in a little brother kinda way) coworker and I decided to head out for a bite and catch up on things. He suggested a nearby Indian restaurant. I’m a bit of a newbie on that cuisine frontier, but was happy to expand my horizons. So off we skipped to a nearby, low-priced joint. 
Not knowing what anything was, I picked something at random that sounded good. Fried dough puffs – what could go wrong? 
Ah, so very, very much.
The plate arrived, and what do my marveling eyes behold? Two great, big, perfectly rounded and gleaming globes of bread, like giant bubbles… or boobs. 
Dear reader, they resembled nothing so much as an impressive rack of double-D gazongas.
puri.jpg
Adorable coworker immediately begins to blush, even as I, inevitably, find myself bursting forth with a belly laugh fit to blow away these boob-like bubbles.  ”My friend,” I say, “forgive me, but I’ve just got to pop these suckers. I can’t eat them like this – it’s indecent.” And as he goes ever more scarlet in the puss, I deflate the offending dish, trying, for the sake of his tender sensibilities, not to crack any more wise.
So, I don’t recommend ordering Poori with modest coworkers around.
Friends to whom I mentioned the incident were quick to toss in their own tales of mirth, merriment, and mortification. Mainly, about dating and what not to eat while you’re at it. Now, I know this is really an etiquette thing, but hey, lighten up and enjoy. 
Here’s my list of foods that will get you in hot water in awkward social situations. Add your own at the end!

  1. Spaghetti. No duh, but still. Unless you think your partner’s into all that Lady and the Tramp business, you’ve got no business slurping saucy spaghetti into your pursed kisser. Splatter city!
  2. Lobster teriyaki, grilled in the shell. This one I know from personal experience. They might as well have glued it to the shell. Getting that stuff out of the chitinous clutches of this crustacean’s exoskeleton — with chopsticks, no less — is nothing you ever want to be witnessed doing. And really, this goes for any sort of lobster in the shell. It’s great if he (or she, or the corporate big-wigs) wants to kick in for this delicious, glamourous and pricy dish, but if you don’t think you can carry off cracking the sucker open with aplomb, stick with the turf and forget the surf.
  3. Peanut butter. Why? Let me explain. Glumpkle glugga mmph klahhh. Got it?
  4. Chicken wings — thanks to Paddy for this one. Finger food maybe, but sexy food? Not! Also, really not impressive when you’re hitting the boss up for that raise. Do you really want to come off like a frat boy at a football tailgating party?
  5. Salad. Yes, it reflects well on you that you eat healthy. No, it does not similarly impress when you struggle to cram an unwieldy fistful of weeds into your yap — damn you, frisee! Neither will you impress your dinner companion with bits of half-masticated leafy greens wedged between your choppers.
  6. Anything super spicy. Unless you’re trying to display your machismo, gnawing on a bhut jolokia pepper is only going to make you sweaty, red in the face, and short of breath. Apoplectic does not arouse admiration.
  7. And, speaking of red faces, on the alcoholic frontier, may I recommend a certain level of abstemiousness on such occasions? You’re sure to slip up and start um, oversharing, if you overimbibe. “My ex-boyfriend was so much taller than you. And so much hotter… oops! Did I say that out loud?”
  8. Stinky cheese. Oh, how I have been guilty of this! I adore cheese. Once, I brought a wedge of divinely odiferous St. Albray in for lunch to the office, and pretty soon, I began hearing cries of “What the heck died in here!!!” resounding throughout the cubicles nearest my own. Needless to say I was not named employee of the month that month.
  9. Ribs. Like chicken wings, these delectable morsels are too saucy, slippery, and downright messy to make a good impression on anyone but a professional competitive eater. A Joker-like slash of red bbq sauce surrounding your mouth is to be avoided at all costs.
  10. Beans. We all know why. No fourth-grade-level giggling please. Just… give the 3-bean salad a pass. (And yes, I’m resisting the urge to rhyme with ‘pass’.)

What am I forgetting, folks? Tell us your gustatory nightmares!
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