God bless dear old mom. Growing up as a child, she really shaped - or tried to shape - my, and that of my brothers, table manners. I say tried because it was difficult to convince three energetic boys to keep their elbows off the table, not to talk with their mouths full and not to chew with their mouths open. We were also told to "eat everything off your plate - think of the poor starving children in Africa". Of course, I always thought it would be a good idea to send my food to the children of Africa but I guess my mom couldn't afford the postage. She also hated it when we liquified our jello. This was a favourite. We used to swish our jello around in our mouths till it turned to liquid and then gargle with it. We thought it was hilarious. My mother not so. But it is something I've passed on to my children and my children's children. It's like a time-honoured family tradition.
I came across a story last week that made me think of my mom and her efforts at turning me and my brothers into little gentlemen. It seems a Japanese restaurant in Sydney Australia, Wafu, has told it's patrons to eat everything on their plate (you hear that mom?) or don't come back. I'm serious. The owner, apparently, is sick and tired of all the food she has to throw away and she has posted a notice that if patrons don't clear their plates they can dine elsewhere next time. Having grown up on peas and lima beans - which put me off eating vegetables for the rest of my born days (in fact as a kid I'd load up my mouth with all the veggies on my plate, sneak off to the bathroom and spit them into the toilet) - my favourite part of the notice has to be: "Please note that vegetables and salad on the side are NOT decorations; they are part of the meal too." I swear to Buddha my mom came back to earth as a sushi chef in Australia!
Clean up that plate. Think of the poor starving children in...
Another story I saw last week didn't make me think of my mom but it made me wonder if one of the former patrons of Wafu had found another place to eat. Seems some guy in Wellington New Zealand was kicked out of a funeral home. Yep. You see he'd been visiting several funeral homes not for the funeral but for the food. Uh-huh, he didn't know any of the deceased but I guess he knew what he liked to eat and knew where he could get it for free.
I wonder if that New Zealand fella's heard about this!
Funeral home staff noticed the man had a back pack in which he carried tupperware containers and he'd fill them when he thought no one was looking. Before he was caught, the man had been attending up to four funerals a week.
This is the kinda guy that the restaurant in Sydney is looking for. Somebody that's just dying to eat! My mom would be proud of this guy.
This post first appeared at Sound Off To America