Eating. We all do it and if we didn’t, we’d be in seriously malnourished trouble, but some of us (pay attention at the back, this could be you), are doing it wrong. Now, it could be argued that if you get food into your body and you don’t die, that you’re doing it right. Well, that’s “technically” true but there’s more to it than that if you want to avoid being subjected to my own unique reminder of how important it is to get it right (method: victim has skin removed from feet using a rusty potato peeler and is then forced to walk over 100 yards of
salt and vinegar flavour crisps).
Now that your toes are curling and your ears are pricked, what, I hear you ask, is the wrong way to eat? Well, as this is my blog (and therefore a perfectly positioned platform for me to unleash my unfettered bile and fury), I shall tell you. Quite simply, if you make me want to vomit, you’re doing it wrong and here, for your reading pleasure (and fair warning), are the main masticating misdemeanours responsible for making me want to produce a technicoloured yawn.
Plapping is the word my Grandmother (gawd rest her wotsit) used to describe the vile and uncouth noise made by one who smacks their mouth together while they eat, using the tongue to smush food around within their slack jawed pie-hole, and sucking on their teeth.
I was recently held captive as part of an unwilling audience to one man’s aggressive plapping display on an early morning commuter train (the emergency passenger alarm painfully just out of arm’s reach). This particular mal-muncher was using his tongue and gums to wage a salivary war on an innocent sandwich by audibly sucking its life force, before giving it a spanking against the roof of his mouth for good measure and then, post-swallowing, using a slurpy vacuum technique to ensure maximum dental cleanliness. This awful stomach churning cacophony can only be likened to the sound of a hungry bulldog eating a bowl of custard.
Chew with your teeth people, NOT with your tongue and if you value the skin on your feet, leave the squelching, smacking noises to the dodgy massage parlours.
I’m not suggesting that you should only eat with a mirror directly before you dear reader, but please try to be aware that if you shovel your fodder into your face like a rabid wood chipper, you’re going to end up with a visage that could be used as the illustrated menu for an all you can eat buffet. Soup down one cheek, pastry flakes on the upper lip and a dribble of what I pray to the gods of condiments is mayonnaise down the chin – not exactly appetising, but this type of person thinks nothing of throwing their meal at their face, happy if 68-72% of it reaches its intended goal and then expect us to sit and stare at globbits of bolognese sauce, dancing around in the corner of their mouth while holding a conversation. Worse still, if it’s a date, you know those pigswill infested chops are going to come lunging your way for a good night smooch and that you’ll end up wearing their leftovers like a walking doggy bag.
Come on people, treat your mouth as a perfectly marked target – fork, aim, fire! If you’re still unsure as to exactly where your trap is located, or you have the hand-eye coordination of a Parkinson’s sufferer on a roller coaster, there’s always the napkin so you can be really sure you’re not going to end up taking a raw salt ‘n’ vinegary stroll.
News, Not the Weather
There’s a particularly cruel and antisocial trick; that is to wait for someone to take a massive gob-stopping chomp on their din dins just before asking them a question requiring a deeply detailed and involved answer. There’s a more cruel and antisocial trick; to answer it.
There is something that strikes a particular nausea and fear deep into my heart about the sight of a morsel of half chewed, spitty dinner arcing gracefully across the table disguised as conversation, and that feeling of nausea is only deepened further by the sensation of that cold, half chewed spitty morsel landing on the corner of your own mouth.
“I asked for the news, not the weather”, as my history teacher used to say, or “say it, don’t spray it” was another variation on this, but I prefer my own take – “shut your sodding trap and save the chatter for when you’re not stuffing your vile, uncouth crumb-spraying skull”. Not quite as catchy but it gets the point across.
Chew and Show
A dear friend and I used to pull a youthful prank on each other called ‘Chew and Show”. We would chew our food (that’s where we get the first part of the title) to where it was a sloppy mush and then produce it on our tongue to surprise the other into a retching state of disgust (that would be the showing part). It was funny at the time but clearly this gag (excuse the pun) has apparently caught on with the masses and got way out of hand, as there are now hundreds of people out there doing it in public without a care as to who they repulse.
There is nothing funny about showing the world your half chewed food and there is no good reason for it either. Once the cuisine has been delivered to your oral cavity, keep it clamped shut as though your soul depends upon it (your soles really do). If you can’t breathe through your nose while eating, I suggest trying to do so through your ears and any other orifice you may have about your person, leaving your gob to carry on with its business of making dinner look as unattractive as possible behind closed doors. If you still think it’s acceptable to chew with your yapper flapping, try watching sick in a washing machine – that’s exactly what you look like. Now, fetch me the peeler!
So you see, there really is a wrong way and a right way to eat and it has very little to do with nutrition or sustaining life. Let’s not forget that eating is basically the first stage in poo-production, so come on people, let’s try and glam it up a little when we’re in the company of others. Keep it clean, keep it closed, keep it quiet and most of all, keep thinking of that potato-peeler-salt-and-vinegar pedicure.