Tuesday, October 12, 2010

"Mabel, Mabel, strong and able..."

When the husband and I were in college, we attended an "etiquette dinner."  We figured they would at least feed us better food than the dining hall, and we were more than willing to assume the guise of improving our manners for such a benefit.

Aside from the usual "start with the flatware on the outside and work your way in," there was one topic that stuck with me.


"If you encounter a piece of gristle wile you're chewing," they told us, "you should raise your fork to your mouth, tastefully(?!?!) deposit the gristle onto the fork, then set the piece of blubber on the side of your plate."

Uh, no.  The husband and I both agreed that we would make a much more ridiculous scene attempting to spit a meat chunk on the tiny tines of a fork than by faking a mouth wipe and leaving the gristle in a napkin.  Several years later, though, we learned the error of our thinking.

It was our wedding anniversary, and we were celebrating at a fancy-pants steakhouse.  The lights were dim, I was looking pretty fly (if I do say so myself), and the food was delish.


According to our preferred method of gristle disposal, the husband fake-mouth-wiped the offending piece of prime rib into his cloth napkin.  All good, right?

No.  Not good.

After dinner, the husband set his crumpled napkin onto the table and reclined in a full-belly coma.  Our attentive waiter hustled over to take care of the inappropriately-placed napkin.  Did he clear it away?  Oh, no.  He shook out the "wrinkles" to fold it up, sending the gristle catapulting out to the middle of our empty table.

The husband's eyes were the size of, well, the prime rib he had just demolished.  By some miracle, the waiter hadn't noticed the hunk of half-chewed beef on the table.  With cat-like reflexes, the husband grabbed the gristle and put it back in the napkin.

Seeing the (again crumpled) napkin back on the table, the water returned to help us out yet again.  Shake, shake, shake, annnnnd the gristle goes flying.

We then laughed until our eyes watered, and I came close to wetting myself.

So, please, PLEASE learn from our mistake.  Always spit gristle on a fork and place it on the side of your plate.


  1. now MY eyes are watering! too funny! if i'm honest, i usually blame the animal, tug the gristle from my mouth, and delicately plop it on the side of my plate. i'll try the reverse gristle tine stab next time.

  2. Blame the animal...I like that one!

  3. I recognize a Simma's cheesecake when I see one...and sounds like Eddie Martini's? Two of my favorite things! Happy Anniversary--so funny!

  4. Mirandy, I am TOTALLY impressed with your dessert identification skills! :-)