How to Eat in Public

A lot of you are disgusting. Like truly. It’s gross. I’ve seen your homes. I’ve seen your bathrooms. I see the food in your mouth as you chew. Close your mouth, dude. Like…. c’mon.

With that being said, I understand being cleanly is hard. I mean… who has time to shower? Or time to clean your house? And let’s be honest, you’ve probably have never actually taken the time to clean your cell phone, right? That thing is riddled with bacteria. Half of you reading this post are probably sitting on the can — shitting. And the other half are probably my mom. Hi Mom! Sorry I said shit.

But I’m not here to judge. I’m not one to judge. Hell. I’ve never cleaned my cell phone, and I’m probably more than likely typing this out on my toilet with my laptop, but you’ll never know. The only reason why I’m here is to teach you exactly how to come across as a neat person, with passable etiquette.

Close Your Mouth

Chew. Chew. Chew. Closing your mouth while eating should’ve been engrained in you from birth, yet many people seem to not even notice while they do it. It’s odd, actually. I’m currently sitting at a bar typing this out and the man in front of me is literally chewing with his mouth open. It’s rather repulsive.

That’s actually not what I mean by close your mouth, because you should know to close your mouth while eating, you animal. What I mean is what you should and should not say in the appropriate scenarios. “If you have nothing nice to say, then say nothing at all.” It’s a rule as golden and old as time. And it will honestly take you far.

Knowing what to say can greatly influence and effect the world around you. Be it good or bad. If you’re about to be apart of a heated escalation, then maybe step back and take a moment to breathe. Close your mouth, and think before you speak. If something wonderful is happening and you’re response will determine the positive outcome — close your mouth, and think before you speak.

Use a Coaster

A clean house is a clean mind. (I think I’ll just speak in cliches and old sayings for this whole post…) It’s true though!!! Cliches are cliches for a reason. Maybe I’m only here in life to express that for you.

By this point I imagine you’ve gotten the gist that I’m not really here to talk to you about proper table etiquette. So I’m just going to skip ahead without the use of metaphors, aside from this small one:

A permanent ring on your coffee table, is a permanent ring on your coffee table. You bitch.

Like fucking seriously. Use a coaster.

Going Outside

Okay… okay. Back to a kinder note.

I often find that those who are not as socially savvy, tend to not be able to provide adequate social normality. In which case, I implore you to explore the outside world, and embellish in it’s offerings.

Make the awkward handshake or conversation from time to time, because inevitably, you will learn from those situations. Now after having that awkward conversation with that bearded gentleman at the bar sitting to the left of you… the next time you have another encountering with a dazzling dame, you’ll be able to hold your own.

Introverted? Cynical? Sociopathic? Dude… I get it. Maybe you don’t want or have the time to actually interact with the crowd. To which I respond: FUCK THE WORLD. But just because you hate them, doesn’t mean you can’t observe them, and learn from them. Because people watching is glorious. Just like you. 😉

Small Forks are For Salads

So, because I don’t want you to be disappointed with the fact that there actually isn’t any table etiquette to learn, I’ll use this section to take the time to teach you small things.

So, here are the essentials:

Chew with your mouth closed. Avoid slurping (unless in Japan). Don’t be gross (no bodily fluids should escape your body). Use the appropriate utensils (refer to diagram below). No elbows on the table. Frequently wipe your mouth hole with your linen. Put said linen on your lap. Always excuse yourself before leaving the table. Be aware of your posture. Never reach across the table. Be polite to your company, as well as the service staff. Don’t end sentences on a preposit-in. (Haha.)

Click on these links if you want pictures….

Table Settings | Utensil Language | Inspirational Feline

Tip Your Waiter

As a person of the service industry, I learned quickly that people don’t actually know much on how to tip their server, or why…. It’s unfortunate and true.

Typically speaking, server wage around the (USA) nation averages around $3/hour. It’s ridiculous. Unless you have ever received a check for $0.00, you can shove it and go home, but servers make this amount, and work for this amount. We/they rely completely and solely on your generosity and tips.

The appropriate amount of money to tip on the grand total bill (before discounts/happy hours) is 20%. And that 20% is for bad service. Anything more is good, anything less is rude, so unless you want to be rude. Tip 20% or higher.

Now… that should be general knowledge. But here’s why it’s important for you to realize that 20% is actually less than generous.

Often times the server has to pay transaction fees for the instances of people paying with American Express or Discover Cards. More than often times do the servers have to tip out their bartender, server assistant, or host. Which on average could stack up at 20+% of the servers tips. And then, if you throw one more factor… if you tip on your card, your server is taxed on their states federal tip wage on ALL card tips*, AND if a server receives $20+ cash tips per calendar month, it is then reported to the state and taxed on. *

Tip your server, bartender, masseuse, tour guide, barber, taxi/Uber driver, valet, shoeshiner, tailor, delivery driver, and florist.

Be a Better Guest than they are Host

Think of this as a game or challenge. Go beyond what a normal guest would do, and make the ‘host’s’ job that much easier. Little things go a long way. Cleaning up after yourself, using a coaster, offering to help do dishes, courtesy flush, maybe make your bed if you used their guest bedroom, and if you borrow a towel, be sure to fold that towel and lay it neatly somewhere.

To make it more fun. I like to pretend like I was never there. I always put everything back the exact why I found it.

If they’re entertaining you for dinner, bring a bottle of wine, or a dessert. If you’re crashing on their couch while passing through town, offer to pay for dinner, or drinks.

Listen to Rap Music

I’m sure you’re asking yourself, “Toby, how does this make sense?” Well, let me inform you, young Padawan.

Listening to rap music, or actually, rapping along to rap music, will increase your elocution. You become able to speak with fluidity, and you’ll also become a lyrical gangster. Now, not all rap music will help you out with this. If you listen to Lil’ Wayne’s Westwood freestyle I’m sure you’ll lose IQ points. If you listen to any of Aesop Rock’s songs, you’ll definitely gain a higher vocabulary.

Or if you manage to find any of my old hip-hop albums on the internet, I’m sure I can at least make you laugh…. at me.

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