Society works pretty hard to define when things are acceptable and when they are uncouth. The same action could be totally appropriate in once situation, but totally bat shit crazy in a different situation. For instance, shaving your head in your bathroom is a pretty reasonable thing to do. Shaving your head during a job interview is bat shit crazy.
I think we should all spend more time examining society’s finicky standards by pushing the limits of time and space through the inappropriate timing and selection of meals. In more simple terms, we should eat things at the wrong times and keep a straight face.
There are a couple rules to joining the Awkward Times Eating Club, or ATEc as it’s called in some circles (and by some circles I just mean by me).
- The first rule of ATE Club is you do not talk about ATE Club.
- The second rule of ATE Club is YOU DO NOT TALK ABOUT ATE CLUB. (unless it is to get a girl)
- You must always keep a straight face when you are questioned about your food choices.
- Always offer other people in the room a bite of what you are eating.
- When questioned about your food choices, make the questioner (or el preguntacito in Spanish) feel like they are bat shit crazy for questioning you.
So how do you get started? First I’d suggest you schedule an “all-hands-on-deck” meeting for 8am. Get everyone in the office really early. Tell them they can bring coffee or breakfast. When the team comes in tired-eyed and intent on forcing down some burnt office coffee, it’s time to spring on them what you have decided to eat for breakfast:
Fettuccine Alfredo and a glass of cheap Chianti.
Casually tell everyone sorry that you are going to enjoy breakfast during the meeting, but inform them that if you don’t have your Fettuccine Alfredo in the morning, you get very cranky. Make sure the garlic bread you eat alongside your F.A. is so pungent that it is offensive. Also, if you can find Chianti in a box, definitely go for that. You’ll want to get lots of cream sauce on your face and clothing and apologize a lot in vague ways like, “I’m sorry, this is really garlicky” or “I’m sorry, but this pasta is fantastic”.
At lunch, I think you’ll want to go to a fancy place with your boss. He will order a Chinese Chicken Salad or perhaps something arrogant like a ceviche or even some crab cakes. That’s okay. You will be ordering an ice cream sundae and some orange soda. Your boss will not know what to do when the waiter takes away your fork and knife. Eff that noise, you only need a spoon for your backwards lunch.
Dinner can be difficult to use as a platform to make a statement. After all, it’s not weird in America to have breakfast for dinner, or lunch for dinner or even dinner for dinner. So how do you make a statement? There’s two ways to do it. There’s the subtle way and then there’s the bat shit crazy way.
The subtle way is simple. You can order whatever you want to eat. The kicker is, you are going to use most of the utensils and sauces of the person sitting next to you. If you get chicken in a balsamic reduction over artichoke hearts, that’s fine. After all, you will be drinking out of your neighbor’s water glass and using their knife and fork to eat whenever they put it down. You’ll be dipping your fries in there ketchup. You’ll pick up their napkin to wipe your face. Make everyone feel awkward about commenting on the fact that you have just wiped your face on the sleeve of the person sitting next to you.
The other way to disrupt dinner requires that you are the last person at the table to order. This is tough, but a good way to solidify your spot in the food chain is to go eat with only women. After all, waiters think letting women go first means a bigger tip, but let’s be honest, if the man there lets the woman order first, he is going to try to pay in hopes that it will lead to sexual relations. If the people are splitting their bill or if the man has no problem ordering first, they are just friends and the tip will suffer anyway. The point is, I was a waiter. Probably avoid being a waiter.
Anyway, after your friends order and the waiter turns to you, ask him about a porkage fee and what it costs. Then when he asks what a porkage fee is, start pulling out a separate dinner from the backpack you have under the table. Tell him you saw Fast Food Nation and now you only trust meat that you have personally slaughtered and that you only eat inverted steak sandwiches now. Inverted steak sandwiches, of course, are where you wedge a piece of bread between two steaks, not the other way around.
Are you guys in? You should be. Send me your stories with pictures. You’ll be on the blog right away.