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5 Things You Shouldn’t Eat at a Restaurant
We're here to help
Go out to eat, but eat carefully. Leave the house for a sumptuous meal with silverware made from real silver, but check out these important items not to eat. You might be surprised, but we're here to help. The less time you spend in the Emergency Room, the more time you can earn a living and pay taxes. The less money you spend to bail yourself out of night court, the more fried cheese and salsa you can order up.
1. Gum under the table
Beneath your rich mahogany table clings a treasure trove of free gum. Avoid it at all costs. Expect to be tempted by a wide variety of textures, flavors, and brands. Also expect that the first one or more people who chewed that gum, although they thoughtfully left it for you to enjoy, may have been carrying all manner of virulent dental diseases that even now are building up moderately enlightened civilizations just above your knees and just below your basket of free bread sticks. Keep your hands above the table.
2. Other people's meals
Be sure to understand the classic restaurant model:
- Occupy a previously unoccupied table, booth, or stool.
- Relay your food request to a member of the staff.
- Wait patiently until your own personal meal is delivered, or visit the salad bar.
- Eat your meal.
- Pay for your meal.
Step 4 is crucial, but rarely is it studied in sufficiently excruciating detail, probably because no government grants have been made available. No restaurant in the modern world encourages grazing from the meals of strangers at other tables. Do not eat other people's meals. Don't even wander through the maze of tables gazing lovingly at other people's meals: that's what the menu is for.
3. Anything from the aquarium
The atrium aquarium is not a marine salad bar. Resist the urge to nosh on a goldfish on your way back from the pay phone. Stride confidently past what appears to be self-serve sushi but is actually a soothing addition to the general decor and a convenient hand-washing station for unsupervised children. You'll annoy the maître d'hôtel and possibly get arrested, either of which could ruin your evening.
4. Your napkin
Napkins are made from paper. Paper is made from trees, Trees provide a luscious maple syrup so wonderfully delicious that most people have to dilute it with pancakes. Your powers of logic are strong, but you still shouldn't eat the napkin.
Note: many restaurant servers enable this risky behavior: if you ask for another napkin, few waiters and even fewer waitresses will ask you what happened to the one they already gave you. Perhaps the frequency of napkin-eating could be greatly reduced if these brave men and women would only speak up.
5. The grease pit
All the best stuff from your hamburgers, Tilapia, pork chops, french fries, and deep fried cheese ends up in the grease pit. All the finer restaurants offer this tempting temptation, but try your best to resist. Don't sneak around back with your basket of free taco chips: you won't find yourself welcome. You'll find yourself competing with tree-huggers planning to dump the stuff into their grease-powered vehicles. Those folks don't typically carry automatic weapons, but they will put a serious shame on you and your dinner party.