Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Laws Concerning Food and Drink

Laws Concerning Food and Drink
Household Principles
Lamentations of the Father
by Ian Frazier, King-James-ized by Ian Chai

Of the beasts of the field, and of the fishes of the sea, and of all foods that are acceptable in my sight thou mayest eat, but not in the living room. Of the hoofed animals, broiled or ground into burgers, thou mayest eat, but not in the living room. Of the cloven-hoofed animal, plain or with cheese, thou mayest eat, but not in the living room. Of the cereal grains, of the corn and of the wheat and of the oats, and of all the cereals that are of bright color and unknown provenance thou mayest eat, but not in the living room. Of the quiescently frozen dessert and of all frozen after-meal treats thou mayest eat, but absolutely not in the living room. Of the juices and other beverages, yea, even of those in sippy-cups, thou mayest drink, but not in the living room, neither mayest thou carry such therein. Indeed, when thou reachest the place where the living room carpet begins, of any food or beverage there thou mayest not eat, neither mayest thou drink.

But if thou art sick, and art lying down and watching something, then mayest thou eat in the living room.

Laws When at Table
And if thou art seated in thy high chair, or in a chair such as a greater person might use, keepest thou thy legs and feet below thee as they were. Neither raise up your knees, nor place thy feet upon the table, for that is an abomination to me. Yea, even when thou hast an interesting bandage to show, thy feet upon the table are an abomination, and worthy of rebuke. Drink thy milk as it is given thee, neither use on it any utensils, nor fork, nor knife, nor spoon, for that is not what they are for; if thou wilt dip thy blocks in the milk, and lick it off, thou wilt be sent away. When thou hast drunk, let the empty cup then remain upon the table, and do not bite it upon its edge and by thy teeth hold it to thy face in order to make noises in it sounding like a duck; for thou wilt be sent away.

When thou chewest thy food, keep thy mouth closed until thou hast swallowed, and do not open it to show thy brother or thy sister what is within; I say unto thee, do not so, even if thy brother or thy sister hast done the same unto thee. Eat thy food only; do not eat that which is not food; neither seize the table between thy jaws, nor use the raiment of the table to wipe thy lips. I say again to thee, do not touch it, but leave it as it is. And though thy stick of carrot does indeed resemble a marker, draw not with it upon the table, even in pretend, for we do not do that, that is why. And though the pieces of broccoli are very like small trees, do not stand them upright to make a forest, because we do not do that, that is why. Sit just as I have told thee, and do not lean to one side or the other, nor slide down until thou art nearly slid away. Heed me; for if thou sittest like that, thy hair will go into the syrup. And now behold, even as I have said, it has come to pass.

Laws Pertaining to Dessert
For we judge between the plate that is unclean and the plate that is clean, saying first, if the plate is clean, then thou shalt have dessert. But of the unclean plate, the laws are these: If thou hast eaten most of your meat, and two bites of your peas with each bite consisting of not less than three peas each, or in total six peas, eaten where I can see, and thou hast also eaten enough of thy potatoes to fill two forks, both forkfuls eaten where I can see, then thou shalt have dessert. But if thou eatest a lesser number of peas, and yet thou eatest the potatoes, still thou shalt not have dessert; and if thou eatest the peas, yet leave the potatoes uneaten, thou shalt not have dessert, no, not even a small portion thereof. And if thou triest to deceive by moving the potatoes or peas around with a fork, that it may appear thou hast eaten what thou hast not, thou wilt fall into iniquity. And I will know, and thou shalt have no dessert.

On Screaming
Do not scream; for it is as if thou screamest all the time. If thou art given a plate on which two foods thou wishest not to touch each other are touching each other, thy voice rises up even unto the ceiling, while thou pointest to the offense with the finger of thy right hand; but verily I say unto thee, scream not, only remonstrate gently with the server, that the server may correct the fault. Likewise if thou receivest a portion of fish from which every piece of herbal seasoning has not been scraped off, and the herbal seasoning is loathsome unto thee, and steeped in vileness, again I say, refrain from screaming. Though the vileness overwhelm thee, and causest thee a faint unto death, make not that sound from within thy throat, neither coverest thou thy face, nor pressest thou thy fingers to thy nose. For even now I have made the fish as it should be; behold, I eat of it myself, yet do not die.

Concerning Face and Hands
Cast thy countenance upward unto the light, and lift thine eyes unto the hills, that I may more easily wash thee off. For the stains are upon thee; even unto the very back of thy head, there is rice thereon. And in the breast pocket of thy garment, and upon the tie of thy shoe, rice and other fragments are distributed in a manner wonderful to see. Only hold thyself still; hold still, I say.

Give each finger in its turn for my examination thereof, and also each thumb. Lo, how iniquitous they appear. What I do is as it must be; and thou shalt not go hence until I have done.

Various Other Laws, Statutes, and Ordinances
Bite not, lest thou be cast into quiet time. Neither drink of thine own bath water, nor of bath water of any kind; nor rub thy feet on bread, even if it be in the package; nor rub thyself against cars, nor against any building; nor eat sand.

Leave the cat alone, for what has the cat done, that thou shouldst so afflict it with tape? And hum not that humming in thy nose as I read, nor stand between the light and the book. Indeed, you will drive me unto madness. Nor forget what I said about the tape.

The Atlantic Monthly; February 1997; Laws Concerning Food and Drink; Household Principles; Lamentations of the Father;
Volume 279, No. 2; pages 89-90


At 3:49 PM, Anonymous southerngirl said...


i love it!


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