The Family Dinner


If I ever get my own kitchen again and can have family dinners, I will institute a hard and fast rule. ABSOLUTELY NO TALKING AT DINNER! Now, this mandate is for the physical and emotional health of the participants. I know it runs contrary to popular practices of benign, pleasant family conversations around a home cooked meal. But, I must put my fork down.

Recently, (like ten minutes ago) I was eating a nice plate of mac and cheese while trying to watch the 45 second intervals of tv shows that are being flipped through on the TV by a family member who shall remain nameless. This family member asked me a question:

Unnamed Family Member: What does Ellie do at your friend’s house?

Donna: (with mac and cheese in her mouth) Slave labor.

UFM: What?

Donna continues to masticate her mac and cheese, but tries to answer in the 3.8 seconds allotted before the question is repeated.

Donna: She helps her clean.

UFM: She does what?

Again, the 3.8 seconds tick away….

Donna: She helps her clean.

UFM: She helps her sleep?

Donna quickly eats, but tries to answer. She inhales a piece of the mac and cheese and begins coughing uncontrollably.

UFM: OK, here we go again.

Donna, regaining her breath:  CLEAN, SHE HELPS HER CLEAN!

UFM: Why are you yelling?


UFM: I’m dead, that’s right, that’s what you want. It’s not far now.

Donna: That’s right, be prepared.

UFM: Did you hear that, Liz, she wants me to die.

In light of this recent conversation, which is a daily occurrence, I will institute emphatically that there will be no talking at the dinner table. This will eliminate unnecessary choking hazards as well as the inevitable family fight.

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