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“Talking With Food in Your Mouth” by Doug Fincher

August 7, 2017 - Sitting for a meal with my parents (and five sisters and four brothers) brings back sweet memories. Daddy built a long bench on each side of the table and put a nail keg at each end for us to sit on. Naturally, we all wanted to sit on a keg and had a good many scuffles trying to be the first to get there. The familiar call, "you kids come eat" was always music to our ears and we didn't have to be called twice.

We weren't allowed to eat the last biscuit, piece of cake, etc. and were forbidden to talk while food was in our mouth. We couldn't chomp on our food, take huge bites, play with our food, reach across the table or eat with our mouths wide open. (It is obvious that this is an ancient story)

We were allowed to talk and encouraged not to rush through our meals. The interaction with my siblings and parents at the table is one of the fondest of my childhood memories. They sat down with us, talked about our day with us and let us talk to each other.

There was no time limit except that we had to be done before bedtime.

People who can sit thru a whole meal gorging…but never saying a word…are almost as repulsive as those who talk with a mouth full of food. I think Mother had it right: Talk at the table. Eat at the table.

But don't talk with food in your mouth.