Etiquette & superstition: put a knife in it

I did a search for “stabbing etiquette” online because I wasn’t finding anything in my standard etiquette books. Mostly all I found was “don’t stab,” so I guess you’re stuck listening to Uncle Kirby’s idiotic political arguments at the Thanksgiving table. A possible workaround would be you stabbing yourself when things get unbearable; I don’t think anybody would deny you excusing yourself at that point. Good luck.

ETIQUETTE: Perhaps another way to relieve some tension during dinner is finding something other than Uncle Kirby or yourself to stab. What ho – there is an enormous hunk of cooked meat right here at the dinner table. Perhaps you can take over bird carving duties if the host doesn’t have some particular pride about doing it.

This may be a daunting proposition if you’ve never carved meat before – indeed, there are more than a few resources noting the necessity for “a cool, collected manner” in order to not “negate the time and hard work of whoever has done the cooking,” and above all, “let us hope for the best.”

There is certainly more to it than simply remembering not to keep either the fork or knife stabbed into the meat while serving. And there are certainly some very beautiful descriptions and diagrams available, but a simple YouTube video might be easier in this day and age. Go with Jamie Oliver maybe. Who doesn’t love Jamie Oliver? Or hell, I don’t know; go with Martha Stewart.

SUPERSTITION: If you are sailing and need more wind, stick your knife into the mast. On land, stick a knife into the headboard of a cradle to protect the baby. While traveling in the woods, stick a knife into the door of any fairy house you happen to go inside; otherwise, they just might lock you in.

Photo of traditional Thanksgiving family gathering by Carole Raddato via Flickr

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