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

Where the men are at tip-off

Nobody’s invited me to a Superbowl party yet. Maybe my reputation as someone who shushes people during the commercials and searches for an alternate TV on which to tune in the Puppy Bowl during slow moments has preceded me. That’s too bad. I’d be really good at a Superbowl party now that I’ve watched Katie and Katy from Just The Tips test out a faux football helmet facepaint suggestion found on the internet.

If you couldn’t already tell from that video, Katie and Katy are rather tremendous. Those amazing “life hacks” and incredible tutorials you find on lifestyle websites and Pinterest? Whether it’s glitter pumpkins, swants (remember swants? Sweater pants? No? Carry on), Kim Kardashian’s facial countouring, or A Dependable Stool, Katie will do it terribly with much enthusiasm and Katy will glumly knock it out of the park. They both can’t stand the concept of “life hacks.”

These women are incredible, and they should be famous. Watch five more of their videos now, please,* and then maybe invite me to your Superbowl party.

*Full disclosure: I have begged them and they have agreed to me being their personal assistant when they become famous. I CANNOT WAIT FOR THIS TO HAPPEN.

That’s a potato

Yesterday, Martha Stewart had Snoop Dogg on her show to make cognac mashed potatoes. Now, I know a lot of you may hate Martha Stewart because you may think she’s a snob or an overachiever or a condescending bitch or something, but I beg you to rethink your opinion of her. Come on. She frequently has Amy Sedaris on the program discussing bong water, she drinks in the morning, and now she has the Snoopy Dog making mashed potatoes.

Yeah, yeah; I know she said stuff to him like, “Can you spell?” and “You dance all the time,” but look – she’s an ex-con. When you’re in the Big House, dissing people like that is a survival tool. She meant no harm. She may have blanched a little when Snoop made reference to her felony record in his vocabulary lesson: “Ball til ya fall!” (meaning, of course, to make as much money by any means necessary), but she didn’t hurt him or anything. And she could have; there was clearly at least one shank sitting right there on the table.

Of course, I’m a little torn as to who would make the better mashed potatoes if left to his/her own devices. True, Snoop seemed to be leaning toward Parkay rather than real butter, but he also had a desire to mash the potatoes by hand and to leave the peels on, which Martha put the kibosh on. So, I don’t know. Judge for yourself:

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