No Eating Out, Period

“Can I take you out somewhere to celebrate your 95th birthday, Bill?” asks Adam, a junior Onc (see Immortality Club, 8-2-2018,, during fellowship after church service.

“I don’t eat out,” Bill answers, staring from his untouched cup of coffee somebody has poured him, unasked, to Adam’s full plate of beef sandwich, salad, fruit.

“If it’s BM (see Billionaire Mentality, 1-20-2019,, I’ll take you to the Rainbow Room in Manhattan.”

“Isn’t it private?”

“Yeah, but I can use my son-in-law’s membership.”

“Oh, the billionaire,” Bill snorts.

“At least his fund is multibillion,” Adam nods.

“I seldom eat out,” Bill declares. “Why bother? I can easily fix up what little I eat with my own hands, not anybody else’s.”

“Oh, I’ve heard about Alfonso spitting on steak (see Ask Three Times Before Taking No For an Answer: Quirky Korean Etiquette, 10-31-2018, but not every chef is like Alfonso.”

“No, my sources indicate few wash their hands after scratching their genitals or wiping their nose. In fact, to soothe their inferiority complex for catering to our digestive tract…”

“But it’s the top end, not the bottom.”

“Same difference, feeding or voiding. They spite us by dispensing their bodily discharge along with the dish they serve.”

“How long ago was it that your wife passed away, Bill?”

“Fifteen years.”

“While she was alive, you ate the food she prepared.”

“Of course. She was my wife. Don’t you?”

“Of course. The other day my wife forgot to set the alarm. She jumps out of bed, tears downstairs, clangs and clatters to slap together a breakfast so we could leave the house in five minutes. Would I have cared if she hadn’t washed her hands, had wiped her nose or scratched under her panties?”

“She is your wife.”

“Exactly. Because I kiss her in the mouth and all over. But before we met and married to live 60 years together we were total strangers, like the kitchen hands at any restaurant, anyone of whom could have been my wife, under different circumstances (see Eat Others’ Leftovers: A Shortcut to the Golden Rule, Love Your Neighbor as Yourself, 8-27-2015, So we might eat out as well as in. Besides the chefs at reputable places like the Rainbow Room are proud of their professional standing, with culinary certificates in full display on the wall. I think they wash hands but, if not, consider them your wife’s before you married her. So do we have a deal.”

“I don’t know. Let me think about it.”

“Have you heard about an Arab scandalized by an American using both hands to hold and eat a sandwich”

“No, I heard they use hands, too, only hands, no utensils.”

“Yeah, but not both hands. Only the right hand, not the left reserved for the other end, to wipe off.”

“Disgusting! Are you sure you heard it right? The Arabs will sue you for racism, cultural bigotry, or something.”

“With all the oil money they forget their nomadic past when they had to travel light. Utensils would have been in the way and, definitely, toilet tissue. Moreover, using the hand to wipe off is perfectly sanitary in the dry desert, the dab drying up and falling off in a matter of minutes.”

“Minutes? You mean they carry it around that long?”

“They may wipe off on their clothes, shoes, or their camel. Won’t matter because dried up, the crust would fall off harmlessly. Likewise, even if our food preparers don’t wash their hands, the smudge of saliva, phlegm, mucus, poop, or whatever left on their hands, will dry up into minuscule strips or granules of various organic molecules you would find in dry packed food.”

“They start cooking before they dry up but, even dried up, the strips and granules, however minuscule,… It’s revolting. I can puke. No eating out, period. That’s my answer.”

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