Friday, February 13, 2009

World, Shut Your Mouth

I don't know much about manners, but it's my understanding that when someone is loudly chomping food with an open mouth, it's rude to point out that they sound freaking gross. Fortunately, this is the Internet, where etiquette and decency have no place, and I've prepared a handy guide. You may find it useful to keep a printed copy of these instructions in a pocket, wallet, or purse until you feel comfortable not being disgusting.

Jake's Guide to Eating Like a Human

STEP ONE The Bite: Open your mouth. Place the food inside. If you are eating with a spoon or fork, bring your lips down around the eating utensil. You may use your teeth to help pull stubborn food off of a fork, but at no time should your teeth make contact with metal. If you hear a "clanking" sound, you may need to refresh yourself on the proper execution of this procedure.

If you are not using silverware, place your front teeth (incisors) on the food so that the overlap a part of the food. Gently bring your top and bottom teeth together, severing a small piece of food. The reasonable size of this unit of food is called a "bite-size." Bite-size varies from person to person. If you are unsure your proper bite-size, consult a doctor. Do not exceed your bite-size.

STEP TWO Chewing: Now that we have reached the second step, it is imperative that your mouth is closed. To close your mouth, touch your lips together so that there is a seal across the front of your face. Air and food should not be entering or leaving the mouth during this step. If you are able to whistle during Chewing, return to Step One and try again (the Whistle Test may require the use of a napkin; for more information, see Jake's Guide to Eating for Advanced Humans).

Now, grind the food in your mouth with your back teeth. Focus on the food already in your mouth. Common problems with Chewing come as result of overly concerning oneself with proceeding to the next step or rushing even further ahead to the next Bite. Take your time, and again, there is no over-stressing the importance of maintaining the closed-mouth position throughout this step.

STEP THREE Swallow: Once the food is broken down enough to proceed down the throat, stop chewing, push the chewed food to the back of the mouth, and allow the oesophagus to carry the food through the rest of the digestive system. Relax during this step. Do not force your food or drinking. "Slurping" should not occur. Again, keep the mouth shut (this will reduce later belches, a subject beyond the scope of this guide), and do not advance to the next step until completing this.

Great! Now repeat until satisfied.

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