In our house, it was of utmost importance to maintain good table manners. My mother went so far as to give us eating lessons. My brother and I learned to sit straight with a yardstick down our backs and a “Golden Book” under each arm.
We learned how to use our fork and knife in the English style, cutting with wrists up, dabbing the edibles onto the back of the fork. (Rarely should one “stab” at one’s food.) We were never to talk with our mouths full; never to reveal the mastication going on inside. Eating was often an ordeal. The benefits of the lessons, however, came to the fore at summer camp when we were the only kids who could eat comfortably while crushed onto a wooden bench with a line of other campers.
If mom saw us chewing with our mouths open, there was instant objection. This, of course made it mandatory that we eat as rudely as possibly when the moment was ripe. This strip was done in memory of these unfettered times.