Menu Ireland Calls

'Limburger' by 'ruggles'

A traumatic event from 2005 or so


Today we speak on matters of etiquette.

I am, as you all know, not a product of the manner-born. I was raised by simple blue collar types, who were content with getting dinner on the table, as opposed to 'setting' the table in accordance with Emily Post's standards. The extent of our education with regards to manners were as follows:

1. Keep your elbows off the table

2. Keep your feet off the table (a heinous act done exclusively to annoy the Old Man)

3. When your father falls asleep face first in his spaghetti (after having worked two 12 hour shifts straight) it is rude to wake him up by sprinkling Parmesan cheese on his head

4. No matter how funny it is, you shouldn't encourage your brother to try and shoot another noodle out of his nose (after having one accidentally pass through in a fit of laughter)

5. Salad forks are for salads/dinner/dessert. Possibly for soup, too, if Ma has cooked it.

As all good and well-bred people know, we blue-collar type people are simpletons, Neanderthals, and mouth breathers.

On hearing someone inquire as to 'finger bowls' we of the lower classes instinctively look for tiny bowls filled with spare pinkies and pointers; rather than a simple bowl of water, perhaps with a slice of lemon ensconced within.

So yes, it is safe to presume that I, your fearless heroine, am a heathen when it comes to all matters etiquetterial* , no matter how gosh-darned endearing I might be.

*As an ill-mannered heathen type, I can make up words willy-nilly, as I clearly must have a strong disdain for proper English coursing through my veins

I am sad to say it, yes. It does not, however, make it any less true.

I am a cheap Corelle plate in a world of Pfaltzgraff and Royal Doulton.

My table manners are, without doubt, reflected in my social manners.

I was taught to say please and thank you.

I was taught that, even if you're a girl, when someone older gets on the bus you give them your seat (And no, you do not slap the rude man in front of you, even though he clearly should have given up his seat before a girl did).

I knew when Uncle Cecil's aunt gave me, a girl of thirteen years of age, a present for Christmas, that I was to under no circumstances exclaim 'It's not even a real Barbie, it's a hollow legged dollar store doll! And I'm too old for dolls!' until I was in the car. This is because it's the thought that counts and one is grateful to be thought of at all.

Still, all these lessons are, for me, not enough. I am often encountered with situations where I simply cannot grasp what the right and proper course of action might be.

And so, I languish in my ill-mannered ways, doomed to a life of knife-licking, soup-slurping, and general indifference for the Art of the Curtsy.

Today, as you may have already guessed, presented me with yet another challenge to my lack of good breeding.

The Cuisinart of Death Sleep Apparatus was scheduled to be delivered. I made sure I cleared a spot for it near-ish to the bed. I did this because setting up sleep apparatus in the kitchen would be, at the very least, not particularly conducive to sleeping unless one uses the stovetop as a pillow.

I have long outgrown my 'sleeping in the kitchen' habit (I was four, OK??); thus it seemed best to place the sleep apparatus in the room where actual sleeping takes place.

I did some general straightening up of the entire house; as it is impolite to give delivery-type persons the impression that you live amongst a bunch of rabid Chihuahua's rather than god fearing, well-mannered people.

I do what I can, lest I be ridiculed.

The hour came, the doorbell rang, and there was a man on the porch, laden with boxes.

Boxes which, once emptied, would mean the utter demise of my dream of one day waking up, eyes fluttering open to see Prince Charming Colin Firth staring down at me, enraptured by the sight of the just-woken Babs. Instead, Colin will run for the hills when he sees Babsibal Lecter in the hideous Cuisinart of Death Sleep Apparatus.

The delivery-type man entered our humble abode, asked me where the machine was to be set up, and set about instructing your fearless heroine on how to put it together/clean it/not screw it up royally.

As he carries on with the instructions, I cannot hear one thing he is saying.

{Says the fair reader 'Ought you not be paying attention, Babs??'

Says Babs, 'T'were nigh on impossible'}

For since he'd walked in the door, myself, along with Felix and Trash noticed a rather invasive 'odeur', as it were.

This man stunk to high heaven.

I did not know why.

I could not ask why, for as ill-mannered as I may be, I was fairly sure that exclaiming 'Oi, gov, what's the stench?' might be considered verybloodyrude indeed.

Things dragged on, and the odor became even more atrocious. It permeated my entire room. Which, if you'll recall, is the size of a cracker-box, so it didn't take long.

I soon realized, through careful and reasoned deduction, what the cause of this most offensive emanation was.

I suspect the delivery-person realized it, too. He explained more of the machines workings, gazed at the floor but for a moment, and once again took apart the machine. He said not a word as to his perpetration of Crimes Malodorous.

He set about deciding which mask would best suit your fearless heroine. I might add that I was none too thrilled to discover I was given a mask sized 'large'. For I, Babs Geller, do not have a nez the size of Finland.

A ream of papers was brought out to be signed, and thankfully, this was to be done in the kitchen. I prayed that the larger room would inflict less damage on my already insulted proboscis.

I might also add that I was none-too-pleased when said delivery man decided my brand new griddle (OK, it was only $16, but it is still new) was the appropriate place to sign and fill out paperwork (owing to a lack of counterspace, as Babs is in the midst of re-arranging all kitchen cabinets and had all contents covering every available counter).

What does one do?

What does one say?

But the matter of signing papers on my brand fucking new griddle all but pales in comparison to the 'stench' quandary.

I knew what the stench was.

He knew what the stench was, I was sure of it.

How can one broach the subject without being rude?

And so I sit here, hours upon hours later, searching in vain for naught.

For there is not one site on the whole of the Internet which instructs a lowly, ill-mannered peasant, such as myself, on how to politely say,

'Look, you bastard, you just tracked a huge pile of dogshit into my house and left a massive fucking chunk of it on my bloody bedroom floor!!!!'

Nor do any laws of physics explain how it managed to cling to his shoe until he stepped upon our living room rug, and only managed to fully dislodge itself from the offending shoe when in my damned room.

I tell you now, there is not enough Lysol, Pine-sol, and ammonia in the world that will satisfactorily allow me to walk barefoot in my room ever again.