|"Manners is manners an' I always taught you manners when you was a young one. I wouldn't let you grab for the biggest piece o' pie on the plate an' I wouldn't let you spill, and when you drunk. I made you drink quiet.|
A Lesson in Manners
"I wish you wouldn't pa." said the oldest girl. "Wish I wouldn't what?" asked the plain citizen. "Eat with your knife," replied the daughter; "It's so __________." "So what?" asked the old gentleman, knitting his shaggy brows. "So unconventional." "Now, lookee here." said the plain citizen. "I'm 60 years old and getting older every minute, but I'm not too old to learn. If you can show me any way of gettin' gravy up to my month with my fork I'm willing to try it. I've got to use a knife," "People don't do it, pa." "You're mistaken about that I know a heap o' people that do it" "But not refined people, pa." "Ireeny," said the plain citizen, you make me tired. I b'lieve in being polite when there's sense to it."
"Manners is manners an' I always taught you manners when you was a young one. I wouldn't let you grab for the biggest piece o' pie on the plate an' I wouldn't let you spill, and when you drunk. I made you drink quiet. You wasn't allowed to wipe your month on the tablecloth or speak with your mouth full. Them's manners. Juss so long's I keep my own knife on my own vittles, I claim that it's my own business whether I put it in my mouth or not —ain't it?" "Well, perhaps it is, but ..."
"There isn't any 'but' about it. When I took you to the city last fall there was a feller setting at a table in the restaurant where we was, dressed to kill he was, too, and when he got through eating he lit up a cigareet —and wimmin' setting right there— 'member that?" "Yes, but..." "No 'but' about it. If he'd ben a boy o' mine, I'd have jerked him out o' the room and taught him manners. When that fam'ly was stayin' with us last summer you fussed because I sat down to the table in my shirtsleeves. The man he set down without even a vest and that was all right. I think it was all right, too, but why is muslin any more improper than blue and white striped flannel, and how is a belt any better than suspenders? They're both to hold the pants up."
"Why, pa!" "I hope you don't mean to say that pants is unconventional!" "Ireeny, you talk a lot of poppycock. I'm willing to be polite, as I said, but I'm going to use common sense about it, and I'm going to eat with my knife as much as I dern please and I don't want to hear any more out of you about it. Understand that, don't you, Ireeny?" "Yes, pa," replied the daughter. —Chicago Daily News, 1905
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