Close your gob while you're chewing.
Don't talk with your mouthful. Don't use your fork like a shovel. Don't point with your utensils. No elbows on the table. No slouching. Don't reach for a condiment (ask someone to pass it to you).
Wait until you've finished chewing before drinking (unless you're choking ). Don't check your phone at the table. Don't get up to leave without asking permission.
These are basic table manners. Are they still important in 2020? Should parents still be enforcing them? Should adults point out etiquette breaches to colleagues?
My "friend" Joseph Durie did exactly that at work lunch last week. He loudly declared to an entire table that my conduct around a piece of pizza was "not ok."
I fired up, and he fired up back. Horrific awkwardness ensued for the other eight people at the table.
My parents are lovely people, but very strict on manners. Dad ejected me from the table for crimes as small as eating before mum had taken her first bite.
Mum has sent me to the hallway for speaking when not spoken too and asking for seconds before my sister Anne-Louise had finished her firsts (even though she was eating slowly to annoy me).
Dad rightly threw me outside into the cold for swiping my sister Katharine's full plate of silverside and cabbage onto her lap and for flicking mash potato right in my little sister Imogen's face.
I deserved all these punishments equally. The food throwing and lap dumping are as sinful in my opinion, as the supposedly lesser crimes.
Bad table manners make it harder for friends, business associates and loved ones to enjoy their food. Good table manners impress employers, love interests and the parents of love interests. Life is smoother with good table manners.
The mother of my children and I mercilessly enforce the rules as our parents did to us. Good manners are a big thing for me. That's why I fired up when accused of bad manners by my workmate of many years Joseph Durie of Rangiora.
I arrived at a lunch function 45 minutes late last Friday to find nine of my co-workers sitting around a table at the Empire Tavern.
Six half-eaten pizzas, 7 jugs of beer and two vodka sodas crowded the table. Most of my fellow diners had a slice or a drink in their hand.
My colleague Joseph Durie welcomed me with "help yourself to some pizza Matty or you can order something off the menu."
I acknowledged my good friend's generosity then greeted everyone in turn while standing as is the custom I sit down, pull my chair in, sit up straight and survey the pizza options.
My elbows are off the table; my heart is open and full of hope for what looks like a positive social engagement to come. I notice there are no knives and forks, signally informality.
Eventually, I politely reach for a slice of prosciutto, parmesan, truffle oil and rocket pizza from a wooden paddle in front of my co-worker Lauren.
What does Joseph Durie do? He fires up. "Not that pizza, that's hers!"
I hit back with "you said to have some pizza! How was I supposed to know not to have that one!"
He responds with "the pizzas in the middle of the table genius, not the ones in front of people."
I came back with "the table is packed, all the pizzas are touching each other, how was I supposed to know not to have that one?" He yells "she ordered her pizza separately you idiot these are the common ones here." I quipped "shut your face Joseph Durie, or I'll shut it for you."
Who was the villain here, and what are the rules around pizza ownership in a food sharing situation? Is geographical location a signal? If the pizza is right in front of the person, does that make it theirs and no one else's?
What if the table is so crowded with pizza and beers that everything is touching and forced to the edges? Is pizza sharing even allowed at level 2.5? Is it polite to scream disgusting angry swear words and insults at a close friend and respected colleague of many years across a table of polite diners in a public place? I think we can all agree there is a lot of grey here.
The whole situation just goes to show you can't let your guard down even at an informal sales celebration. Table manners are always important.