Oh, my, God. Mmmmm…Your lips purse into a thin line. Yum-me…That certainly isn’t pasty Ramen noodles. Your tongue impatiently does a death roll like a hungry crocodile trapped between your teeth. Gasping for air it’s trying not to drown in your own saliva. Uh-oh, did that lady really just see you grin at that oven hot golden brown turkey?
I didn’t…I swear! I was just…admiring—the lovely table cloth. But you half-smile, like some starved college student (which you’re not) as your eyes zigzag around the other well postured guests. Why is the fat one eyeing you? Does he know?
“—Here you go” mumbles a pen thin lady seated on your left. You start. All eyes roll in your direction as your hand (moist as a wet paper towel) wobbles for the silver spoon she’s handing you. Swallow.
One spoon should be enough. “You bastard!” grunts your stomach. Tightening up, it makes a furiously squishy frown under your suit. But you serve and pathetically stare at your glossy plate. Others serve themselves stiffly. After a moment’s thought, you force a smile at that miserable tiny brown island of rice. You, Tummy, and I, all know you really wanted to serve a continent.
So, what do you do when you’re at some formal dinner but you want to be that glutton back home? The one who shoves 15 fries, a chunk of coleslaw and a swig of Coke in a flick, munching away with big eyes like you only just popped a pill from the medicine cabinet. Keep chewing, but while you digest, feast your eyes on the platter below. Variety, my ever hungry friend, is all the cutlery you will ever need.
The Original Serving—every eater’s biggest mistake is thinking of the redeeming second serving when you spoon into the first. No, no, no! The first serving is your VIP access to food. No one judges an empty first plate that is still warm from a steaming dishwasher. So top it till you drop it. Now the second serving, that’s when the eye brows rise freakishly higher with every scoop; but a tiny second serving will appear quite proper.
You Got Served—nothing distracts the gazes aimed at your plate like when you talk while serving. At the dinner table, juggle eye contact with old bat in front of you and spoon the gravy in. Let it flood the rice basin like a monsoon. At the line outlining the buffet table, turn over your shoulder and talk to the hottie behind you, they’ll never even notice that the tray now lacks 9 spring rolls.
Item Segmentation—predict your overarching goals for the night. Variety or quantity? Amassing small dainty picks and snacks satisfy a variety of cuisines. You can have the whole table at your plate with this strategy. But do grab the large chunky stuff if you want quantity tonight.
Pounce When Distracted—oh no, little Molly spilt her juice! Don’t look, lunge for the plates in front of you. You will have a 45 second window before they realize.
Operation Refill, with a Smile—this applies particularly well if you’re at a guest’s house and you know where the kitchen is. Gently lift the almost empty platter, make your way to the kitchen, spot the cache fast, gorge as many as you can, then serve the leftovers. Return with a warm smile.
What will Africa Say—“you’re not going to finish that?” maintain a stern voice and a disapproving look (works best on children accompanied with a raised eyebrow). Once the guilt sinks in like venom, it spreads rapidly leaving them helpless and ashamed. Sigh, and offer to finish up the untouched chicken legs with a roll of the eyes.
Complements to the mother—only meant for small gatherings. The cook will smile broadly and will offer you more (97% success rate). Premium access to the spread has now been earned. You might also receive platinum membership to the Frequent Eater Program of the house.
But what if, it happens every now and again to the best of us, none of these were possible on a particularly bad night? (Often due to food shortages, and shrewd grandmothers who count the pieces of chicken thighs on the platter).
20 Minute Munch—20 minutes of eating is all it takes for the brain to tell you that you’re full. If all else fails, munch slowly, and you will be fake full.
Aqualicious—Drink water in-between every 8 gulps of food. Water isn’t expensive, I’m sure at least that is unlimited so keep motioning for more, your cold glass held high and your eyes coldly glassy. Adieu.