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eating out. it's just something we don't do too much. as a family we may hit a restaurant about three times a year. don't waste your pity on us as this is up from our long-standing one time a year (usually my birthday). marty takes the family dinner table most seriously, and those that know marty know how the term 'seriously' ought to be interpreted. for those that don't, i fear i lack the ability to convince you of her commitment to ideals she believes in. it's just one of those things in life you have to see first hand like old faithful, the empire state building or my hair after fifteen days growth.

while the up-side of this is our children definitely know what a focused, family-centric dinner table resembles, the downside is that my brood act like animals straight out of the bush when in public. their lack of couth takes multiple forms:

alex negotiates with the waitress as there is nothing on the menu, any menu, that will suit his discerning palette. this issue plagues folks who live on nothing but their mother's bran muffins slathered in yogurt, kraft macaroni and cheese, and raspberries. a typical alex order goes something like this:

excuse me, excuse me. what kind of macaroni do you have?

uhmm, what kind?

is it kraft macaroni and cheese?

oh no, it's just plain ole regular macaroni. sorry.

that's ok. i'll just have water.

as for bella, for reasons marty or i can't pinpoint, our daughter equates fine manners with a british accent so anytime we go somewhere where marty and i ask for good behavior, bella speaks to the restaurant staff with a english affect. you must imagine the below phrases in an emma thompson like inflection.

oh, pardon me, could i bother you for a glass of ice water?

excuse me ma'am, are your pancakes large or small in size?

oh yes, that would be absolutely lovely.

and then there's anthony. being the youngest he's surely a work in progress but acts like one might expect from someone his age. for example, on our most recent outing, in the middle of the meal anthony stood up on his chair leaned towards me and whispered in my ear.

do you know how many farts i just did?

uhmm. no i don't know how many farts you just did.

a lot. i just did a lot of farts.

oh. i didn't even hear.

yeah. they went pop, pop, pop, pop but they were quiet pops. that's why i asked if you knew how many farts i just did. because they were quiet.

well i'm glad you asked because i didn't hear a single one of them and it sounds like you had a lot. like maybe even a record-lot.

our situation demonstrates why the oft-used and always correct phrase, "only one way to go from here" was originally divined.




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