When attending a picnic at a friend’s place, you don’t place any orders. You take the plate graciously and eat around what you don’t like. Then, if there’s enough wreckage left on the plate, you clear it before the host sees. That’s how it’s done. Decency demands it. So, why must every cretin around me place custom orders? This have-it-your-way generation bugs me.

“Yes, I would like the Italian Sub. Could I have that without onions and with extra jalapenos?”

First, shittard, jalapenos don’t belong on anything Italian. Did you ever hear of a pepperoni burrito? Of course not. How about a taco with anchovies? Perish the thought. Second, if you don’t like onions, remove them yourself. Nobody is saying you must eat the onions. You are not allergic. Stop using allergies as an excuse to act persnickety. You are to order and receive the item the way the cook designed it and the menu describes it. Eat it any way you like, but don’t you dare ask for things on the side that belong within the dish, you little snit.

If I’m asked my preference, that’s different.

“How would you like your burger cooked, sir?”

“Medium … and stop calling me sir. My chin fur is sun-bleached, not gray.”

“Yes, um, patron … er, person?”

“Go away.”

Nowadays if you don’t like it, you don’t eat it. When I was a child, if I didn’t like it, I fucking ate it and acted as though I liked it, or else. I guess that stuck with me. I’m not part of the entitled generation of spoiled thumb-bags whose parents lucked out on an internet stock that helped them afford to avoid dealing with leftovers. You’re darn tootin’ I’m ornery. (I bought Enron.)

A salad with dressing on the side is a pile of leaves. French fries with ranch dressing are vagina creators. Gluten-free food is for wimpy-bellies who didn’t eat enough Tabasco and undercooked bacon in their younger years. Eat what’s on the menu, people! Eat what’s in front of you!

Think of it the same way you think of a shot someone buys you–say a SoCo Lime, for instance. You don’t wrinkle your nose, cry for a chaser, or take any Tums before downing one. You may take longer than others to finish it, but you won’t leave anything measurable in the bottom of the glass, will you? No. Because your friends will drop the vagina triangle on your ass. (The vagina triangle is made with the fingers of two hands, similar to the heart thing that Taylor Swift makes, but it’s much more meaningful and less doucheist.) If you are female, you obviously can’t receive the vagina triangle, so you’ll probably have peers stare at you and comment about your shoes behind your back. They might even say you look frumpish. Fine. You’ve been warned. My work is done here.

Now, finish what’s on your plate and you’re not leaving this table until you do. I don’t want any sass out of you. Not “but”s either. I expect that plate to be as clean as when your mother pulled it from the Palmolive. Tuck in that bottom lip and stop playing with your food. Lord, what am I going to do with you?

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Author of humorous essays about relationships and lifestyles.