Lament of the Fathers (and mothers)

#1
this is a little long, but I think you will like it - I posted it on my list, so sorry if anyone has to read it again.



'Lamentations of the Father'
by Ian Frazier

Laws of Forbidden Places

Of the beasts of the field, and of the fishes of the
sea, and of all
> > foods that are acceptable in my sight you may eat,
> > but not in the living
> > room. Of the hoofed animals, broiled or ground into
> > burgers, you may
> > eat, but not in the living room. Of the
> > cloven-hoofed animal, plain or
> > with cheese, you may eat, but not in the living
> > room. Of the cereal
> > grains, of the corn and of the wheat and of the
> > oats, and of all the
> > cereals that are of bright color and unknown
> > provenance you may eat, but
> > not in the living room. Of quiescently frozen
> > dessert and of all frozen
> > after-meal treats you may eat, but absolutely not in
> > the living room.
> >
> >
> > Of the juices and other beverages, yea, even of
> > those in sippy-cups, you
> > may drink, but not in the living room, neither may
> > you carry such
> > therein. Indeed, when you reach the place where the
> > living room carpet
> > begins, of any food or beverage there you may not
> > eat, neither may you
> > drink. But if you are sick, and are lying down and
> > watching something,
> > then may you eat in the living room.
>
Laws When at Table

> > And if you are seated in your high chair, or in a
> > chair such as a
> > greater person might use, keep your legs and feet
> > below you as it were.
> > Neither raise up your knees, nor place your feet
> > upon the table, for
> > that is an abomination unto me. Yea, even when you
> > have an interesting
> > bandage to show, your feet upon the table are an
> > abomination, and worthy
> > of rebuke.
> >
> >
> > Drink your milk as it is given you, neither use on
> > it any utensils, nor
> > fork, nor knife, nor spoon, for that is not what
> > they are for; if you
> > will dip your blocks in the milk, and lick it off,
> > you shall be sent
> > away.
> >
> >
> > When you have drunk, let the empty cup then remain
> > upon the table, and
> > do not bite it upon its edge and by your teeth hold
> > it to your face in
> > order to make noises in it sounding like a duck: for
> > you shall be sent
> > away.
> >
> >
> > When you chew your food, keep your mouth closed
> > until you have
> > swallowed, and do not open it to show your brother
> > or your sister what
> > is within; I say to you, do not so, even if your
> > brother or your sister
> > hath done the same to you.
> >
> >
> > Eat your food only; do not eat that which is not
> > food; neither seize the
> > table between your jaws, nor use the raiment of the
> > table to wipe your
> > lips. I say again to you, do not touch it, but leave
> > it as it is.
> >
> >
> > And though your stick of carrot does indeed resemble
> > a marker, draw not
> > with it upon the table, even in pretend, for we do
> > not do that, that is
> > why. And though the pieces of broccoli are very like
> > small trees, do not
> > stand them upright to make a forest, because we do
> > not do that,that is
> > why.
> >
> >
> > Sit just as I have told you, and do not lean to one
> > side or the other,
> > nor slide down until you are nearly slid away. Heed
> > me; for if you sit
> > like that, your hair will go into the syrup. And now
> > behold, even as I
> > have said, it has come to pass.
> >
> >
> > Laws Pertaining to Dessert
> >
> >
> > For we judge between the plate that is unclean and
> > the plate that is
> > clean, saying first, if the plate is clean, then you
> > shall have dessert.
> >
> >
> >
> > But of the unclean plate, the laws are these: If you
> > have eaten most of
> > your meat, and two bites of your peas with each bite
> > consisting of not
> > less than three peas each, or in total six peas,
> > eaten where I can see,
> > and you have also eaten enough of your potatoes to
> > fill two forks, both
> > forkfuls eaten where I can see, then you shall have
> > dessert.
> >
> >
> > But if you eat a lesser number of peas, and yet you
> > eat the potatoes,
> > still you shall not have dessert; and if you eat the
> > peas, yet leave the
> > potatoes uneaten, you shall not have dessert, no,
> > not even a small
> > portion thereof.
> >
> >
> > And if you try to deceive by moving the potatoes or
> > peas around with a
> > fork, that it may appear you have eaten what you
> > have not, you will fall
> > into iniquity. And I will know, and you shall have
> > no dessert.
> >
> >
> > On Screaming
> >
> >
> > Do not scream; for it is as if you scream all the
> > time. If you are given
> > a plate on which two foods you do not wish to touch
> > each other are
> > touching each other, your voice rises up even to the
> > ceiling, while you
> > point to the offense with the finger of your right
> > hand; but I say to
> > you, scream not, only remonstrate gently with the
> > server, that the
> > server may correct the fault.
> >
> >
> > Likewise if you receive a portion of fish from which
> > every piece of
> > herbal seasoning has not been scraped off, and the
> > herbal seasoning is
> > loathsome to you and steeped in vileness, again I
> > say, refrain from
> > screaming. Though the vileness overwhelm you, and
> > cause you a faint unto
> > death, make not that sound from within your throat,
> > neither cover your
> > face, nor press your fingers to your nose. For even
> > I have made the fish
> > as it should be; behold, I eat it myself, yet shall
> > not surely die.
> >
> >
> > Concerning Face and Hands
> >
> >
> > Cast your countenance upward to the light, and lift
> > your eyes to the
> > hills, that I may more easily wash you off. For the
> > stains are upon you;
> > even to the very back of your head, there is rice
> > thereon.
> >
> >
> > And in the breast pocket of your garment, and upon
> > the tie of your shoe,
> > rice and other fragments are distributed in a manner
> > wonderful to see.
> >
> >
> > Only hold yourself still; hold still, I say. Give
> > each finger in its
> > turn for my examination thereof, and also each
> > thumb. Lo, how iniquitous
> > they appear. What I do is as it must be; and you
> > shall not go hence
> > until I have done.
> >
> >
> > Various Other Laws, Statutes, and Ordinances
> >
> >
> > Bite not, lest you be also bitten again. Neither
> > drink of your own bath
> > water, nor of the bath water of any kind; nor rub
> > your feet on bread,
> > even if it be in the package; nor rub yourself
> > against cars, not against
> > any building; nor eat sand.
> >
> >
> > Leave the cat alone, for what has the cat done, that
> > you should so
> > afflict it with tape? And hum not the humming in
> > your nose as I read,
> > nor stand between the light and the book. Indeed,
> > you shall drive me to
> > madness. Nor forget what I said about the tape.
 
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