Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Elbow Wrests

Etiquette with Ease
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A long time ago, some rather undersexed and overdressed combination of cultures, probably as a result of having had their corsets and cumberbuns pulled unnaturally tight by their servants in a fit of passive- aggressive retributive behavior, decided that elbows should be denied their natural restage upon the tables at which their owners dine while the meal was being partaken. Of course, this was the same culture that not too many years before had decided that huge wigs were the essence of style.

These kitchen table add-ons preserve this arbitrary social rule while providing some relaxation for your dinner party. Simple adjustable padded wings which attach underneath the dining table include several degrees of freedom, with spring-lever support as per your favorite hinged desk lamp. Now you are free to manipulate your dinner implements with more support, or simply finger it all if you are so inclined.

RayfordSteele, Apr 05 2011

The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Clothing Through World History http://www.amazon.c...story/dp/0313336628
Apparently "This work is a guide for students and general readers..." but at £230 just for volume 1, this seems a somewhat dubious claim. [DrBob, Apr 06 2011]

[link]






       Growing up it was strictly enforced that our elbows should be on the table: "Hey, get those elbows on the table!", "Get that napkin off your lap!", "Chew withspspsp your mouthspspsp openspsps!".
rcarty, Apr 05 2011
  

       [+] I like it, but one may also use these for arm wrestling at dinner with the person next to you, no?
xandram, Apr 05 2011
  

       Sure, but they're typically much lower than the table height.
RayfordSteele, Apr 05 2011
  

       Of course, rather than address the idea, I immediately rushed off to verify the scurrilous claims about corsets, cummerbunds & wigs. My research led me to discover that, as a species, wigs apparently died out in Western Europe for a thousand years after the fall of the Roman Empire. Further research however, stumbled and fell at the rather sizeable hurdle of The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Clothing Through World History (link). I'm therefore back to addressing the idea. +
DrBob, Apr 06 2011
  

       This idea simply adresses a point of etiquette.   

       As the preamble suggests, etiquette is utterly pointless, contrived rubbish.   

       Therefore, the idea is redundant.   

       Simply ignore the etiquette.
Twizz, Apr 06 2011
  

       Hassidim and Beduins eat with their hands at ritual meals. Of course the rinsing of the hands is an important ritual repeated several times during these meals.   

       Its also a Greek ritual at the meal after someone from the community dies. I'm not sure they rinse their hands... There was a disaster two or three years ago following a meal of that kind.   

       I also read somewhere that we have a certain kind of bacteria on the finger "pillows" of our hands, that assist in digesting certain kinds of food, which cannot be digested without it!   

       Most people eat bread with their hands. But our friend ate the Sabbath feast by Dutch Jews, and after the blessing sent her hands to take the little bread sandwiches, but immediately pulled her hands back because she was stabbed with 20 dirty looks staring at her. A second passed, and then everyone put their forks forward and took the sandwiches.   

       My daughter's Yemeni friend had a Russian friend over, and they ate Mallawah dipping it into Humus. The Russian girl liked it very much. When she invited her Yemeni friend over, the Russian mother treated them to Mallawah and Humus. They mother began the meal, eating it with a fork and knife, and the two girls followed, without a word.   

       There is a joke about a Meshamesh (the Hassidic leader's personal aid) who asked his Rebbe (the Hassidic leader) if they could use the new nylon tablecloth covers, just invented. The answer was: No way! What would the hassidim wipe their hands with?!
pashute, Apr 07 2011
  

       There's also a theory that eating with the fingers aids digestion by additional sensory signaling that food is on the way. I would speculate that it may help with appetite regulation too.
spidermother, Apr 07 2011
  

       My grandmother had a thing, don't put your feet on the table, because they may get accidentally cut with a knife. Of course this only encouraged the weeer members of the family to put up their feets in the hope of seeing the mysterious and inexplicable cutting in action.
pocmloc, Apr 07 2011
  

       (+) But, all those years of getting a fork stabbed into my kidneys until my elbows grew smart enough to know their place ...   

       it's all just wasted now.   
      
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