Friday, 10 May 2013  |  Paul

Have you ever been in a classy restaurant and had the finest looking dish you’ve ever seen put in front of you, only to wonder about the correct way of eating it? It can be difficult sometimes - you’re not sure if you’re doing it right and a kind of paranoia washes over you once you dig in that everybody else in the restaurant ‘knows’ that you don’t know.

I had this recently while eating king prawns, as fresh as they come eyes, legs and all. I knew in the back of my mind that a long time ago mother had taught me how to disassemble them properly – a particular that conveniently evaded me at that moment. The result was an unfortunate looking prawn, as if it had been savagely attacked in some anti-crustacean rage. The eyes of fellow diners were on me and as the waiter came to take my plate away I hung my head in shame. No doubt he was thinking what an uncivilised upbringing I must have had..

It isn’t just prawns though, its drink too. You’ve got to hold your wine or beer glass a certain way these days or people think you’re a bit of a Dave. To avoid this intense social embarrassment, I am now blanket using straws for all drinks. This has several benefits, the first being that I need not worry about looking silly holding glasses the wrong way anymore! Secondly it also leaves me hands free which is, innovative. I also utilise one of our ‘straw holders’ - a handy device that clips on to the side of any glass and has multiple holes to securely hold several straws - allowing other insecure drinkers to join me with their straws for an embarrassment free drinking session.

This may sound bizarre, however there have been other strange devices in the past designed to eliminate embarrassment while drinking. Check out those Victorian moustache cups, with a protector plate attached to them designed to allow the finest moustached men to enjoy their beverage without getting it dirty in the process. Brilliant.