Sunday, September 6, 2009

"Dining Out"

Portions of the event tend to become quite humorous in nature, while others remain somber. Etiquette requires a diner to know what is appropriate at any given time.
The dining in follows established protocols. After a brief cocktail period of 30 to 45 minutes, the presiding officer, known as the "President of the Mess", announces, "Please be seated." The group will then retire to the dining area to be seated.
After tasting the meat (usually beef), the President will declare it "tasty and fit for human consumption", after which the meal will be served to the diners. After the dessert is finished, the President will invite the chief steward to bring forth wine and/or punch to be served, and toasting will begin. After the toasts have concluded, the floor will be opened to the levying of fines. The president and the guest of honor will have the opportunity to speak if they so desire. After this, the mess is often then returned to an open cocktail hour, and then the evening concludes with final honors.

Violations of the formal etiquette of the dining in are "punished", generally with fines. The following are considered "Violations of the Mess":
untimely arrival at proceedings
smoking at the table before the lighting of the smoking lamp
haggling over date of rank
improper wear of uniform
inverted cummerbund (Note that U.S. Army regulation requires that cummerbunds be worn upside down: i.e. pleats down.)[5]
wearing a clip-on bow tie at an obvious list
loud and obtrusive remarks in a foreign language
foul language
discussion on a controversial topic (politics, religion, and women are commonly forbidden topics)
improper toasting procedure
toasting with an uncharged (empty) glass
rising to applaud particularly witty, succinct, sarcastic, or relevant toasts, unless following the example of the President
leaving the dining room without permission from the President of the Mess
carrying cocktails into the dining area before the conclusion of dinner
haggling over penalties or fines imposed
drawing a sword except in ceremony

At Army and Air Force dinings-in, violators of the mess are obliged to publicly drink from a grog bowl in front of the mess attendees. The grog is sometimes contained in a toilet bowl, consisting of various alcoholic beverages mixed together. As a more disgusting effect, the grog may also contain floating solids, such as meatballs, raw oysters, or Tootsie Rolls. The tradition of drinking grog originated with the British Navy.

Kayoko was our babysitter for the night. She is so great and Jacob LOVES her! Thanks Kayoko :)

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