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I love cooking and eating and am a big fan of television shows featuring these “skills.” But I think I’ve discovered at least a partial explanation for my son’s and his friends’ abhorrent lack of table manners that seem immune to parental correction: chewing loudly with an open mouth; talking with a mouth so full of food that their words are unintelligible in any language; taking bites so big you wonder if their jaws will naturally come unhinged to accommodate the slab they’re trying to fit in; shoveling rice from the bowl into their mouths with a rhythm as speedy as that of an Olympic swimmer.

Now I understand. They’re watching the same cooking and eating shows I’m watching. And they’re seeing young “talents” (mostly male but not exclusively) behave on national television as though they were cows chewing their cud or hyenas ripping into a fresh kill. Somebody needs to bring some class and manners to these out-of-hand displays of bad dining habits. My son’s future social skills partially depend on it!

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