The late Mae West famously said "I generally avoid temptation unless I can't resist it." Today, unfortunately, Etiquetteer couldn't resist it, and paid the price. This morning Etiquetteer stopped by the library at a time when one of those special movie screenings for children was taking place (arranged, perhaps, for children to enjoy the library without actually having to pick up a book). Outside the screening room a table of little snacks had been set up: cups of snack mix, little trays and baskets of cookies, etc. Etiquetteer, from either peckishness or annoyance (though there is no excuse for Imperfect Propriety), casually helped himself to a large biscuit while passing the table.
With the first bite Etiquetteer sensed something wrong. Not that his Improper Grazing had been observed, but with the biscuit itself. Had some health faddist concocted it out of sawdust? Turning back to the table, Etiquetteer observed for the first time the box from whence the biscuits came. They were organic dog biscuits!
"Keep cool," Etiquetteer's beloved Ellen Maury Slayden once observed. "This is a test of breeding." And of course when one has something in one's mouth that shouldn't be there, one removes it as unobtrusively as possible. Without attracting attention, Etiquetteer silently made his way to the restroom, where the remains of the dog biscuit were disposed of without incident.
And what do we learn from this little incident?
- Don't help yourself unless invited to do so.
- Segregate refreshments by their consuming species.
- Even Etiquetteer can make mistakes.