Posted in eating, food

Timing Your Dining


Why do the unpleasant memories persist, while the fun ones evaporate almost immediately? Is it a Darwinian thing? Whatever the case, I still retain a memory of sitting at the dinner table at 8pm, a plate of something cold and congealed in front of me. Everyone else has gone on to do their evening activities, dinner having concluded at 6:30.

This may have been right out of the Dr. Spock playbook, the bible for all parents in those days. Read it as kid, and found that it made very compelling reading indeed. I had no idea that parents had a ‘how to’ manual on raising kids. There seemed to be a remedy for every given situation. No wonder parents knew what to do in every situation – there was a text book dedicated to it.

Enter a caption

But, back to the dinner table. Vividly, do I remember pushing around a viscous, gelatinous amorphous mass on the plate. Just as we do at the ‘All You Can Eat’ buffets, where patrons are warned not to leave any food on their plates, a great deal of ingenuity is required to minimize the leftover detritus. A crumpled napkin can disclose a great deal. The position of the cutlery on the plate can conceal, as well.

Why does everything good for me come out of the ground?


My strategy was inelegant, to say the least – I filled my mouth to its capacity, and made a beeline for the lavatory. Within, a deposit was be made to the First Bank of Septic Systems. This became my go-to method of undesired food disposal until, on one unfortunate day, I neglected to flush away some carrots. Punishment was swift and severe: 10 days in a minimum security prison, my bedroom, leaving only for meals, bathroom, and school.


I am a Sansei, with two teens, and a hamster. This blog is a repository for ideas and observations, expressed in cartoon form, by and large. A bit of a journal too. Feel free to follow me on INSTAGRAM @ WILTOONS, (the Twitter for people who like to go out) where I post a journal comic. Thanks for dropping by! The pic is of me and my boy Peter Noone of Herman's Hermits. (not really a fan but he wanted his pic with me) © Wilton Sugiyama and Wiltoons, 2009 to 2020. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Wilton Sugiyama and Wiltoons with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. So there.

5 thoughts on “Timing Your Dining

  1. I don’t think my parents ever read Dr. Spock, but I certainly remember having to “clean my plate”. One of the best things about moving out of home was getting to eat what I wanted, and never having to eat parsnips, ever, ever, again!

    1. Possibly my parents never read it either, since the book was my bedside reading! Brussel sprouts were my Waterloo. Thx for the comment Candice!

  2. My mother used to make stew, it was awful. If we didn’t eat it, she would make stew pie, she would put ketchup in it. We wouldn’t eat that either. Childhood torture. Thankfully I ate like a bird and supplemented my diet with chocolate and candy.

  3. Holy cow, Anne, that stew sounds dreadful! My mother made it, too, and it presented a special challenge for my sister and I. Mum was a FOB (fresh off the boat) fr England, had zero cooking skills. We were her guinea pigs. She culled a lot of recipes from Betty Crocker with middling to downright disastrous effects.

  4. Wow … this was awesome! Brought back so many memories. Unfortunately, not good ones.

    When Dad was out to sea, Mom used Dr. Spock on us Something along the lines of, “You can’t get down from the table until you finish your dinner!”, or it’s milder cousin, “You can get down, but you can’t have desert.”

    When Dad was home, Dr. Spock snuck out the back door quietly, hoping not to be noticed. Dad’s method of encouragement consisted of phrases that began, “If you don’t clean your plate right this second, I’m gonna take my belt off and …”

    Many a plate of “good for you” stuff was swallowed whole, without chewing. We may also have lost a plate or two and a couple of forks that way. I don’t know if the food was actually good for us or not, but NOT eating it was certainly bad for one’s health.

    Ah, memories!

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