Ever since Blauman stole the accidental curly from my order of fries, the need for someone to codify proper appetizer etiquette has been eating away at me, pun fully intended.
The problem is this: because of science, men are biologically programmed to consume everything put in front of them. Unlike their female counterparts, guys don’t get the chance to learn sharing at “tea parties” or “sweet sixteens” or “make-out sleepover parties.” As a result, upwards of fifteen adult women can peaceably share a small salad and talk about purses, periods and penis length while two dudes can’t even make it through the first quarter of an NBA game without starting a fistfight over a basket of fried pickles.
Since we live in a world that’s unlikely to stop offering buckets of beer and thirty oysters at frighteningly affordable rates, we need to institute a civilized system that ensures “happy hour” doesn’t always become “sort of happy hour.”
Here now for the first time are Barney Stinson’s Rules for Appetizers.
1) Never call them “Irish Nachos” – that’s offensive. Our forefathers didn’t break their AMERICAN backs to have their delicious, potato-based, cheese, bacon and scallion concoction stolen by the Irish. They can keep their soda bread and Guinness, but that’s it. Also, Happy St. Patrick’s day!
2) Don’t go straight for the tater skin loaded with the most sour cream. Dance the dance a little. Sometimes the mystery of who gets it is actually more delicious than the actual potato skin… that’s especially true the longer you wait.
3) Do not bring up your “bacon allergy” when I’m ordering, Ted. I want bacon and also, that’s not a thing. Your mom told me she made that up. You know, pillow talk…
1) If – after silently agreeing upon a specific allotment of nachos for each Bro – there’s one nacho left and nobody’s claimed it for a period of six minutes, it’s up for grabs. (Rule also applies to pizza, potato skins, mozzarella sticks and all other appetizers.)
2) We’re not getting “vegetarian nachos.”
3) We’re not getting “jalapenos on the side.” Commit or opt out of the plate.
4) At no point is acceptable for a Bro to simply pluck the one chip that’s got everything on it. Obviously the prep chef didn’t take the time to evenly space out the chips before plopping on the good stuff so now there’s one chip loaded up with all the riches – it’s the 1% of nachos. And you know how it got there? By pulling itself up by its chip-straps and earning those toppings. And now you want to just scoop it all off and distribute evenly among some stupid, lazy chips? If anything, the other nachos should strive to be that chip instead of belly-aching to Congress about “inequality” and “consumer rights” and “SUPER PACs that ensure you can still buy an election fair and square.” Maybe if – instead of all that whining – those chips would put their head down and put in an honest day’s work exchanging insider trade secrets, inheriting a fortune, buying companies and running them into the ground for profit, or devising some other clever way to take advantage of poor chips they’d wind up with a little more shredded beef on their face. Just saying.
1) The Bro who will most likely be picking up the tab gets first crack at all drumsticks. If the check will be split, everyone will be relegated to an equal amount of drumsticks. If you have a Bro who prefers wings to drumsticks, keep an eye on him because let’s face it – those things are weird and sometimes have tendons and they’re gross. Not sure why we haven’t invented a chicken that’s all legs and no wings. Let’s get on that, science.
2) Don’t eat all the celery up front. Celery acts as a “cooler” and when everyone finishes wings and are then looking to cool down with some celery and blue cheese, you’ll look like a real jerk if you’ve already eaten them all.
a. Sub section: If you’re on the Paleo diet just order your own celery, and maybe just sit at another table or something because nobody likes you.
3) Ranch vs. Blue Cheese is the Middle East crisis of the starters menu. It’s best to simply order both and let them have their own space on the table.
1) If Bros are sharing a pizza and it's that stupid kind that has a bunch of tiny square pieces instead of awesome triangle pieces, a Bro is entitled to as many middle pieces as he’d like, but only allowed a second "crust piece" once everyone has taken a minimum of one "crust piece."
2) If – in the process of removing a slice - a neighboring slice annexes a blanket of cheese and/or toppings, a Bro has three seconds to reclaim his losses or else they become legal property of the annexing slice.
3) If a Bro wants to put pineapple or other fruit on the pizza simply tell Ted to get his own pie. And sit at another table because that fruit pizza’s gonna take up an awful lot of real estate.
1) A strict “one ring per Bro” policy should be followed since onion rings should never be shared. When you try to split one it always turns into that spaghetti scene from “Lady and the Tramp”… or so I’ve heard. I’ve certainly never seen that movie, or been reduced to tears every time at the end because Tramp is forced to give up banging random chick dogs because he knocked up Lady. It’s like, “Get yourself fixed, Tramp! Problem solved!” Stupid dog.
2) If you’re not playing with your onion rings by fashioning fried eyeglasses, entrapping condiment bottles in a prison of oscillating rings a la the start of Superman, or making raunchy suggestions in which the onion rings are parts of the female anatomy, then maybe you just don’t “get” onion rings.
1) Nobody eats a mozzy stick until all Bros agree they have sufficiently cooled down. Those things come out of the kitchen like breaded chunks of lava and I will not be penalized because I’m not interested in burning the top of my mouth. I don’t care how “burn-intolerant” Marshall’s app-hole is, it’s just not fair.
2) NO MARINARA SAUCE. We’ve got suits to think about, fellas.
3) Ted can eat all the decorative lettuce he wants from under the sticks. Hey Ted, why don’t you put it on your pizza with the pineapple. Haha, INTOLERANT BURN!
1) See: “Nachos” and “Pizza.”
1) The Sampler Platter is fool’s gold. We order it thinking we’ll eat like kings only to discover there’s like two tater skins, half a ‘dilla, three mozzy sticks and, if you’re lucky, a thimble of sour cream. It’s a joke. That’s why you always ask the server how many items come per order. There's nothing worse than hurt feelings when the plate arrives.
1) One of the brassica vegetables, kale is known to contain chemicals that fight the development of cancer cells, aid in the management of cholesterol, and catalyze fat digestion. And now they’re in chip form, so they’ll be just as delicious as a bowl full of salt and vinegar potato chips! Let’s do this, people!