Polite — 5 Comments

  1. Usu­al­ly the last item is seen dis­ap­pear­ing onto the person’s plate who picks up the serv­ing dish and is seen scrap­ing the last item off while mut­ter­ing, “Nobody wants any of this, do they?…”; even in a fam­i­ly of native MN Scan­da­hoo­vians.

  2. Dr. Wingnut, how good of you to stop by. That sounds like a Gar­ri­son Keilor character’s move: “Oh I guess I can eat this last piece. If nobody else wants it. If I have to. Can’t let it go to waste…”

  3. That nev­er hap­pens where I work. The last piece of cake, last cook­ie, last donut will be cut in half, then cut in half again until all that remains is a tiny chunk. No on ever wants to take the last piece. But, now that I think of it… they prob­a­bly just don’t want to be respon­si­ble for throw­ing away the emp­ty con­tain­er or wash­ing the plate!

  4. Ehh, Susan, I’m not sure if I agree — yes, I hate to be the last per­son to drink lemon­ade in my house because that means I have to make some, but you usu­al­ly assume the per­son who pro­vid­ed will have to clean up as well.

    As for the long Min­nesotan good­bye, it’s only nat­ur­al for me to say a quick good­bye to every­one who I know at a par­ty because I know how dis­ap­point­ing it can be to real­ize that in all the com­mo­tion you nev­er got a chance to talk to so-and-so. Then again, my mom is some­how capa­ble of start­ing up a brand new con­ver­sa­tion (ah, extro­verts! They have it so easy at par­ties!), so I won­der… is the MN Good­bye a rel­ic of the days out on the prairies where you might not get out to town all the time so you want to make it last? If so, why is it preva­lent in the cities as well (unless there are enough (grand)children of farm­ers to make the urban­ites feel like they should too)?

  5. cursed last bite

    City Pages got wind of the Min­nesotan “won't take the last bite” meme, in the form of a Face­book group, Cursed Last Bites Of Min­neso­ta. Peo­ple are post­ing won­der­ful pho­tos there of the sad remains of food some­one brought to the office, to a par­ty, or to a fam­i­ly gath­er­ing.


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