techniques hosts use to persuade their guests to eat prodigious quantities of food

guilt trip this ingenious technique relies on the physical qualities of the food that limit the portion size to enormous. this was first spotted with slices of tiramisu that would purportedly dematerialize if they were cut into standard-sized portions; appropriately, beast-size proportions were offered as an alternative. if you claim that it is ok if the slice falls apart and doesn't look nice on my plate, the brilliant response is usually waiting on on their lips: "its not that it wont look good, but it will lose its essential characteristics". remember, you are dealing with skilled artisans here - they may not be able to win their side of a rational argument about politics, but they can somehow manage to get you to eat significantly more than you wanted to. another way this technique is used, is on a cake, for example, that has a limited number of kiwi decorations around the periphery. as they are cutting, they cut you a huge slice proclaiming that each slice must have at least one of the kiwis.

  • "but i couldn't cut a smaller slice"
  • "i cannot cut this boned piece of chicken so you must take the whole thing"
  • "vegetables are just water"
kind request inebriation
shock and awe humor
respect/etiquette conspiracy
culture body language
history morality
lineage metaphysical
request for opinion competitiveness
compliments insult
bribe nagging
trade off connection
compromise peer pressure
physical char. imperative
temporal char. threat
need duress
preemptive strike forced feeding
trickery timing
chemical the future...

i have relatives that live in croatia, slovakia, hungary and israel and it is of utmost importance that their guests consume massive quantities of food. these hosts seem to feel personally insulted if you do not eat three, four or even five portions of the food that they are offering. initially i was critical of this forced-gluttony, but after reassessing the phenomena, i have become a connoisseur of their brilliant methodologies. my analysis of their techniques is intended to serve as the first step in the process of developing an effective counter-strategy.

although someone who eats large amounts of food on their own accord is the ultimate guest, those guests who succumb to these techniques generate a surprising level of joy for the host.

i have also not noticed a significant difference between the consumption of food that was prepared or purchased. one might think that a host would take more offense if food they slaved over was 'under-consumed'. it seems however, that the labor involved is not critical - all that matters is that massive quantities are ingested.