Why are we so bothered by the last slice?
We meet together over food. We are happy to help ourselves to the offerings on a full plate or platter. We are talking and drinking and eating and laughing. Ha ha. He he. Life is a long golden summer and we are living the dream.
Then all of a sudden. The last slice looms. Clouds gather, there’s a chill in the air and we look to middle field, pensive, anxious.
According to Yvette, this change in season at the advent of The Last Slice doesn’t happen in Germany. Someone cheerfully takes it. There are no reproaches, no judgements and no remorse. No one is flicking through the mental notes of etiquette and good upbringing, seeking the Right Thing to Do in This Situation. The person wants to eat the last slice. And they do.
I remember when I was little, there was a rule. It seemed to come about when we were invited to other children’s birthday parties.
The Last Slice Rule. If there is one lonely piece of deliciousness left on a plate and even if you really really want it and your life will not be complete without it and you might starve even and it is your absolute favourite chocolate caramel slice, you must ask everyone whether they would like it. If everyone else refuses, then you may take it. Surely everyone understood the unspoken desire that if you were offering The Last Slice, then you actually wanted it yourself. So surely if someone else took The Last Slice that just wasn’t cricket. But sometimes people didn’t know about the unspoken desire or cricket. Or perhaps they were German.
According to a study, and here, I confess, I don’t know which study, who carried it out, when, and why they are American, but I’m including it anyway because the internet said it and therefore…gospel…truth…base my life upon it…” 6 MILLION AMERICAN MEN aged 35-54 have eaten the last slice of pie and denied it”. The upper case emphasis is the internet’s.
Clearly the whole Last Slice dilemma is a thing. Pizza Hut have addressed it. And it’s on the internet. Ergo….
Which reminds me of the time I was doing my PhD in Medieval French Literature and saw a flowchart based on the Medieval authorities’ legal proscriptions about sex to help the pious man figure out when it was acceptable to have legal intercourse. Crowbar?
I’m not sure it’s the same thing at all.
Or is it?
Is our Anglo-Saxon concern with taking the last slice and therefore, being gluttonous, in the same category as our prudish treatment of sex, desire, lust?
Does the taking of The Last Slice represent our fear of embracing life, saying what we want, taking it and enjoying it immensely without fear of what other people think?