View Full Version : "Eat your dinner."

Kevin G
04-24-2015, 02:26 PM
"Don't forget the starving Armenians"

How often did YOU hear that?


04-24-2015, 02:27 PM

04-24-2015, 02:29 PM
Never. When I was growing up it was the starving kids in Korea. I could never figure out how eating my food helped them out.

04-24-2015, 02:49 PM
It was starving Biafrans and the Ethiopians in my 'day'.

04-24-2015, 02:55 PM
It was starving Biafrans and the Ethiopians in my 'day'.Mine too. There's always a handy victim to help recycle the same poor logic.

S.V. Airlie
04-24-2015, 03:20 PM
It was China when I was a kid.
At about 15 years of age, a friend of mine had a belly full of hearing his father refer to the starving Chinese at the dinner table.
He went to his closet and brought back an empty shoe box and dumped the scraps from his plate into it and told his father to please wrap it up and send it to the starving Chinese.
My friend said his father laughed so hard and long that he could not finish his dinner and never mentioned the starving Chinese again.It was Africa when I was a kid...still is but, looking at my waistline, I never had to comply with any request to finish my dinner when I usually did anyway.:)

04-24-2015, 03:44 PM
Yeah I heard that basic line. But only on the few nights Mom cooked stuff I didn't like. Mostly by dinner time I was hungry.



04-24-2015, 04:44 PM
Mary Chapin Carpenter addresses it well in her song "Stones in the Road":

We learned about the world around us at our desks and at dinnertime
Reminded of the starving children, we cleaned our plates with guilty minds
The starving children have been replaced by souls out on the street
We give a dollar when we pass, and hope our eyes don't meet

About sums it up.

04-24-2015, 04:48 PM
"Don't forget the starving Armenians"

How often did YOU hear that?


That's what my folks used to say occasionally before dinner. They were born '23 and '26, but it was more like "think of the starving Armenians" or "what are the starving Armenians having tonight?"

Us kids took it as black humor but also a sense of gratitude for a good meal. Grown ups say all kinds of odd things.

04-24-2015, 04:51 PM
I still finish all the food on my plate, at home and in restaurants. That includes when I go to a buffet as well. I can't stand to see food wasted.

Except the last time I went into a Burger King outlet a few years ago, I never ate the 'offering (food?) after taking the first bite. Uugh!

04-24-2015, 06:24 PM
It was starving Biafrans and the Ethiopians in my 'day'.

Same here, though all I remember is the poor Biafrans, which I couldn't locate on a map these days with a GPS in my hand.

Also, my father was no slouch, never missing the chance to remind us how bad it was during the depression, and especially how he dropped out of school to go to California to work in the groves back in the late 30's and early 40's.

Makes my days as a dishwasher at Perkins Pancake House seem positively luxurious!

04-24-2015, 06:35 PM
Biafra is a province of Nigeria IIRC.

04-24-2015, 08:18 PM
Africans in my house. But it wasn't implied that our eating was supposed to help them. They explained that we should be grateful for what we have, because so many had much less., and the starving Africans were a handy example. They applied the same tactic to our demands for new shoes, or new bikes or whatever.

You have shoes. Be grateful. There are those that don't.

There were lots of CARE and Peace Corps PSA's on TV during the 1960s and 1970's, so there was visual support.


Phillip Allen
04-24-2015, 08:37 PM
it was Africa for me...

Jim Bow
04-24-2015, 08:45 PM
I was an early 50s Catholic school kid. For us, it was very generic "Pagan Babies".

Steve McMahon
04-24-2015, 08:47 PM
My parents never used any threats or made reference to starving kids elsewhere. It was simply understood that you ate everything that was put on your plate, dessert was not served until everyone finished their main course, and no one left the table until the last person was finished eating. My wife was rather amused when I tried to negotiate this into the way we did things....

George Jung
04-24-2015, 08:51 PM
Amused? Yeah, that's it....

I'm thinking you're giving yourself the benefit of the doubt! :P

Phil Y
04-25-2015, 03:38 AM
Africa. My brother once retorted, so send it to them!

04-25-2015, 06:06 AM
I lived with my grandparents and it was Armenians for me. But they were activists and very 'left' after WW1, and I never knew who the Armenians were till I was much older.

04-27-2015, 09:01 AM
It was Chinese for me. I calmly suggested one night that they just put it in a box and send it to them. I ate outside for the next week.

Dave Wright
04-27-2015, 09:51 AM

04-27-2015, 02:25 PM
A young lady I once knew said, "You think your mother was a pain in the neck about starving Armenians at the dinner table...remember that my last name is "Mesrobian".