How to Eat in Public

Eating in Public

Josh Bowman is spending the next couple of weeks offering tips on how to do basic activities (you’re welcome). Today: eating in public.

  1. Throw away your waste. If you have the option to recycle or compost…do it.
  2. Order of food to consume during a picnic: cheese, milk, soup, fruits, veggies, orange juice, bread, beer, trail mix, chips. I know you want to eat the chips first, but you are going to end up with a lot of sweaty cheese if you aren’t careful.
  3. Are you in a confined space? Does your food smell horrible? Will you die if you don’t eat it? Think about it. Please.
  4. A picnic on a beach might end up a picnic on a nude beach, and might result in a naked gay dance party in the water while a latin band plays “Tequila” over and over again. So…be prepared.
  5. Pizza is a good food to eat and walk. Sushi can work too. Soup…no.
  6. Find a bench and wolf that sub. Just be aware that the people on the other bench are quietly laughing about you going to town on that sub.
  7. People think you’re weird if you eat during business meetings. Even if the meetings are during lunch. Even if there is food available. Personally, I don’t care. I like free food, and when I’m hungry, I eat. But I understand that it’s frowned upon.
  8. Don’t talk with your mouth full. Don’t sneeze with your mouth full.
  9. Keep your conversation to a respectable level. If you are worried about being heard over the sound of forks clinking against plates, just try articulating your consonants. You might not have to yell.
  10. Enjoy your food. Nobody likes a sad eater.

—Photo GeirB/Flickr

About Josh Bowman

Josh Bowman is a professional fundraiser, story-teller, comedian, and blogger. He has worked and consulted in Vancouver, New York, and now Toronto for almost a decade. Josh improvises around Toronto, including regular shows with Opening Night Theatre, and also blogs for the Huffington Post. You can email Josh here.. If you want to know more about Josh, check this post and this post out first.


  1. These posts remind me of a series of rules that the city of Gatineau QC put out last year for Immigrants new to Canada. They named it the “Statement of Values” which subsequently provided Immigrants with a way to “…understand how to interact in the society in which you have just joined…” It offers up 16 points ranging from how mot to use stinky spices when cooking to how not to bribe government officials. On the whole, it wasn’t received well.

    I wonder if you’re posts will be taken as satirical or inflammatory? For the record, I appreciate what you’re doing here. The sad thing is that there is a percentage of people reading these that have to be reminded of those rules of which we often take for granted.

    Now if you’ll excuse me….I need to take my soup for a walk.

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