Saturday, September 19, 2009

My first "Dining Out"

Philip and I will be celebrating our fifth anniversary next weekend. Since we will be traveling to Orlando, there isn't really a good time to go on a date, so we decided to do something a little bit early and different this time.

There is a "Gathering of the Falcons Dining Out" at the Officers Club on base tonight.
Wikipedia says: Dining Out is one of the many traditions held by the military today. The history dates back to when Roman soldiers would hold dinners in honor of an individual. Later, British naval officers held a "guest night" to relax with other military personal and honored guests. The Air Force Dining Out began in the 1930s and began to be more formalized. Dining Out includes spouses and guests of military officers. The purpose is to enjoy an evening of taking a break from the daily activities and enjoy the company. Military personnel wear their uniforms and follow other procedures. The night is formalized with calling the mess to order, adjourning the mess and a formal meal. The president who organizes the event presides over the mess. There is also usually a guest speaker.

When Philip told me about it I thought it would be fun because 1) It might be the only formal military function we ever have the chance to attend, and 2) Because we get to dress up (and Philip will be wearing his "Mess Dress", the most formal of his five uniforms!)

Here's the interesting part:

The following is a list of rules under which the mess will be conducted.
They are designed to conform to tradition and promote levity. Violators
of these rules are subject to the wrath and mischievousness of Mister
and Madam Vice. All assigned penalties will be carried out before the

1. Thou shalt enter thy facility through the appointed entry and follow
entry procedures.

2. Thou shalt arrive at least 10 minutes before the appointed hour for
the "Call to Order."

3. Thou shalt not sit before the dinner bells are rung.

4. Thou shalt not place any drink on the banquet table before dinner
bells are rung.

5. Thou shalt make every effort to meet all guests.

6. Thou shalt move to the mess when thee hears the call of order and
remain standing until seated by the President.

7. Thou shalt not leave the mess whilst convened. Military protocol
overrides all calls of nature.

8. Thou shalt participate in all toasts unless thyself or they group is
honored with a toast.

9. Thou shalt ensure that thy glass is always charged when toasting.

10. Thou shalt keep toasts and comments within the limits of good taste
and mutual respect. Degrading or insulting remarks will be frowned upon
by the membership. However, good natured needling is ENCOURAGED.

11. Thou shalt not murder the Queen's English.

12. Thou shalt not open the hangar doors (No shop talk). (I think this will be the hardest part for Philip!)

13. Thou shalt consume thy meal in a manner becoming a gentleperson.

14. Thou shalt fall into disrepute with thy peers if thy uniform is not
properly worn.

15. Thou shalt not laugh at ridiculously funny comments unless the
President first shows approval by laughing. (I'm doomed!) =)

16. Thou shalt express thy approval by tapping thy spoon on the table.
Clapping of thy hands will not be tolerated.

17. Thou shalt not question the decisions of the President (No haggling
or quibbling).

18. Thy bar will be closed during dinner.

19. When the mess adjourns, thou shall rise and wait for the President
and guests to leave.

20. Thou shalt enjoy thyself to thy fullest.
* If any of these rules are broken, the offending party will have to drink the "grog

1 comment:

Flakymn said...

I can't wait to hear how this goes.

I asked JB why they had all the rules and he said he thought some of it was to prevent people from just sitting with their buddies and talking the way they always do about the same old stuff and people not mingling and stuff. When he told me that I thought the rules were a little more interesting instead of pointless!

I can't wait to hear (and see) about your night.