[Christopher Milne explained how his father tactfully corrected his table manners.]
Once, when I was quite little, he came up to the nursery while I was having my lunch. And while he was talking I paused between mouthfuls, resting my hands on the table, knife and fork pointing upwards. “You oughtn’t really to sit like that,” he said, gently.
“Why not?” I asked, surprised.
“Well . . . ,” he hunted around for a reason he could give. Because it’s considered bad manners? Because you mustn’t? Because . . . “Well,” he said, looking in the direction that my fork was pointing, “suppose some boy suddenly fell through the ceiling. They might land on your fork and that would be very painful.”
“I see,” I said, though I didn’t really.