My kids were bug-eyed!
We were seated at a table. An array of goblets, glasses, and silverware sat at each place, as did an elaborate menu featuring
many courses and a program: first, a toast to the queen, then an invocation followed by a litany of speakers.
"This will be a boring dinner," I warned the kids. "Don't forget that you are representing the United States. Your behavior
must be impeccable."
They nodded, their faces filled with apprehension.
Finally we heard, "To her majesty the queen!"
Then the invocation: "Oh Lord, let us not be like porridge, slow and hard to stir. Let us be like corn flakes, quick and ready
From that moment on, the evening was the funniest I have ever experienced. Each speaker outdid the preceding one—brilliant,
dry British humor. Ever since, I have felt that our banquets are stiff and the speakers maudlin.
Robert M. Miller, DVM, is an author and a cartoonist, speaker, and Veterinary Medicine Practitioner Advisory Board member from Thousand Oaks, Calif. His thoughts in "Mind Over Miller" are drawn from 32 years as
a mixed-animal practitioner. Visit his Web site at