A skinflint never gave his family anything to eat except plain rice. However, a wooden fish was hung over the dining table. Each time they had taken a mouthful of rice, the children were ordered to look at the fish and imagine that they had taken a bite of it. To maintain the illusion and show appreciation of the food, they were to make an audible chewing noise.
One day, the youngest child, aged four, absent-mindedly made a whole string of sucking and swallowing noises.
The miser blew his top.
“What!” he exclaimed.
“Didn’t I tell you that just one bite of the fish is enough? Don’t you realize how expensive meat and fish are these days?”