For our first Christmas as a couple, my future wife gave me this sign. She and her brother had it engraved. I found this incredibly funny. Let me explain.

On our third date, we dined at Ruby Tuesdays in a local mall (Sorry ladies, I'm taken.) I got a kick out of this sign, and spent a good portion of dinner harping on it. Surprisingly enough, there was a fourth date. More surprising "“ she remembered the wording exactly and got me one for Christmas.

Years later, the sign still adorns my office wall. But I never knew whether or not this law was actually on the books. So I did a little snooping. Let me draw your attention to Section .2600 of the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources code of conduct for food-service establishments:

"When customers are allowed to return to a self-service area, clean and sanitized tableware other than flatware, beverage cups and glasses, shall be made available for each return trip. Written notice shall be provided informing customers that clean tableware must be used for return trips."

So there you have it. Don't let me catch you using a soiled plate.