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Saturday, December 27, 2014

Enticing your guests to go

There are two weekly issues of The Dominion Post that I love the most.

One is Monday, when I turn to the Science page and read the latest by Bob Brockie.

The other is Saturday, when I turn to the "Weekender" and read the agony column featuring foodie Peta Mathias, "traveller, writer, cook, bon vivant"  (surely that should be "bonne vivant"?

This week she devoted her wisdom to a correspondent who wanted to know how to urge one's visitors on their way.

"This is the season for entertaining," he said, "but what are your tips to get rid of guests who all want to be the last to leave?"

I don't actually have that problem, my guests being sensitive and busy people with a big social calendar, but I read Peta's answer with interest.

"Whether it is breakfast, morning tea, lunch or an afternoon swim party," she said (swim party?  Good lord!) "there is a time and a purpose to everything under heaven.  Tips for Encouraging Guests to Go Home:

"The end of a party is like the end of a yoga session where everything slows down.

"Quietly stop serving things like tea and coffee.

"Quietly stop serving wine ...

"Slowly turn the music down.

"Lose consciousness at the table.  Put your head on it and slip into snoring if you can [without laughing]."

LOL.  On East Indiamen, where the most affluent passengers ate in the cuddy, hosted by the captain, the decanter went round two or more times after the ladies had retired ... and then, with a polite good afternoon, the captain replaced the stopper, and stood.

And everyone took the hint.

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