The last time you went to a party, you:
a) swiveled through the door doffing a cowboy hat owned by Bela Lugosi’s cousin’s housekeeper. You were a boffo smash!
b) strolled through the door of the party—started to feel light-headed—and kept going straight out of the back door where you flung yourself over the hedge. You’ll come back for your car tomorrow.
c) walked through the door, threw your arms wide, and said, “DARLING!” to the hostess, but it turned out you were in the wrong house. You really frightened that lady.
d) danced through the door and yelped at the sight of the clown blowing up balloon animals. You are terrified of balloon animals.
Your idea of a great night out is:
a) a whirlwind evening at Ciro’s! You want to drink fizzy beverages out of an expensive shoe, by golly!
b) two bowls of your favorite takeaway Vietnamese pho (soup). Extra fish sauce. Keep it coming! Don’t you look at me crossways, buddy!
c) that one time when you went to that party. Not the part where you frightened the lady who lived next door, the part after that, where you ate cake. Caaaaake!
d) Out? At night? Are you wild, man? There are balloon animals floating around out there!
Your ideal party would include:
a) Walter Winchell! Everyone talking fast like a 1940s movie star! Boffo! Gonzo! Kid! Dame!
b) a self-serve pho bar with a fish sauce fountain and an accordion band. Phun with pho!
c) clearly marked directions. Maybe a sign on the front door. People need to be able to find the right house the first time without any trouble with police or whatever involving a stolen cake.
d) a rally to ban balloon-based life forms. Trifle for dessert with extra cream. During the day. We’re not Visigoths around here.
What is the one rule you follow when planning a gathering?
a) What Would Walter Winchell Do?
b) One liter of pho per person is the most accurate ratio.
c) I base all of my socializing on Google Maps, so . . . .
d) It’s best to start with canapés and crudités. It gets people talking. About banning balloon animals.
HOW TO TALLY YOUR RESULTS:
Give yourself -3 points for each A answer, -2 points for each B answer, -1 points for each C answer, and a scrap of used tinfoil for each D answer. Add that number to eleventy-teen. Think about cocktail napkins with clever sayings on them for two minutes. Please compare your pleasant thoughts to the answer key below.
IF YOU HAD MOSTLY A’s— You are a 1940s movie star, or you aspire to being a 1940s movie star. Or you read a lot of old Walter Winchell columns. In this century, we do not drink beverages out of shoes. We drink out of nice, clean drinking glasses. It’s a novel idea, I know.
IF YOU HAD MOSTLY B’s— You are sitting in a pho restaurant in the corner booth. A man approaches you and says that he can help you cross the border and see your children again if you help plant an idea in a person’s head through their dreams, but actually you may be dreaming, so you make plans to go to Mumbai to eat more pho. You’ve also watched Inception one too many times.
IF YOU HAD MOSTLY C’s— You can team up with the balloon animal person— who seems to have a grasp on simple street directions. Most people like food at parties. Try thinking about that for awhile. Use your experience with eating cake that one time as a springboard for fresh ideas. Like donuts for instance. Look, let me give you directions to the nearest bakery.
IF YOU HAD MOSTLY D’s— The next meeting for the banning of balloon animals and all other balloon-representative life forms will be held at Frank’s house. Bring the trifle. I’m going to do a big plate of canapés— I just learned a new thing involving fish sauce and puff pastry. Everyone else is bringing either a main or a side dish. I may bring a friend who has problems with directions. That’s cool with you, right?