Monday, 24 May 2010

Sing for your supper.

Sorry this post should have been posted last week. A little out of synch now!

As Hubby and our lofty guests discussed proportional representation, I for once, was more than happy to be stuck in the kitchen addressing my plump, gnocchi. There was nothing I could contribute to the conversation anyway as I didn’t really understand it with any authority and instead of explaining it to me nicely, Hubby had, before our guests arrived, called me a dullard and had instructed me to “Google it to find out”.
Funny old thing but I didn’t feel too confident after that to enter into an intellectual debate. Instead I fiddled around a little more in the kitchen, grated some parmesan and wiped the plates, so that as I entered the dining room carrying large plates with a just a few gnocchi, each plate decorated with little blobs of pesto oil, a la Masterchef, I felt rather proud of my efforts.
The conversation stopped momentarily whilst my guests politely oohed and ahed over their starter but in no time at all they resumed political dialogue as I feebly handed around olives and tore off hunks of rosemary focaccia. The chilled Prosecco slipped down my throat far too easily after which I found the main course a doddle. By the time pudding was served, I was quite content with being ignored. We had after all, in the eventual interests of politeness, abandoned politics in favour of the Royal Navy, a subject, having been married to one of its incumbents for 20 years, I felt I had some experience of but after an hour of swapping ‘dits’ more jack than Captain Ahab and the usage of more acronyms than a Government Agency text message, I’d lost the will to live when suddenly the spotlight was on me.
“This has been a wonderful dinner” said one, wiping his mouth enthusiastically with a napkin, “One of the best meals I’ve had in a long time.”
“And such a good idea to use paper napkins too, much more convenient than linen ones but I’m such a glutton for punishment, I insist on using the starched article” added his wife, giggling airily. Whether buoyed by Prosecco or too old to care I just replied,
“Consider yourself lucky it’s a John Lewis paper napkin and not Andrex’s finest loo roll. I only just made it to Waitrose in time after work”. Stupid cow.
I went back to the kitchen and returned with eight individual dessert glasses.
“Tiramisu!” squeal ed Stupid Cow, “How retro! Do you remember darling when he had an Italian dinner in Tuscany that year and I made that dazzling zabaglione? This is so much wiser Alice; foolproof in fact”. Her husband looked as though he couldn’t give a jot whether it was Zabaglione, Tiramisu or Bird’s Eye, Arctic Roll. He just wolfed it down greedily.
More wine bottles were opened as well as a couple of Beaumes de Venise. My earlier consumption of Prosecco had slowed down a pace as I’d been busy creating; looking at the empties littering the table it seemed as though I had a fair bit of catching up to do. I took a quick sip of the dessert wine, finished my pud, gathered the dishes, and then went out to the kitchen to retrieve the Cornish cheeses supplied by my boss. She has also supplied a skillet, the eight white pasta dishes, eight white dinner plates and eight white side plates.
“How on earth can I possibly have a formal dinner party when I don’t have matching Wedgewood?”, I’d groaned to her and like a fairy God-Mother she disappeared out the back of her cafe and returned within moments doubled over by the weight of said matching crockery. I’d kissed her.
Stupid Cow passed on the Mennallack Farmhouse cheddar.
“No thank you Alice, far too many calories already” she said, tapping her non-existent, size eight tummy, “besides when in Rome..”
“What do you mean by that?” asked her husband.
“Well it seems such a pity after all this Italian food to spoil the flavour. Whilst I value you nobly supporting local producers Alice, you can’t beat a creamy bit of Gorgonzola”.
“Actually you can”, said another of my guests, “With some soft cheese. Then stick it to a prune and wrap some parma ham around it”. Awkward silence. Then Hubby stuck some music on quickly. Always a bit of a muso, he seems to have every track anyone has ever heard of.
“Any requests folks?” They came in thick and fast and before I could make coffee, at least three people were disco dancing on the rug in front of my dining table. Putting the kettle on seemed pointless. Instead more wine was opened and the marsala that had been bought for the Tiramisu was secretly being poured into Stupid Cow’s glass. She thought nobody had seen her.
After a few numbers, it was obvious that no-one was going to go home quietly and that all efforts in formality or indeed ordering a taxi, had, thank God, gone by the wayside. I ran up the stairs to my son’s room.
“Get the Singstar thing going will you sweet. I don’t know how to do it and dare I say it, my guests are having fun, carousing”.
It took no time at all for a middle aged dinner party to degenerate into rowdy karaoke.
Hubby and his boss did a fine rendition of Sonny and Cher’s ‘I've got you babe’, another guest and his wife sang a mean rendition of Johnny Cash’s Ring of Fire, and when I say mean, it was bloody awful but, the piece de resistance came when Stupid Cow returned from the loo with her bra on the outside of her dress. We will all have an abiding memory of a sozzled Commander’s wife, living it large, believing she was Madonna and belting out, with the odd squint at the screen, Like a Virgin. Hubby had never been more relieved that for once it wasn’t me up there.


jinksy said...

Oh, how the mighty managed to fall, eh?! LOL

DL said...

Crikey, Alice! Things must have slipped in the year or two (...ahem...) since I left the Navy.

I promise that if (when?) we ever meet: elitist exclusive conversation will be OFF the agenda; we'd be delighted to either provide or be provided with paper napkins; and we'd happily mix food from all nations and herald it as a breakthrough in global detente.

It would be a chuckle if Stupid Cow happened across

All the best,
D. x

Dottie Designs said...

Very funny!

In my house John Lewis paper napkins ARE posh!

blunoz said...

Oh my gosh what a pretentious snob! I commend you for keeping your temper and finding humor in the situation.

rosneath said...

i thought women like that went out with the Ark - so glad I don't have to socialise with them! poor you!