viernes, 15 de octubre de 2010

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: How to be a good host. Entertaining at home.

Dear Editor,

I am a Gingerbread Man. As everyone knows, I come from a family which is used to risk-taking and facing dangerous situations. That’s why I read Eli Love’s article with great interest: How to be a Good Host. Entertaining at Home. My wife (the Cake Lady) and I had been planning on organizing a little party in our new home for a few of our friends. Encouraged by Eli’s advice and recommendations we decided to invite the Irish Gingerbread Men, my wife’s Cake Lady cousins, our neighbours the Chocolate Men, and our friends Sara Li and Ana K, who brought along their inseparable friend, Penis Boy.

In her article, Eli assures us that “the secret of success lies in knowing how to look after your guests, even at family gatherings”. So we followed her instructions closely, beginning with our welcome. As she suggested, we went out to greet our guests as they arrived, welcoming each of them individually with small talk at the door. This took some time. As a matter of fact we were at the door for nearly four hours, at which point my wife, who is made of strawberries and cream, began to freeze with the cold, so I had to put her in the oven.

So I was left to do the introductions by myself. Luckily, the guests had had time to get to know each other. In fact, some of the cousins’ bellies looked suspiciously swollen to me but I didn’t dare enquire about the reason for it. A good host should be aware of his guests’ mood. From the first moment I was conscious of a certain tension between the Gingerbread Men and the Chocolate Men. Old rivalries – getting the best spot on a shelf next to a Cake Lady or being sold before anyone else - had begun to emerge. I noticed a strange odour. Meanwhile, Sara Li and Ana K were having fun with their friend, Penis Boy. In fact, it looked like they were up to something but the important thing for me at that moment was to look after the rest of my guests. I would worry about the Siamese Twins later.

I checked my pocket for one of the notes my wife and I had written that morning with a list of conversation topics to deal with awkward silences, and with it put an end to the prevailing tension. I went over to a group of dark Chocolate Men with white chocolate shavings. I glanced at my notes and read:

· It´s getting cheaper to fire Chocolate Men
· Cake Ladies prefer the sweet aroma of Gingerbread Men.
·White Chocolate Councillor pays for the reform of his choco-house with public choco-money.

Nobody said anything but there was an acute rise in temperature and the Chocolate Men began to melt. So I took them to the fridge, opened the door and sat them in front of it.

As I left the kitchen some Gingerbread Men accosted me and demanded to know why I had invited the Chocolate Men. I realized the success of the party was in danger. But I wasn’t put off by that fear and reached into my pocket for another of the notes:

· Milk Chocolate Man with almonds has been elected president.
· 50% of biscuit factories have been shut down due to the crisis.
· West Chocolate Story is a hit again on Broadway.

Once again, I had made a mistake with my list. Fortunately, the Golosas Twins, drawn by the delicious smell of toasted butter wafting off my relatives, approached to offer us some of their delicacies: eyes in their own juices, pieces of hearts-in-love, crunchy babies’ hands, nuns’ poos, etc.

Things quietened down with the meal. Suddenly everything seemed to be going well. The Cake cousins seemed to be enjoying the company of Penis Boy. The fussed around him laughing and eating the dishes he offered them. The Chocolate Men had recovered and joined the Gingerbread Men who were eating straight from the hands of Sara Li and Ana K. It was then that I realized not everyone can be the perfect host; it requires certain qualities: innate qualities in the Golosas sisters, who charmed everyone with their social and culinary flair, who flooded the room with their joy and beauty, transforming the gathering into an unforgettable occasion.

The party was a success; everything had turned out just as Eli Love had forecast. All that remained was to say goodbye to the guests. Only then did I remember that I had put my wife in the oven. I ran to the kitchen realizing now what the strange smell was that permeated the house. I did all I could to save her but it was too late; the charred remains of my wife lay in the depths of the oven. I don’t know how long I cried over the waste of that beautiful body but when I got back to the living-room, everything had changed. No more laughter and dancing. Biscuit crumbs scattered on the carpet, chocolate dribbles splashed all over the walls and furniture, and with every step, I crushed what was left of the sugar flowers that had decorated the bodies of the beautiful Cake cousins.

Later I was told that in my absence, Penis Boy had tied up my wife’s cousins because they had become a nuisance and were claiming that he was the father of the children they had given birth to at the party. Meanwhile, the Siamese Twins had gone mad chasing after all the Chocolate Men and Gingerbread Men and gobbling them all up. Then, insatiable as ever, they devoured the cousins and their babies.
Eli Love was right; a host should never leave his guests alone. He should be the last one to leave his own party.


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