Short Stories From 10 Years Ago – December 4, 2004
My Christmas Dinner Party
Short Stories From 10 Years Ago – December 4, 2004 – If truth be known, I’m way past cocooning and well into becoming a hermit. A relatively nice one, but a hermit nonetheless. The one thing that saves me each year from receiving the curmudgeon of the year award is my annual Christmas dinner party.
My guests, and I use the term lightly here, are a questionable crew at best. A bright bunch – a competitive lot – a bunch of grumblers, cheaters and complainers. Why I went to all the trouble of making them The Inukshuk 12 is beyond me, and I may need to seek help from a professional to address this very question. However I adore them, each and every one, and with this thought in mind I went looking for an after dinner game for us to play.
I usually make up my annual Christmas quiz and force my pals to partake in this cunning test of intellectual prowess. This year I was going to forego the quiz in favour of charades, but we’ve played that many times in the past, with the usual moaning and grumbling.
I found a game on the Danforth called “Mad Gab” for ages 10 to adult. That certainly fits the bill. Most of us are stuck at about the age of 12, so we should enjoy it immensely. As I was driving home I remembered some of my past dinners and the hilarious laugher that has erupted around the dinner table.
One year I bought everyone hand shaped clappers and the entire dinner was awash with sheer lunacy. No one could get a word in edgewise. Any attempt to speak was met with a barrage of noise. Later inthe evening Joe made clap art by attaching clappers to a wine bottle, which I still have.
Another year I bought everyone huge round magnifying glasses which we all wore throughout the evening. Whenever you looked at another person, all you could see were their magnified eyes looking back at you. It was hilarious. Larry once brought rubber noses – elephants, lions, monkeys, huge eyelashes, rotten stick in teeth, duck bills, shark noses and slanted eye glasses. It was so much fun that I was in danger of experiencing another pee pants episode.
Inevitably people end up with napkin rings hanging from their ears and noses, long strings of Christmas beads wrapped around their necks or both. Nothing is sacred and no amount of cajoling by an embarrassed spouse will prevent anyone from behaving like an absolute idiot. Serviettes may end up wrapped around someone’s head or pinned in place around their neck with a seasonal broach.
The order of the day is good food, fun, laughter and behaving like a nincompoop. When I think of the people who attend my party and watch them having such a good time, it’s hard to believe that business owners, and professionals, a professor, an architect and a designer are among the careers represented. Given the right circumstances, the kid in all of us can come out to play. It’s a shame it doesn’t happen more often throughout the year.
For some unknown reason we get a little sombre when we grow up. Adults forget the magic and innocence of childhood and we start to take ourselves very seriously. We look outward for approval and lose touch with simply “being alive” . You can watch a child amuse himself for an hour with a pot and three spoons. He will bash the pot and bang the spoons and turn things upside down and back again. The spoons will be in and out of the pot and the pot handler will be giggling and laughing at every turn – not caring a bit what anyone thinks.
That’s what I love about watching my friends be nonsensical – for one evening every December we get to be downright silly. We should all do this more often