May 2008

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« Urge to Simplify | Main | Halfothesis »


Sam Perry

ideas for gifts and hosting implements can be found serviceing the party
cooking....and entertainment...


Shoe pile, hmmmph! Here we have mukluks (only 2 feet of snow so far) mounded up, oozing slush and salt onto the carpets and inside others' boots, creating a sue-me-now puddle guaranteed to soak everyone's socks and topple at least one drunken guest. Nothing like a booze-soaked partygoer with sodden salty socks and a bruised bum!

I long for a simple shoe pile.

Matt Douglas

Hey Scott,

We might be able to help with holiday party planning for the male species. We can't ensure the office bozo won't show up, but at least you can make your guests help out by asking them to bring some of the food.


Simple Solution Scott. Don't make others bring gifts (or if they do insist, don't return them any. They would stop insisting). And yes, don't provide them with any food. Only thing you have there is party with tag line "Shake your bum and move it out." :D
By the way, will i ever be able to bring out a post so funny out of almost nothing? :)

Paul C

Hmmm. Invading Normandy.

Involved co-ordinating a million or so men, from three different military services (four if you count the Marines) and seven or eight different nationalities. On top of the usual infighting between sailors, soldiers and airmen whose commanding officers can barely stand being in the same room as each other, you have the linguistic difficulties caused by Poles, Czechs, Free French, French-Canadians, and the most difficult language problem of all: two different sorts of English being spoken by Brits and Yanks.

(Consider this: the date 6/6/44 reads the same to an Englishman and an American. It can only be the 6th June, right? Had it been any other way, my theory is that the whole invasion would have collapsed: had it read 6/5/44, the British would have gone in on the 6th May while the Americans would have still been in Hampshire, waiting for an invasion scheduled for the 5th June... similarly, if D-Day had been set for 6/7/44, the Americans would have landed in France on the 7th June, while we'd have been sitting in barracks in England thinking "no hurry, it's not due till the 6th July". So the only option open to Eisenhower was a consensus date that nobody could muck up...)

And THEN we had to deal with the bloody French when we got there. The Germans had it easier: they only had to worry asbout an army composed of one nationality (German)and their dealings with the French were fairly simple: if they complain, wallop the sods and tell them to learn German, it'll save you time in the long run.

Set against this, a party or social function with Herself and her family. Did I mention she's from a big sprawling Irish family that preserves memories (for instance) of what the Lynch side of the family did to the Duffy side of the family sometime around 1850? Long memories and low forgiveness make it an interesting family to be around, especially since at any given moment any two sisters out of four will not be speaking to each other and Herself will be prevailed upon by both factions to pick a side and join in... (a good time to open a bottle with her father and brothers, I find)


...three times more than people will eat...

Unless yer from Texas...five times too much, after first defining how much is too much, then send them all home with vast quantities.

Captn Rob

I vote invading Normandy.

Especially modern day Normandy. I know my wife is 10 times as tough as the French and possibly not as forgiving.


This is the best Blog post ever!

I'm totally going to go out and find four freinds and beat them until they subscribe. Your genius is far too good to be kept to myself!

Also, for some inexplicable reason, I have an urge to buy things from your sponsors? It just feels so right!


So if I went to a party at your place you would give me a present just for leaving? Where’s my invitation?


Great post.

I'm female, and I have to say that there's something to be said for the old South African way of things, which is very similar to the Aussie style - light the barbecue (we call it a braai), and have a bring 'n braai. Everyone brings their own meat/main course, and you dole out the task of bringing salads and whatnot amongst the guests (you might end up making one or two yourself, but that's around 30 mins of your day, tops). That way, all you really have to do is have a big trash can for paper plates and beer cans.

The other South African option for a party involves the following: get off your arses and go OUT and meet your friends someplace you can all agree on. Saves a whole lot of hassle.

The big "fancy" parties like the one you describe are generally not worth it - total yawners.

Yay for SA's and Aussies, who seem to be the only nations who get it right, judging by the comments.


correct me if I'm wrong but you own a restaurant w/a banquet room you are constantly trying to fill and for which you hired an event planner/coordinator - I'm sorry, what's the problem again?


Nice post. The food problem is universal I think.
I remember an episode of Curb your enthusiasm where instead of giving excuses and not attending the party, you turn up the next day and ask the host, "So, where's everybody?"

Stacy Pratt

Just read today's Dilbert--Scapegoat--freaking hilarious!


heh, good old fashioned east coast kitchen party, every one brings lots of beer, set a bonfire in the backyard and cook hotdogs, burgers and marshmellows till the fire department puts out the bonfire...


Summation of today's blog post: Marriage is an institution invented by females solely for their sex's benefit, only excepting when their intial and potential net worth exceeds that of the proposed groom.

Corollary: He who marries for money ends up earning it.


OK Scott, whats with my double posts?
Huh, Well?

v kap

still no controversial post?

Chris H

I know you like pedants; if you solve a problem using the word 'rummage' it is the solution that is efficient not the problem.

Paul Dove

Mark suggested "a pot luck party". These are my wife's favourites, but she always makes enough food for an army so when people arrive there's nowhere to put the food they brought. And then someone always arrives really late, after everyone has eaten their fill, with an enourmous bowl of something that no-one touches.

Then there are the people who arrive with ingredients, instead of a prepared dish, and try to cook in a kitchen full of half drunk guests.

Our partys usually end with me pleading with people to take back their food, but they escape saying "no, you keep it" as they leave. My wife also doesn't like anything to be wasted, so it all goes in the fridge for days until I sneak it out bit by bit and throw it away.

Michael Jones

Damn, you're funny - even with a fairly mundane subject. If you have to work at being this funny, then 'thank you' for working so hard for my entertainment. If it comes naturally, then please consider yourself lucky to have such talent (and again, "thanks" for sharing the fruit of that talent with me).


Invitations, food, booze, and decorations is all the party planning I did for a party last August and it was a splendid party, and with the use of subtle hints, you can get the guests to bring some of the food and booze.

Gifts for the guests though? Isn't it enough that I'm hosting the affair, providing some food, and booze? My gift to them is letting them trash my home instead of their own.


1. Invite less people.
2. Who needs that many people at a party (unless your
networking or planning to impress someone).
3. Always get a lady to arrange (A whole new level is an

Ron Hardin

The urge to invite people over usually indicates a displaced problem. Women solve problems by adding complexity, where guys simply make a choice.

If there's a woman around, you get a dinner party and the guy doesn't get any choices.


The South Africans I find have the best system for parties. Called bring and braai or Bring and BBQ if your from anywhere else beside SA. All guest must bring there own food, all meat gets cooked by the male host he is also responsible for entertainment. Every thing then gets banged down on a communal table. This ensures that you move your ass so you don't loss out on the dish you brought (nothing worse than seeing that snotty cousin who you can't handle disappearing with your steak). As like the Aussies and Kiwis, communal bear bin, topped up by the host.
Personally I think gift giving is a huge waste of time, what the hell must I do with six boxes of chocolate and a year’s supply of bath stuff which smells like lemons


Good set of posts people. And I didn't even read them all, being at work and all (you're not supposed to start a sentence with "And" I think, but I don't know why not, I suppose I could ask Rita "ended that sentence with a preposition"!? Mae).

"Essentially, you’re throwing your money away, because no one ever gets anything besides throw-away gag gifts." This is "Secret Santa" people. When else can you buy a large vibrating corncob for the boss's secretary and have her (force a) smile over it?

"Booze is boring" Don't get me started on this one. Booze makes women more attractive, it doesn't matter if you drink it or they drink it (then they find you more attractive, and what is more attractive in a woman than that she finds you attractive?). An exception is if you are the designated driver. In which case booze is not as entertaining as people think.

Female electrical engineer. Yes, I am a male engineer and while female engineers are no less attractive than other women, they do think differently. I was talking to a woman engineer who had been unlucky enough to have her house broken into. She didn't own a televison set, preferring to visit with friends to watch TV - she had some satisfaction thinking of the puzzlement of the thieves looking for her TV. But the main problem she had was that she didn't realise that her vacuum cleaner had been stolen until almost a month later, when her parents were due to visit. Made it hard to claim on the insurance. "You think I vacuum every month don't you?" she said to me as I sympathised.

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