Purveyor of Bollocks to the Crowned Heads of Europe
Wednesday, 4 September 2013
The Home Entertainer
What to do if a friend suddenly dies when visiting your house? No, it's an illustration from a book I have just been lent entitled, 'The Home Entertainer', by Sid G Hedges. What a hoot he must have been. The idea is that the child's head is actually at the other end of the sheet, and he/she has put shoes over her hands. You ask a question, and then scream with surprise when the voice seems to come from her arse.
Another good game is called The Ancient Order of Jackdaws, in which one child sits in a chair and the rest of the children sit on the floor around them. The chairman asks the victim if they want to be initiated, and when the reply 'yes' is received, a rug is pulled from behind, causing the kid to fall flat on his/her face.
The adults are taught how to play golf with lemons and walking-sticks, with the warning that good golfers do not always excel in this game. It is called, 'Lemon Golf'.
The book is packed full of ideas about how to be the perfect host/hostess and the beginning has many recipes for parties, mainly made from left-overs and served up by the maid, who has been rehearsed in attending to guests by lighting cigarettes and filling glasses etc.
After food is over and done, you can move on to party games for adults, which includes the brilliant idea of asking your guests to dress as hikers, then building a fire in the middle of a room as everyone sits down to eat, chat and smoke as if they were in the great outdoors.
I was lent this tome by a 50 year-old friend whose father used to be the barman of Baths most famous and original wine bar which I used to frequent in the 1970s. He was the classic, taciturn barman who always listened whilst polishing glasses, but kept out of conversations unless he was spoken to, like a London club from the 1940s. A dapper solicitor used to go there as well, and now I am friends with his burly son, all these years later.
What fun they must have had back in the day. The closest thing we get to it now is to march in and throw our car keys into a bowl on the table. That balloon arrangement over the hostess's head may be a secret signal to the initiated, I suppose.