I read the message wearily.
Dear Amanda - I have a complaint about your christmas planner.
You're assuming knowledge.
I needed detailed instructions about how to make sure you don't f*ck up a christmas dinner for immediate family (19-23 people depending on whether my sister and her family come) when you ONLY EXTENDED THE INVITATION BECAUSE YOU DIDN'T THINK ANYBODY WOULD COME.
If you could please address this in the future I am sure I won't be the only person who will benefit.
A Fan x
Here's my reply:
Righto A Fan,
Roll your sleeves up and grab a pen, because you might want to take notes....
This Christmas, you’ve decided to honour the multicultural nature of our great country.
As such, instead of the traditional Christmas fare, you and your entourage will be eating your way around the globe.
Each couple will bring a internationally inspired, tapas-style dish to share. In order for the appropriate amount of merriment to be reached, I suggest that you ask your guests to pair an alcoholic beverage with their international offering.
In addition to enlisting the help of your guests to cater dinner, I suggest this year you skip the traditional game of Christmas cricket and keep a different score. My patented Washing Up Cup™ game is guaranteed to make entertaining 23 of your nearest and dearest harmonious*.
How to play the Washing Up Cup:
The premise of the Washing Up Cup is simple. Points are accumulated and lost during the course of Christmas dinner. The player with the least points at the conclusion of the meal washes up everything. The glasses, the dishes, the cutlery, the crockery, the burnt-on bits from the roasting pan. everything.
There's a culinary portion of the competition:
1) five points for those who bring dishes which require little or no preparation in your kitchen.
2) offerings that can be cooked on the barbecue attract three points.
3) ensuring you have enough esky space to keep your dish cold until service (without needing precious fridge space), plus four points.
4) the person who brings frozen cocktail spring rolls loses five points.
5) forgot to mention that you've recently converted to a solely fruitatarian diet? That'll be minus seven points.
Then there's the behaviour section of the competition:
5) start any sentence with "I'm not a racist but..." and you'll lose ten points.
6) over indulge in the Christmas sherry and fall asleep in your dinner and you're minus four points.
7) publicly endorse Donald Trump's presidential candidacy? That's going to cost you seven right there.
8) left your manners at home? Forgetting to thank the chef and compliment the food is minus two points for each offence.
9) jokes about mosques, homosexuals or mental health? Go directly to jail, do not pass go, surrender four points.
10) airing old grievances about Christmas past will cost five per Scrooge-y grudge.
11) declaring that humans aren't supposed to be monogamous and advocating polyamory, relinquish six points.
Volunteering to host Christmas Dinner next year? + 50 POINTS
Notes for play:
- players over eighty years of age are exempt of rule six.
- rule eleven attracts double-demerits if you divorced your partner of twenty-five years in the same calendar year.
I hope this helps you out, A Fan. If all else fails, I suggest falling foul of rule six. Four points is a small price to pay for blissful drunken oblivion.
Wishing you a very Merry Christmas.
Your humble servant,
* results may vary, but play your cards right you won't be doing the dishes.
how do you keep Christmas harmonious?
what rules would you add to the Washing Up Cup?