You Don't Say, Global Province Letter, 2 January 2013

Welcoming the New Year. There is always some question as to how to begin the New Year. Should one be out in Times Square, waiting for the ball to fall, as if it were a miraculous meteor? Somehow it would not delight the heart because Guy Lombardo and his Royal Canadians are not around to fill us with Auld Lang Syne or, better yet, Boo Hoo.

Better yet, a formal stylish dinner could be just the thing to deny all the strife and meanness that is roaming through so many streets of the world. Ward McAllister, who so long ago penned "Success in Entertaining," could help you get every detail right and help you invoke a world that does not exist:

"We may live without love,—what is passion but pining?
But where is the man who can live without dining?" —


The first object to be aimed at is to make your dinners so charming and agreeable that invitations to them are eagerly sought for, and to let all feel that it is a great privilege to dine at your house, where they are sure they will meet only those whom they wish to meet. You cannot instruct people by a book how to entertain, though Aristotle is said to have applied his talents to a compilation of a code of laws for the table. Success in entertaining is accomplished by magnetism and tact, which combined constitute social genius. It is the ladder to social success. If successfully done, it naturally creates jealousy. I have known a family who for years outdid every one in giving exquisite dinners—(this was when this city was a small community)—driven to Europe and passing the rest of their days there on finding a neighbor outdoing them. I myself once lost a charming friend by giving a better soup than he did. His wife rushed home from my house, and in despair, throwing up her hands to her husband, exclaimed, "Oh! what a soup!"

Pun Pouring. But if you are given to wit more than to wine, consider an evening filled with punder clapping. There is nothing more pitch perfect than a ball of meaning that soars through the air. One of our Asian correspondents sent in a ponderous pouch of groaners that we cite below to get your party off the ground:

When chemists die, they barium.

Jokes about German sausage are the wurst.

I know a guy who's addicted to brake fluid. But, he says he can stop any time.

How does Moses make his tea? Hebrews it.

I stayed up all night to see where the sun went. Then it dawned on me.

This girl said she recognized me from the vegetarian club, but I'd never met herbivore.

I'm reading a book about anti-gravity. I just can't put it down.

I did a theatrical performance about puns. It was a play on words.

They told me I had type-A blood, but it was a Type-O.

Why were the Indians here first? They had reservations.

We're going on a class trip to the Coca-Cola factory. I hope there's no pop quiz.

I didn't like my beard at first. Then it grew on me.

Did you hear about the cross-eyed teacher who lost her job because she couldn't control her pupils?

When you get a bladder infection, urine trouble.

Broken pencils are pointless.

I tried to catch some fog, but I mist.

What do you call a dinosaur with an extensive vocabulary? A thesaurus.

England has no kidney bank, but it does have a Liverpool.

I used to be a banker, but then I lost interest.

I dropped out of communism class because of lousy Marx.

All the toilets in New York 's police stations have been stolen. The police have nothing to go on.
I got a job at a bakery because I kneaded dough.

Haunted French pancakes give me the crepes.

Velcro - what a rip off!

A cartoonist was found dead in his home. Details are sketchy.

Venison for dinner again? Oh deer!

P.S. If puns delight you, and should they be the best way to lighten your evenings, then we suggest you subscribe to Nigel Rees's Quote….Unquote which brings its readers countless twists in meanings. He has been known to serve quite a punpourri.

P.P.S. But if you do a dinner for New Year instead and intend to serve a backstrap of venison, make sure you arrange to have the deer butchered correctly, or it will be tough going. New Years is an ordeal for many, and the trick is to find a menu of whatever sort that makes the Eve and the Day following unction for the heart rather than a trial for the head.

P.P.P.S. As we celebrate, our Congressmen perpetuate the political stalemate that has put a crimp in the affairs of our country and our world. The politics have become grim. It is time for a wholly different party in Washington, D.C. All can now agree that the fun has gone out of the game, and that we are represented by a cheerless gaggle of men.

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