I found this quiz in another old food magazine of my mother’s. This was when dinner parties were a big thing but now a lot of people have informal dinners which are more lax and more enjoyable. Anyhow, just imagine you’re some bourgeois invited to some millionaire’s house for dinner and take this quiz. See if you’re a perfect guest or not. And as you keep going, you’ll see that this is a fancy schmancy dinner you’re at. I mean, 40 freakin’ pieces of silverware? I don’t even have that many in my own kitchen! Anyway, get a piece of paper, a pen, and enjoy!
1. What’s your excuse when you arrive late?
a) As usual, my [partner] couldn’t get ready on time.
b) I was delayed because I made a killing on the stock market…I shot my broker.
c) The driver got lost.
2. You are faced with 40 pieces of silverware and a single plate in front of you: “Good grief! Which fork do I use?”
a) Wait, and watch which one the hosts use.
b) Pick up the piece that seems most practical for the occasion.
c) Use whichever flatware is on the outside of the silver display.
3. The classic incident: You find a fly in your soup. How do you react?
a) Quickly say: “I think I’ll take the red wine. It goes better with flies!”
b) Remove it gently and quietly.
c) Ask for another serving.
4. What do you say if the wine tastes like Chateau Pop-Top?
a) All in all, it has a surprising finish.
b) I am not an expertaholic, but this is a most uncommon wine with plenty of oak and a lot of promise.
c) After putting the cork up your nose and inhaling, you declare: “Destroy the vineyard and pour salt on the ground!”
5. What do you do if you drop a slice of meat on the carpet/floor?
b) Push it under the carpet/table.
c) Turn to your companion and say: “I knew I couldn’t take you anywhere.” making him/her the culprit.
6. What do you do or say when they serve you a dish that you just can’t face?
a) “Your hors d’oeuvres were so great that I really ate too much: perhaps I’ll wait until the next course.”
b) Try to eat a little and rearrange your plate using a lettuce leaf artfully.
c) Sneak the largest piece onto your dinner partner’s plate when he/she is not looking.
7. What is the best procedure for making a toast?
a) You research a book of humorous quotations and memorize a “spontaneous” toast saturated with aphorisms attributed to the Ancient Romans.
b) After coffee, you rise and say: “This dinner reminds me of a leopard – it was good in spots.”
c) You offer a short toast making a single point with a generous tone.
8. Horror of horrors, you drop and break a demitasse cup on the living room floor, how do you recover?
a) You mumble to the guest around you: “I had a day that would make even a Valium nervous…”
b) You act as if it didn’t happen and continue to report on the latest trendy restaurant where even the mashed potatoes needed a tenderizer.
c) You could try to help clean up the mess, apologize briefly and send the equivalent piece of china the next day together with a note and flowers.
9. Your companion is flirting with someone at the party. What do you do?
a) You make an obvious pass at your friend’s spouse.
b) To make your companion jealous, you play a few games.
c) Throw discretion to the wind and like Will Rogers, behave as if you have never met a woman/man you didn’t like.
10. When leaving a killingly chic party where the mousse of kiwi tasted like Pablum and your dinner party was suffering from bottle fatigue, you mumble:
a) “I will never forget this evening.
b) “Only you could have created a night like this.”
c) “Sorry, we have to leave so early but I have an early appointment tomorrow.
Score: (Check the scores with the answers you have.)
1. Zero on all. No matter what you shouldn’t be early/late for a dinner party.
2. a) 8, b) 3, c)10
3. a) 0, b) 10, c) 5
4. a) 10, b)6, c) 0
5. a) 8, b) 0, c) 5
6. a) 10, b) 6, c) 1
7. a) 3, b) 0, c) 10
8. a) 2, b) 0, c) 3 points for apology, 5 points for replacing the china.
9. a) 0, b) 5, c) 0
10. a) 9, b) 10, c) 2
60 points or above: You are the perfect guest. Well done!
40-60 points: You are an average guest.
Below 25: Don’t expect to be asked back.
Hope you had a good score!