Dear God, it?s another Saturday night ruined. Another dinner party fiasco to be filed away in the part of your brain that deals with other disasters-like bankruptcy and burglary. Isn?t it odd how people metamorphose from amusing,charming guests into scary, unrecognisable hosts?

 

Oh yes, in your home they laughed, joked, flirted  and knocked back the cocktails with abandon. So how come now you?re at their dinner table you feel as comfortable as a sniper crossing a minefield? Obviously, the stress involved gets too much for some hosts, and many a relationship has unravelled in the time it takes to roast a chicken.Then there?s the who-eats-what dilemma. There?s always some bloody vegan, allergy-prone, fish-hating attention seeker who has to be pandered to first, by which time the rest of us have the pleasure of chowing through a barely tepid main course.

 

I especially resent the hosts who think that one bottle of wine is sufficient for four people for an entire evening. They weren?t quite so restrained when it came to guzzling your champagne and fine brandy, were they? If you?re lucky though, you might be treated to a thimbleful of their special Latvian sherry before you go, but don?t count on it.

 

The food usually veers between something the Roux brothers wouldn?t have attempted and some grey sludge you?ve been told is risotto. That?s the worst thing really – being presented with some inedible toxic mess which even the cutlery shies away from. I once had to ?accidentally? tip a plate of slime into my lap, figuring a ruined skirt would be easier to deal with than a bout of gastroenteritis.

 

Unfortunately, without the anaesthetic of excess alcohol, you can hear all the hissing and spitting in the kitchen-and it?s not coming from the stove. Then your hosts start making barbed comments to each other across the table, and before you know it, we?re having sarcastic put-downs for pudding,with a helping of whipped ego and crushed pride on the side.

Can it get any worse? Well, yes it can, because then the host will start throwing lascivious looks and lewd remarks at your cleavage, and his furious spouse will hitch up her dress and practically leap into your partner?s lap, purring her revenge. You will then be subjected to three hours of your hosts? favourite CDs which will include some fabulous Gospel Rock and caterwauling Jazz Greats. Mercifully, you will then be released back into the wild. Until next time…