I just finished reading the latest issue of The Curmudgeon’s Home Companion—a hilarious food-centric newsletter of “delightfully mean-spirited articles” written by Dan Goldberg. If you haven’t yet read The Curmudgeon, check out the In Defense of (Occasional) Drunkenness article. Very funny stuff.
This month’s main article was about Pyramid Scheme Dinner Parties. I think this is a brilliant idea and am officially announcing my wholehearted participation. The deal is that you make a commitment to throw at least one dinner party a month and invite at least three people. The goal is to receive return dinner party invites, with the side benefit of possibly meeting new people that you can rope into the scheme. This idea is hugely appealing to me because I love to cook, I love to eat and I love things that are cyclical.
So, the tricky part is deciding who to invite. In order for this idea to really work, there has to be a good chance that at least three of your invitees will return an invitation. In the article, Dan discusses how to spot people who won’t invite you back (“be wary of Californians, a socially challenged state”) and the merits of inviting people who can’t cook but who possess other, lesser qualities, such as being interesting, or intelligent, or maybe being of the type who will get really drunk and provide spontaneous dancing or dirty-joke telling.
In the end, Dan decides that these people are still worth inviting, but I’m on the fence. Mostly because I know a lot of entertaining people who can also cook, so I have to draw the line somewhere. He says you can’t count relatives either, but every single one of my relatives is a great cook, so I’m ignoring that rule. I may, however, extend the exception rule to people who own extensive wine cellars. But I don’t know any yet, so maybe I’ll have to lower the bar and go with people who can mix a mean cocktail.