Magazine article The Spectator

Dear Mary

Magazine article The Spectator

Dear Mary

Article excerpt

Q. I shall be attending a number of drinks parties in the forthcoming weeks and estimate that at over half of these no snacks of any kind will be served. I tend to get appalling hangovers if I do not eat snacks at parties, especially when drinking champagne, and wonder what the rules are about bringing one's own food along.

RM., London WC2

A. Clearly you cannot taunt the tastebuds of fellow party-goers by chomping on a private picnic while they salivate. Neither can you undermine your host by offering snacks around. Instead, prepare the quantities you will require for personal satisfaction in your own home: sandwiches, cold chicken nuggets or sausages, anything of reasonably durable texture which can be chopped into small pellet form. Transfer the pellets into a series of containers with flip-top lids. Empty Tic-Tac mint packets would be suitable. At the party you can discharge the foodstuffs discreetly into your own mouth when pausing between interlocutors. If challenged, mutter something about `preventative medication'.

Q. I have lost the process-paid envelope which comes with the roll of Kodachrome slide film and enables you to have the film developed free. What can I do, since our local chemist says you can only have Kodak film processed at Kodak and he cannot do it even if I pay him?

H. W, Westonbirt

A. Simply Sellotape your name and address to the film canister and post it off to Kodak Laboratory, PO Box 2, 29 Deer Park Road, London SW19 3UG. The kind technicians waive the charges for this particular incompetence, since blunderers could not have got the film without the envelope and the envelope cannot be 'abused' without the purchase of Kodachrome film. …

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