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Friday, 15 May 2009

Why it's wiser to choose the peanuts

Definition of cheese straw for those Across the Pond: a long, thin, crunchy, savoury snack made of pastry with cheese in it. (Thanks, Retired One, for pointing out the need for a translation ...)

I owe a lot to the mile-long cheese straw I was offered at a recent trying-to-impress social event. It taught me a lot about how to socialise while simultaneously wielding something the length of a basketballer's trainer, the width of a champion texter's thumb, and as crumbly as the toenails on an octagenarian. (And as cheesy....)

These are the lessons I learned.

1. Don't point cheese straws at important people and say, 'Happiness is a cigar called Hamlet' just because it sounds funny to you.
2. Proffering a cheese straw when someone tries to shake hands with you and saying, 'Fingers this long don't half help when playing the piano' doesn't impress either.
3. Don't sneeze just after biting into a cheese straw; not all the stuff on the jacket of that man over there can be dandruff.
4. For every bite, only twenty per cent of the cheese straw goes in your mouth; the rest litters your cleavage so you look like you've got untreated chest psoriasis.
5. Waving a cheese straw around like a conductor's baton and saying, 'I'm playing Air Chopin' doesn't make anyone smile.
6. Dunking Bourbons into tea. Yes. Cheese straws into pink champagne at posh parties? Don't even think it.
7. You can't say to people you hardly know, 'Look, this cheese straw is too much for one. You start at that end and I'll start at this end and we'll see how long it takes 'till we're really friendly.'
8. Don't hide a cheese straw in a trouser pocket with a hole in it; it's hard to stand still for that long so it doesn't emerge from under your hem.
9. When Gene Kelly performed 'Singing in the Rain' swinging an umbrella at the end of his fingers, that was entertaining.
10. There is a correlation between your desperation to be rid of a cheese straw and the likelihood that it will grow back to its previous length each time you bite it, like a worm that refuses to die.
11. If someone is telling you a joke while you are eating your cheese straw, it might be best to delay your amusement. No one sees wet pastry in the eye as a good thing.
12. When it is time to leave, if you have not yet finished your cheese straw, bear in mind that although disposing of your wine dregs in a plant pot may go unnoticed, most people hold up their plants with green sticks from the garden centre.

Next time, I'll eat before I go out. There are some lessons one should only learn once.

13 comments:

  1. What the hell is a cheese straw? Do you mean string cheese?

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  2. You know, Retired One, as I was writing this post last night, I was thinking, 'I wonder if cheese straw is a universal thing ...' Mile-long string cheese would be much more fun at parties, though.

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  3. hahaha - let's have a cocktail party all together some time! Fran, you bring the cheese straws, and I'll bring the TexMex nachos dripping with grease. Retired One, bring your camera please. We could all get a good post or two out of it!

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  4. Now I get it. ha
    Either way, the post was hilarious!

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  5. Lesley, I'll bring a jar of olives in oil, too.

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  6. You three go ahead - bagsy first go with the dishes.

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  7. And anyone who misbehaves at our party gets spanked with a stale cheese straw.

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  8. Sounds quite a party you're goung to have!
    Enjoyable blog and see we have read lots of the same books.
    Almost half term.....yeaaah

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  9. I am "Across the Pond" (and coincidentally, a cousin of The Retired One), and yes, I DO know what a cheese straw is! And have also eaten them, altho' apparently not in the gigantic-o size you posted about! And for a TRUE cocktail party (as mentioned in one of the comments), you DO need some alcohol! Who's bartending??!!

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  10. Thanks for your comment, Miss Mapp, I do say, I do likes yur wunnerful style o' writin' on yur blarg. Very Sunday evening BBC. Anyway, you're welcome to the party. Perhaps you could bring some brarth and an 'ome-made loaf or summat.

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  11. Hi, Jessica. Hope I didn't offend with my 'translation'. If I did, it was your cousin's fault for convincing me with her 'what the hell is a cheese straw?' that it was a totally alien concept. You're right, though. We hadn't mentioned a bartender. Very, very remiss of us. Thank you for volunteering. Now we just need a waiter.

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  12. Very good advice ;-)

    (But please don't hate me for pointing out that Fred Astaire wasn't in "Singing in the Rain" - it was Gene Kelly.)

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  13. Caz, thank you! Yes, of course it was Gene Kelly. I have edited! Thanks for dropping by.

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