A Chairy Tale
by John Brooke
It was to be a
display of opulence designed to impress their
honored gourmets guests. They would drool over it
like Pavlovs dogs. The spirit of Julia
Child hovered above the Chantilly lace covered
Queen Anne dining table. Sterling silver place
settings for twelve guests were gleaming. Rare
Lalique wine glasses, Waterford and Baccarat
crystal stood transparent alongside Wedgwood and
Crown Derby fine China and French Sévres vases.
The chef and
kitchen staff were at it for five long days, in
preparation. Nothing was spared, using only the
finest ingredients: sea food flown in from the
Great Barrier Reef, Prime Beef selected from
Scottish highlands, fruits fresh picked at their
peak from four different tropical countries. Five
vintage wines each selected to match its own
course. Dom Pérignon Champagne and Remy Martin
Louis XIII Cognac to finish this feast for eyes
problem. No chairs! Not a bloody single one, let
alone a missing twelve matching set. Lionel
Upshut, the butler worked feverishly for two days
trying to get the chairs returned from being re-upholstered
especially for this event. The shop was closed,
the owner had gone on a cruise, and nobody knew
anything about the order.
was in deep shock! The host was furious!
Got to do something? Disaster!
Laughing stock of society. were a few
of the gentler phrases that emanated from their
stiff upper lips.
might make a suggestion Madame and Sir, would you
consider doing it the Roman way? Upshut
damn hell are you blathering about?
demanded the titillated host.
the Romans, impressed by Greek civilization
copied them in their manner of dinning postures.
it, for Gawd sake!
they consumed their dinners, reclining!
they ate and drank lying down, man?
civilized way of behaving, sounds divine to me.
voiced the Hostess.
so! commanded the Host.
instructed his people to gather: suitable chaise
lounges, sofas, reclining chairs, mattresses and
pillows. Soon sheets and curtains transformed the
place into a lavish Bacchanalia.
guests were suitably impressed with the setting,
the wine, the food. It was a unique gastronomic
It ended in
the small hours. The Hosts toasted their
exhausted Butler and his crew:
done, medium, and rare! When you cant sit
up right like a Britisher, lie horizontally, like