Wednesday, June 6, 2012

How to Become A More Popular Hostess

"Pull Up a Chair...And Let's Talk About Being A Popular Hostess," reads the first page of How To Become a More Popular Hostess by Joe Bonomo. Published in 1954, this handy little guide sold for 25 cents (approximately $2.14 today according to this inflation calculator).

Salient chapters include: Points for Popularity, Chucking the Children and Don't Experiment on Guest Night, but my absolute favorite is Tricks with Cheese - melt American cheese on crackers, mix cottage cheese with clam mix (anyone know what clam mix is?), drown your vegetables in white sauce choked with cheese. I'm not so sure about the first two suggestions, the last one probably tastes good, but reduces the vegetable to an over-cooked cheese delivery vehicle.

Bonomo has advice for every dinner party situation:

  • Not enough for food for a last minute guest? Open a can of fruit cocktail and a can of soup to begin the meal. If that isn't enough, keep pouring the drinks to keep the edge off the appetites. 
  • Habitually late guests? Tell them to come an hour early. 
  • Anxious for your guests to go home? Bonomo says subtlety is the answer, but suggests you say something like this, "How long does it take you to get to work in the morning?" Because that's subtle. 
Well almost, it doesn't talk about what to do when you start a tiny little fire while hosting a fondue party, but that hardly ever happens, right? 

So who was Joe Bonomo and how does he know so much about throwing dinner parties? Joe Bonomo was a Hollywood stuntman, strongman and action hero in silent movies in the 1920s and 1930s.  In his autobiography that came out in 1968 he called himself the "Hercules of the Screen." I still don't know how he knows so much about throwing dinner parties. 

Other fun Bonomo guides include:

  • How to Wear Your Hair - Where did he learn to do women's hair? We don't know. 
  • Make Up and Live! - Because clearly if you don't wear make up, you can't live. 
  • How To Develop a More Successful Personality - The cover features a beautiful blonde surrounded by men in tuxedos and I'm going to save further details on this one for a future post...or maybe I'm just keeping the advice to myself. 

1 comment:

  1. OK, first, hilarious!!

    Second, Joe was gay, not that there's anything wrong with that (al la Seinfeld episode). I wonder if he ever came out of the closet?! I love hearing about stuff like this from the old days when the little woman stayed home and prettied herself up for hubby coming home, etc.

    Third, I am a firm believer that one can never know enough cheese tricks.