(McSweeney’s, being duly concerned with the limitless, unadulterated flow of information, last year noticed an unsettling problem: Every year, many, many, many worthy press releases were being ignored. They were going under-reprinted, under-blurbed, under-bullet-pointed and underused as foundation for spunky lifestyle section featurettes by the nation’s supposedly free media outlets. This series, THE TOP TEN CENSORED PRESS RELEASES OF 1998, aims to bring to you, the victim of said censorship, the information the world’s fatcat info-gatekeepers don’t want you to have.) (Note: These press releases are real.)
No. 5 MOST CENSORED PRESS RELEASE OF 1998:
‘Express Yourself’ is the Rule for Home Entertaining
ADA, Mich., Dec. 17 /PRNewswire/ — It seems the only rule governing home entertaining today is that there are no rules. Today’s look expresses your individual style and is versatile enough to change from one occasion to the next — or from one mood to another. In other words, if it’s you, it works.
Have fun entertaining by expressing yourself and showing off your creative side. Individualize your table’s appearance by mixing and matching colors and patterns to create a unique look that’s all your own. Amway makes mixing and matching easy through its new line of IMPROVISATION tableware, made by Wedgwood, Marquis** by Waterford Crystal, Oneida, Wilton Armetale and W-C Designs. With more than 50 pieces in a variety of complementary patterns and colors, IMPROVISATION allows you to create a casual or formal atmosphere, or a look that’s contemporary or classic.
Other entertaining tips from the experts at Amway:
Salad Days — Add a dash of style to any meal by serving salad on accent plates rather than in bowls. Chill the plates before serving to enhance flavor and texture of salad greens.
Centerpiece Savvy — Be careful about the height and placement of your centerpiece. A huge mass of flowers in the center of the table eliminates any chance of conversation between guests seated on either side.
Beautiful Buffets — Having a buffet? Consider stacking plates with alternating patterns so each guest takes a different one. The variety of IMPROVISATION Dinnerware makes it easy to accomplish.
Etiquette for spills — If a guest spills a beverage on your tablecloth, mop it unobtrusively with a napkin and place a serving dish over the stain so the perpetrator won’t feel guilty throughout the meal.
Caring for Crystal — * Don’t store crystal stemware upside down on its rim. * Store stemware so it’s easy to reach — the shorter your reach, the less likely you are to break it. * To remove stains, swirl a handful of uncooked rice in lemon juice or a mixture of vinegar and warm water. * For tougher stains, soak in warm water with a denture cleaning tablet.
Candle Care — * Burn scented candles only before guests arrive — never at the dinner table. Stick to natural, citrus or botanical fragrances. * Candles in other rooms will encourage guests to move around and mingle. * To make a room sparkle, scatter candles around at different heights on the mantle, cocktail table and bookshelves. * Remove candle wax from table linens by placing a brown paper bag or paper towel over the spot and ironing on a low setting. Apply fresh paper as the wax is absorbed. Continue ironing until it’s all removed.
Arranging Utensils — Traditionally, utensils are arranged in the order of courses served, starting from the outside. Forks lie left of the plate, knives and spoons go on the right (with the blade of the knife facing the plate). Dessert utensils can be placed either horizontally above the dinner plate or brought out with dessert.
Tips such as these are helpful guidelines, not hard and fast rules. The point is simply to have fun and express yourself — improvise!