Attention must be drawn to today’s “Party” column by longtime Washington Post writer Sally Quinn. The thrust of the piece is beyond reproach, provided that you buy into the notion of having Quinn lecture you about entertaining in the first place. Titled “Business talk can take the fun out of dinner parties and conversations,” the piece explores how talking shop at the table can really bore the piss out of people.
And just how does Quinn get the point across? Try this multiple-choicer:
1) By picking up the phone and doing some kickass reporting.
2) By relating an old story that glorifies Sally Quinn;
3) By finding people who no longer go to dinner parties because shop talk has bored them one time too many;
4) By hitting the party circuit over the holidays and finding out what’s going down.
Anyhow, we’re not going to reveal the answer right off; we’re just going to take you through Quinn’s narrative, and let you decide which is the right choice:
*A long time ago, Quinn was at a dinner party hosted by the famous Oatsie Charles.
*She sat next to a couple of goons who went on and on about the stock market and other Wall Street stuff, to the exclusion of all else. One of the guys was from out of town.
*When Quinn tried to interrupt/change the subject, “they simply dismissed me.”
THEN! Later, one of the Wall Street obsessives, well, let’s take it straight from Quinn’s copy:
After dinner I was standing with a group when the out-of-towner came rushing over to me. “I just learned that you are Sally Quinn,” he gushed. “I would love to talk to you.”
“It’s too late, Buster,” I replied.
Think about what this incident accomplishes:
1) Quinn is able to shame that rude DJIA-obsessed man one more time!
2) Quinn is able to tell her 2010 readers that she’s been famous for a good long time. Even an out-of-towner knows who she is!
3) Quinn slides all this stuff in the column under the guise of helping aspiring hosts regulate their parties.