John Marsden Writing Topic #242

Describe a meal at your place as though a sporting commentator’s broadcasting it**

Dinner with the (soon-to-be) In-Laws

COMMENTATOR #1: Hello and welcome to ESPN’s Dinner Events: (Soon-To-Be) In-Laws edition! Tonight we have the Edelson’s and the Markson’s, with Mark and Julie Edelson’s oldest son, Daniel, marrying Michael and Helen Markson’s youngest daughter, Rebecca. This dinner is the first time that the parents are meeting.

COMMENTATOR #2: Since the bride’s parents will be paying for the wedding, as per tradition, the Edelson’s are hosting tonight’s dinner. Mrs Edelson, well-known for her culinary skills, has gone with the traditional Sunday Roast, with beef, potatoes, peas and pumpkins. Beverages tonight include Blue Nun Red and White wines, as well as soft drinks. Mrs Edelson will later be serving Chocolate Mousse for dessert.

COMMENTATOR #1: The main meal looks absolutely stunning, it’s actually making me hungry. As we can see, both families are making awkward but friendly small talk as all elements of the meal are being passed around.

COMMENTATOR #2: Yes first meals are bound to be awkward, but both families are handling themselves perfectly. The peas have been passed to the other end of the table with Mark placing two scoops worth on to his plate and passing them along to his son. Meanwhile Julie has offered gravy to Helen to spread on her small portions but she has politely declined. They have both exchanged awkward silences as Julie has concluded that Helen must be on a “mother of the bride” diet.

COMMENTATOR #1: The cutlery is starting to hit the plates making for an awkward silence, with the bride and groom-to-be clearly trying to rack their brains for conversation starters. The bride-to-be mentions impending nuptial-related events such as her dress fittings, bridesmaid dress shopping trips and cake tastings. The mothers of the bride and groom respond awkwardly but enthusiastically.

COMMENTATOR #2: As both families are starting to make their way through their dinner…and the wine…conversations are starting to flow more rapidly and naturally. The fathers have managed to engage in a passionate discussion on the upcoming Boxing Day test while they are making their way through their roasts. The happy couple are quietly finishing off their meals, while their mothers discuss the possibilities of retirement, breaking their awkward silence. Just as Helen finishes her sentence on her super fund, Julie announces that dessert will be served. Mark and Daniel clear the plates carefully, but swiftly for her. Michael, Helen and Rebecca offer to help, but Julie declines as they are the guests. Michael, Helen and Rebecca sit in an awkward silence for ten minutes, wanting to replay the events but know that they can’t until they get home.

COMMENTATOR #1: The beautiful Chocolate Mousse with accompanying cutlery has emerged and all eyes are on it. Helen of course only takes a small portion, due to her diet. The men at the table dig in immediately, while Julie and Rebecca dig in but also decide on conservative portions to prevent offending Helen. The whole family is engaged in their own conversations with the tension in the air fully and finally lifted.

COMMENTATOR #2: The night has gone on for couple of more hours with Rebecca calling an end to the evening by announcing she should get her beauty sleep, as she has a big day of bridal activities the next day. All of the family members accept the news graciously and say their goodbyes. The bride and groom privately hug each other, beaming, they declare the night a success and kiss each other goodbye.

COMMENTATOR #1: I think the night was a success too, what do you think?

COMMENTATOR #2: I do and after this I think they’ll have nothing to worry about on the big day, especially at the reception.

COMMENTATOR #1: So it’s a good night from Charlie Parker and me, Stella Varson at ESPN’s Dinner Events. Tune in next week for our Business Dinner edition.



#My response to this writing topic was inspired by Whose Line Is It Anyway game, ‘sportscasters’.





**Reference: Marsden J 1998, Everything I Know About Writing, Pan Macmillan, Australia.

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