During the holidays, when regular television programming was interrupted by daylong marathons of a single show, I discovered Come Dine with Me Canada. It's an adaptation of the British show, Come Dine with Me, that I used to enjoy but is no longer available here. The premise is simple. Five strangers get together, and on five consecutive evenings each one takes a turn hosting a dinner party. At the end of each evening, the guests rate the host on a scale of one to ten. On the final evening, the scores are revealed and the highest-scoring host wins a thousand dollars.
Each evening, usually between the appetizer and the entree, the guests go snooping through the host's home and find something unusual or bizarre. Then later, during the entree, one of the guests will bring up their discovery and try to embarrass the host. Discovered items the I can recall include a stolen flag, a diary, cheerleader pompoms, a beauty queen dress and sash, puppets and a massive shoe collection. On one memorable episode, two guests prepared to open a bedside table. What would they find? I guessed it would be an electronic gadget of the personal variety, and I think the two snoops did too. We were all surprised and disappointed to discover a drawer filled with bags of bulk candy.
I often wonder what the guests (or the program producer) would do if a display like the one below was revealed. I suspect the cameras would stop rolling and the guests would be redirected to another part of the house.
Or maybe not. I think the subsequent dinner table conversation would go something like this:
Guest #1: You know that room downstairs beside the powder room?
Host: What room?
Guest #2: The one with the padlock on it. Good thing Jimmy here used to be a burglar.
Guest #1: Aww, that was easy. So, what were those things hanging on the wall?
Host: More gravy, anyone?
Guest #2: Yes, what were they? They looked like (giggles) paddles.
Host: Er...yes...they're antique paddles. They belonged to my grandfather. They have great sentimental value.
Guest #1: And that picture. Who was that?
Host: (blushing) So, everybody, how's the meal?
Guest #3: Picture? What did I miss? Maybe we all need to see that picture.
Guest #4: Was that a picture of your grandmother? I'd like to see it.
Host: I don't remember any picture. Here, have another roll.
Guest #2: Jennifer, you've been holding out on us. You're a professional dominatrix.
Host: (Panic-stricken) Dessert anyone? (rushes from the room. Guests #1 and #2 high-five each other.)
Narrator: When we come back after the break, will Jennifer provide the evening's entertainment in her dungeon? And will her dinner guests give her a perfect score, or else?
(The above photo has appeared on several other blogs and I have been unable to determine where it originated. Please let me know if it is yours so I can credit you.)