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The Better Housekeeping Guide to Hosting a Party While Sharks are Eating Your Legs--Lisa Dickson

The roof of the Parthenon fell in--or, rather, it blew up and then it fell in--on September 26, 1687 when it was shelled by the Venetian Captain-General Francesco Morosini. The Ottoman army had been using the Parthenon to store gunpowder, on the assumption that no one would attack such a cultural treasure. So Morosini blew it up.

This is a Dispatch from the Collapsed Parthenon. I dedicate it to all of you hosting parties while sharks are eating your legs.

Woman in a pink dress holding a pie in a tiny pink room with baking things on the shelves and arrows sticking out of the wall

Today you’re hosting a party while sharks are eating your legs. First and foremost, don’t announce to people when you take their coats at the door that sharks are eating your legs. That is:



Brings negative energy

That said, if you are introducing Maureen from the office to the gals from the yoga studio and wrap that up by announcing that sharks are eating your legs, it might create some common ground for conversation or at the very least some shared glances. Now, they’ve formed a bond over your narcissism and can also compete to prove who is the better friend by coming to your defense.

Kitten at sea in a green Converse high top while a shark rises up from below.

Your outfit should be appropriate to the occasion. Look well-put-together but not flashy. Let your guests shine. You’ve got that quirky sense of style that people love. Rusty reds are so you, because you’re an autumn. And the swishy skirts and crinolines! So Bohème!

The rustling helps to hide the sound of serrated teeth chewing on bone. Because sharks.

You offer water crackers with goat cheese and red pepper jelly. You found the recipe in a back issue of Better Housekeeping when you were at the ER waiting to tell an intern that sharks are eating your legs. You left after six hours with a scrip for Tylenol Threes and the pages ripped out of Better Housekeeping balled up in your fists.

There are sharks eating my legs, you say to the guys from your cubicle pod who are watching football replays on Jason’s phone.

Tell me about it, they say.

I just did, you say.

They cheer at yesterday's football.

There are sharks eating my legs, you tell your boss as he’s sweeping an entire tray of crème fraîche, cucumber, smoked salmon, fresh dill, and cracked black pepper on crackers into his suit jacket pockets.

We offered a series of wellness webinars, he says. Do you have any mustard?

Excuse me, you say to everyone at the party. There are sharks eating my legs. Can I freshen up anyone’s drink?

Blue shark fishing lure on a bed of pennies

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