An April Fool Tea.
Send invitations asking your guests to dress as foolish as possible. The hostesses costume can be combinations of several, as a decollete corsage, short walking skirt, one high-heeled slipper and one bedroom slipper, one side of her hair braided and hanging down and the other piled up high and decorated with feathers from the duster. Or she can dress as "Folly" with pointed black velvet bodice, white blouse, red and yellow striped skirts, pointed cap and wear a small black masque covering the upper part of the face, and carry a stick wound with red and yellow ribbon with tiny bells fastened by ribbons. If you care to take the trouble and the expense (though it need not be very great), you can construct a maze or labyrinth by which the guests approach your door. Make this of frames of wood covered with sheeting, newspapers or heavy cartridge paper, and make as many turns in it as you choose. When the front door is reached have it fly back and display the sign: "April Fool. Try the back door." If you have a side entrance you can have a similar sign and prolong the agony. Have a dummy hostess at the back door and direct the guests to one or two wrong rooms before they reach the right dressing room.
Have a masked person standing at the door of the parlor as hostess. When the guest starts to shake hands, display the sign "April Fool, I am not the hostess." Have two or three hostesses before the right one is reached.
Have the room full of surprises in the way of decorations, cabbage heads and vegetables for bouquets, tin lanters for lights, a den for stuffed animals and similar fakes.
No talking of any kind will be permitted for the first hour, though two or three notebooks and pencils can be displayed for those who feel they must express their thoughts. The examination of the "fool" costumes will take place in deaf and dumb show. Give a bunch of onions tied with green calico for the worst costume.
Ring a big dinner bell at six o'clock and arrange one or two childish games to be played to fill in the time before tea or ask the guests to represent some noted character in pantomime, the others to guess which character is portrayed.
For the tea pass cards numbered from one to ten and have the guests call for their supper by indicating four numbers:
6, glass of water
7, cup of coffee
10, ice cream.
For instance, a guest writing on his card 1, 3, 5, 6, would receive a fork, plate, napkin and glass of water for his supper. Have several waiters and put names on the lists so that all the articles may be brought in at once. After waiting until those who get articles of food try to eat them, for of course, the sandwiches, cake, pickles and ice cream must be "April Fool" ones made of sawdust, cotton and similar substances. Serve real sandwiches, coffee, cake and ice cream.
Breakfasts and Teas
Novel Suggestions for Social Occasions
Compiled by Paul Pierce