Parties tend to be fairly unsanitary. There's double-dipping with the condiments, greasy-fingered handshakes and germs poised for deployment at every kiss. That's why we've never invited Adrian Monk (Tony Shalhoub) of Monk, airing Fridays on USA Network, to one of our parties -- there's just too much fluid exchange for his comfort level. But this week we are plugging all the stops, cleaning up our act and disinfecting the fondue machine all in the hope that we can party like an obsessive-compulsive detective!
Setting the scene:
Think beige. Monk wears only variations on brown, so add beige curtains, slipcovers, tablecloths and a beige chalk outline of a victim on the living room rug. (Hey, he's got to solve something.) You may also want to wrap everything in plastic for sanitary purposes. Plan a variety of Monk-related games culled from the show's Web site, including Guess the Phobia, Monk Shui and Germicide. Winners get their own hand sanitizer, rubber gloves and Lysol. Other party favors may include Monk bobbleheads, DVDs, key chains, T-shirts, mugs and snow globes from the NBC Universal store. Then again, Q-tips, moist towelettes and face masks are also fine options. Have a greeter dressed as Monk who will only open the door with his elbows.
Encourage everyone to wear beige or brown slacks and sport coats with their dress shirts buttoned to the top. And whatever you do, don't allow any ties at the party. Did you know that neckties are the germiest part of a person's wardrobe? Well, they are.
On the menu:
Everything is individually wrapped in plastic wrap or resealable baggies in single-serving portions -- for example, eight Triscuits, stacked and wrapped; bologna sandwiches with the crusts cut off, etc. All cloth napkins are to be ironed and quarter-folded -- keep an iron by the buffet all evening for any napkin emergencies. Don't forget tongs for each bowl of chips and pretzels. And be sure to use coasters for the coasters.
On the hi-fi:
Monk actually has a soundtrack available with original songs such as I Think I Smell Gas, A Clean Apartment and Sharpening Pencils.
Tony Shalhoub is of Lebanese decent, so it might be nice to throw this shindig at a Lebanese-American meeting hall. Check out the Lebanese American Foundation to find one. Their motto is, "There are two things we can give our children: Wings and Roots." Hey, add wings and roots to the menu.