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[Tidbits] A Banquet Game

I have one criteria which I use as my guide when introducing an item
to an issue of Tidbits… and it is this: If there is even the most
microscopic bit of precious metal or precious or semi-precious
gem–even down to the sub-atomic level–in that which I am going to
show you… well by Jove… it then qualifies as a jewelry and gem
related item… no matter how distant. I validate this reasoning by
summoning forth the nearly invisible yet powerful forces of our
genetic makeup. A minute twist of DNA… and we’re chimps. A minute
twist of the imagination… and it’s jewelry. You do see the
parallels do you not?

Using this convoluted bit of reasoning… I am able to contort and
extrapolate and bring into view an item which–to the untrained
eye–might appear to have no relation to our noble profession.
Alas… the untrained eye would be wrong… and proving this is the
very purpose of my existence… my very ‘raison d’=EAtre’ as it were.

Back in circa 712 or so… during the Tang dynasty in ancient
China… royal banquets were quite often the order of the day. And
back then… as today… in order to keep the guests entertained…
they played parlor games. Today we play Charades. Back then they
played Pull The Silver Plaque Out Of The Tube On Top Of The Turtle
And Finish Confucius’ Saying. Well… maybe they had a simpler name…
but my version is accurate in its descriptiveness.

A quick aside here folks. This game lends itself to modern times…
and it’s so old that it’s new… that you will be the hit of your
party when you introduce it to your guests. Of course… I expect
full credit when your friends say… hey… how did you ever think
that up. When this happens-- as it will–just say: Benjamin taught

Here’s how it worked. A bronze turtle with a covered bronze cylinder
was placed in the center of the banquet table. This was a drinking
game. So first everyone took a shot of whatever was the
potable-du-jour… and then… when suitably merry… the guests
would fish into the cylinder one by one and hook a silver plaque…
much like one would hook a fish. After retrieving said plaque upon
which was inscribed the fist part of a saying by Confucius… the
fisher-guest would have to read the first part and then finish the
saying orally and by memory… thereby showing one and all the length
and breadth of his or her incredible wisdom and savvy and–as a side
effect–gaining the admiration and respect of the attendees.

So there it is. Jewelry or not… but a banquet game par-excellence.
Would you care to see? Go. Take a look. And don’t forget to give
credit where credit is due when the time comes.

For those of you who are new to this thing called Tidbits…may I
direct you to my home page at where you
will scroll down the left side menu till you get to the area that
says Current Tidbits. Click it… and you will see represented on our
pages… a turtle and a tube and the tools necessary for a banquet

And there ya have it. That’s it for this week folks.
Catch you all next week.
Benjamin Mark