Once every two years we put on a very special banquet for our students. It takes a bit of preparation, but is an absolutely memorable time for all. It is promoted as a dinner theater. We watch a pre-meal movie, serve an amazing meal, and top off the evening with some dinner theater.
But understand--this is no ordinary banquet! Allow me to walk you through the evening.
First, as everyone arrives they are seated at tables with a few things placed on the tables. Pencils and a few mazes generally keep them busy for a few minutes. Here is the "Train Maze". It is a challenge at any age!
The next order of business is to have the students place their dinner orders for the evening. This process can become quite confusing,so we take great care to explain in detail what has to happen. Folded in the center of their program is a removable menu that looks like this.
They are not told what any of the menu items actually are, but are assured that this is like eating at a fancy foreign restaurant and even though they have no idea what things are, the food will be absolutely wonderful. Everyone will order everything on the menu, all 16 items. They simply need to decide in what order they want their four course meal served. Each course will have four menu items on the plate. With 16 items split into four courses, confusion can be controlled by a very simple method of ordering. We use peel and stick mailing labels, pre-printed with the appropriate information. The four course labels included in each program look something like this, printed on four 2 x 4 inch peel and stick mailing labels. The first thing that we stress is that they must sign their name to each course label. But they are not to peel them off of the backing.
The next step is to begin placing their orders. Each has also received a set of return address labels in their program with the food items printed on them. They look similar to this. They are instructed to peel off their food item and stick it on the course course tab of their choosing. But only four per tab, and using all 16 food items in their order.
We have found it very beneficial to have adults wandering around the room helping answer questions as they arise, and making sure that each order is done correctly. When all of the orders have been finished, we take them up and carry them off to the kitchen where a team is at the ready to begin filling the first course order. Then I address the group with a bit of news that I quite "by accident" forgot to tell them--their silverware was on the menu! "I certainly hope you ordered the appropriate silverware with each course, because we will be taking EVERYTHING back up at the end of each course!"
The menu items are actually:
1. Part of the Red Sea--Red Jello and lettuce 2. Fraidy Cat--Chicken strips 3. Cedars of Lebanon--Toothpick 4. Angel Pillows--Marshmallow 5. Gold of Ophir--Corn 6. Screamin' Mimi--Ice cream 7. What's That in the Road?--A fork 8. Sponge and Sludge--Cake with icing 9. Liquid Elevator--A spoon 10. Puppy Critter--Hot dog 11. Cuhnyfe--A knife 12. Pota--Mashed potatoes and gravy 13. Biological/Chemical Special--Dinner roll 14. Zoldello Kabitoszer-pirula--Green bean 15. Hog Trough and Slop-Celery and Cheese spread 16. $1,000-After dinner mint
The kitchen crew takes all of the orders and systematically peels the course Number One labels and affixes them to plates, which can then be filled with the ordered items and placed on a waiting table so that everyone can be served their courses at the same time. Leaving the label attached, the "customer" can see what it is that they ordered and begin to figure out the menu.
While the first course is being filled in the kitchen, I play a compilation of short computer animated movies that I downloaded from a South Korean company called RG Animation Studios. They offered free downloads in 2008 as a method of promotion. I saved all of those old files. The central character is a bumbling polar bear named Bakkom who fails at everything he does and has a terrible temper. The files I have are morally clean and with no dialog, language is not an issue for anyone. They are genuinely funny (in a Coyote and Roadrunner sort of way).
Each old course is picked up completely and the new course brought out, until all four courses have been served. Then it is time to sit back and enjoy the entertainment. This consists of all of the adults playing parts in the skits for the evening. These are much like summer camp "campfire" skits--silly, stupid, but funny. You can include your own. I have copied our last program for you as a starting point if you need one.
On our program you will see in parenthesis some song titles. These were some silly songs that I sang with guitar as entertainment as the different groups were getting ready to perform their skit. These are all of the songs that I put together and they are all sung to the same melody line--just pick one you like.
My butterfly collection, gives me so much pride. My butterfly collection, makes me warm inside. I travel the world over, having so much fun. I doubt I’ll ever finish, I’ll never be done. The monarchs, the blues and the yellows, these are beauties, oh, what luck. Come see my butterfly collection, wedged in the front of my truck.
Oh we’re headin’ for the cottage at the break of dawn. Got our seatbelts buckled, ready to have some fun. But Daddy’s in a bad mood, and Mommy’s really mad. We forgot a bunch of stuff we were going to take and the dog just did something bad. Oh we’re headin’ for the cottage and things are getting worse. Now my sister started crying and I just heard Daddy curse. So, I’m starin’ out the window, being as quiet as I can get. ‘Cuz I don’t want my last words to be, “Are we there yet?”
He had cuts all over his chin and his neck and all the way down to his waist. The doctor went through 9 spools of thread just to put a smile back on his face. Oh you’ve never seen such a terrible mess, it was just so awful to see. It makes one wonder how in the world anything like this could be. He fought back the pain, propped himself up, and ate some old cheese and a cracker. And promised the doctor, never again would he try shaving with a weed wacker.
The knee bone connected to the head bone, The ankle bone connected to the wrist bone, The butt bone connected to the ear bone, It was the worst skateboarding accident on record.
If you find yourself looking for a family pet, I’d say get yourself a hog. They’re warm and their friendly and they won’t run away, and they’re easier to train than a dog. ‘Cause when the time comes and the dog passes on, you’ll find your heart is achin’. But the pain of losing a hog is eased by the bonus of all that bacon.
When life has given you a taste of rejection, Getting a dog is an excellent suggestion. He’ll be your buddy, your servant and your friend. He’ll be there when you’re at the end. He makes you feel better when you’re out of dough, When you’ve done all you can with the little you know. No matter how far down on life’s ladder you go. You’re dog will always be one rung below.
I’ve got a terrible headache and I’ve had it all day, It throbs and it pounds and it won’t go away. I’ve got tears in my eyes ‘cause it’s hurtin’ really hard. And if I die right now just bury me in the yard. I got it from driving that truck of mine, I’ve got to wear a seat belt or slow down for the speed bumps.
A horse with a horn is called a unicorn. A horse with stripes is called a zebra. A horse with wings is called Pegasus. A horse with a broken leg is called glue.
There’s a funny little ditty. It’s called the “Humming Song”. The “Humming Song” is pretty. But I don’t know it.
Listen to the words of this very special song. Da-da-da-da-daaaaa-da-da-da-da-da-da-da. Listen very closely and then you can sing along. Da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da. Pay close attention, it’s not as easy as it sounds. Da-da-da-da-da-da-daaa-da-da-da-daaaa-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da Da-da-da-daa-da-da-da-da-da-daaaa-da-da-da-da-da-daaaa-da-da-da.
There are many speedy vessels like ski boats and speed boats and that Even a flat bottom boat with a 25 horse can get there in nothin’ flat. Sailboats tend to be slower whenever the summer wind stalls. But a canoe can really get movin’ when you accidentally take her over the falls.
Oh how smart can you be? You’ll never know till you try. How far can you go? You’ll never know till you try. Are you slow or are you quick? You’ll never know until you poke a mountain lion with a stick.
Trapper Jack was hunting bear. A dangerous hobby at best. They brought him back to the doctor in town and he was a heck of a mess. There was some assembly required, mostly teeth and bones and some hair. Jack had always been good with a knife, but unfortunately not as good as a bear.
Skits for tonight—See if there are any places where we could use your “talent”.
1. The Light Bulb: 4 people needed. One person standing in the back with both arms raised. 2 others are pretending to work hard. Person 4, the boss, comes up and asks the person with arms raised what is going on, I don’t pay you to stand around, etc. Raised arm person says with a big smile ”I’m a light bulb“. Boss says, “When I come back, you better be working.”, and goes away. Work continues, with person with arms raised standing there. Boss returns, and finds person with arms raised still there,( the discussion involves the fact that he is not a light bulb) and eventually fires him. He drops his hands and sadly walks away. The other two workers stop working and begin to walk away. The boss stops them and asks why they are leaving. They promptly tell him that they can’t work in the dark. 1.______________________ 2.______________________ 3.______________________ 4.______________________
2. Swing Low: Lyle will visually interpret a song for the hearing impaired.
3. Coke commercial: Five people needed. First person pulls a Coke out of a cooler, looks at it and passes it on to the second. Second person has a towel and dries it off, then passes it on to the third. Person number three pops the top and hands it to number 4. Number 4 guzzles (or pretends to guzzle) the entire can, then hands the empty can to the last one in line, who promptly burps. 1._____________________ 2._____________________ 3._____________________ 4._____________________ 5._____________________
4. The sign: Two people needed: The first person comes out and places letters on the wall: ROT DO FUROE. The second comes out, looks at the sign for a minute, then rearranges the letters to read: OUT OF ORDER. 1._____________________ 2._____________________
5. World’s ugliest man: Three people needed. One man comes out with a towel over his head. He is introduced as the World’s Ugliest Man. The first person comes up, lifts the towel just enough to see his face and runs off screaming. The second does the same thing. An audience participant will then come up. He will have been given instructions to lift the towel, and just stand there. He lifts the towel and the “ugliest man” will then run off screaming. 1._____________________ 2._____________________ 3._____________________
6.THE VIPER: Four people needed. First person comes out from back stage acting frightened and yelling “The Viper is coming! The Viper is coming! Run for your lives!”. And then runs off stage. Person two comes out and does something similar. Then person three, the same actions. Person four comes out, waving a roll of toilet paper, saying to the audience in an evil sounding German accent “I’m the Viper. Anybody need a vipe?” 1._____________________ 2._____________________ 3._____________________ 4._____________________
7. Whispers: 5 people line up in a row. After an extended, uncomfortable time of just looking at the audience, the one on the end whispers something into the ear of the second person in line. They in turn whisper into the net one’s ear, and so on. Finally, the last person “hears” the whisper and looks back at the rest of the group and exclaims “What? We have no skit?” Everyone walks off stage. 1._____________________ 2._____________________ 3._____________________ 4._____________________ 5._____________________
9. Emergency broadcast system: All of us and an announcer. “This will now be a test of the emergency broadcast system”. Everyone will hum a pitch for 15 or 20 seconds. “If this had been an actual emergency, this is what you would have heard” Everyone runs off stage screaming.
9. Rindercella: One person will read a dyslexic version of Cinderella. 1._____________________
10. Echo canyon: Four people plus an audience participant. Four hikers come up to the edge of “Echo Canyon”. First person yells “Hello”. The offstage person echoes “hello”. Number two tries it. “My name is _______” The off stage person echoes “________”. The third person comes up and says “I like bologna” No echo. He tries again, “I like bologna”. Still no echo. A third time “I like bologna”. Nothing. He shakes his head and steps back. Our participant comes up and has previously been instructed to yell “I am very handsome”. The echo---“bologna!” 1._____________________ 2._____________________ 3._____________________ 4._____________________
11. Shorta Doofis: A silly skit about a very short man with some very interesting physical abilities. Lyle will do this one.
12. Xylophone: Five people needed. Four are sitting on chairs facing the audience and one behind them with a big foam hammer or bat. The “player” begins bonking them on the head in the correct order to “play” the song “Mary Had a Little Lamb”. As each person is bonked they say “ouch” on pitch. 1._____________________ 2._____________________ 3._____________________ 4._____________________ 5._____________________
13. Speedy shopper: This requires audience participation and is too complicated to explain in it’s entirety. Basically, it is a skit that requires three audience participants, and one adult. It involves reading cans of food very quickly, looking for specific things on the label. But there is a very funny twist to the process.
14. Balloon symphony: All of us. We finish off the entertainment portion of the evening with some culture. The Blue Danube played on piano and balloons.