The typical table setting looks like this ...
Usually, the number of "things" on a dinner table can bring down the quality of the dinner conversation. Especially if you are sitting with people you may not know very well. For example, fifteen items for a table setting = REALLY BORING CONVERSATION ABOUT THE ECONOMY. No table setting (like a hot dog eating contest) = BUST A GUT LAUGHING UNTIL YOU PEE YOURSELF.
I was worried the Thursday night dinner at my conference may end up with the economy talk. SHOOT. ME. NOW. However, I wasn't in a mood to fall asleep sitting up and nodding politely while I shovel salad in my mouth. Instead, my table did the best thing ever.
We played "What's Your Secret Talent?!" We went around the table and had to say one thing that most people didn't know we could do.
Here are some: enjoys tap dancing, knows EVERYTHING about Star Wars, double jointed fingers (was shown ... got a loud reaction from the table), can stick entire fist in mouth (was shown ... got a louder reaction from the table), and hula hoop aficionado (sadly, not shown at the table). The conversations that stemmed from these hidden talents was priceless and hilarious.
My secret hidden talent ... I can belch the ABC's and National Anthem. And, to the relief of my table mates (and my parents), I did not show off at the table. Besides, it was a fancy dinner after all.