Even a perfect child could always use a little help in the etiquette department, which is why the staff at the Johnson County Museum (6305 Lackman in Shawnee) decided that a mother-daughter "Perfect Child Tea Party" could be more than a tasteful way of honoring Mother's Day. It's educational, too! Even in this high-tech age, the art of proper napkin placement is just as important as having confidence and style when artfully plucking a petit four or a finger sandwich (with tongs, never fingers!) from a tiered tray.After all, a finger sandwich can't be plopped into the mouth, no matter how tiny. "A tea is not an outing to McDonald's," says Cathy Corey, a museum board member and etiquette advisor to the event. Corey suggests making manners fun by having the participating Pollyannas take their social cues from a lady dressed as the "Manners Fairy," complete with magic wand, who will "go from table to table making sure everyone is behaving with elegant manners." White gloves are optional, but casual dress will be considered bad form: "Capri pants and sandals would not do," Corey says.
The tea party, offered at two sittings
(1-2:30 p.m. and 3-4 p.m.) offers those dainty delicacies as well as punch and hot tea, all to be nibbled and sipped with complete gentility. Tickets cost $10, and reservations are required; call 913-631-6709.--Charles Feruzza
Rangers teach fishing skills.
For living out any fantasies of a lazy Huck Finn summer, fishing skills are a necessity. Kids (and grown-ups who want to be anglers) learn basic fishing techniques at 7 this evening at the Mid-Continent Public Library's Riverside branch (2700 Northwest Vivion Road, just off Interstate 29). Rangers from the Clay County Parks Department are on hand to demonstrate knot tying and casting and to give tips on finding certain types of fish. No need to bring any equipment -- as one ranger says, "If we had fifty people with fishing poles in one place, I think there'd be trouble." The free event is an extension of the department's Rangers for Youth program, an effort to bring city kids and nature together. To make reservations, which are required, call 816-532-0803--Sarah Smarsh.