Dinner With Dead People

You get to plan a dinner party for 4-8 of your favorite writers/artists/musicians/other notable figures, whether dead or alive. Who do you seat next to whom in order to inspire the most fun evening?

That’s today’s Daily Prompt. Good question. After thinking about it for a while, I know that I could struggle all day, so I’ll just offer the first few thoughts that came to mind.

Before we even get to the invitations, I have to admit that I’m no good at planning things like dinner parties. So, to complete the fantasy, I’ll imagine a decorator and a fabulous caterer. What’s more, I want a professional photographer present. Anyone famous and dead, I want a picture with them.

I’m only going to invite dead people. I have no prejudice against the living. I just think that, given the option, a room full of the deceased makes a better photo opportunity. I intend to take a photo with Ghandi while giving him bunny ears.

Ghandi. That’s a good choice, very safe. I don’t want him there because I think he’d be interesting or that I might learn from him. Both of those things would probably be true, but I want him there so that I can seat him next to Nelson Mandela. See, Ghandi, while he might have been a heroic and inspiring figure, was also an unapologetic racist. Before his fame as a world leader, he was a lawyer in South Africa. He had nothing but vile things to say about the black population there. He made frequent use of the word kaffir. I suppose in our politically correct climate I shouldn’t say kaffir. Sorry, he made frequent use of the K word. Anyway, I want to see if he’d be uncomfortable at all. I’d love to see the image of tranquility and pacifism squirm a bit at something I’d have no problem with.

Who else? Maybe Robin Hood or King Arthur, just to find out how much of the legends are true. Then again, maybe Jimmy Hoffa, Amelia Earhart or Ambrose Bierce just to find out what really what happened to them.

I know for certain I’d invite Jean-Paul Sartre and Albert Camus. I’m not looking to learn anything from them. I’ve already read their work. The reason I want to invite those two is that by the end of their lives, they were bitter rivals. It would be hilarious to see two of the most revered philosophical minds of the twentieth century in a heated argument at a dinner table. Granted, I don’t speak nearly enough French to understand them, but that might make it more entertaining.

Finally, a famous person I know I’d invite is not a person. At family gatherings and dinners, I’m used to having a dog or two circling the table looking for handouts. So I’ll invite Laika the space dog, one of the first living things in space. I’ll gladly give up one of my invitations to her just to have the opportunity to pet and feed that dog once.



  1. This is a great reply to the prompt — I love the sneakiness of your choices. It sounds like it would be such a whomping great time 🙂

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