Your Fantasy Dinner Party
By Scott Anthony
I saw on TV that Ben Franklin turned 300 something last year. Mrs. Anthony said, “That’s dumb!”
What’s dumb, honey? “Saying someone is 200 or 300 years old…why? They’ve been gone for all that time, you know..not alive.”
I thought about it and I have to agree. It is a bit silly to think of people that way. I surmise that it is because we wish they were still alive. One would not, for instance, in pleasant conversation say, ‘Gee, today is Rasputin’s birthday..he’s 136!’
Rasputin was not exactly the sort of guy you’d want to have over for dinner, and besides, I’m not so certain he’s even dead.
But I would like to have dinner with Ben Franklin. I would scold him about sitting next to open windows with his shirt off. Maybe, if he hadn’t done that sort of stuff, he might be around to celebrate his birthday today. It’s a fantasy of course. Ben is long gone, but it’s a neat idea.
I asked Mrs. A who she would like to have drop by for dinner. I explained that it could be anyone she wished, as long as they were departed. Choosing someone who is still alive is ok, but that would be another dinner party.
“Elvis!” She brightened up considerably at the prospect. Mrs. A has long had a crush on old swivel-hips, so I let her continue, “Who else,honey?
You can have a total of five, but anymore than that and no one could hear the other person talk.”
“Ok.... my Grampa George, and how about John Lennon?” It’s your dinner party, baby, but I had to wonder what her grandpa, would say. As a friend of the Czar’s family, he was so Russian he may have been a real Cossack. “VAAAAT…who is this, LENIN!”
I would have to calm Grampa down. ‘NO..no, Grandfather…Not Vladimir!..It’s ok, this guy, he’s just a musician!’
I wasn’t looking forward to stopping a fistfight, so I made another suggestion. “How about, just famous people, sweety?”
She frowned and I offered, “You could invite Bono from U2..he’s cute, isn’t he?” Mrs. A cogitated on this, then said, “He’s almost…too good.”
Too good? You mean, too cute or too nice? “I’d feel intimidated..he does so much for the world,” and then, “..but he does sing nicely.”
She had a point. A bunch of really prominent people in your house would be intimidating, no doubt. What if they didn’t like the food you offered them.
Abe Lincoln might prefer breakfast. You’d want to have some Log Cabin syrup. If Adam and Eve were over, bringing ribs from Billy McHale’s would be gauche and Caesar might turn up his nose at a salad that wasn’t prepared perfectly. Gandhi would be too quiet, and unless you picked up some veggie burgers from Trader Joes, he wouldn’t touch a thing on his plate.
I told her my list: Ben Franklin would be great to chat with. I’d give him a copy of the newspaper first so he would be brought up to date on things.
Shakespeare, because he is the ultimate raconteur and with his sense of humor, he and Ben would hit it off well. I wouldn’t mind having Elvis stop in, but mostly for the wife. He could sit in the corner and strum the guitar.
Let’s see, that leaves me with two more guests to invite. Abe Vigoda and Burt Reynolds. Abe because I just loved him in ‘Barney Miller’ and Burt Reynolds because I like old Pontiac Firebirds, and because he had a great laugh.
Mrs. Anthony piped up, “I’m pretty sure Abe and Burt are still alive.”
Maybe it would be better to stick with non-celebrities.