Monday, April 9, 2012

Top Five Dead People I Would Like to Have Dinner With

Having now discussed the top 5 living humans that I would love to have over for dinner (see my last blog post), I would like to now turn my attention to the top 5 dead humans to dine with.
The idea here is that each of these 5 individuals would return from the grave (in a decent, non-zombie, no hunger for the flesh / brains of the living kind of way) in order to spend the evening dining with me.  This is as good of a reason as any to return from the grave, and better than some.  The pool of candidates was much larger amongst the dead than it was for the living, and I had to skip quite a few noteworthy names that would have been fascinating to invite. In the end, these are the final invitees to the dinner party.
Dead Dinner Guest #1    
Judas Iscariot
Okay.  So I’m guessing the reaction at this point is mixed, so let me explain my reasons for inviting one of the most despised individuals of all time.  Mr. Iscariot is not being invited out of veneration of any kind on my part, but rather because I’d really love to hear his thoughts on what happened, leading up to his betrayal of Jesus.  There has been a great deal of speculation regarding his motivation for taking the 30 pieces of silver, and I’d like to get his point of view.  Obviously it wasn’t all he had hoped for, what with the subsequent suicide and all.  He would also be able to give a firsthand account of some of the other life and times moments in the life of Jesus, assuming of course you can trust anything this guy has to say.  Depending on his retrospective points of view, he might be asked to leave the table, particularly as he might make my third guest a little uncomfortable.
Dead Dinner Guest #2
John Steinbeck
John Steinbeck is my personal favorite author, and I would greatly enjoy listening to him talk about just about anything and everything.  I certainly enjoyed his writing about anything and everything.  I’d like to know what would be the central crisis of his writing if he were alive today.  I would love to ask what he considered to be his finest work.  Does he regret any of his work?  Who is his favorite character?  The curiosity around this guest alone could take up the entire meal.  Maybe he’ll stay for coffee afterwards.
Dead Dinner Guest #3
Mary the mother of Jesus

As mentioned, Judas might have to leave the table when this guest arrives.  At the very least, these two aren’t sitting next to each other and all sharp knives will be removed from the table.  Mary is being invited because I would be very keen on obtaining some insight into this most intimate of perspectives on the life of Jesus and what it was like to grow in the realization of his divine nature.  I’d like to know how he was perceived by his brothers and by Joseph.  This perspective on the life of Jesus is one that I find utterly fascinating, and having her attend would help provide some balance and reference to the portrayal from Judas.  It would also be interesting to find out her thoughts on the practice of prayer being focused on her in some religious circles.  A lot of fascinating rabbit trails could be followed with this guest.
Dead Dinner Guest #4
Eleanor Dare
Who is Eleanor Dare?  I completely understand your confusion.  Who was this woman, and what happened to her?  Ever since I first heard of the lost colony of Roanoke in Elementary school, I’ve been fascinated with the mystery and want to know what happened to the people.  For the unfamiliar, Roanoke Colony was one of the first colonies in America.  They were facing some hard times and their leader went back to England for supplies.  Due to a series of circumstances, he was unable to return for three years.  When he came back, everyone was gone and no trace of the colonists was ever found.  Which brings us back to the question, Who was Eleanor Dare?  Eleanor Dare was the mother of Virginia Dare, the first European child born in the colonies (that was recorded anyway, who knows about those crazy Vikings).  I’ve chosen her to be the one to tell me what happened to the colony.  With my luck, she probably got eaten by a bear while the colony was still in Roanoke and she won’t be able to tell me anything about what happened, but I had to pick someone.  I’m greatly looking forward to finding out the secret to this centuries old mystery.
Dead Dinner Guest #5
C. S. Lewis
Another favorite author, particularly for his works of Fiction.  Clive Staples Lewis barely made the cut because I feel like I already know his perspectives on so many things due to his works of non-fiction.  But then I think about books like, Till We Have FacesorPerelandraand I can’t imagine not inviting him to the dinner party.  Plus I’m sure he would enjoy meeting Mary and Judas as well, so I’d be doing him a favor, which might get me an in with the Inklings in the event they are still meeting in the afterlife.  I’d also be interested in getting Mr. Lewis’s thoughts on the recent movie adaptions to his Narnia stories and whether he ever noticed that his name is a complete sentence.
Guests held in Reserve
Any good host knows to require an RSVP.  Nothing could be more embarrassing than to have someone return from the grave to come to your dinner party only to find that they are the only guest to show up. 
With that in mind, one needs backup guests prepared to invite in the event one of the primary guests is unable to make it due to some other pressing obligation on their time. 
Reserve Dead Dinner Party Guest #1
Kurt Vonnegut
No explanation needed.  True greatness and one of my top 5 authors.  God Bless you Mr. Vonnegut.

Reserve Dead Dinner Party Guest #2
Marilyn Monroe
Why so sad?  Was it murder?  Who did it?  JFK?  Do you know about that ridiculous statue in Chicago?  Biggest regret?

Reserve Dead Dinner Party Guest #3
Assuming that he has learned English in the afterlife, I’d have quite a few questions concerning the night of his death.  As a history minor in college, I wrote an upper level paper on Rasputin’s death and it was one bizarre unexplainable event after another.  The guy just wouldn’t die.  Perhaps the mad priest could help separate fact from fantasy for me.  Plus we could share a chuckle about his portrayal in the Disney film, Anastasia, which I’m sure he finds quite amusing.  I’m pretty sure, based on pictures like the one above, that this is a guy who knows how to party.


1 comment:

  1. great dinner guests! be sure to record it for me, unless i'm dead before you have your party, and then i expect to be invited!

    Didn't the Roanoke colony merge with the Croatans? i thought the Croatans claim white ancestors and had blue eyes.

    Aren't you curious what Mary thought of Joseph of Arimathea and Jesus time with John the Baptist? Did she really go to Patmos with John the disciple? So many questions!

    And now, tell me what you know about Rasputin? i think he's fascinating!