2.27.2014

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?


As far as social gatherings are concerned, dinner parties are second only to karaoke outings in my book. There is something magical and intimate about gathering together 10 or 12 of those you call your closest friends or those whom you soon hope will ascend to those ranks.

Who doesn't adore a dinner party? I've never met one I don't like. I should throw them more often, said the new mom who doesn't sleep and whose shower schedule is dismal. In lamenting my recent nonattendance of any social function (unfortunately, only a slight exaggeration), I got to thinking about who I'd invite to my fantasy dinner party. AND.

I put together a DREAM TEAM of dinner guests.

The rules of the game are simple: pick 12 people (living or dead, fictional or in the flesh, human or not) who you'd like to break bread with.

JESUS CHRIST, THE SON OF GOD
Speaking of breaking bread, He's the obvious first choice as one of the most dynamic people/deities to have ever lived. I can't think of anyone I'd rather interrogate. (What's it like walking on water? Creating the universe? Being the most perfect person who will ever live?) It's fair to say I have more questions for Him than I did for J.J. Abrams at the end of LOST. And clearly an excellent dinner guest. Can talk history, politics, agriculture (mustard seeds). Well-traveled (intergalactically even perhaps). Omnipotent yet humble. Tells charming parables.  Plus if the party starts to lull, he can literally bring it back to life.

DAVID FOSTER WALLACE
Everyone is sick of hearing me talk about this dude. I'm sick of it, too. Sorry, I have a big time philosophical crush on him. I'd sit Jesus on the one side of me and him on the other so I could pick his brain for awhile. I would even let him wear that dumb bandana to dinner.

LARRY DAVID
Every party needs a provocateur, and he is the stickiest stick in the muddiest mud. I'm sure he would end the party by making some ruinous hilarious comment. I wouldn't want to talk to him I think, just sit back and watch him work the table. Obviously, I would stick him at the opposite end of Christ and not serve him anything close to a Cobb salad.

WERNER HERZOG
I've got a strange obsession with him. (I want him to speak at my funeral.?) Also, he fills the quota for foreigner, and would likely make remarkably opaque comments about the transient nature of souffl├ęs. ("The plight of the common house egg is horrendous. What has fate wrought for this helpless chicken embryo who is damned by the brutality of our appetites. Boiled, poached, fried, destroyed. Life taken before life can be fulfilled.")

JARED CARDON
Among his other conversational and improvisational skills, he does a great Werner Herzog.

ELINOR DASHWOOD
Lest my dinner party get too sausagey, I'd pick this Georgian heroine to level the playing field. She's smart, observant, witty, and one of the best female protagonists of all time. (Yo Lizzy Bennet, I'm really happy for you, Imma let you finish, but Elinor Dashwood is one of the best period piece heroines of all time! Of all time!). I think she could be my literary BFF. I'd put her next to DFW, and hope they'd hit it off. It which would make a fantastical romantic match for the ages.

PAULA POUNDSTONE
Clearly the top choice for dinner party doyenne, she does current events better than anyone and can talk on really any subject. And I could count on her to dress for the occasion, dinner jacket and tie.

SAUL BERENSON
It was down to him or George Bailey to fill the Integrity/Moral Fictional Figure slot, and I think Saul is a little more flawed and interesting. What is it with Saul that you just want to like confess all your sins to him? He's that weird combination of father figure, professional mentor, love interest and best friend rolled in one. One of the best characters on the small screen in a long while.

MARGO CHANNING
My dinner party needs some Old Hollywood glamour and glitz, and I think she's one of the snappiest characters to hit the silver screen. Just wind up this bon vivant and watch her go! She sings! She cries! She adds the perfect amount of drama and snark to any occasion. She'd sit next to Mr. David. Fasten your seatbelts, it's going to be a bumpy night with Margo at the table.

BILL COSBY
Who doesn't love Bill Cosby. Or chocolate pudding. Both of which should be present and abundant at any good dinner party.

TAMI TAYLOR
The only person I love more from FNL than Coach Taylor is his wife. She could sagely dispense her advice to all guests in that lovely drawl. I think I'd put her next to Herzog. I'd love to hear those accents next to each other.

PAUL NEWMAN, CIRCA 1960
Dessert.

Ok, now how can I make this real?
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