The Dinner Party

From Kim du Toit:

Here’s the set-up. You can invite four men and four women over to dinner, from any era or place (and assume that there is no language barrier, so conversation is possible). Who would be on your guest list, and why?

Hmm. The language thing is an interesting twist, in that I never even considered that barrier. The men list isn’t hard to fill; it is hard to filter down. In no particular order:

  • Robert A. Heinlein — I have to have someone to talk politics with, and Heinlein knows politics at a visceral level. This man’s writings have taught me a lot about political maneuvering, and both how politics are and should be. A lot of his works were remarkably prescient, and I think a lot of that has to do with simply grokking history. Also, I want to see what facial expression encompasses both smugness and horror when I tell him how right he was.
  • Sir Francis Drake — Do I really need a reason? I want a pirate. I want war stories. I want sea stories. I want a man who saw something he believed in, did what he had to do to get it, and happened to get rich doing it.
  • Jesus of Nazareth — I’ve got a couple of questions for this knucklehead. I’m betting that JC would be a lot more honest than the jokers who told his story to us.
  • Karl Marx — So he won’t be breathing by the time the entree comes. It’s my fantasy dinner party; I can do what I want to. Besides, once Karl is out of the way, the ladies and gents can pair up evenly.


  • David Drake
  • Thomas Jefferson
  • Moses
  • Samuel Cements
  • Mick Foley
  • Enki — I think he was a real person, and I’ve got some questions for this cat too.

Now on to the women. On this one, it was hard to come up with enough ladies worth dragging through time and space to fill out the list.

  • Hedy Lamaar — Breathtakingly beautiful and breathtakingly smart. I can’t belive that Kim passed her up. I would be powerless against her if she decided to make me her puppet, but I’m cool with that.
  • Helen of Troy — I mainly just want to get a look at the woman who’s worth fighting wars over, but I would like to get her side of it too.
  • Queen Elizabeth — I’ve got a thing for redheads. I’m worried about how smart Helen is, though, and I want to make sure that I have enough conversation. Lizzy ought not disappoint. (As long as she lets me call her Lizzy, or Beth, or something familiar.)
  • Condoleezza Rice — I don’t even want to talk politics with her. I just want to get war stories from the Cold War.

(Via IronBear)


  1. Roger Ritter says:

    Who the hell is Robert “L”. Heinlein? Robert “A”. Heinlein’s younger brother?

    OK, so it’s a simple typo. Great choice, either way – one of my all-time favorite authors, and a man with more sense and knowledge of humanity in his little finger than most people (including me) will ever have.

  2. Phelps says:

    He is the well known Dutch author of such novels as “Starship Poopers”, “Have Space Soot — Will Babble” and “Strangler in a Strange Land”.

    (Corrected. Butthead.)