In a perfect world

I’m hugely flattered to discover that a Canadian video journalist has named me as her perfect dining companion!

7 Responses to “In a perfect world”

  1. James

    Who are your (all readers!) perfect dining companions? First, if you had an opportunity for a dinner with a single person, living or dead, with whom would you have dinner? If you were hosting a dinner party, let’s say up to nine guests, whom would you invite?

    I suppose one could flatter our blog hostess by naming her, but that’s too easy, so for the purposes of this mind-game, let’s all assume she’s the #1 choice and we’re naming our #2’s! ;-)

    Single person dinner: I’m not normally star-struck, but I like intelligence, so I think a dinner conversation with Stephen Hawking would be fascinating — he’s my living choice. My deceased choice is more personal, an old SO who died young.

    For a dinner party, that’s a lot tougher. Assuming you could put everyone on their best behavior, among the deceased you could get quite a collection of fascinating historical people: DaVinci, Caesar, Shakespeare, etc… Getting Muhammed, Jesus, and Buddha at the same table would be interesting. Among the living, I’d be very curious to have a conversation with someone like bin Laden, and contrast that with Nelson Mandella. Oh, and I’d invite a few friends, too.

  2. admin

    James, you are so diplomatic!

    At my ideal dinner party I’d definitely have Cao Xueqin, the author of 红楼梦 (A Dream of Red Mansions, a.k.a. The Story of the Stone), Leonard Cohen, the Qing Dynasty gourmet Yuan Mei, and Grace O’Malley, the infamous sixteenth century Irish pirate queen who happens to be one of my ancestors!! I’ll keep the numbers down so I have time to talk to them all properly.
    And as for the menu…
    Fuchsia

  3. mel

    I’d like to keep my guest list to those i’ve either known or who are still living but i haven’t met. First the significant other in my life because she will ask questions i’m often reluctant to ask, then Richard Feynman the theoretical physicist, who i took a course with in grad school, Bob Dylan whose music/lyrics have given me much pleasure, and Barack Obama who as best as i can tell seems to be a mensch and for a politican that is saying something.In honor of this blog i’d certainly like to have ma po dou fu on the menu-hope its not too hot for the company!

  4. James

    Many thanks for your kind words… I came up with the idea before I left for work, and after leaving for the office, came up with so many more people! I think I’d need more than one dinner party… And then I remembered how poor my education was — while I ended up with degrees in Computer Science with minors in Maths and Physics, the teaching I had in things like literature was so poor that it left a bad taste in my mouth, so I only really started reading for pleasure several years after I graduated, and so my exposure to many cultures is limited.

    Phew. That said… from a Eurocentric view, I’d probably add Hector Munro (Saki) as he’s my favorite author, and Joe Strummer. The computer geek in me would probably demand Alan Turing. I wouldn’t mind inviting John Stewart.

    Hmmm… gender balance isn’t so great (not that Hector and Alan would mind…) Rosa Luxembourg? Veronica Lake? Elizabeth I? Marie Curie?

    Alas, that’s a lot of dishes to clean afterwards….

  5. J-

    The problem of dining with historical figures is we don’t absolutely know what they were like.
    Maybe Shakespeare was a pompous ass, and Ivan the Terrible might have been witty and charming.
    Unlikely but possible.

    A mid-sixty year old Charlie Chaplin might be interesting, for stories of his experiences and people he’d met.
    In his autobiography, Chaplin writes about having dinner with Douglas Fairbanks, Winston Churchill and Einstein. The only way I can imagine those folks in the same room would be at a costume party.

    Side note on Leonard Cohen: He’s on tour in the US and playing my city next month. I’m hoping to get a ticket this week, but I don’t think there’s any “dinner included” packages.

  6. Thuy Cobb

    My dream dinner scenario: Fuschia Dunlop to my left and Frank Stitt to my right….with Anthony Bourdain hovering somewhere making wisecracks…

    I used to wish that Jesus was my dinner companion but found out that gourmet food is considered a “mortal” sin of gluttony or “excessive preoccupation with gourmet food” and my guilt-laden Roman Catholic background would not truly be able to enjoy that dinner…

  7. Leo

    Well, Ms. Dunlop’s a given! And so too is my countryman, Leonard Cohen. I’m sure you’re ready to work around the fact he’s veg. And please prepare something home-y and English for Mr. Orwell, I know he dislikes heavy spices and garlic. Hip hop artist Nas is a fan of seafood and I’m a simple ma po dofu kinda guy.

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