Random question my friend had to answer on a pre-employment screening questionnaire: If you could have dinner with any deceased person from history, who would it be?
They're getting pretty creative with this stuff, y'all. But, this one I wouldn't mind answering. I like thought-provoking questions so long as I'm not being timed to answer and it's not a question thrown at me in an interview where I have no time to ponder. "Gandhi!" I would blurt without thinking. Or, "Mother Teresa!" Because these are people who were truly selfless in their plight to change the world. But, give me a few minutes to noodle on it, and well, neither would be my answer. Why? Because, let's face it, I'm not that fucking deep.
If I had dinner with Gandhi or Mother Teresa, we’d be drinking poop water and eating al dente grains of rice with our hands or... toasted crickets, gah! – so, I’m definitely gonna pass on those guys. Then there’s Margaret Thatcher who would most surely have me over for tea and crumpets at high noon. Needless to say, she’s out, too. I’m not a proper Englishwoman with manners and whatnot. And, where I'm from, cookies are not biscuits. And while I like a good cup of Earl Gray as much as the next gal, strong coffee loaded with cream and sugar is more my forte.
I could consider Elvis – who will serenade me and feed me grilled peanut butter and banana sandwiches. Not bad, but will the conversation be stimulating enough for me? I don't know shit about Tupelo, Mississippi or mediocre acting. And, after a few Love me Tenders, that little lip curl will start to irk me.
Maybe Emily Dickinson.... "I'm nobody, who are you?" Or, Sylvia Plath... "I think I made you up inside my head." Nah. Both too profound and serious. Surely they'd serve vegan dishes and cornucopias of self loathing. No, thanks.
What about Catherine the Great... Wasn't she the one who lined up all her husbands and screamed, "Off With Their Heads!" and then used their decapitated heads as soccer balls? Oh, wait. I think that was the Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland and it wasn't soccer, it was croquet. Never mind.
So, [although the question wasn't even meant for me,] after much contemplation, I have settled on Oscar Wilde. Good ol’ Oscar will surely provide a feast of all things yummy and delicious. The spread will include roast beef with all the fixings and baked goods to my heart’s content. We’ll sip on sweet, iced champagne, his favorite – and now mine! He’ll tell me all about the Importance of Being Earnest and the Portrait of Dorian Gray. And we’ll talk smack about the Queen and all the rubbish that goes on within the royal family. We’ll slander the name of the Marques of Queensbury for having been the cause of Oscar’s imprisonment and early death... and we’ll make voodoo dolls of all our sworn enemies.
Then, we’ll get serious, and he’ll give me tips on living life without a care in the world and how best to be shameless and daring – his early philosophy of pleasure. Definitely a worthy dead person dinner guest selection.
“How can a woman be expected to be happy with a man who insists on treating her as if she were a perfectly normal human being.”
“Women are made to be loved, not understood.”
“Some cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever then go.”
“I am so clever that sometimes I don’t understand a single word of what I’m saying.”
“True friends stab you in the front.”
“Always forgive your enemies, nothing annoys them so much.”
“I have the simplest tastes. I am always satisfied with the best.”
“I love talking about nothing. It is the only thing I know anything about.”
"A dreaded sunny day, so I'll meet you at the cemetery gates. Keats and Yeats are on your side, while Wilde is on mine..." - Stephen Patrick Morrissey