I have five invitations to provide for a decadent dinner party hosted by yours truly. Limits of time, space, money, and death are no object. Who do I invite?

At first glance, this seems like an easy answer: just invite whoever you want to meet. But that’s not how a dinner party works. At a dinner party you want to invite the correct mix of people so that no one will dominate the conversation, no one will get left to the sidelines, and, even more importantly to consider when dealing with historical figures, no one will murder (or threaten to murder) the other party guests because of a mistaken dishonor. Nothing kills a party quite like homicide, after all.

The first person I would invite would be either Dawn or Ghostwheel (probably erring on the side of Ghost due to my choices for the rest of the party). Never underestimate the benefit of having someone you know and love to be automatically on your side for whatever conversation happens at the dinner table.

The second invite would go to Winston Churchill. Kind of a random choice, but thinking through people who would make great conversationalists, you have to admit that the silver-tongued Prime Minister would be a good choice. Add to that his sense of humor, and I’m sure all the dinner guests would be brought to tears of laughter at some point.

My third guest would be Jane Austen. Not only do I think she would have some interesting things to say about the proto-feminist movement in Western society, but I think she’d be able to play the room just as well (if not better) than Mr. Churchill. Also, she might be amused that a Prime Minister had the same surname as the not-so-reputable Frank Churchill from her novel Emma.

I would send the fourth invite to someone a little more recent than the novelist. Ellen DeGeneres would be a fantastic person to invite to ensure that the conversation keeps going instead of getting lost in mires of heavy material. I know I said that Churchill and Austen would do a good job with bringing humor and balance to the conversation, but Ellen would be able to do so at a much better level while still delivering pithy punchlines about current events. (And I have no doubt she would be able to school Austen and Churchill about modern affairs, which is something I would LOVE to witness!)

The final invite would be given to someone that I would just love to meet and hear more about her life from herself, rather than from a book, and someone who I think everyone at my dinner party would hold in slight awe. Grace Kelly was known as actually Hollywood royalty as she married the Prince of Monaco. She worked on films with legendary directors such as Alfred Hitchcock, starred alongside great actors such as Jimmy Stewart and Cary Grant, won an Academy Award for Best Actress and three Golden Globes. She also received foreign honors from no less than ten countries for various works. She would have a lot to say about domestic and foreign affairs, be gracious and elegant with it, and provide insight to the glamour of Hollywood’s Golden Age. How would she not be a hit?

Just imagine that dinner party! I would certainly have the time of my life!

-Wilber

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