I suppose it was last week’s post about possibly, maybe sleeping in the bed slept in by Marilyn Monroe (and possibly JFK at the same time – oh my God !!) that has prompted this blog article.
It’s also something I’ve used at dinner parties and client dinners to liven things up – who would you have to dinner – no restrictions – dead or alive?
I remember I first used it when I was hosting a dinner of the ‘great’ and the ‘important’ at Oxford University. Perversely my director had decided that we wouldn’t host our own clients, we’d host other department’s clients (I hope the moron was sacked) and so I was left trying to entertain clients from obscure parts of the British economy when all I wanted to do was have a good drink with my customers from the more ‘important’ parts of the economy – banks, oil companies and breweries!
And so when the Chief Executive of Thames Water looked at me for some sort of inspiration to start a table discussion, I said, right off the top of my head, who would you invite to dinner – dead or alive?
For a guy who was paid hundreds of thousands of pounds to make strategic decisions, he couldn’t answer and turned the question back on me.
Now this was probably about 1993-1994 and so the people who I chose that evening might not be so relevant now, but back then, they certainly were. The rules were: you could invite up to 10 celebrities, famous people or friends to join you for dinner – and just assume that they would accept and turn up - even if they were dead!
I chose the following people (not in any particular order):
Joan Bakewell – the ‘thinking man’s crumpet’ and she still is despite being well over 70! I just thought she’d bring a bit of intellectual stimulus to the dinner – she was into the arts and was a regular on TV at the time.
Pamela Anderson – the Thames Water guy thought I was being fatuous but I said anybody who had a smile and boobs like hers (she was in her prime then) would be welcome at my dinner table any time – he was not impressed! Good job he wasn’t my customer!
JFK – for obvious reasons.
Ghandi – for obvious reasons
Margaret Thatcher – the woman who single-handedly changed the UK - for the better.
Leonardo da Vinci – a man centuries ahead of his time.
John Grieg – the Glasgow Rangers (football) captain for years and years and who was probably their most important player during the 60s and 70s.
The Pope – I forget who it was at the time but it’s not important – it would still have been interesting especially if I’d seated him next to Pammie or even John Grieg!
Jeffery Archer – a British MP and novelist. Wrote the best “can’t put it down” books until Dan Brown came on the scene.
My Mum – she died in 1965 and it would have been wonderful just to see her in fabulous company – she would have held her own.
So – who would you have to dinner?