You get to plan a dinner party for 4-8 of your favorite writers/artists/musicians/other notable figures, whether dead or alive. Who do you seat next to whom in order to inspire the most fun evening?
“Welcome, everyone, to my dinner party. I’ve done my best to provide you with delicious food. You, however, will be your own entertainment tonight. Here are the rules of the game: You will be seated in a new position following each course. You will find a small basket by your salad fork. At the end of the first course, you will instantly end your conversation with your dinner partner. You will draw a card from your basket. On the card, you will be instructed to move to your next position around the table. The baskets must stay in the same place. Your place settings, of course, will not be re-used. New plates or bowls, goblets, napkins, and silverware will be provided with each move.
“There will be six courses. Soup first, then salad. There will be a fish course followed by the main entree. The entree will be removed with a savory, and then coffee and dessert. By the time the meal is finished, you should have had the opportunity to converse with everyone at the table, including my husband and me, of course.
“Your conversation need not be restricted in any way unless you can see that you are causing offense or discomfort. All of you are mature, wise about human nature, and capable of conducting an interesting conversation on a multitude of topics. So, it is time to begin.
“Miss Jane Austen, you will start on my husband’s right, at the head of the table. Mr. Dickens, you will start on my husband’s left. Piano Guys: Mr. John Schmidt, you will start next to Miss Austen. Mr. Steven Nelson, you will start on my right. Miss Louisa May Alcott, you will start next to Mr. Schmidt, and you, Mr. Tchaikowsky, will start on my left. Mr, Andrea Bocelli, you will start next to Mr. Dickens, and finally, Miss Emily Dickenson, you will start between Mr. Bocelli and Mr. Nelson.
“My husband and I will remain in our places. I can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to this evening. I am very certain we will have excellent conversation. Now, if you will all be seated, we will have our soup.”
(In alphabetica order: Alcott, Austen, Bocelli, Dickens, Dickinson, Nelson, Schmidt, Tchaikowsky