Once upon the time, our local paper published a Thursday supplement that targeted local geographical communities like “West Ashley,” “East Cooper,” “Summerville,” etc. In those supplements a column called “Do You Know?” featured interviews with faux celebrities like the heads of recreation departments, popular bartenders, and other notable citizens that help make life more bearable for us First World sufferers. We’d learn the towns and cities of their births, their idea of a fun weekend, their favorite dishes, and inevitably, their chosen guests at a “fantasy dinner.”
Without a doubt, the most popular fantasy dinner invite of all time was Jesus. Not Jesus Alou, mind you, but the Jesus, the one from Nazareth. I’ll get into why choosing accompanying guests is problematic with Jesus at the table, but first, let’s address a gargantuan challenge involved with entertaining Joseph and Mary’s first born.
He speaks Aramaic!
If you’re thinking, yeah, but he’s the Son of God, a miracle worker, let me remind you he was also Mary’s son, i.e., half human and sometimes plagued with doubts (cf., Gethsemane). From my reading of the Gospels, it’s not as if he had a clear pipeline to God through which the latter would walkie-talkie-like tell him what to do. Turning water into wine, casting out demons, walking on water seem like veritable pieces of cake compared to mastering a language that didn’t even exist when you were alive.
No, if I had the chance to meet Jesus in the flesh I’d want him all to myself, to be able to look him in the eye, perhaps to pantomime messages back and forth, to have the focus to be only on him. In other words, I don’t want Leonardo or Nietzsche, or Lady Gaga distracting me with Jesus in the house.
C’mon folks, invite fun folk who speak the same language to your fantasy dinners: Groucho, Dorothy Parker, Oscar Wilde, Jane Austen, or if you wanna get shit-faced with the dead, Richard Burton or Christopher Hitchens.
Oops, this just in from my superego: “It’s a fantasy, jackass, make believe. You can have Jesus speak English if you want.”
Okay, then. What about dress? Nice casual? A clean robe for Jesus, a diaphanous jumpsuit for Lady Gaga? And what to serve? Loaves and fishes? Wiener schnitzel?
Like, I said Richard Burton and Christopher Hitchens . . .