Reader's Exchange

Check, please

Don't you admire those who can cleverly answer the "which three famous people, living or dead, you'd choose to have dinner with" question?  Perhaps you have a boffo response yourself, but I've been stumped by the scope of potential invitees (i.e., everyone who's ever lived, out of whom I can pick only three!)

Also, for no good reason, I've always pictured the event in a vast formal Victorian dining room complete with an army of waiters, unidentifiable eating implements, and the obligation to chat in a sparkling manner to strangers on both sides and another one across the table.

 A breakthrough occurred when I realized that anyone capable of breaking bread with the non-living also has these options:

  • Limit the roster to three writers, and I don't have to entertain them simultaneously
  • Ditch the formal scene
  • Offer each author his/her choice of any Round Rock eatery (because, for all its variety, our city offers no palatial 19th- century dining venues)

Did I also mention that I can select another famous trio any time I wish?  Now that the pressure's off and comfort food is an option, I'm naming the first three lucky dinner companions:

Rick Bragg:  I can discover whether his real voice sounds like the one I hear when I'm reading his artfully simple prose.  He could give me the scoop on his forthcoming book, and I bet he'd choose a place with fried okra, cornbread, and cobbler on the menu.

waiterWilliam Dean Howells:  He could relate insider anecdotes about Twain, Henry James, and Edith Wharton.  Also, I suspect that he shares his character Silas Lapham's discomfiture wtih too-elegant settings and would appreciate barbecue.

Barbara Ehrenreich:  I'd schedule our dinner for tonight in order to afford me a week-early preview of her latest:  Bright-Sided: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America.  I'm unfamiliar with Ms. Ehrenreich's dining preferences, but, knowing her previous book, I'm prepared to leave a very generous tip!



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