But Would It Have To Be "Tea"?
Alright, saw this on Christie's site and had to try my hand at it, though the living ones will be much harder...
CELEBRITY TEA PARTY
List nine list celebrities you would invite to a tea party for their wit and conversation. Don't invite anyone just for eye candy. Musicians, writers, PBS hosts, convicts, politicians, etc. all count (not just actors).
- Van Morrison, Irish musician
- Leonard Cohen, Canadian poet, musician and two-time novelist
- Mark Strand, Canadian-born American poet
- Ray Charles, musician extraordinaire
- Peter O'Toole, actor, bon-vivant and damned-HIGH-larious story-teller
- Harold Bloom, critic and theorist and now-infamous-feminist-molester
- Colin Mochrie, comedian
- Stephen Fry, actor, comedian and sometime-novelist
- Aretha Franklin, singer (also extraordinaire)
CELEBRITY TEA PARTY II: Time-travel/universal translator edition
List nine deceased famous people you'd invite to a fabulous tea party. Choose them for their wits and conversation, strange behavior, etc., but not their appearance or fame.
- Graham Greene, novelist and world-traveler
- William Shakespeare, DUH.
- John Donne, poet and clergyman
- Sir Alec Guinness, actor
- Marcus Aurelius, Roman emperor and philosopher
- Wallace Stevens, poet
- T.S. Eliot, poet and critic-theorist
- Homer, poet
- Groucho Marx, DUH.
(But I could do this just with individual writers of individual genres. This list would require an all-out gala.)
CELEBRITY TEA PARTY III: Fictional character edition
This time invite nine fictional characters from books, comics, film, etc., to your tea party, but remember--you're inviting them for their conversation, not their looks.
- Socrates, philosopher (don't know if he should go here, but have no concrete proof he existed)
- King Lear, Shakespearean tragic hero (Hamlet wouldn't shut up!)
- Falstaff, Shakespearean comic "hero"
- Methusaleh, Biblical character that lived longer than any of us would ever dare imagine
- Sarah Miles, heroine from Graham Greene's The End of The Affair
- Colonel Nicholson, character from The Bridge On The River Kwai
- Tiresias, cursed seer
- Rick, hero from Casablanca
- Don Quixote, DUH.
Believe it or not, these aren't all "favourites" per se-- there's actually a kind of conversational rhythm imagined in all these, who could relate to whom, and so on and so forth. I imagine Rick and Sarah Miles would have a lot to discuss, as would Lear and Methusaleh, or Lear and Don Quixote.
And I'm adding this one of my own creation:
CELEBRITY TEA PARTY IV: People I've Actually Met (However Briefly) edition
- Lincoln Alexander, former Lieutenant-Governor of Ontario and all-round cool-dude
- Rompin' Ronnie Hawkins, musician
- Oscar Peterson, jazz legend
- Ralph Nader, activist and election-spoiler (met him years and years ago, very briefly)
- Roger Kuin, critic and professor
- Al Purdy, Canadian poet
- P.K. Page, Canadian poet
- D. R. Ewen, critic and retired-professor
- John Bryden, Canadian parliamentarian
Meh. So, I haven't met as many interesting people as I'd have liked, though I'm deleting some names because, frankly, I don't think I'd want them around. But, there we go. Try it for yourselves, people...