The Dinner Party Game

Glyn Williams rolls up his sleeves and gets stuck in.

“I’m not sure about the rules of this, but I’m assuming that I can invite 12 guests (6 male and six female). I prefer to include guests who are still living – deceased guests have little to say and tend to leave their food. I will place myself at the head of the table and send my wife to her mother’s.”

“When choosing guests I have preferred to ask people who are capable of intelligent conversation and who may have conflicting opinions to their fellow guests but who can argue in a witty and civilised manner (thus Mr. Tyson is excluded). The guests are not chosen because they have big breasts or have spent their careers inducing cinema audiences to seek out the nearest barf bags. I retain the right, however, to ferring in a whole platoon of bimbos through the back door whilst my dinner guests are taking their leave through the front.”

“Guests are selected from a variety of areas of artistic life with representatives from cinema (3), politics (2), music (1), literature (2), paintings (1), TV & theatre (1), and 2 guests who I consider to be capable of talking about anything and everything (but without hogging the conversation).”

“I think the assembled group would be able to keep a dinner party going well into the early hours of the morning, but in order to do so they need to be backed up by a good set of staff behind the scenes. I have, therefore, also added some random thoughts about selection of these back-room staff but, unlike the choice of dinner guests, this group is not to be taken seriously.”

“One or two notable absentees from my dinner table: it would be a real coup to have Salman Rushdie but I can do without letterbox flambe half way through the evening and Clive Barker is not included because I have already read or heard just about every opinion he holds on anything. Margaret Thatcher would be welcome if she was actually ON the menu.

Michael CaineCatherine Deneuve
Dennis SkinnerEdwina Currie
Randy NewmanMaureen Lipman
Evan Hunter (Ed McBain)Julie Burchill
John ArlottJane Fonda
Peter UstinovBridget Riley
Meanwhile in the kitchen:
  • Waiter and general dogsbody: My boss
  • Washing up: Nanette Newman
Food Preparation:
  • H.G.Lewis: Meat dishes
  • Chesty Morgan: Fruit dish (Melons, obviously)
  • Royal Shakespeare Co: Fish dish (Cod pieces only)
  • Arsenal F.C.: a variety of vegetables
  • Man who sold Brooklyn Bridge: cons-some
  • Next door’s dog: whines
  • Kylie Minogue: tooth-pick
  • Julian Clary: After Eight mince

**** 8. “Don’t you fucking look at me!!”

Even if you can’t get all 10 (2 more in the supplement!), enter anyway – if last time is anything to go by, we may end up with more prizes than entrants and since I need the shelf space, it’s either you lot or the dustman! Closing date, round about March 1st, shall we say, and bribery isn’t against the rules…

And finally, the following piece. After reading it, I spent half an hour banging my head against blunt objects. You have been warned.

Once upon a time, there was a lazy old frog who sat in the middle of the pond and did nothing all day except catch gnats, All around him the other animals hurried and scurried, but the frog never moved. Eventually, the other animals got fed up and a deputation led by the lizard confronted the frog.

“Now, look here frog”, said the lizard. “All you do all day is sit in the middle of the pond catching gnats. It’s not good enough, animals should be active.”

“Actually”, said the frog, catching another gnat. “I have just been planning my skiing holiday. Would that be active enough for you?”

The other animals laughed in disbelief.

“You could never learn to ski”, said the dragonfly. “In fact, I’m willing to bet a six month supply of gnats that you couldn’t learn.”

“You’re on”, said the frog, and went to pack his bags.

Three weeks passed, and the frog eventually returned to the pond. The other animals were waiting and, once the frog had settled in and caught a few gnats for his tea, they demand proof of the frog’s skiing prowess.

Slowly, the frog unrolled a large certificate presented to him by the Skiing school, and across the top of the certificate it said in bright red letters:


Thank you, and goodnight.