Saturday, October 06, 2007

The Parable Of The Fussy Dinner Guest

A dinner party was being planned, and invitations were sent out.

One guest, Mr. A, phoned to ask about the menu. Vegetarian ? Oh, no. That would not do. He needed his red meat. The hosts, not wanting to offend Mr. A., called the butcher.

The next day Mr. A. phoned again. The dinner party was Tuesday ? That was unacceptable. It would have to be Wednesday, and not at 7:00 (he had his favorite programs to watch) but rather at 8:00. Well, said the hosts, yes, it could be Wednesday.

The next day brought another phone call from the Mr A.. "I just noticed that my invitation says casual dress," he complained. "That's positively barbaric ! I will not attend unless it's full tie and tails." The hosts hastened to acquiesce. What had they been thinking !

Finally, the day before the event, Mr. A. called one last time. What was this he'd heard about Mr. X. and Mr. Y. being invited to the dinner party ? Mr. X ! and Mr. Y ! He could not even consider sitting at the same table as Messrs. X and Y ! So the hosts (albeit sadly) phoned up Mr. X and Mr. Y and stammered Would you mind terribly...

Finally, the night of the party arrived, Wednesday, 8:00. Guests (mostly vegetarians and a few vegans) sat squirming and chafing in their uncomfortable tuxes and gowns around a table heaped with steaks and roasts, noting (sadly) the absence of their friends X and Y. The hosts glanced anxiously toward the window. Where was Mr. A. ? Suddenly the phone rang.

It was Mr. A. Giving his regrets. He was hosting his OWN dinner party across town.

And you should see the guest list! he chortled.

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