Totebag Dinner Party Game

by Honolulu Mother

The object of this game is to plan a Totebag dinner party. Your guests should include:

1 historical figure
1 fictional character (books, movies, tv, comics, they’re all eligible)
1 living celebrity (sports, acting, music, eccentric billionaire, they’re all eligible)
3 Totebaggers of your choice
You and your date of choice (it doesn’t have to be your spouse!)

Who’s invited? What are you serving? And what are your seating arrangements — who is next to whom? For full credit, explain your choices.

Please do not fill more than two blue books. ^_^


61 thoughts on “Totebag Dinner Party Game

  1. Can’t wait to read the answers, but it is a busy day with work deadlines and trying to finish getting ready for the new carpet to be installed. I’ll play later today if I can…

  2. I am actually planning a dinner party for this weekend. Have received 6 yesses and 2 maybes. There is nothing I hate more than a maybe.

  3. Obama, James Bond and Winston Churchill. And I would invite all totebaggers. How rude to be having a dinner like that and not invite you all. Dinner will be held at The Ivy in London.

  4. Gahhhh I have to think about this for too long!

    Feminist Totebagger dinner party:
    Eleanor Roosevelt
    Wonder Woman
    Gloria Steinem
    HM, RSM, and Meme
    My date: Hillary Clinton

    Literary Totebagger dinner party:
    Jane Austen
    Anne of Green Gables
    Margaret Atwood
    All the Totebaggers who actually read the books in the Juggle book club
    My date: Ta-Nehisi Coates

    Eye candy Totebagger dinner party:
    Henry VIII (the young version, no weapons please)
    Tim Riggins from “Friday Night Lights”
    Idris Elba
    All the Totebaggers who would be attracted to these people!
    My date: Tom Hiddleston

    I will be back with menus etc. :)

  5. To BenL’s point about the Countess. I think dinner would be better if held at Dudley House. For each of the great country houses in England there was, at one time, a corresponding great house in London. Over the years these have been bought up, subdivided, replaced with office buildings etc. However, the brother of the Emir of Qatar has restored one, Dudley House, to its former grandeur and he’s also staffed it like it would have been when it was new – scullery maids, footmen, valets, under butlers, etc.

  6. My table holds 12, and all our dinner parties are potluck so:

    My celebrity is definitely Ina Garten. She’s in charge of the appetizers. And she can bring Jeffrey.
    Historical figure(s): the Obamas, They’re not dead yet, but they’re definitely historical. They’ll bring a fancy salad.
    Fictional: The matriarch from the book The Shell Seekers (blanking on the character’s name). She’ll bring 2 veggies straight from her garden. Possibly new potatoes and peas.

    That’s 5, and with me and DH, that’s 7. Have to think on the rest.

  7. L, I’m in!

    Lark, was she Anne? Argh, I’ll have to google. PENELOPE. Penelope Stern Keeling. (Also, I had no idea they’d made a tv movie of it.)

  8. Truman Capote, H.R. Haldeman,, Gore Vidal, Former First Lady Rosalind Carter, Earnest Hemmingway, Mike Pence, Charlie Sheen, Carrie Nation, Fran Lebowitz, Future Senator Roy Moore, Taylor Swift, Milo’s middle daughter, Adolph Coors, Bette Davis, Sen. Wilbur Mills, Lyudmila Putin, Oral Roberts, Carl Perkins, Barron Trump, Thomas Jefferson, Fawn Hall and, if there’s room, Malcom Baldridge and his horse,

  9. Historical Figure: Elisabeth, Princess of Bohemia
    Fictional Character: Meg Murry of A Wrinkle in Time
    1 living celebrity: Angela Merkel
    3 Totebaggers: Finn, Meme, Milo
    My Date: Thomas Sowell (couldn’t decide between him and Angela Merkel as celebrities so they can both come)

    The discussion will involve science/engineering, economics, and politics. Someone else will be cooking and Mr WCE will be taking care of all my children and putting them to bed.

  10. My rule would be to only invite totebaggers whom a) I have never met IRL b) never met electronically with real names/families identified c) never learned by accident their real name/some particulars. So that doesn’t leave too many of the regulars. My four, not three, invited guests would be Rhett, PTM, Birdie and Houston. But it would end up three, because Rhett would decline for privacy reasons. Plus ones welcome, but PTM is expected to come up with a doozy. Or a floozy, if he prefers. Or Junior if he would enjoy it.

    I would serve a basic self prepared meal with the specialities of the house. Appetizer would be a gougère (cheese puff ring) with some sort of tasty mushroom filling – maybe mild Asian spices not creamed – with pickled veggies on the side. Alsatian Gewurtztraminer. Main course Veal chops rubbed with turkish spices and a pan sauce thickened with creme fraiche. Fresh buttered noodles. Haricot verts with pearl onions. Choice of hearty white and light red wine. I might have to ask for advice from fictional guest. Dessert tray – selection of Mom’s strawberry rhubarb pie, pecan pie, something chocolate from an expensive bakery, and ice cream. Good coffee. After dinner single malt tasting.

    Fictional guest – Lord Peter Wimsey and wife Harriet Vane
    Historical guest – FDR and Eleanor
    Celebrity – David Ortiz
    My date – Kate McKinnon

  11. Also, Mémé, your fictional guest / wine consultant would be stunned by what’s coming out of the New World / Oceania these days. You could replay that wine tasting short story with all wines from the Americas, Oz, and NZ, and see how he did!

  12. Mad Dog, we can chat and flirt. My guest will have to be The Hon. Justice Samuel Alito.

  13. I’d like to have dinner with Einstein and Geoffrey Rush to see how well Rush did playing Einstein.

    Or Henry VIII and Jonathan Rys-Meyers for the same reason.

    For the Einstein dinner I’d like to have Finn, WCE and Mooshi as my guests.

    For the Henry VIII I’d like HM’s son to be the server in his tux. Not sure who I’d invite though. Anyone would probably like that dinner.

  14. To go along with Rhode’s idea, I would like to have dinner with Winston Churchill and John Lithgow. I’d just sit back and watch them bicker.

  15. 1 historical figure: Margaret Thatcher
    1 fictional character Lee:- servant from “East of Eden”
    1 living celebrity: Charles Murray
    Totebaggers: Honolulu Mother, Rhett, WCE
    My date: my spouse

    This is all a fantasy, right? I would not cook but Rhett would choose the venue and pick up the tab to fly all the guests first class to the destination. HM would suggest cocktails, which I think would liven up the conversation. During a lengthy multi-course meal consisting of dishes I’ve never had, we would discuss human nature, politics, juggling, and anything else that popped up during the conversation. The discussion would start out slowly but grow lively but not vitriolic. (I’d have to get Lee to help keep DH in check since he’d be the one most likely to lose his temper.)

    At the end of dinner we would have solved many of the world’s problems, and have agreed on the issue of a guaranteed basic income. And to continue this fantasy, after dinner we would all move on to the nearest dance hall where we would spend another hour or two dancing the night away. On our way home, DH and I would gossip about all the guests and all the funny things that happened.

  16. At my dinner party there would be many side conversations on topics of interest to me and I would be slightly annoyed to be left out but very happy to see everyone talking.

  17. Historical figure – Benjamin Franklin — while his private life didn’t necessarily bear close moral scrutiny, by all accounts he was hugely charming and I’m sure he’d be an asset to any dinner table
    Fictional character – the Wife of Bath — I’m going to seat her next to Benjamin Franklin and watch the fireworks!
    Living celebrity – Neil DeGrasse Tyson
    Three Totebaggers – I’m going to spread the wealth and try to invite people who aren’t already invited to another Totebag dinner party, so L (she is giving several parties but I don’t think has been invited to one, plus I owe her a return of hospitality now!), Louise, and Pseudo, who could use a trip out of the sticks now and then ;-)
    My date will be my youngest son, so he can talk to Neil DeGrasse Tyson.

    So, let’s see, if I have BF and WoB next to each other, I guess I’ll put Pseudo next to BF so he can ask her all kinds of technical questions about advances in agriculture. Hmm, maybe then me (my numbers of men / women are uneven, sorry), NDGT, L, my son (he can be very charming when he wants to be and he’ll wear his tuxedo), Louise, and that brings us back to WoB. Louise, I’m sure she’ll be interested to compare observations of men and married life in the old country / US / medieval England. If she talks past Louise to my son that’ll be a whole education in itself for him.

    Since there’s a fantasy element to this, I’m going to get them to let me use ‘Iolani Palace as the venue and have Chef Mavro come in and do the cooking.

  18. Historical figure: Ronald Reagan, fictional: YODA, celebrity: Derek Jeter, I’d have a lot of trouble narrowing down the Totebaggers. Milo, July, Meme, Houston- but Honolulu Mom would be so fun, and Moxie would be hilarious, Rhett would be provocative, and RMSM would have all the best comebacks…. hmm tough choices….

  19. July, just let me know when! I’ll bet the conversation between Rhett and Charles Murray will be lively.

  20. I am surprised that no one has mentioned inviting Jesus to their party. He would be at the top of my guest list. And of corse lamb would be the main course.

  21. I think Rhett and Murray would have to be seated close if not next to each other. WCE and Lee would want to exchange ideas on raising twins and discuss the idea of free will. I envision that HM and Thatcher would have a lot to discuss, even some agreements!

  22. Rhett would choose the venue and pick up the tab to fly all the guests first class to the destination.

    We could try out Emirates newly unveiled first class:

  23. Sheep — the problem with Jesus as a dinner guest is that he might start ranting at the guests about how they were going to betray him, which would be awkward. Although if you started running low on food or wine, he’d be very helpful!

  24. Mafalda, Reagan certainly had the reputation for being charming in his day! I’d enjoy meeting him. And I think he and Yoda would really understand each other on a different level than the rest of us.

  25. Thanks, HM! Can I bring my husband so he can talk with Neil deGrasse Tyson too? Or I could bring my oldest and set her up with your youngest. ;)

    Rhett – instead of The Ivy may I suggest Sukiyabashi Jiro or Sushi Saito? :)

  26. If I were so lucky as to be invited to PTM’s party, I would probably spend the evening in the far corner of the room, a little frightened and downing martinis, just watching it all unfold.

  27. July, martinis? With Carrie Nation present? Maybe try drinking them out of a teacup to avoid attracting her attention.

  28. Hmmm.

    historical figure: Obamas
    fictional character: Elizabeth Bennet
    living celebrity: Stan Lee
    Totebaggers: Milo, Rhett, PTM
    your date of choice: Thor

    Milo and Rhett would of course be seated together, close enough for me to listen in, and across from the Obamas. Elizabeth Bennet would be at that end of the table (Milo/Rhett to her right, Obamas to her left), adding her pointed commentary. I’d be next to the Obamas, with Thor opposite me; next to me would be Stan Lee,* and PTM would be on the end, across from Miss Bennet.**

    Moscato and some nibbles to start. Then I’d probably make lamb ragu and serve a 2007 Sandrone (Barolo).

    We would probably adjourn to the deck after the main meal with a brachetto d’acqui. Some of the guests might play some pickup basketball; the Obamas would graciously agree to team up with DS (a/k/a the walking liability), while Thor paired off with Milo and Stan Lee (Rhett would demur, as he did not dress appropriately for a pickup game, while PTM went to find the Genny Light). The game would last for approximately 3.5 minutes, until Thor went for the power dunk and broke the goal. Mr. Obama would still win.

    Once the bruised feelings were assuaged (sorry, Thor dearest), we’d move back to the cool of the deck and on to dessert: probably my chocolate pie, with some fruit for the no-chocolate crowd, along with an old port (’44 Burmester, if I can find one) and beer for those who’d prefer.

    * Note that there are only three guests on the far side of the table, to accommodate Thor’s broad shoulders.

    ** So he can admire her fine eyes from afar.

  29. I’m flattered to have been mentioned.

    A start to my guest list:

    Historical figure: John Locke, or maybe Scalia

    Fictional character: Someone very wise. Perhaps Shifu from Kung Fu Panda.

    Living celebrity: The Notorious RBG.

    Totebaggers: Hard to narrow this down, but I think Kaleburg might fit in well with the guests above. Someone I think I may have a lot in common with is Mr. LfB.

    My date: DS.

  30. Haha I would love to be the fly on the wall at all these dinner parties, especially the ones PTM attends.

  31. Historical figure: Zora Neale Hurston
    Fictional: Celie from The Color Purple
    Celebrity: Angela Davis
    Totebaggers: Anyone who is interested
    My date: Audre Lorde (yeah, I know she’s dead)

    I want to listen to the three real-life black women discuss how the world should change such that Celie can have a better life. Hurston was sort-of libertarian, Davis is a Communist, and Lorde was sort of poetically, intersectionally, radical feminist.

    What to serve…probably vegetarian lasagne, since you can usually count on feminists to be vegetarian. Wine, lots of it. I’m not sure where to seat poor Celie, whose life is going to get debated…maybe next to Lorde. Everyone except Hurston was/is gay or bi. So if there are any male Totebaggers attending maybe I’ll seat her next to him.

  32. WCE, thanks, I think I would enjoy listening to Sowell, although perhaps his mentor might be even more interesting.

  33. I am so excited for the Meme party. I would love to meet the invitees. I suspect that no one looks the way that I imagine them to be. I will try to think of a good hostess gift for Meme.

  34. At Meme’s party, the topic of discussion which would be suggested of course, by my companion Sammy Alito would be Which Corporation is the Most Significant Person in your Life?

  35. Thanks, Birdie. One visiting totebagger brought my cats some toys. with catnip in them. can’t go wrong with that.

    I appreciate all of the inclusions on the hypo guest lists. I think I probably look exactly as you imagine.

    L, I can totally see you with Tom Hiddleston. Until I saw him and Chris Hemsworth and Mark Ruffalo striding along in the latest movie (Mark is the usual short Hollywood actor), I didn’t realize that he is tall, since he plays such weedy guys. And I always imagined the god Loki to be small and shifty.

    I can’t host an eye candy dinner, because I would need to invite my longtime movie heartthrob Errol Flynn, who was actually tried for statutory rape in 1934. It wasn’t that he was so much worse than anyone else, it was a payoff dispute between his studio and the corrupt police force. But still…

    If I had to stick to a guest list of 8, I would still invite Lord Peter and Eleanor Roosevelt and the totebagggers sans spouses. There are a number of totebaggers besides those I have already encountered that I long to meet. But I was reasonably certain that these four wouldn’t have dietary restrictions. And I would of course provide PTM with his beer of choice.

  36. I would be too scared to attend any of these parties. I’m such a wallflower! I wouldn’t know where to sit, what to wear, and how to act. I’d inevitably say the wrong thing.

    Good thing I’m not invited to any of them! :)

  37. Historical: Norman Borlaug and Thomas Malthus
    Fictional character: Fraiser Crane
    Celebrity: Tom Selleck
    Totebaggers: Any and all
    My date: DH

    We’ll have it Valentine’s Day in the orchard, with blossoms drifting down. Start with some champagne, then I’ll put HM in charge of the cocktails. Rhett will have approved the menu, catered by the Kitchen.

  38. I’d love to have Julia Child in charge of the food. She seemed like such an interesting and may I say wacky person.

  39. I’d love to host all y’all. Assuming you’re okay with takeout.

    Fun topic – really enjoyed reading everyone’s answers.

  40. Abner Doubleday for his involvement in baseball’s and the Civil War’s beginnings.
    Colonel Nicholson (Bridge on the River Kwai)
    Dick Thaler, yeah and I’d call him Dick
    Invited: all the totebaggers whose kids are all younger than 13. And you all can just leave your kids and go have a date if you want. Your kids’ll be fine.
    DW will be my date, since she actually knows Thaler better than I do.
    What are you serving? the kids get pizza, baby carrots, all the ice cream and toppings they want.
    Adults: some of my favorite foods from all over:
    Soup course: Lobster Bisque or Seafood Soup from pretty much any restaurant in Spain
    Starter: Linguine al Pesto, my recipe, house made pasta
    Main Course: Cochinillo Asado (roast suckling pig) or grilled Branzino or smoked turkey accompanied by appropriate seasonal vegetables
    Desserts: what do you think? Pecan Pie? Really pretty much anything from Kaminsky’s in Charleston.
    Wine pairings are the responsibility of Atlanta Mom’s DH.

    The kids will be outside.

    The adults in the fancy eatin’ room. Let people sit where they want.

  41. Such a fun topic – Finn, I’d like to crash your party too, or merge it with mine, Shifu would be great to sit next to.

  42. I can hear a sniff from Rhett (he reminds of Bertie Wooster) but I would have my party at one of those farm places, outdoors with perfect weather. The cooking would be done more outdoors than indoors – so I am thinking smokers and grill. I adore lobster bake so that would have to be incorporated somehow.
    Informal but rustic glam. Plenty of space for kids, pets and anyone who wants a break
    And take a walk.

  43. Finn – There is an online article today in the WSJ about the return of the fanny pack as a fashion item. It is behind the paywall so I can’t read it, but you may be cool in spite of yourself.

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