We’ve all been there. You’re at your latest job interview, college interview, or parole hearing, and you get that infamous question. The question that all of us dread. The question that basically means, “I don’t feel like asking any questions that will tell me anything, so here’s a random sack of crap for you to mull over.” You know what I’m talking about.
“If you could have dinner with any three people, living or dead, who would it be?”
Yes, we’ve all answered it, and yes, none of us truly have any idea what an appropriate answer to this question would be. And also, what does the interviewer learn about the interviewee in this process?
In my opinion, there is very little to gain from answering such a question. Let’s presume you spit out the boilerplate “Martin Luther King, Jr., Mohandas Ghandi, and Albert Einstein.” Let’s see, what does this say about your character and moral fiber…hmmm….well, you hate racism, that’s good, and you also love independence (or hate food, that’s up to the interviewer’s discretion), um, what else, oh, and you think the universe is important. Thank you, Mr. Interviewer, you’ve really nailed down who gets that latest mail room job, that spot at Brown, or is let loose back onto the streets to pee in more mailboxes.
It seems that with this question, you have nowhere to go but down. Let’s presume you’re asked this question, and you really don’t want this job because it’s the position of alligator wrangler. Therefore, you don’t really want to shine on this question. Let’s say you chose, “Ted Kaczinsky, Pol Pot, and Saddam Hussein.” Not exactly a shining line-up. Chances are, you won’t be wranglin’ any alligators anytime soon.
With this in mind, I think it’s high time somebody categorized this question, provided the highlights and the lowlights so next time you’re eyeing up that window wiper at the local car wash, you can really nail it on this question.
Martin Luther King, Jr. He was a great man, fought for equality, and to top it all of, he was assassinated. Can’t really go wrong here, unless the job title you’re applying for is “Grand Wizard.”
JFK. He was a family man, he was a progressive president, and he put a man on the moon. Plus, he was assassinated! Bonus! You can’t go wrong with JFK in this situation, but try to stray away from your CIA/Mafia/New York Yankees conspiracy theories, because you might get sniped. RULE OF THUMB: If the person has an eternal flame (note first two), then you can’t lose. Just remember, if that flame is burnin’, a paycheck you’ll soon be earnin’.
Mohandas Ghandi. A man of peace, he liberated millions of people from harsh British colonial rule in India. While he’s normally a safe choice, remember the irony of the decision. We’re asking what three people you’d like to have dinner with. (Uh, waiter? Mohandas here will just be having some water, he’s currently fighting imperialistic powers. Thanks.)
Albert Einstein. He was a genius, and he discovered things that turned the physics world upside down, a rebel without a brush, he’s the Relativity Man! Just try not to order soup for the table, it’ll get in his mustache.
Any dead relative. Basically, if they’re worm food, they’re ripe for a hot dinner date. You’ve always want to have just one last chat with your grandpa, or tell your aunt just one last time how much you care for her, it’s job interview GOLD, I tell you! In fact, I think I’m going to start offing my own family, and maybe I can seal up a job at Sports Illustrated.
Mother Theresa. I mean, it’s obvious why. She’s a babe.
Ted Kaczinsky. Not only would it be impossible to get him out of his shack to go to Chili’s, but what drab dinner conversation. We get it, Tedders, technology will be the downfall of mankind, yada yada yada, who wants cheese sticks?
William Henry Harrison. The worst president in the history of the universe. You say this goober, and people will think you’re a loser. Hell, I’ll think you’re a loser, even more so than I do now.
Vlad the Impaler. When he’s not impaling people, Vlad here is better known as Dracula. While he is known for sparkling dinner conversation and party tricks, the part where he sucks every ounce of your blood from your body as you join his legions of undead foot soldiers puts a damper on the rest of the evening. RULE OF THUMB: Stay away from anybody with a “the” in the middle of their name. Vlad the Impaler. Ivan the Terrible. Ryan the Seacrest, it’s just a bad idea.
Anybody in a beret. This includes Saddam Hussein, Monica Lewinsky, and French stereotypes.
O.J. Simpson. Yes, yes, he was acquitted, we all know that. Nonetheless, people will look at you funny with this selection. And also, if you happen to be a young, blond-haired, female, O.J. will hit on you during dinner. With an axe.
Adolf Hitler. This one should be a no-brainer, but take it from me, I know. True story: I was asked this question during my Duke interview, and I don’t remember the first two I said, but the last one was Adolf Hitler. I mean, seriously, wouldn’t you want to meet the guy, find out how absolutely out of his head he was? He was the most evil man the planet ever produced, how can you pass something up like that? Needless to say, I didn’t get in to Duke, and I blame my response to this question on it. That’s probably because the rejection letter said simply, “Adolf Hitler? Seriously? Dude, seriously? ADOLF Hitler?”
My dog. Not only do you not know my dog, so you shouldn’t even talk about her, but she’d suck to have dinner with. She’d drool everywhere, and then she’d probably pee on the carpet. So back to the drawing board, folks.
So there you have it, ladies and gents and parolees, a quick guide so that next time you’re asked “THE QUESTION,” you’ll be rarin’ to go with a snappy answer. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m meeting Adolf for a bloomin’ onion at Outback.