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Advice wanted: Eighteen come Thursday - Wemyss's Appalling Hobby:
From the Party Guilty of Committing 'Gate of Ivory, Gate of Horn'
Advice wanted: Eighteen come Thursday

(Sorry, couldn’t resist a Vaughan Williams quip.)


On Thursday 18 December, I shall be lunching at the club with that select society dedicated to the great Robin Goodfellow, or Puck: that is to say, it is the annual Christmas luncheon of our little association.  The secretary thereof, the savage Landor, has as always reminded us all that we are free to bring a guest; eve, ‘in the unlikely event we have any of us more than one friend’ (savage, savage Landor), guests.


It is pertinent to my question to note that the members (of the lunching group under the auspices of Pook, not the club as a whole for these purposes) include a superannuated politician, a Master, a Judge, and several robed and bewigged fellows (although of course we’ve also members who belong to reputable professions as well, and indeed those who belong to none).


It is also pertinent to note that the food on offer will include shellfish, a good deal of pig, and of course lashings of wine, sherry, Madeira, port, and whisky, in addition to, naturally, the usual choices of lamb, mutton, and beef.


You will readily see where I am heading with this.


On the one hand, it would be a very useful opportunity for a Certain Young Friend to meet some rather senior men whom it would be quite helpful for him to know.  On the other, it not only puts Our Amin Khan in a dodgy position vis-à-vis the menu, but associates him perhaps too closely with rackety and disreputable old me (someone is certain to assume that he is on my bill of fare, by way of being ‘afters’, that is, (wait for it) pudding), which I cannot imagine will do him any good at all.


So: ought I to invite Amin Khan, or no?  Please answer on one side of the paper only.

ETA: Bless you all.  Pippa wisely had a very similar suggestion.  She is releasing Oliver to my custody for the day.  Bit unfair on Amin Khan, in that Oliver naturally gets more entree to begin with, wh unfairness I meant to remedy, but it may be best for now to present the both of them.  (No, of course she is not attending.  Not with this crowd.  Clever,Our Pippa.)

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18 comments or Leave a comment
fpb From: fpb Date: December 10th, 2008 05:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
You will do what you really want to do, so I bestow no advice. I will only say that if the company is worth it, then I imagine your friend will put up with half the food being Haram.
wemyss From: wemyss Date: December 10th, 2008 06:08 pm (UTC) (Link)

True enough, o King.

Yet what I want to do is do the lad a service without inadvertently doing him a disservice. Which is why I seek the wisdom of such as your good self. (Frankly, I'd as soon give the whole boiling a miss this year, but it's very nearly the only festivity I shall manage - Vienna at the new year is right out in the current climate - and I've been committed for yonks, so.... I mean, I may as well see that someone gets something from it, what?)
fpb From: fpb Date: December 10th, 2008 06:31 pm (UTC) (Link)

I feel like Gildor Inglorion.

Remember? Advice is a dangerous gift, yet for friendship's sake I will give it. I think you ought to have a word with your friend and explain the problem with the food and the possible countervailing opportunities. And I think that at his age, he is at the best possible moment to make useful encounters. He is not marked by experience, and has none of the baggage that people like me carry. If he is willing, I would say it would be on balance likely to be a favour to him to take him along.
fpb From: fpb Date: December 10th, 2008 06:36 pm (UTC) (Link)

I still feel like Gildor Inglorion

As for any possible suggestions about your relationship with the young man, I do not see that those, even if they were made, would do much to affect the impact he himself makes, as a personality. At best, people might end up congratulating you on your taste. It really is a matter of how you think he is likely to interact with professional seniors. If your opinion of his intellect, worldliness, and manners, is up to the place and time, then don't worry too much about any sexual overtone.
wemyss From: wemyss Date: December 10th, 2008 06:45 pm (UTC) (Link)

Excellent points all.

I'm obliged.

This is why, after all, I go the elves for counsel despite the maxim, and ask you elvish lot to meddle in the affairs of wizards....
sgt_majorette From: sgt_majorette Date: December 10th, 2008 09:11 pm (UTC) (Link)

My first thought was "a thousand times no!"

...but then I thought, well, it's Christmas, and everybody will think of Herr Drosselmeyer and his "nephew". Visions of Sugarplum Fairies will dance in their heads.

Go for it.
wemyss From: wemyss Date: December 11th, 2008 04:02 pm (UTC) (Link)

But, yes.

See ETA.
the_gentleman From: the_gentleman Date: December 10th, 2008 09:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
Take him.


Bring it up in casual conversation and, should he view it with some interest, ask him along for the ride. If he declines, well, so be it. If not, then you have a guest. If, of course, he finds the whole concept abhorrent then I'm not sure you'd want him anyway.
wemyss From: wemyss Date: December 11th, 2008 04:02 pm (UTC) (Link)


See ETA. And thank you.
From: tree_and_leaf Date: December 10th, 2008 10:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ask him if he'd like to go: it's his choice, and I don't think he ought to be deprived of the chance to meet interesting and useful people because he's Muslim (I know your intentions are to avoid causing offence, but I think the situation is illustrative of one of the biggest sources of difficulty for a member of a minority in any given context - you aren't necessarily part of the networks where contacts get made). I assume that it will be possible to provide the lad with something he can eat...
blamebrampton From: blamebrampton Date: December 10th, 2008 11:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
This is almost identical to what my suggestion would have been, had I written it in full. Save I'd have not said minority, being far too PC for that ;-)

He can always eat before, or after, and it would be of anthropological interest to him.
wemyss From: wemyss Date: December 11th, 2008 04:03 pm (UTC) (Link)


See ETA.
wemyss From: wemyss Date: December 11th, 2008 04:03 pm (UTC) (Link)

Sloppy Anglican compromise reached.

See ETA.
From: tree_and_leaf Date: December 11th, 2008 04:15 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Sloppy Anglican compromise reached.

Sounds like the best solution, given the circs. If that makes me a slopppy Anglican, well....
azdak From: azdak Date: December 11th, 2008 06:58 am (UTC) (Link)
Explaining the situation to AK and giving him the choice strikes me as potentially embarrassing ("I say, do you fancy coming to our Christmas bash? It'll give you the opportunity to do some networking, as long as you don't mind everyone thinking I'm shagging you."). So if you really want to avoid giving the impression that he's your "afters" (as opposed to, say, inspiring jealousy in the hearts of all present, who wish he was their afters) I suggest you invite TWO guests. That will take the pressure off AK and also be one in the eye for the savage Landor.
wemyss From: wemyss Date: December 11th, 2008 04:03 pm (UTC) (Link)

You and Pippa think alike.

See ETA.
eagles_rock From: eagles_rock Date: December 11th, 2008 03:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
On a purely practical note, alcohol is an insidious beast. I'm sure you've also considered Christmas cake, pudding, mince pies, chocolate truffles etc., not to mention Madeira sauce, red wine reductions... Tiramisu without alcohol is a sad sack indeed.

Should you find yourself in need of such, I believe that Prestat's regular box of chocs is alcohol-free, but my research was done some time ago.
wemyss From: wemyss Date: December 11th, 2008 04:04 pm (UTC) (Link)

Or kindly creature.

Quite. And thank you. And please note ETA, supra.
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