Before doing this exercise, please be sure to read Alan's article for the day, which appears just below this one on the screen.
I'm posting this today because I've noticed that our traffic has grown significantly since the great Chesterton Express rolled into the station, and I think it would be a good idea to make sure that there's more content than usual around here at key points during the week. Wednesday - "humpday" - is one such time. Weekends are another, but we'll address that in times to come.
So, I was reading an old article by Mark Shea lampooning revisionist biblicism and modernity, and found myself thereafter wondering just what I would do if Gilbert suddenly walked through my front door. What would it mean for the world? For me? For history? It's an enormous concept.
So, in lightning fashion, I distilled the essence of this universe-spanning conundrum into a five-point questionnaire. My own answers will be provided below, but I invite any who are interested to respond in the combox with their own ideas.
If you could spend a day with Gilbert, here and now...
1. What would be the first thing you'd say to him on his arrival? What would you talk about thereafter?
2. You need some way to pass the morning before lunchtime; what do you do?
3. What media would you attempt to expose him to in the time you had? Or would you?
4. It's time for dinner; where do you do about it? What do you have?
5. What would be your valediction when the time comes to part?
My own answers to these are:
1. The first thing I would say would be, "Oh God! The surprise!" The time spent thereafter would be devoted to just seeing what he's been up to, what has occasioned his presence, that sort of thing. More intense and self-serving questions can wait for the afternoon.
2. As is traditional (or at least expected), the time before lunch would be spent on a light walk around town to expose Gilbert to the modern feeling, and it, likewise, to him. This could be an occasion for glee as well as sadness, on both our parts, so I should be sure to direct us to a bar for lunch. I would make certain to take him to St. Peter's Cathedral Basilica, in the heart of downtown London (Ontario; it's where I live), to show him that though the main streets may be lost, some medieval virtues live on.
3. I should like to take him to the movies, just for the sheer absurd novelty of the thing, but I don't know if I could bring myself to do it. There are certainly films that I would pay great sums to hear his commentary upon, but the agony of choice here has paralysed me. Let us settle upon showing him What Dreams May Come, then, which in both ethos and delivery has much that he would find familiar, or even pleasant. I would also be certain to demonstrate the Internet to him, and see what he thinks of blogging.
4. The dinner arrangements are something that I simply can not crack. I am no great cook, for my own part, but I feel it would be almost unacceptable to take Gilbert out to a restaurant. In any case, something would certainly be done, and it would certainly involve meat and beer, in the old high way. His opinion on pizza could also be sought.
5. As much as I should like to deliver an oratory of parting that would shake the world, only a simple "thank you" would be appropriate. What else, indeed, can be said?
So, there you go. As I say, be sure to reply to this below with your own ideas. Even if you don't, however, this is still something to meditate upon.
"Drink, for the trumpets are blowing for battle"
8 hours ago