Last night Erique and I were down at the mixed race sports bar having a beer with Quinn, a school teacher, tennis coach and poet, who suggested that he [a black liberal Christian] and I [a white Darwinian heathen] collaborate on a book, in which we each name the three historical figures we would be most interested in having a conversation with, and then agree on three questions we would ask each if we could speak with them.
We decided on 25 figures to make a book. And then, after promising to come up with my list of 25 today—to be debated against his—it occurred to me that I am far more interested in what historical figures our readers would like to speak with. This book is to take the form of an old aristocratic style men’s parlor game, with the proposing person having to prove the worthiness of his choices to the others. I will argue your choices at the bar to Quinn.
-Abd al-Latiff, the Arab doctor who documented the 1201 famine/cannibal apocalypse in Egypt
-Tecumseh, Pan-Amerindian war chief of the Shawnee, who took a bullet in battle against an American army when his British allies deserted him
-Richard Francis Burton, the Gnostic, Hindu Islamic Sufi, Dervish, stoner, alcoholic, womanizing, swordsman, spy and explorer who spoke 29 languages and wrote 35 books