20 Fictional Characters I’d Have A Beer With
Ranking books is a fruitless exercise. It’s inherently subjective and people get pissed.
For example, I loathe Mrs. Dalloway. But when a Woolfite sees that I have Mrs. Dalloway ranked almost last in my rankings, I’m the equivalent of an abortion protestor screaming at the front door of a clinic. THESE DOCTORS MUST DIE!!!
I have an opinion. They have an opinion. We argue, everybody leaves angry, and nothing gets changed.
So, yeah, it’s kind of fruitless to rank books, but I do it anyway ‘cause it’s fun. But what about book characters? Can I rank them in some sort of sensible, somewhat objective way?
That’s doubtful too. But I’m going to try it today anyway.
And here’s how I’ll do it. I’ll ask myself the following question: Which fictional characters would I most (and maybe not so much) like to have a beer with? Then, I’ll rank accordingly.
You’ve been warned. And, please, don’t try and make any sense of this madness.
1) Gandalf (Lord of the Rings): First off, Gandalf could just point his wand and make the beer magically appear. Second, the beer Gandalf would make magically appear would be delicious. Third, it’s freakin’ Gandalf! I’d drink a pink Cosmopolitian with Gandalf if I had to.
2) Atticus Finch (To Kill A Mockingbird): I would buy Atticus a beer, we’d sit in the corner table at a pub, and I’d reverently ask him, “Please tell me everything I need to know about life, Mr. Finch.”
3) Tea Cake (Their Eyes Were Watching God): Tea Cake has that warm way about him that makes everyone feel welcome. Sure, he has a gambling problem. So I’d buy the beer and he could teach me about dice. Oh, and yes, I’d prefer having a beer with the pre-rabies version of Tea Cake.
4) Janie Crawford (Their Eyes Were Watching God): While I’m having a beer with Tea Cake, I might as well have a beer with his wife, Janie. And, interestingly, I think she could teach me more about life than Atticus Finch and Gandalf combined.
5) Rhett Butler (Gone With The Wind): This is shallow, but I’ve got to admit it. I’d just feel cool having a beer with Rhett Butler. I imagine us drinking a pitcher full of a hearty stout while heckling some Yanks at the other side of the bar.
6) Yossarian (Catch 22): Just tell me stories, Yossarian. Tell me lots of stories and make me laugh.
7) Iris Chase (The Blind Assassin): Who wouldn’t want to have a beer with an elderly woman who said this: “Soon you’ll regret all that sun-tanning. Your face will look like a testicle.”
8) David Schearl (Call It Sleep): Well, I wouldn’t let him have a beer because he’s six-years-old. But I would pat him on the head and tell him everything’s going to be okay. Then I’d hire an 8-year-old hitman to beat the crap out of the kids that keep bullying him.
9) Nick Carraway (The Great Gatsby): Nick himself is a fairly boring guy. But I think a one-hour conversation with him would be fascinating. The questions I could ask: Tell me about those parties? What about that house? And did you really like Daisy, or were you just pretending to because she was your cousin?
10) Tom Joad (The Grapes of Wrath): They say he once killed a man. But, you know, Tom’s a pretty good guy. I feel like drinking with him would be more appropriate using a tin can next to a campfire.
11) McMurphy (One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest): This could be unbelievably awesome, or it could go terribly wrong. I’d probably buy McMurphy the beer to get on his good side and dare not mention the name of the head nurse.
12) Hal Incandenza (Infinite Jest). I would do this for entertainment value alone. You never know what Hal might say. It would probably be awkward, too, but that’s okay. I think it would be like having a beer with a drunk Andy Kaufman. Entertaining, right?
13) John Self (Money): He’s a really crappy, terrible human being, but he’s funny. I’d love to hear 30 minutes worth of stories about Hollywood, then get on out of there before he started talking about all his weird fetishes and hookups with prostitutes and whatnot.
14) Willie Stark (All The King’s Men): Blech. He’s a sleazy politician who can’t be trusted. It would be terribly difficult for me to chat with Willie Stark. He’s one of those guys that will smile at you and tell you how much he loves his wife, while pinching the waitress’s butt when she takes his order. But I bet he’d have good stories.
15) Daisy Buchanan (The Great Gatsby). Nick said her voice was “full of money,” so I’d test that out. I’d order her a mint julep, then act like I forgot my wallet and make her pay. If any woman deserves to pay for her own mint julep, it’s Daisy Buchanan.
16) Holden Caulifield. (The Catcher in the Rye) We have another underage kid here, so I wouldn’t take part in furthering his delinquency. But, whilst drinking my frothy beverage, I would look at Holden and say, “Get it together, kid. Your life is not a Nirvana song. Stop whining and do something with your life.”
17) Scarlett O’ Hara (Gone With The Wind): She’d totally poison my beer and say “fiddle-dee-dee!” or some nonsense like that.
18) Widmerpool (A Dance To The Music Of Time). I’d buy him a beer, then I’d punch him. And none of you got that because I’m one of only 7 people still living to have ever actually read all of A Dance To The Music of Time.
19) Humbert Humbert (Lolita): I might try to kill him. Having a beer with Humbert would be a terrible idea.
20) The Judge (Blood Meridian): He might try to kill me, just ‘cause. Having a beer with The Judge would also be a terrible idea. Maybe I could arrange for him to have a beer with Humbert.
Now, you’ve wasted 5 minutes of your life reading all that nonsense.
But I’ll further the nonsense by asking you the question—which fictional character would you love to have a beer/drink/coffee with?