At irregular intervals, a mysterious dinner takes place in Wageningen, where the cultural elites meet and discuss the state of things. The Jester was there, and took notes...
At the Jester, we receive all kinds of emails, invitations, and messages regularly. So, naturally, the invite for an obscure dinner party ended up in our digital bin, only to be forgotten over time. However, this time was different. Before the day had ended, the phone rang.
The voice on the phone sounded grave and determined: “We would like to stress the importance of the dinner we have cordially invited you to, for both yourself, Jester, and the cultural community in Wageningen”, the voice continued: “It would be a shame if you did not attend.”
Obviously, the cultural community is the utmost priority of The Jester, and the kind words (that definitely sounded like a threat), were perceived to be a very compelling argument: “Yes, please, we would like to join the dinner,” we said. “Where are we expected?” we asked cautiously. “The location of the dinner is highly secret,” the voice replied. “But don’t forget to bring your own chair!”
When the day of the dinner arrived, we waited in the midst of Wageningen, looking for a secret dinner party, with a chair in our hands. It was then that we noticed by-passers, carrying chairs and stools, that we decided to follow them, only to end up in an old building, that had all the looks of an old church, or at least, it seemed to be a place of gravity and scholarship.
People in white tie outfits were seated around a massive table. They seemed sophisticated and cultured; some of them looked like professors, others were poets, and some were writers. We recognised the city’s dignitaries – its entrepreneurs and its elites.
The voice that had invited us now appeared before us. He was a man of reasonable age, with greyish hair and glasses. He looked in our direction, welcoming us with a discrete nod, before opening the dinner:
“People of Wageningen!” he said. “Things are not going well.”
What followed was a fiery speech: The people had become complacent; wars were raging, and the planet was facing an imminent disaster.
There were floods, there were fires, draughts, extinction of the species and so on and so forth; but what were the citizens of Wageningen doing about this?
After a short silence fell, he said in a low-pitched voice: “People of Wageningen, we are here today, to find solutions.”
His voice boomed:
“Society is collapsing like a house of cards!”
To which he theatrically threw a deck of cards on the table, keeping all but one card in his hand. “But one card will remain” he said. “The Joker; the Jester!”
Suddenly, everyone applauded and gazed in our direction, as if we were the long-awaited, guests of honour. Music began to play, and nymphs appeared, that started dancing on the tables. A 7-course meal was served with potato’s in shapes of eggs and carrots in the shape of potatoes. There was raw trout, and beetroots, and there was beer and wine in abundance. There were magicians, musicians, dancers and poets, and they all performed their fabulous performances.
The festivities continued until late at night, and it was only when we got home, drunk and satisfied, that we started wondering if any solutions had, indeed, been found?