When you see that title, it means two guests, with something vaguely in common, have joined me on the front porch of The House on the Hill for a conversation. The catch is that the guests get to ask each other a question, and I just sit there sipping my Snapple and listening to the witty banter.
For this first edition of Three Chairs, we’ve lined up an interesting duo: Little Red Riding Hood and Robin Hood. Kudos to the interns as I am intrigued by this pairing.
It’s an unbelievably warm and gorgeous day for the last Saturday in September, so it’s a perfect afternoon to get things started. It turns out that my guest have never met before, so they engaged in a little small talk before getting down to business.
Sir Robin of Locksley, forever the gentleman, invited the lady to go first. “Do you ever regret your choice of living by the credo of stealing from the rich to give to the poor?” Little Red Robin Hood asked the man seated to my right.
“There were times, when the Sheriff of Nottingham’s men had us on the run, that I’d ask myself why I gave up the easy life to live that of a criminal,” Robin answered after a long pause to ponder her question. “I think it’s normal for self doubt to creep in when the odds are stacked against you, the enemy is closing in, and the forest doesn’t seem to offer any place for you to hide…”
She nodded her hood covered head in agreement as she hung on every word. I took another sip of my Snapple and awaited the rest of his answer.
“Then the adrenaline kicks in, the odds that seemed so heavily stacked against me turn suddenly in my favor, and once again, I find the way to escape capture. Once that happens, the doubt is but a fleeting memory.”
“It all pays off, of course, when I turn over the spoils of my endeavor to those who need it most,” he summed up with a charming smile. “When I see the looks on their faces, then I know it was worth every harrowing, flying by the seat of my pants moment.”
Little Red Riding Hood applauded the answer, and Robin stood up to take a bow with a devilish smile on his face. I felt compelled to clap as well, and then turned control of the porch over to The Prince of Thieves.
“It certainly wasn’t easy at first, but I am no shrinking violet,” she replied with just a hint of mischief in her voice. “I might look all sweet and innocent, but when you come from the part of the world I do, you’re never as hopeless as you lead others to believe.”
To illustrate her point, she revealed the mighty broadsword hidden beneath her famous cloak. Robin’s eyes lit up at the sight of the weapon. “The forest is never scary when I bring my friend along for the journey. While I hoped I would never make the Wolf’s acquaintance, I was prepared to ensure that I would be the last person he ever attacked.”
After that, the conversation focused on weaponry and woodland survival. I learned quite a lot this afternoon, with perhaps the most important lesson being that I should avoid the forest at all cost because there are scary creatures and heavily armed individuals roaming around out there.
I hope you enjoyed this first edition of “Three Chairs on a Porch”. If you have any suggestions for future guests, let me know and I’ll put the interns to work on getting them to The House on the Hill. Just make sure the duo has some sort of common connection.
This is The Modern Philosopher signing off from the front porch…