Guess who’s coming to dinner

We thought we knew who we’d invited to a “Dinner with Lisa [Nelson] and Jody [Glynn Patrick]” party, but as the conversation proved, we had no idea who these people really were! Initially, they appeared somewhat meek, meeting each other for the first time and on their best behavior, but the dinner game of “Two Truths and a Lie” soon brought out the courage in everyone to tell us who they REALLY were – deep inside!

Loyal readers know that Lisa and I invite up to 10 folks to join us for dinner in a local restaurant (we vary the sites to cover the city geographically), and the fun is that no one knows who else is invited until they show up! The deal is that folks are willing to pay for their own dinner/drinks/tip – we just provide the backdrop of an instant dinner party with unusual guests.

At this particular party, held at the end of May, we invited AnnMarie Dresen, owner of AnneMarie Design; Ann Lee, the corporate citizen initiatives contact at Summit Credit Union; Jen Pino-Gallagher, an economic development consultant at the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection; Mark Pocan, state representative and also an owner of Budget Signs & Specialties; Jim McNulty, senior VP at Oak Bank; Rachel Rasmussen, owner of Rescue Desk Virtual Assistant Services; and County Board member Ronn Ferrell, who also is CEO of Inpak Systems. All of these folks indicated they’d like to come to a dinner and so we added them to our list (you can sign up, too, simply by emailing me at

Two Truths and a Lie … reveals much about a dinner guest!

We actually closed with the “tell us the best part of your day, pre-dinner party” exercise. To open, we played the game “Two Truths and a Lie,” and wow, could this group lie! Did AnnMarie meet Murdock (A-Team reference) in L.A., or Wolfgang Puck in Chicago, or Sammy Davis Jr. in Denver? Strike out Wolfgang (her fantasy versus the truth). And who would have guessed that Rachel Rasmussen ran a nude mile and graffitied the Eiffel Tower? She looks like such a conservative person!

Yes, there were stories to tell. Jen fantasized about spending three days on a goat farm with Johnny Depp (she was at the farm, but not the same time he was). However, between her and her husband, they do have 21 siblings. Mark was truly detained five days during a Colombian backpacking trip when the National Park was taken over by guerilla soldiers. And he won a junior magician contest at age 14. However, he lied when he claimed to have had a shot of brandy with Newt Gingrich. Does anybody drink brandy outside of Wisconsin? That was the giveaway he was lying.

Jim was talked out of taking a flight (to go drinking with buddies) that ultimately crashed and killed some passengers. Unfortunately, he didn’t think to call his wife and tell her he had missed the flight … until she finally got through on his cell phone (a little hysterical?) early the next morning. He also set a course record for running a footrace … for the “70-years and older” age group. Someone got the winner’s name wrong and a much younger Jim got the credit. (His lie was that he created a drink that is on the menu of an exclusive joint in Chicago.)

Ann Lee met and spoke with Jerry Seinfeld and partnered on a gourmet coffee house venture, though she doesn’t like the taste of coffee – only the smell. Her lie was that she tried out for The Price Is Right three times and failed to get on the show. We bought the lie … versus believing she met Seinfeld. Fooled the group!

Ronn Ferrell refused to have a drink (he would later drive) due to his county board job, but that didn’t stop him from lying. He convinced us that he voted for six consecutive presidential winners – we believed that rather than that he could do 108 military pushups … which he actually can do. But all of us believed he illegally entered Paraguay in 1983, when it was still under regime control. That was too scary to be a lie, and the truth was that when he realized he’d gotten on the wrong bus, he stayed with the bus at the depot, sitting for hours there almost afraid to venture any further until its return trip.

The evening was magical, bonding, and there was much laughter, to say the least, and we thank Erin’s Snug Irish Pub for great service and food. It definitely was another home run for Lisa and me.

Can you lie with a straight face? If so, that’s good enough reason to sign up for “Dinner with Lisa and Jody.” And, of course, you then get to meet Lisa, who is the director of public relations with Walmart – and does she have stories to tell!

Stay tuned … more revealing tales coming your way.

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