• Murray, who is unfailingly polite, will remember that he has met you and where it happened. You will spend the dinner wondering if he also remembers that he seemed to not like you.

• If you are a lady, he will stand up when you take your seat and remain standing until you pull your chair in. He will do this for every female at his table. You soon will start making an effort to sit down and stand up faster.

• He will commit to memory the name of everyone at the table, making introductions each time a new person sits down.

• He will make friends with the waiters and give them nicknames. “Handsome” will now be your server.

• He will tell his most animated stories when you have turned away to talk to other people in an effort to make him believe you are not hanging on his every word. You may hear the word “tequila” coming over and over from Murray's direction as he mimes the pouring of a bottle into his mouth, and the tale gets louder and, apparently, more hilarious. When you finally turn back, the story over, and when you ask your laughing dinner companions what you missed, they will say, “Oh, just Bill talking about his early 20s.”

• And while you are on the subject of South by Southwest, you may mention that you saw this video of Murray tending bar at a random Austin establishment. Murray will at first enjoy talking about this — about how he went to see GZA perform and brought him and RZA to the bar, where the bartenders told Murray they’d make more tips if he helped them serve drinks. He’ll tell you that he forgot that, GZA, as a major stoner, has no tolerance for alcohol, and that the rapper got so wasted after Murray gave him a shot and a half of tequila that GZA didn’t make it to his second performance at midnight. You might become emboldened to ask another direct question, something silly along the lines of, “I heard that you only served tequila, even when people asked for whiskey!” And without answering, Murray will stand up and excuse himself, never to return. The table will grow silent and you will nervously titter to your tablemate (Karen Duffy — Duff from MTV), that you’re worried you just scared Murray off by being too nosy, and she will laugh and say, “Yeah, you probably did.”

Dinner With Bill Murray: A Party Reporter’s Guide

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