Roy decided to bring the proceedings to a close with a joke from Monty Python’s “Life of Brian.”
“In the movie, this man, Brian, asks a band of guerrilla fighters, ‘Are you the Judean Peoples’ Front?’ ” Roy said, mimicking a British accent. “And the reply he gets from this really offended group is: No, absolutely not. ‘We’re the Peoples’ Front of Judea.’ ” The joke, an elaborate parody of radical factionalism, made Roy laugh heartily. It also changed the emotional temperature of the room. As we came out of the house and milled around in the alley, the various groups seemed easier with each other.
Always enjoyed this firebrand, for somewhat obvious reasons.