And out of the 20 or so people in attendance, one got the metaphorical nature of Todd's reference to all the Christmas presents being opened, and then a comment to his sister about reincarnation. Which I was happy about - I didn't necessarily expect anybody to get it, in part because it goes by pretty fast.
And I decided to go with Schopenhauer after all. Although I think he is the superior philosopher, so many more people have heard of Nietzsche, so I almost used him. But you really can't beat Schopenhauer for total suicidal pessimism. The quote I used is from his essay On The Sufferings of the World.
And Schopenhauer had a snappy comeback to anybody who complained about his extreme bummer demeanor:
I shall be told, I suppose, that my philosophy is comfortless - because I speak the truth; and people prefer to be assured that everything the Lord has made is good. Go to the priests, then, and leave philosophers in peace!
I always find Schopenhauer such a comfort when I'm feeling lonely - few have been as lonely as Schopenhauer himself.