1. Have you ever been searched by the cops?
Yes. And I can only imagine how often I’d be searched if I wasn’t Caucasian or relatively clean-cut looking.
2. Do you close your eyes on roller coasters?
Why would anyone want to do this? Diffidence and amusement park rides are hardly the peanut butter and jelly of human experience. If by “closing your eyes,” you refer to blinking, well, I do quite a lot of that. But this is entirely unrelated to the roller coaster and has more to do with removing irritants from the cornea. However, you’ve given me an idea! The next time I ride a roller coaster, I will see how long I can ride it without blinking.
3. When’s the last time you’ve been sledding?
I recall a few makeshift sledding moments in my teens in the Sierra Nevada. But keep in mind that I’m inveterately Californian. As such, snow is largely an exotic meterological phenomenon to me. Which is not to suggest I’m anti-sledding or anti-snow. In fact, I have long harbored a desire to take up bobsledding.
4. Would you rather sleep with someone else, or alone?
Someone else, although I have no problem with the latter Circadian predicament. To paraphrase Woody Allen, I suppose that sleeping alone means sleeping with someone you love.
5. Do you believe in ghosts?
I don’t believe in the supernatural, which extends not only to ghosts but manufactured deities that a lot of angry people seem to find comfort with. In fact, I once accompanied a friend to a dark park in San Bernardino. My friend insisted that this park was haunted. When he said this, the creepy feelings I had about the park’s gloomy atmosphere immediately lifted and I spent the next twenty minutes convincing my friend that the park was not, in fact, haunted. And he was able to feel less fearful about the park.
This is not to suggest that I don’t enjoy the concept of ghosts. In fact, I greatly enjoy reading tales about mythological entities — what some folks call “speculative fiction” or “horror.”
6. Do you consider yourself creative?
Talk with my accountant, who I understand practices in a “creative” capacity.
7. Do you think O.J. killed his wife?
Maybe. But I don’t feel I can prognosticate upon this question unless I’ve examined all of the evidence. I was troubled by the “O.J. did it” impulse that so many Americans latched onto in the mid-90’s. By virtue of reading tabloid stories or watching excerpts on television, many took it upon themselves to venture opinions that seemed uninformed to my ears. I was disinclined to care, but I did offer a few “uh huhs” and utterly dumbass asides for those who needed to talk about it. O.J. Simpson was a bad guy, but he wasn’t exactly Adolf Eichmann, was he?
8. Jennifer Aniston or Angelina Jolie?
While both of these women are quite beautiful, I don’t believe I could sleep with either of them until I’ve had a chance to talk with them and see if we’re conversationally compatible. But I’m in a happy relationship right now. And if you’re going to tempt me, why not up the stakes a bit or go a little nuts with the question? Why not ask: Would you sleep with Jennifer Aniston, Angelina Jolie and your girlfriend? Or your girlfriend and a clone of your girlfriend? Come on,appeal to the polymorphously perverse! I have a lot of that going on.
9. Do you stay friends with your ex’s?
Every effort has been made to stay friendly with them. Alas, the women who I have dated in the past few years prefer to adopt a “scorched earth” policy when the relationship is over. I suspect this has much to do with bad timing shortly after the final relationship meeting — likely my fault. At that point, being an emotional sort, I’m generally upset and the prospect of exchanging possessions we’ve left at each other’s apartments feels cold and transactional. Oddly enough, the ex-girlfriends seem to be perfectly okay with this, which causes me to become even more laconic and desiring to get very much the hell out of there. The ex-girlfriends then interpret this to be an insensitive gesture on my part (and perhaps it is) and, when I am friendly weeks later, after I have allowed my emotions to sort themselves out, I am persona non grata. Although there has been some improvement on the “let’s be friends” front with the last few.
10. Do you know how to play poker?
If you’re asking me if I can bluff, then yes.
11. Have you ever been awake for 48 hours straight?
I have, in fact, been awake for 72 hours straight. Four times. All this without drugs. I am devoting myself to science, so that the appropriate biologist might better understand strange people.
12. What’s your favorite commercial?
I’m particularly fond of the Daisy commercial, which finally revealed to the world just how ridiculous presidential politics could be. Only a man like Lyndon Johnson would try to win votes by scaring the bejesus out of voters with nuclear war. You have to respect that kind of brazen melodramatic approach to winning. Of course, since the commercial aired in 1964, it’s been downhill ever since.
13. What are you allergic to?
Cats and excessive pollen.
14. If you’re driving in the middle of the night, and no one is around do you run red lights?
Well, this all depends on whether I’m feeling particularly nihilistic.
15. Do you have a secret that no one knows but you?
Yes. I happen to know what Col. Sanders’ 11 herbs and spices are. Granted, some people probably know this already. But since Col. Sanders is dead and the KFC people have likely belittled the old man’s great recipe, I have a sneaking suspicion that I’m sitting on an exclusive.
16. Boston Red Sox or New York Yankees?
By way of Boston having a team symbolizing a laundering nightmare for those with crisp white briefs and New York opting for a general and rather unoriginal patriotic noun, I choose the Sox.
17. Have you ever been Ice Skating?
I have. It was catastrophic. One should never take up ice skating after a pub crawl.
18. How often do you remember your dreams?
I remember half of my dreams and try to write them down when I can.
19. When was the last time you laughed so hard you cried?
Yesterday, when thinking about that time I thought about the time that was really funny.
20. Can you name 5 songs by The Beatles?
Yes. Right now, what comes to my head is “I’m Only Sleeping,” “You Know My Name (Look Up the Number),” “Day Tripper,” “Oh Darling,” and “Yer Blues.”
21. What’s the one thing on your mind now?
There’s this strange skull that seems to have this funny idea that it needs to be there to protect my brain from the elements. I suppose that I could wear a hat and have two things on my mind.
22. Do you know who Ghetto-ass barbie is?
Yes, but she wasn’t nearly as interesting as Eight Months Pregnant Barbie (although I thought Mattel went a little too far with that stomach you could pop open), Menopausal Barbie, Don’t Fuck With Me I’ve Just Had My Period Barbie, or It’s Time to Shop for Shoes Barbie.
23. Do you always wear your seat belt?
24. What cell service do you use?
Mononuclear. Have you heard of it? These guys have a pretty affordable mitosis add-on too, although it’s no substitute for text messages.
25. Do you like Sushi?
26. Have you ever narrowly avoided a fatal accident?
27. What do you wear to bed?
28. Been caught stealing?
I’m not much of a thief. The one time I did steal something, it was a Weird Al Yankovic tape from K-Mart. I was in eighth grade. And I only did this because of peer pressure from my so-called pals at the time. Ironically enough, all of our parents learned that we had stealed and I was declared the bad influence. When in fact the notion of stealing had never been my idea and I had been egged on. Being a rather shy, nervous and misunderstood kid, I had hoped that my indiscretion would curry favor with these small-time urchins. Instead, I was declared a menace in the ratty apartment complex we lived in. And these kids were instructed to avoid me.
29. What shoe size do you have?
That’s a very personal question! Only my lovers will know the answer!
30. Do you truly hate anyone?
While I’m generally a person who can find something good within everyone, even my nemeses, I have tried long and hard to find one good thing about President George W. Bush. But I cannot find a single positive thing to say about him.
31. Classic Rock or Rap?
32. If you could sleep with one famous person, who would it be?
Why settle for one? If one is to commit such an indecency, I think it behooves the intrepid Lothario to sleep with as many famous people as possible in one evening. And, besides, I prefer to sleep with infamous people.
33. Favorite Song?
I think right now I’ll opt for “Billy Don’t Be a Hero,” a truly wretched song that allows one to name fifty songs in response that are infinitely better. Unfortunately, this also means avoiding this troubling question.
34. Have you ever sang in front of the mirror?
I’m not particularly fond of staring at myself in front of a mirror. What this means is that my mirror activities are confined to shaving and brushing my teeth. I am precluded from singing when I am holding a razor to my face, seeing as how any physical shift might cause an unexpected swipe and blood to spurt out in Peckinpah-like proportions. The latter activity, of course, makes singing quite difficult, but not impossible. And sometimes it’s quite enjoyable to watch the frothy toothpaste hit the mirror as I attempt to stumble my way through a Bob Dylan tune.
35. What food do you find disgusting?
Many people don’t realize this, but the Lima bean was actually discovered by Mendel. Mendel introduced this wholly inhospitable vegetable to the populace in an effort to steer people off small elliptical vegetables. After all, Mendel was a priest. And not having much of an income, he needed all the pea plants he could get to conduct his genetic experiments. What nobody anticipated, however, was that the Lima bean would actually catch on and be forced down the gullets of reluctant children. The Lima bean is not only disgusting, but it has given vegetables a bad rap. It has caused more childhood nightmares than any vegetable rightly should. If I might be allowed to adopt a controversial position, I wholly endorse its total annihilation from the planet Earth.
36. Do you sing in the shower?
I do sing in the shower, but my problem is that, because I don’t have a shower stall to enclose me. So I’m not certain if I’m actually “in the shower.” After all, when you’re dealing with a shower curtain which permits you to shower in a bathtub, there’s always the possibility that the shower curtain might slide back or fall off. Meaning that you won’t actually be “in the shower,” but “half-immersed in an improvised shower.” To add insult to injury, the water will then spill onto the tile and create a colossal mess that you might have to mop up later. However, despite the manic anarchy here, one can still sing.
37. Did you ever play, “I’ll show you mine, if you show me yours”?
I’m the proud owner of the original version of this board game, which was put out by Milton Bradley in 1954. Offered as an alternative to Parcheesi and Monopoly, I’ll Show You Mine, If You Show Me Yours was an early effort by a few sensitive types to create a noncompetitive game. While this game proved a failure during the Eisenhower administration, fortunately the people behind this game were able to sell a new version of this called “The Ungame” in the 1970s, as Sensitive Males (led in part by Alan Alda and Phil Donahue) rose to national prominence.
38. Have you ever made fun of your friends behind their back?
I find that it’s better to crack jokes about friends when standing behind them, rather in front of them. This generally affords them the opportunity to take things in. They can always turn around to face me if they take particular umbrage.
39. Have you ever stood up for someone you hardly knew?
All the time. Those pesky older people, for example, feel the need to take my subway seat without even bothering to introduce themselves.
40. Have you ever been punched in the face?
Yes. But the guy meant to hit the obnoxious man sitting in the bar stool behind me.
© 2006, Edward Champion. All rights reserved.