Six Ridiculous Questions With David S. Atkinson

The guiding principle of Six Ridiculous Questions is that life is filled with ridiculousness. And questions. That only by giving in to these truths may we hope to slip the surly bonds of reality and attain the higher consciousness we all crave. (Eh, not really, but it sounded good there for a minute.) It’s just. Who knows? The ridiculousness and question bits, I guess. Why six? Assonance, baby, assonance.

1. Who is your favorite supervillain? Why?

Millard Fillmore, because no one suspected.

More details, please. This is a national security issue, albeit one from nearly two centuries ago. What was his lair like? Did he have a signature vehicle, etc.? Details. We need details.

You know, that reminds me of the time I went downtown to buy chunky peanut butter. I tried the smooth varieties, but there’s no traction for the gears with those and it’ll just cause the transmission to slide in most Chevrolets. Anyway, I was downtown buying some and the clerk rang me up but didn’t hand over the peanut butter. I asked for it, and the clerk said I’d already taken it. That’s when I saw him running off with my peanut butter. That’s right, it was Danny DeVito.


2.If you had to go through life as a cartoon dog, who would you choose? Why?

Dynomutt, because that seems about right for my competency level.

I’m not familiar with Dynomutt. Was he also a fictioneering patent attorney?

Not on the show, kind of like Danny DeVito and my peanut butter. I gave chase, but Danny is a wily one. You also can’t forget that he had my peanut butter. There’s a certain advantage in that. I lost him somewhere around the pyramids.


3.Is there a difference between Manifest Destiny and Survival of the Fittest? What is it?

Survival of the Fittest isn’t just some fancy justification to steal.


You know, Manifest Destiny was the reason Danny DeVito gave for stealing my peanut butter. He insisted that he and his institutions had special virtues, that he had a mission to redeem and remake my peanut butter in his agrarian image, and that he had an irresistible destiny to accomplish this essential duty. That’s why he was hiding out in the Red Pyramid with my peanut butter.


4.If you were forced to spend ten years as Sting’s indentured servant what would you do? Discuss.

Get out of it after the seven-hundredth time I asked him what it was like to work with Bilbo.

[Baumeister imagines Atkinson doing this and Sting not responding. Ever.]

You can’t just say nothing and expect a response. Danny DeVito tried to do that while he was hiding with my peanut butter inside one of the giant acoustic chambers of the Red Pyramid and I managed to get an injunction that the sing-along was invalid. Flushed him right out into the open. It was all over after that, given that I’d dug spike pits around the entirety of the Sahara Desert.


5.Say you were trapped in a remake of Dances with Wolves with no way out, what would you do?

Make sure the buffalo win this time.


I have peanut butter now since I managed to get it back from Danny DeVito. Peanut butter would have changed everything in that movie. Of course, again, that’s only chunky variety. Smooth and things would have gone the same way. After all, it’s common knowledge that buffalo all drive Chevys.

By the way, who are you playing and will it turn out to be a good career move?

Usually the princess because you can control her extended jumps better than Luigi. She can do most things Mario can so there’s no point to him, though Toad isn’t bad when quick lifting is needed. Still, I don’t see what any of that would have to do with a career. Anyway, I’m seriously thinking about changing to professionally making sure Danny DeVito doesn’t steal any more peanut butter. I think it’s a growth industry.


6.What if god was one of us?

Blue cheese.

[Baumeister walks away, leaving Atkinson to continue talking about blue cheese, peanut butter, and Danny DeVito. Party Secretary-General Krushchev continues recording the minutes. He looks a lot like Steve Buscemi as he does so. Eventually, Buscemi/Krushchev takes off his shoe and bangs it on the table as he begs Atkinson, “Stoy!”]

Wut? Blue cheese goes great with peanut butter. Not eaten, by any means, but I wouldn’t advise eating blue cheese under any circumstances. That’s exactly what got Danny DeVito into trouble in the first place. He eats blue cheese one day and the next finds himself stealing peanut butter.


David S. Atkinson is the author of books such as Roses are Red, Violets are Stealing Loose Change from my Pockets While I Sleep, Apocalypse All the Time, and the Nebraska Book Award-winning Not Quite So Stories. He is a Prose Assistant Editor for Digging Through the Fat and his writing appears in Spelk, Jellyfish Review, Thrice Fiction, Literary Orphans, and more. His writing website is

Kurt Baumeister has written for Salon, Electric Literature, Guernica, The Weeklings, Entropy, The Nervous Breakdown, The Rumpus, The Good Men Project, and others. His debut novel, a satirical thriller entitled Pax Americana, was published by Stalking Horse Press in 2017. He is currently at work on a novel, The Book of Loki, and a hybrid collection of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry entitled Superman, the Seven Gods of Death, and the Need for Clean, Romantic Poetry. Find him on Facebook, Twitter, or at

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