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. What would life be like as your evil twin?
My evil twin is undoubtedly male, given to Alpha-like manipulations: suave whereas I am awkward, polished whereas I am sullied, gorgeous whereas I am—well—not. Why do I say these things? Any evil twin of mine possesses my problematic rebelliousness and my self-consciousness—but my sibling no doubt works it. He works it, baby. My evil twin is obviously Don Draper.
2. If you were a Martian, what sort of Martian would you be? Would you be good or evil? An emperor or a worker bee? Warrior? Scientist? Magician? Please base this on solid research such as Bugs Bunny cartoons and hundred-year-old movies with terrible special effects. Go.
I only want to be an earthling. I will be an alien’s antagonist. I will be Mork’s Mindy. I’ll be Sigourney Weaver any old day. If you’re going to make me choose, I choose Mork. The suspenders, you know.
3. If you were staffing a cartoon accounting firm made up of anthropomorphized animals, which species would you select to populate said firm (other than humans)? How about a teaching hospital? The public defender’s office? A university English department?
Accounting Firm: Meerkats. They’re adorable. They eat their young. Teaching hospital: Elephants, for sure. I don’t think I need to explain.
Public Defender’s Office: Dogs. I own both a cat and a dog, and I might love cats a bit more—but if you want that philanthropic, kind, heart-of-gold thing, let’s go for the pups. And then you can use that word underdog.
English Department: Capuchin monkeys. Those guys are fun, busy, and clever. I really have nothing dastardly to say about English departments. Capuchin monkeys are fab.
College Admin: That’s another story.
4. What’s one Greek myth you wish ended differently? How would you end it?
Um, Sisyphus. I wish he didn’t keep pushing that rock up the hill. I wish he got a grip on his own mortality, and hefted that baby up and over. And then I wish he’d live happily ever after with Clytemnestra or some other Greek babe.
5. You’ve become so famous they’re building a monument to you. And they want your input. (Yes, I know it’s awkward, but “they” insist. And you know when “they” get like this, you just can’t say no.) What would your monument be called? Where would it be located? What would it be built of? What would it look like?
Please make a colorful Chihuly glass sculpture of a little café table with a cup of coffee on it, and place it in front of Caffe Reggio which is a little off of Bleecker and MacDougal in Greenwich Village. Talk to Chihuly. If he’s not available, forget it. I want a Chihuly, and it doesn’t need to be called anything. But put a few books on the table.
6. Do you think you got the job?
Are you talking about that U2 thing? Where I get to be like some undiscovered Lady Gaga-ish lowly employee discovered by Bono, somewhere near Joshua Tree National Park, and he pulls me on stage and I sing a Nina Simone cover, nearly burning down the house, and then I’m offered a record deal? No, I didn’t get that job.
Jennifer Spiegel is the author of three books: The Freak Chronicles (2012), Love Slave (2012) and And So We Die, Having First Slept (2018). ASWDHFS is about middle-age, Gen X, bath salts, and marriage. In addition to writing, she teaches English and creative writing, and she’s part of Snotty Literati, a book-reviewing gig, with Lara Smith. Right now, she’s working on a memoir, Cancer, I’ll Give You One Year: A Non-Informative Guide to Breast Cancer, or Cancer, I’ll Give You One Year: How to Get Your Ba-Da-Bing Boobies On The House! For more information, please visit www.jenniferspiegel.com.
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 www.kurtbaumeister.com.