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. Speaking in terms of building blocks, the foundational pieces of American society in the 21st century, which would you say is most vital: Doritos, Pop Tarts, or Kool Aid? Why?
I don’t really know much about Doritos, or Pop Tarts, or Kool Aid. It doesn’t feel right to make an uninformed guess about this. I would have to look into it. Unfortunately, I do not have the time or resources right now, as I am pursuing other areas of knowledge.
Is there any junk food you do like and/or have some breadth, depth, and/or girth of knowledge concerning?
 Nutty Bars in the United States are a snack manufactured by McKee Foods under the brand title of Little Debbie. The snack consists of four wafers sandwiched together in a peanut butter mixture and covered in chocolate. The packages generally come in sealed packs of 2 wafers. A serving size (57g), has 310 calories, 18g of fat with 8g of it being saturated fat, and 20g of sugar. They are now referred to as “Nutty Buddy” due to a name change. McKee Foods/Little Debbie also makes snacks similar to these, which are known as Peanut Butter Crunch Bars.
- ^Driscoll, Kara (November 10, 2017). “Is Little Debbie getting rid of your favorite treat? One has to go”. Dayton Daily News. Retrieved February 2, 2019.
- ^ “Nutty Buddy”. www.littledebbie.com. Retrieved 2017-04-25
- ^ Wikipedia
2. If you could make up your own cartoon animal alter-ego, what species would they be, and what would they be named? Would they have any special abilities or attacks?
My cartoon animal alter ego would have my same name and be a cartoon homosapien who doesn’t go to work anymore. Their special ability would be collecting unemployment insurance from the state of New Jersey for six months, and when the unemployment ran out, the cartoon would go down to the office and ask for an extension and if that was denied, instead of going back to work, the cartoon would begin to suffer some kind of lower back injury for which it would collect disability insurance if the meeting with the caseworker ended in a satisfactory judgement. If the judgement did not go in their favor, they would sell their blood, they would sell their dirty underwear. They would do anything in their power to not go back to that terrible job. That soul-sucking place that employed them, but did not value their labor. My cartoon would accept nothing less than absolute personal freedom. I’m fine with whatever.
3. What leading woman/man do you find most terrifying? Why?
I am not scared of any actors, minor or major. I am concerned with my local locksmith, who looks like the Cryptkeeper. I went to get copies of some keys that said “Do Not Duplicate”. The locksmith asked my address. I gave it. He said, “Oh, I don’t have that.” Then he took the keys in the back and made copies. He had a parrot back there. The parrot insulted him. He insulted the parrot. The key grinder shrieked. During this, the door to the shop opened, and in walked a woman with a baby carriage. The Cryptkeeper came back with dead eyes, and my keys. Before ringing me up he asked her where she lived and she said her address. Not only did he have the keys for her apartment, but he had the keys for every apartment in her building. He had keys for most of the buildings in town. The parrot was like, “We’ve got your keys, yes we do, we watch you sleep, polly want a cracker.”
4. Do you think you could drive someone insane simply by painting their entire house the same color, both inside and out?
I don’t, no.
5. The more humane choice: Cat collars made of fish or dog muzzles made of meat?
I don’t really know much about cat collars made of fish, or dog muzzles made of meat. It doesn’t feel right to make an uninformed guess about this. I would have to look into it. Unfortunately, I do not have the time or resources right now, as I am pursuing other areas of knowledge.
That sounds intriguing—especially now that you’ve said it twice. What other areas of knowledge are you pursuing presently?
I’ve been learning how to type. It’s been a year of dedicated learning. I have a little hardcover manual called Teach Yourself Typewriting (English Universities Press, 1956), it’s going well, I’ve identified where all the letters are, but the q and p and z and c trip me up. I hope to be touch typing by Labor Day. My creative writing has hit a wall because of having to learn this garbage. And that’s only because my typist was sent away, and I’m not supposed to say where, but I’ve been promised they’re never coming back. If my typist would have stayed here I could have carried on forever just mumbling out my ideas and they’d type them up fast as could be, and out falls a book every month or so. The problem now, and maybe why the typist left at all, is how expensive a quality typist is per hour, and they expect to work freelance, from home or some such nonsense, but what I need is more akin to a 24/7 nurse, who is always here and always ready to type at least 140 words per minute indefinitely, no water, either. This previous typist would work a whole day for me for just a bowl of soup and I’d open the curtain a little to let the sun shine into the room on Christmas. It’s just not economical for me to pay someone the going rate for typing, so I’m forced to learn. I’m terrified I’ll run out of ideas and will wind up some other fool’s typist. I require more than a bowl of soup and sunshine though.
6. What is best in life?
Hands down, it’s love.
Bud Smith says hello. His work can be found collected here: http://neutralspaces.co/bud_smith/
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.