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. Gradations of brutality: Would you rather spend an hour as a guillotine cleaner in 18th century France or a year working in the Trump White House?
How about operating a guillotine inside the Trump White House? That’s a gig I’d volunteer for. And if the Secret Service is reading this, I’m only kidding.
2. Say your mind was swapped with your pet’s, who would be more successful: You as your pet or your pet as you?
We tried this once, and she completely messed up the third act of my novel. (Remember, Piper? Remember?) So yeah, definitely me. Which reminds me of a joke. A guy is visiting his friend’s house and sees his friend’s dog licking its own balls. “I wish I could do that,” the guy says. “Okay,” his friend replies, “but you’d better pet him first.”
Piper is a dog?
Piper is a rescued Rez dog. Part golden retriever, part German shepherd, maybe part poodle. She doesn’t bite, but she’s a vicious gossip.
And what would you do in Piper’s body?
CG: Hunt prairie dogs. I own a vineyard, and they’re the bane of my existence.
3. Do scorpions have rich inner lives? Why or why not?
Scorpions glow in the dark, can live up to 48 hours without oxygen, and don’t need males to reproduce. So, nothing they do should surprise you, and that includes reading Schopenhauer.
4. If you were hanging out in front of a 7-11 and an evil wizard pulled up in his Dodge Charger, got out and said he was going to turn you into a cartoon character, but was willing to allow you to lobby for your desired result—OK, I guess he’s not the epitome of evil, but he’s still really bad (permanently arched brows, a truly disconcerting beard, perhaps a demonic familiar or an ill-tempered cat, and the Charger, obviously)—which character would you choose?
If I hang out at 7-11s, then I’m definitely going with Batman, because if Bruce Wayne doesn’t yet have his own Slupree machine, he can certainly afford one.
What’s a flavor of Slurpee you always thought would be a big hit, but never materialized?
5. 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?
CG: (a) Chipmunks.
(d) Basset hounds.
You had a career in law, right? Focusing on (c), what is it about terriers that would make them great pd’s?
Dogged tenacity. Also, they’ll work for next to nothing.
6. Do you think you got the job?
I petted him, didn’t I?
Chuck Greaves/C. Joseph Greaves has been a finalist for most of the major awards in crime fiction including the Shamus, Macavity, Lefty, and Audie, as well as the New Mexico-Arizona, Oklahoma, and Colorado Book Awards. His last novel, Tom & Lucky (Bloomsbury) was a Wall Street Journal “Best Books of 2015” selection and finalist for the 2016 Harper Lee Prize. His sixth novel, Church of the Graveyard Saints (Torrey House) will be in bookstores in September of 2019.
Kurt Baumeister’s 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