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. You just died and your adoring public is so distraught they’ve decided to create a religion with you–not your corpse, but the you you used to be before you died–as its focal point. What should the new religion be called? What would its primary tenets be? Would it ultimately prove beneficial to humanity?
Let’s call it Lap Swim. I don’t want to overthink this. When Facebook started, my regular update would be: Swam laps. And with my religion, instead of going to a service in a church or temple, you would have to swim once a week. It doesn’t have to be laps. It can be the ocean, a lake, a pool. An outdoor hot tub would count. And there would be a lot of fundraising, which happens with religions, so we could build more pools (Which would be good for the economy, construction and jobs, being a lifeguard is such a good job) and these pools would include ones that are heated so you can swim outside in the winter, which is always super magical, all the steam rising up into the cool air. And I think that this will bring happiness to everyone who follows. I find that it is hard to be upset when you are swimming.
2. What’s one profession other than your own you’re absolutely sure you’d excel at? Why? What’s one profession you’d be a complete failure at? Why?
Starting with failure. Before I got going with the writing career, I used to have full time office jobs. I was good at them, but my main problem was I liked to take long lunches and I would always go home at six, even if I wasn’t done with the project I was working on for that day. So really I am not suited for all office jobs in every capacity. I don’t know how people do it. I admire them so much.
Excel at? I would love to be a marine biologist and feed the sea lions. I realize this requires a lot of training, but I would love to do that. Maybe I just want to be good friends with a marine biologist.
3. Are you sorry you decided to do this?
My first reaction was, reading these questions was, Oh My God, I can’t believe I agreed to do this, but I am actually enjoying it, giving you these honest and silly answers. Thank you.
4. Who would win a game of Rap Battle Twister (in which a rap battle and Twister game take place simultaneously, obviously…) between Napoleon Bonaparte, Scooby Doo, Angela Merkel, and Frida Kahlo? (No one is drunk.)
Oh gosh, Kurt, maybe now I regret doing this interview. I don’t have an educated guess on this one, but I would probably pick Angela Merkel. She seems so incredibly competent and she is not tall, which is good for Twister.
5. Name three things we rely on in our day-to-day lives that will, in a hundred years, be so outmoded people won’t even remember what they were called? What will each be replaced by?
Hmm. What if it is all going to fall apart and instead of become more modern, we go in the other direction. And airplanes stop flying and we all stay home and walk to the super market and read books made of paper. I feel like if I think about the future, my mind only goes into dystopian landscapes and I want to reread Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel and look for answers there. But instead of more technology I am thinking less, as we are forced to finally conserve power because we are out of all resources. Happy, right?
6. What is the meaning of life?
This is not a ridiculous question. Seriously. I don’t know if there is meaning. I am the person who encourages swimming laps as a religion. I think it is important to find pleasure in small things. I have this thing that I do, when something really pleases me, where I will stop and say: “This is my favorite moment of the day.” This currently annoys my daughter, who is ten, and it makes me sad about how much my being me tends to annoy her on a regular basis, but I hope she is taking secret pleasure in my quirks and is just choosing not to let me know. I have made her take swimming lessons at the YMCA, which has sometimes been a struggle, but I think she understands how important it is to be good at swimming. Which is how I started this interview and I love, when I am writing, to be able to create a circle and here it is.
Marcy Dermansky is the author of the recently released novel Very Nice. Fore more information about Marcy, follow her on twitter or Instagram at @mdermansky or go to her website: marcydermansky.com.
Kurt Baumeister has written for Salon, Electric Literature, Guernica, The Weeklings, Entropy, The Nervous Breakdown, The Rumpus, The Good Men Project, and others. Now a Contributing Editor with The Weeklings, Baumeister’s Review Microbrew column is published by The Nervous Breakdown. He edits the Under the Influence feature for Entropy. 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.