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?
It would be called WE ARE BUT MEAT, based on the precept that humanity can be best described as a 60-million-year evolution of hapless sacks of meat. The WE ARE BUT MEAT bible would be written on a cocktail napkin and be four sentences long: “And lo, Sean created Heaven and Earth and Meat. Meat was without form and void and darkness was on the face of the deep, until Sean also created charcoal briquettes. So go forth and walk the Earth, my fleshling children, reproduce and strive and create as you see fit, until such time that you fall apart, your gristle returning to the dirt as it was destined to. Verily, meatness has no true purpose, except possibly to be marinated in a nice balsamic reduction and then grilled in such a way as to keep true believer’s essential juices and rings of marbled fat beneath a nice pink sear.
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?
I’ve always wanted to try stand-up. I think the reason none of my books work is that I’m really just writing disassociated comedy routines and then as an afterthought pretend that there are characters a reader could plausibly be invested in. In terms of failure, I’d be a terrible cop. I couldn’t find it within myself on either a moral or intellectual level to write chickenshit speeding tickets, plus I think I’d let even bank robbers and car-jackers go once they told me sad stories about their childhood. Also, probably once in a month, in a fit of guilt, I’d snap and get super violent over some minor offense and then have to apologize to the Lieutenant, who’d call me into his office and keep saying “You’re a great cop, Beaudoin, but you never know where to draw the line. We don’t need any more rogue officers on the force. You feeling me, son?” I’d say “Yes, sir” and then a week later drag an embezzler through a car wash by the collar of their polo shirt and get re-assigned to the evidence room.
3. Are you sorry you decided to do this?
No. But maybe only because I don’t recall deciding.
4. Who would win a game of Rap Battle Twister (in which a rap battle and Twister game take place simultanesouly, obviously…) between Napoleon Bonaparte, Scooby Doo, Angela Merkel, and Frida Kahlo? (No one is drunk.)
This question is sort of genius in that there is no possible interesting answer.
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?
Air, Food, and Blood. In the future, air will be an app called NuOxy G. Food will be an injectable paste controlled by the Syrian army called Boot Sum Soylence. Blood will disappear during the Plasma Riots of 2096 and be replaced by a binary number system called 000101000100101010010010.
6. What is the meaning of life?
The meaning of life is coming to the realization that none of us is guaranteed happiness, or probably even deserves it. The notion that happiness is achievable is the greatest source of misery on Earth. The ability for a certain class of humanity to marshal resources such that discomfort is minimized in order to approximate a degree of happiness can be looked upon by all other classes as a crippling delusion. The meaning of life is accepting that the meaning of death is the absence of meaning + bacon.
Sean Beaudoin is the author of six Young Adult novels and the short story collection Welcome Thieves. His latest literary novel, This Unlovely Monster, will be out with Algonquin Books soon.
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.