Six Ridiculous Questions: Matthew Norman

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. Your life is going to change in one way and one way only. You are going to become a mythological beast with no hope of turning back into a human? What species would you choose? Why?

Wow. Yeah, you weren’t kidding. That is, indeed, a ridiculous question. I guess I’d stick with one of the classics: Pegasus. He’s muscular and majestic, and he can fly. I’d be down with all those things. And my daughters would get a kick out of riding me around the neighborhood.


2. Do you think Chewbacca and Pikachu would understand each other without subtitles?

Should I be ashamed to admit that I had to Google “Pikachu?” The Pokemon thing is something I’m aware of in only the most general way, like how I get that there’s a sport called “cricket,” but I know absolutely nothing about it. I don’t see how Chewie and this Pikachu character would be able to understand each other. But, if there’s ever a big-budget crossover movie or theme park or whatever, the writers will figure it out.


3. What is the worst movie you’ve ever seen and how would you change it to make it the best movie you’ve ever seen without expressly turning it into the best movie you’ve ever seen (ala, you can’t just say I’d turn Star Wars into Get Out)?

Oh man, I hate being a hater. Whenever I really hate something, I always think about the people who tried really hard. Like the director or screenwriter or lead actor Googles the title of the movie, and then they see me trashing their work on the Internet. They’d be like, “Who the hell is Matthew Norman?” And they’d be right. I mean, who the hell am I? That said, the older I get, the more I find myself rolling my eyes at the sequel machines and the spinoffs and the reboots. God, I sound so old.


4. Ego valets. Discuss.

OK, so, the idea is that there’s a nice young man in a vest standing outside of an establishment, and I can give him my ego, and he’ll bring it back to me later? I like this. It feels like a nice way to discuss sharing your work with people, like trusted readers or agents and editors. That’s a great time for an ego valet. It also sounds like something the sassy best friend character would say in a movie when the main character is being too thin-skinned. “Excuse me. Can we get an ego valet up in here, girlfriend?”


5. Would you rather have a cat who could talk or a dog who could read and write?

This one’s easy. I’m allergic to cats. So, while a talking cat would be pretty fascinating for a couple of days, eventually I’d get tired of sneezing and scratching my eyes out of my head. Plus, I’m a dog person. It’d be interesting to see what my dogs would choose to write about. Mostly tennis balls, I assume. I imagine my corgi would write like a British person, even though he was born in North Carolina.


6. Are good and evil real?

For me, this comes to down uppercase vs. lowercase letters. Is there Good and Evil? Are there divine forces pushing and pulling against each other, and we’re their pawns? I have my doubts. But, people can certainly do good things and evil things. I see both every day on my Twitter feed. Side note: I should really get off Twitter. Emotionally speaking, I don’t think it’s healthy.


Matthew Norman lives in Baltimore, MD with his wife and two children. He’s the author of the novels We’re All Damaged and Domestic Violets, which was nominated for a Goodreads Choice Award for Humor. His next novel, Last Couple Standing, will be out in early 2020. Check him out on social and his blog at

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

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