Six Ridiculous Questions: Amber Sparks

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 did more or less ingest pounds and pounds of Cool Ranch and Habaneros Doritos through college, so I guess I’ll go with those. Pop Tarts are just a mystery to me – I don’t understand the appeal – and the Kool Aid Man is really creepy. Stop inviting him to parties, people.


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?

Definitely a cheetah, and of course, my literal thought in answering this was that my go-to Mario Kart is something light and fast and easily maneuverable, so I’d need the same in an animal alter-ego. I’d definitely be invisible, too. That’s the only superpower I covet, usually.


3. What leading woman/man do you find most terrifying? Why?

It’s so cliché but definitely Tom Cruise. Why does he have so much energy? Why is he so young-looking still? I don’t think it’s the Scientology. I think he made some deal with the devil and instead of being invigorating, it’s off-putting and increasingly creepy. I never want to be that energetic, even at my current age, my god.


4. Do you think you could drive someone insane simply by painting their entire house the same color, both inside and out?

Yes, I think if you painted it chartreuse or vermillion or something extreme. Florescents will do that to you.


5. The more humane choice: Cat collars made of fish or dog muzzles made of meat?

Neither! Cats can’t chew their own collars (well, my lazy cats can’t) so they’d just be tormented by the smell of fish and so would their owners. No muzzles on dogs, period. My daughter is very firm on this – there’s a part of Lady and the Tramp where Lady is forced into a muzzle and my daughter refuses to watch it, she’s so anti-muzzle.


6. What is best in life?

A book, a drink, and outdoor seating.


Amber Sparks is the author of two short story collections and a novella. Her work mostly lives at, and she mostly lives @ambernoelle on Twitter, much to her chagrin.

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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