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. For good or ill, which of these inventions has been most important to humanity’s development as a species: dental floss, the stapler, or cheesecake? Why?
Definitely the stapler. It has prevented many great manuscripts from being scattered by a mischievous wind.
2. Why does lawn furniture always seem so fucking smug? I mean, wherever, whenever, wicker, rattan, plastic, black, white, red, it’s always just standing there, all like, “You move, motherfucker! I’m lawn furniture.”
It’s because it feels privileged and experienced. Privileged because it belongs to a house with a garden (especially in cities), and experienced because it has sustained and survived many years of draught, rain, storm and bird shit. In a way, garden furniture is the John Wayne of furniture – therefore, smug.
3. If you only had one hour left to live and you could spend it discussing astrophysics with Johnny Depp, commitment with Taylor Swift, or financial derivatives with Peter Dinklage, which would you pick? Why?
Definitely astrophysics with Johnny Depp. But only if we are high on acid.
4. Please provide your race/class/alignment as a Dungeons and Dragons character. Defend your choices!
I would be a chaotic good human writer. Chaotic good because beer and fistfights, but nevertheless a good guy. Human because human. And writer because the pen is a very precise and efficient weapon.
Can you give me some of the stats for this writer character class? I’m particularly interested in the amount of damage from beer and fistfights. Also, other abilities? I mean, what makes this class special? What level do you have to be to kill a dragon? And how do you do it? (Other than writing the dragon out of existence. I see that one coming, bub. DM’s prerogative to de-power character class.)
Writer is a particular class, that comes in any alignment. Its special skills are, as you noted, drinking, brawling, and fiction, which is a special form of magic that can change any object or situation into something else. The damage from the fistfight depends on the writer’s age and experience. Drinking is necessary to fuel fiction, and fiction is tough to master, but can be incredibly efficient. To kill a dragon is impossible in the first levels, but is incredibly easy once you master fiction. The downside of the character is its inability to gain a lot of wealth, and to find a sister soul, no matter its alignment.
5. What’s a food that shouldn’t be a food and what should it be instead?
Fish. It should only be used for decoration. It comes in all sorts of sizes and colors. Can fit any home. Except for the smell. But you can just spray perfume on it.
6. Is there life after death?
Of course. But it’s called death.
Seb Doubinsky is a bilingual French dystopian writer. He is the author of, among others, The Babylonian Trilogy, The Song Of Synth, White City, and Missing Signal. His novels are set in a city-states parallel universe which mirrors our own. His latest novel, Missing Signal, published by Meerkat Press, won the Bronze Foreword Reviews Award in the sci-fi category. His forthcoming novel, The Invisible, a dystopian noir, is announced for May 2020, also through Meerkat Press.
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.