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?
This religion is already in full swing. I have no doubt it will continue after my demise, and it may save us all. It’s called HUG CLUB, and there are a lot of rules:
The First Rule of Hug Club is it’s probably okay to talk about Hug Club.
The Second Rule of Hug Club is do I really have to repeat myself?
The Third Rule of Hug Club is if someone yells stop, goes limp, taps out, the hug is over. Awkward!
Fourth Rule: there are no limits to the number of people in the hug, think “Human Centipede,” but nicer.
Fifth Rule: Two simultaneous hugs is probably the limit though because you only have two arms.
Sixth Rule: No shirt, no shoes might be weird, to be honest.
Seventh Rule: Hugs will go on as long as they have to.
Eighth Rule: Rub your opponent’s back real nice.
And the Ninth Rule of Hug Club is, if it’s your first night at Hug Club, you have to hug.
The Tenth Rule is awwwwww.
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 was really good at cutting grass, and there’s no reason to think I couldn’t still do it. Nice, straight green lines. Pleasing rumble. That gasoline smell. The whole hill. I love the smell of a lawnmower in the morning. It smells like victory. Perfect songs on the Walkman were crucial though. You know what the best grass-cutting songs were? It’s crazy but it has to be Phil Collins related. I know! I don’t understand it either. I don’t even like him that much but it’s not up to me.
I am easily distracted so if I was an air-traffic controller there would be thousands dead.
3. Are you sorry you decided to do this?
I’m sorry I lied up there about not liking Phil Collins. So yes.
Give me your top 5 Phil Collins songs. Go.
1.) “I Don’t Care Anymore”
2.) “Against All Odds”
3.) “In the Air Tonight”
4.) “Take Me Home”
5.) “Don’t Lose My Number” (selected due to the video being the most “’80s” music video of all time!)
This is assuming, of course, that a “Phil Collins song” is one by him and not about him because otherwise I’d have to say “Wildfire,” which is all about him if he was a horse. And killed by frost?! That means he didn’t even die during the winter. Just got lost during a mildly uncomfortably chilly Spring morning.
Because of the frost. Phil was a stupid horse.
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.)
This question is the fucking worst. Aren’t those all the people Bill & Ted asked to help them with their homework? And a Twister rap battle is impossible. The only thing you can do simultaneously while playing Twister is to call in an air strike on your own location because that game is embarrassing. And rap battles should be amazing but how many really are? I think we always wish they were better. Even the rap battles in 8-Mile aren’t nearly as good as we remember. And Eminem actually lost! The fix was in. His battle with Lotto was a tie, but he did plant the naysayer against Papa Doc, so fine, he won that one. Allegedly. But that movie will still always bring back fond memories of living near Detroit when it came out and suddenly people who had no idea that 8 Mile Road was a road and not a town were saying they were from there. Now there’s a twister for ya!
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?
Jesus Christ. This is worse than the SATs. The next question better only require a one-word answer or I walk.
6. What is the meaning of life?
David James Keaton‘s first collection, FISH BITES COP! Stories to Bash Authorities was named the 2013 Short Story Collection of the Year by This Is Horror, and his second collection, Stealing Propeller Hats from the Dead, received a Starred Review from Publishers Weekly. Nobody read his third collection. He’s also the co-editor of Hard Sentences: Crime Fiction Inspired by Alcatraz, and the editor of Dirty Boulevard: Crime Fiction Inspired by Lou Reed. Most recently he co-edited Tales from the Crust: An Anthology of Pizza Horror, which apparently ruined the genre. He lives in California with his wife, daughter, and a cat forever lingering between life and death.
Kurt Baumeister has written for Salon, Electric Literature, Guernica, 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.