If it’s Thursday, it must be…
Hold it — I’ve never responded to a daily prompt on a Thursday before. I think. But whatever. Ben asks:
A Pulitzer-winning reporter is writing an in-depth piece — about you. What are the three questions you really hope she doesn’t ask you?
My first thought is “Only three?” But three. Okay.
The first question I wouldn’t want to hear is obviously
“How are you?”
I hate being asked that. I mean, what do you say? I could try “I’m replete with infinite volumes of emptiness, blackness and despair, thanks for asking.” Unfortunately, while probably accurate, that’s hardly what you’d call cheerful and upbeat and as you probably can tell, my natural disposition is relentlessly sunny. How about “Another day of quiet desperation.” The problem with that is that she might start talking about Thoreau and I know nothing about Thoreau and I wouldn’t want to look like an ignorant philistine. (Ignorant OR philistine I could handle, but not both.) Perhaps I should just sing about endless voids and my brain? Nah — no one wants that. But what, then? My dad used to answer that question with the pithy — but ultimately semantically null — “No hell.” I’ve always liked that (and I am, after all, searching for a clever catchphrase — it says as much right over there…) but it’s his, not mine. I’d probably just fall back on the old standby — “Older, balder, fatter.” Booo-ring.
The second question I wouldn’t want to hear is probably
Yeah, I know. What is wrong with me? The problem with this question is that, while I acknowledge that something is wrong I haven’t a clue what it is. I’d either just sit there gaping like a trout (which doesn’t really give a particularly good impression to a Pulitzer-winning writer or her readers if she has a camera and who doesn’t these days) or fall back on “Older, balder fatter” which, while accurate, really isn’t much of an answer.
Introspection is even harder than small talk.
The third question is almost certainly
“How do you spell your name?”
My name is a little difficult to spell. I’ve seen people try to spell it and get every letter wrong
so I’m used to having people ask how to spell it. But the reason I wouldn’t want to hear that particular question in this context is because, when I spelled my name, she’d almost certainly get a funny look on her face and go “I’m sorry. I’m in the wrong house.”