So the other day, someone posted on of those memes, you know the ones we all used to love to do in emails: “86 things you would never guess about me except for the fact that you might because I am so fucking predictable” or something like that. I’ve always been kind of fond of those things, but only if they’re done properly.
It takes me a long time to do these memes, because well. So really, I only get through about 8 questions before I get bored. So.
Eleven Questions that are answered in such a way that you will never want to read the other eleventy billion (part 1 of question mark)
When you looked in the mirror this morning what was the first thing you thought?
My kid better be getting out of bed.
You can press a button that will make any one person explode. Who would you blow up?
Who the fuck wrote this meme? Seriously?
Okay okay, aside from Hitler, because duh, that’s everyone’s go-to answer FOR OBVIOUS REASONS (and you know, like Idi Amin or Pol Pot, etc. etc., I don’t think I can safely say that there is anyone I would “blow up” or otherwise kill in any way.
It’s because I watched Star Wars the other day (drunk, as you may recall), and they blew up Alderaan.
I want to start this thing with the caveat that I am not trying to convince anyone to see my position as right or wrong. I’m not interested in a debate over whether or not my reasoning is solid. I don’t want any “moralsplaining” in the comments. Mostly because I’m working on this on my own, and I am okay if you have your own beliefs, but there’s a point in which the starting point determines the following point, and I suspect that anyone who has a different following point doesn’t always have the same starting point.
So I have seen this movie like a billionty times. I am a geek (not like a walking Wookiepedia or anything, but I know some shit. I can also rap MC Chris’s Fett’s Vette pretty much in real time, so I am fun at parties. If…you know….that was something you wanted to do at a party.) It’s sad what happens to Alderaan. They blow up Leia’s home world. They kill a bunch of people. Man, that Empire sucks. And then the story moves on, and while the books often deal with Leia’s issues over losing Alderaan, they’re her issues, how it makes her feel. She lost family and millions of people died, but it’s almost too much to process.
And the joker who made it all happen?
This jackanape right here.
So for the first time in my life it occurred to me that when Alderaan blew up, it meant that millions of people died, not unlike blowing up a smaller earth (or a larger Earth, as I don’t actually know how big Alderaan was. You know, because we’re talking about a real planet that totally happened. You wouldn’t know about it. IT WAS A LONG TIME AG IN A GALAXY FAR FAR AWAY). That those were people (they weren’t. I know this is fantasy), and that they just ceased to be, with all their issues.
If someone blew up earth right now, all the shit we’re embroiled in—our own lives, the political struggles, the race issues and terrorism etc. etc.—it would just be gone.
In the end, what it really made me do was stare at Tarkin with a kind of mute horror. It’s not that I am desensitized to the death aspect of it, because in some ways you have to be, but that I never considered just what a monster that makes Tarkin. I was always like, “Well duh, he’s a bad guy”, and bad guys do these things.
Conversely, I have grown up in a culture in which we endorse shooting and killing the bad guys. Sometimes we shoot them in the chest with a revolver. Sometimes they fall off a building in slow motion. Sometimes we just inject them with a chemical that until recently we were pretty sure was painless and quick.
I don’t know now about all that. Maybe I can still go for the heat of the moment killing, because it needs to be done. Maybe I can still go for state execution, because of Reasons that are too long to list here. But what I DO know is that I don’t feel comfortable anymore arbitrarily referring to violent deaths as part of a fantasy such as “who would you blow up?” when referring to real people. I have no issue killing those bloody puppets n Devil May Cry. They’re Bloody Puppets. But asking me to pick a real person, even if it’s someone who deserves it, makes me wonder when I decided that it was okay for me, personally, to pronounce death on someone just because I am a “good guy” and they are a “bad guy”.
I dunno. Moff Tarkin totally made me think about all this.
But you know if I had to, then yeah, Hitler. Totally Hitler.
Who would you really like to just punch in the face?
Okay, so I admit that while I wouldn’t blow anyone up, there are quite a few people whose inverted faces I think about. Most of them are people I don’t know personally, which I guess is what makes it acceptable. And if I were ever to meet any of these people I would never punch them. Unless they punched me first, which, I can see how they might, if they were trapped in a bar with me and I was playing Thin Lizzy’s “The Boys Are Back In Town” about fifty times in a row.
And then I guess I would be asking for it.
BUT, all that said, I guess I’d like to punch a few politicians, and a few religious leaders, and a few celebrities who act like they are either one of those. And if we are talking fictional characters, I really just want to punch Delores Umbridge, for OBVIOUS REASONS.
If anyone could be your slave for a day, who would it be and what would they have to do?
For reasons that I outlined (or may not have outlined) two questions ago, I don’t think this is a fair question to ask, and suggesting that we still think slavery, even in jest or figuratively as something we can toss about (I used to joke about slave labor re: my child, because hey, but now I don’t. You evolve through language, like how I no longer joke about selling her the gypsies. We can all learn something about language editing, and it’s not oppression to suggest you do so.). ANYWAY, What I would like, is money to hire someone to clean my house.
Like, seriously, how much would it cost to hire about five people to come to my house and scrub it from top to bottom? I also want them to totally organize every drawer in the kitchen and bedrooms and totally organize my basement with shelving and stuff. I think it would take weeks if one person did it, so I need like fifteen people to do it in one day. How much would that cost? I could NEVER afford it. I want that money.
You can erase any horrible experience from your past. What will it be?
You would think I would go for my husband’s death, but I have made peace with that. Instead, let’s go back about 3 years.
I hosted a party in which MUCH drinking was taking place. Aside from the designated drivers, everyone who could drink had been downing beer all night, and I am sure it is safe to say that there were no buzzed people there, only Zuul. Eventually, I called it quits and told everyone to lock up as they left. Later I learned the following: 2 very drunk individuals had an altercation in which one groped the other in a highly suggestive way. Well, you know, less suggestive and more groped. The gropee called me the next day about it, as they were unfamiliar with the groper. I asked if ze wanted me to say something to the groper and was told no, and that it was just “weird” because they didn’t know the groper well. Also, not gonna lie, mitigating circumstances about the scenario made me take this admission at face value.
I know, I should have seen something there, but I didn’t.
I consulted with friends of the groper and they were mystified, too. We let the matter drop, because I was not instructed to take it further.
The thing is, the gropee was triggered by events that night and reacted badly once ze got home. Ze’s partner saw this and said nothing. Four months later the groper becomes involved with another friend. They are married now and groper is a permanent fixture in my circle of friends. Gropee’s partner waits months before unleashing a rail against me for protecting a rapist.
I am not gonna lie—I wish I had pulled groper aside after this and said, “I know you were fucking plastered, but what you did was SO NOT OKAY, and something needs to be done,” but I didn’t see it. The one person who did know the extent of the issue (aside from gropee, who understandably, may not have wanted to say anything, and I totes get that) didn’t say anything until months and months later. No one who was there (the gropee’s partner was not at the party) was aware of the extent of the issue.
In the end, it cost me the friendship of the gropee and ze’s extremely irate partner, and the groper is still here. I don’t even know if ze’s even aware that it was this big a deal to this day, but it’s been 3 years, and I lost two good friends for someone I just consider an acquaintance. Mutual friends between the three of us have had to pick a side. One of the friends who chose me said recently that she knew where she would go in the divorce. At this point, even our friends who stayed with me pretty much lost 2 friends too, and it makes me sick.
So yeah, if I could go back and erase anything, it would ever be going up to bed that night. For everyone’s sake.
The Celestial Gates of Beyond have opened, much to your surprise because you didn’t think such a thing existed. Death appears. As it turns out, Death is actually a pretty cool entity, and happens to be in a fantastic mood. Death offers to return the friend/family-member/person/etc. of your choice to the living world. Who will you bring back?
These questions are always painfully obvious in my scenario. So instead I want to talk about that fucking Adam Sandler movie about the fucking remote control and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, seasons 5 and 6.
Click was released in June of 2006, and my husband died in April of the same year. I was watching a lot of TV, and so it was impossible to miss the trailers.
I have never seen Click, so I don’t know if it is good (according to Rotten tomatoes, it’s not very), but the tagline was irresistible to me: “What would you do if you had a universal remote that controlled your universe?”
As you can tell, it made quite an impression on me.
The thing is, the last things you want to be thinking about when you are contemplating losing a loved one to a violent death or an accident, something that is not a disease or old age, something that is kind of preventable, say, is fantasy things that can never ever exist, because in your dreams, you already play it over and over again.
I am not blaming the movie. It’s just a movie, and its presence in my universe has more to do with the fact that the universe doesn’t revolve around the events in my life, a lesson that I wish more people were acutely aware of on a daily basis (re: themselves). But the suggestion that one could go back and forth in time, change things, is obviously appealing even if you don’t have a tragic death in your life (see last question and answer).
And a year later, when I rewatched Buffy, you all know where I am gonna go here. They bring Buffy back from the dead. And at a great price, and I took a lot of time to think about that, too. Because it’s right there on the screen in front of me, as fantastical as it is, and you just Can’t Stop Thinking About It.
But then see, Buffy talks about the bad things that happen when you bring someone back from the dead (they do it when Joyce died, too), but even then, no biggie, it’s a nether creature the gang tales care of.
Then you have to consider the Monkey’s Paw, or any number of other books and stories out there that posit what happens when you return people from the dead. And in the end, you have to actually, non-hypothetically (because you are seriously in mourning for a dead person) shut the door on fantasy, not because it’s not possible, but because even in your fantasies in which it is possible to raise the dead, you shouldn’t. There’s a system to death, a place that it has in existence, and while I am not religious, I honestly believe that dealing with loss is just as important as any other thing in life, and in the end, you start to make peace with loss by putting away the fantasy of raising the dead.
So my answer is Hitler. So we could kill him again.
What was your last dream about?
Every night I have a variation of three dreams. Each one involves the last two question and answer scenarios.
Are you a good….[insert anything you’d like here]?
Panda bear? You said “insert anything”.
No. I would say that I am not, in fact, a good panda bear. Well, okay, Maybe it depends on what we mean by “good”. Do you mean “am I a reasonable example of what a panda should be?” Then no. Am I, should I be a panda bear, a morally upright one? Like the opposite of “bad” or “evil”? Well then, I guess, since I am not a panda bear, I can’t very well be a good or bad one, but even if I was, I am probably not a very good anything most of the time, so no on that too.
Well, okay. I don’t set puppies on fire. I try my best. I’m okay. I’m an okay panda bear.
Except for, you know, not being a panda bear.
Your questions suck.
Have you ever been admitted to the hospital?
Several times! Obviously to have a baby (#notallbirthingscenarios), but even more exciting is the story of that one time I had a horrible brain tumor named Mearl, and consequently decided not to sue a former doctor even though I totally could have because that is not how litigation is supposed to work in an ethical society.
But I have told that story so many times that it’s super boring to relate. Instead I could tell you about how I was an otherwise healthy 25 year old who had a serious medical issue that required over 50K of medical costs, but because I had insurance coverage it didn’t pretty much ruin my life like that would have if I had been uninsured.
I could do one of those sidebar things I like to do about how it’s important to have insurance even when you are young and healthy, because you never know what’s lurking in your innards, or when that Guinness truck is gonna decide to hump your Volvo at 60 MPH on the interstate. I would mention that while I got my insurance from my employer of the time, I now have insurance through the exchange, and that I feel comforted knowing that I can actually afford to pay for insurance that I never know if and when I might need, because having a scar like that down the back of your skull is a constant reminder of how fragile your body really can be.
But in the end, I would probably just tell you about the moral of the story, which is actually that if you have a scar that looks like a zipper down the back of your neck, and your tell your 5 year old daughter that it’s a zipper so you can unzip your skin, take it off and put it in the washing machine when it gets dirty, she will freak the fuck out.
But years later, you will have a great story to tell when you answer a meme that says, “HAVE U EVER BEEN IN THE HOSPITAL ANSWER YES OR NO CHECK ONE” and then draws three little boxes like kids’ love notes in grade school, one for “yes” one for ” no”, and one for “maybe” despite that the instructions tell you to check yes or no, because that is how first graders roll in the relationship game, people.
So maybe. Maybe I have been in the hospital.
Have you ever built a snowman?
Fuck you, Olaf.
What is the color of your socks?
How is this supposed to tell you anything about another person? This question is the busywork of memes.
Am I supposed to feel better about sharing myself with the internet? Is this question akin to instagramming my food when I only have a following of like three people, and two of them are my parents and the other one is that creeper whose avatar is a horsehead and who keeps asking me about foot pictures?
Red. My socks are red, creeper man. Stop asking for toe pics.
There you have it. Some day when I am starved for more material I’ll think of something else.