Question(s) of a Lifetime – Part One

Is there a God? What is the meaning of life? Is a hot dog a sandwich? These are all some of the greatest questions humanity has faced; here are some more.


During our trip back home from seeing Noel Gallagher at Radio City Music Hall, my girlfriend and I continued our sacred tradition: answering weird questions to get to know more about each other. It’s a great way to pass time and an even better way of getting to learn more about one another.

However, what happened this time was different. What we found was “Chuck Klosterman’s 23 Questions I Ask Everybody I Meet In Order To Decide If I Can Really Love Them”; the questions were incredible. For the first time, we felt challenged to answer these questions that ranged from hilarious to dark. So after our completion of the questions, I knew two things: I had to share these and I needed to make a column out of them.

So to take a break from so much serious writing, I’d like to have some light-hearted fun this week! Without a further ado, here are the “best of” of these questions!

  1. Let us assume you met a rudimentary magician. Let us assume he can do five simple tricks he can pull a rabbit out of his hat, he can make a coin disappear, he can turn the ace of spades into the Joker card, and two others in a similar vein. There are his only tricks and he can’t learn anymore; he can only do these five. HOWEVER, it turns out he’s doing these five tricks with real magic. It’s not an illusion; he can actually conjure the bunny out of the aether and he can move the coin through space. He’s legitimately magical, but extremely limited in scope and influence. Would this person be more impressive than Albert Einstein?

This is a tough question, to begin with. It is undeniable to say that someone who could create life and items from thin air isn’t impressive. Even now, I get impressed if somebody pulls off a stupid card trick, so if someone created a rabbit, I’d be amazed.

But we have to consider just how brilliant Albert Einstein was; perhaps he was not only the greatest mind of the 20th century, but of mankind entirely. The title of “Father of Modern Physics” is not given out to everyone; the impact (ha) of his discoveries have changed the world as we know it. The magician’s limitations also turn me away. So for this question, I’d have to choose Einstein.

  1. Let us assume a fully grown, completely healthy Clydesdale horse has his hooves shackled to the ground while he head is held in place with thick rope. He is conscious and standing upright, but he is completely immobile. And let us assume that for some reason every political prisoner on earth (as cited by Amnesty International) will be released from captivity if you can kick this horse to death in less than twenty minutes. You are allowed to wear steel-toed boots. Would you attempt to do this?

See what I mean about these questions? This question is so stupid, that it is actually brilliant; it takes someone special to come up with a scenario like this. But let’s look at the reality of the question; while I would love to free people jailed for their beliefs, there are two major problems for me.

  • Do I want to kick a horse to death?
  • Could I even kick a horse to death in 20 minutes?

Image result for clydesdale

To answer the first question, I’d have to give a strong pass. I love horses and think they’re awesome, so I would say that kicking one to death is not on my list of priorities. I like free people, so let’s assume that I agree to take on this challenge, we now need to look at the second question. At 5’9″, I’m in no way a 

physical site to behold, in fact, I may be the complete opposite. I also have a size 11 shoe; which much like my height, is the average for the American male.

So we need to consider this, could someone my size take out a massive horse in less than 20 minutes? Hell fucking no. So for the sake of the horse, I’m going to, pass on the opportunity to free all political prisoners by beating the shit out of a horse.

  1. Let us assume there are two boxes on a table. In one box, there is a relatively normal turtle; in the other, Adolf Hitler’s skull. You have to select one of these items for your home. If you select the turtle, you can’t give it away and you have to keep it alive for two years; if either of these parameters are not met, you will be fined $999 by the state. If you select Hitler’s skull, you are required to display it in a semi-prominent location in your living room for the same amount of time, although you will be paid a stipend of $120 per month for doing so. Display of the skull must be apolitical. Which option do you select?

Going with Hitler’s skull is the easiest choice in this case. Payment aside, imagine how badass it would feel to have the skull of one of history’s most infamous men in your living room? I would make an anti-Nazi shrine around the skull, to ensure that people don’t get the wrong idea. If you then consider the money I’m getting paid, this is easy.

  1. Genetic engineers at Johns Hopkins University have developed a so-called super gorilla. Though the animal cannot speak, it has a sign language lexicon of over twelve thousand words, and an IQ of almost 85, and most notably a vague sense of self-awareness. Oddly, the creature (who weighs seven hundred pounds) becomes fascinated by football. The gorilla aspires to play the game at its highest level and quickly develops the rudimentary skills of a defensive end. ESPN analyst Tom Jackson speculates that this gorilla would be borderline unblockable and would likely average six sacks a game (although Jackson concedes the beast might be susceptible to counters and misdirection plays). Meanwhile, the gorilla has made is clear he would never intentionally injure any opponent. You are commissioner of the NFL: Would you allow this gorilla to sign with the Oakland Raiders?

Image result for oakland raiders gorilla

This may be my favorite question. The idea is so stupid yet it’s such a good moral test of how one looks at a profit over people, or vice versa. Seeing a gorilla play football is something I never even knew I wanted until reading this, but we have to look at the situation, literally.

This gorilla is 700 pounds, even though he promised he wouldn’t intentionally hurt anyone, we need to realize that if he accidentally slips on a running back, he’ll more than likely end up killing him. Although he would be easily faked out, he could still do incredible damage to other players.  

From a football perspective, the Raiders would get a massive advantage over other teams; teams would be required to plan entirely against this one gorilla; even if the offensive team figured out a way to stop him, it would still give Oakland a massive advantage. So even though I think that the publicity would be great for the NFL, I’m going to say that the gorilla could not play in the league. Sorry bud.

  1. At long last, somebody invents the dream VCR. This machine allows you to tape an entire evenings worth of your own dreams, which you can then watch at your leisure. However, the inventor of the dream VCR will only allow you to use this device if you agree to a strange caveat: When you watch your dreams, you must do so with your family and your closest friends in the same room. They get to watch your dreams along with you. And if you don’t agree to this, you can’t use the dream VCR. Would you still do this?

This question may appear difficult, but here is why I believe it is simple: you have an automatic alibi. Everyone knows that dreams are often weird and random. Unless one of your family members was a psychologist, I doubt anyone would think anything of you as a person to a degree.

Although this could end up awkward and uncomfortable, the ability to recall my dreams is always something I’ve wanted. I would take my chances.

  1. Defying all expectation, a group of Scottish marine biologists captures a live Loch Ness Monster. In an almost unbelievable coincidence, a bear hunter shoots a Sasquatch in the thigh, thereby allowing zoologists to take the furry monster into captivity. These events happen on the same afternoon. That evening, the president announces he may have thyroid cancer and will undergo a biopsy later that week. You are the front-page editor of The New York Times: What do you play as the biggest story?

As a journalism major, this is a superb question. While the discovery of two infamous creatures is amazing, we can’t ignore the president’s story.

Image result for sasquatch

Imagine that now in 2018, we found out that Trump had cancer; that would mean that not only could he die, but that Mike Pence would more than likely fill in for him. Anyone who knows Pence’s history understands how terrifying that is — incompetency is one thing, but having a homophobic and religious man set in the most powerful position in the world is huge.

As the front page editor of the biggest newspaper in the world, it would be insane not to take on this story. Along with, the president also fitting the quotas of a story being prominent, impactful, and interesting, this is my number one choice.

  1. You meet the perfect person. Romantically, this person is ideal; You find them physically attractive, intellectually stimulating, consistently funny, and deeply compassionate. However, they have one quirk: This individual is obsessed with Jim Henson’s gothic puppet fantasy The Dark Crystal. Beyond watching it on DVD at least once a month, he/she peppers casual conversation with Dark Crystal references, uses Dark Crystal analogies to explain everyday events, and occasionally likes to talk intensely about the films deeper philosophy. Would this be enough to stop you from marrying this individual?

Although I’ve never seen Dark Crystal, this question is still extremely funny. I think everyone knows one person that has a weird obsession; just looking at pictures of this movie, it seems like the perfect obsession.

I don’t think this would prevent me from marrying this person; I like when people are passionate. Although this is a bizarre thing to be into, I don’t think it would bother me if this person was the perfect partner for me.

  1. You are watching a movie in a crowded theater. Though the plot is mediocre, you find yourself dazzled by the special effects. But with twenty minutes left in the film, you are struck with an undeniable feeling of doom: You are suddenly certain your mother has just died. There is no logical reason for this to be true, but you are certain of it. You are overtaken with the irrational metaphysical sense that somewhere your mom has just perished. But this is only an intuitive, amorphous feeling; there is no evidence for this, and your mother has not been ill. Would you immediately exit the theater, or would you finish watching the movie?

Mom > everyone else. I can always watch the movie another time, I only get one mom.

Question skipped: 5, 9, 10.

For the sake of not going over 4,000 words in one column, I will call it a day. In the next part, I’ll wrap up the questions, and I’ll be answering the great question!

You can follow Steven on Twitter @Steven_Keehner