The following is the first eleven parts of a story that I wrote in response to Luis Prada’s article on cracked: 10 Very Dumb Questions You Should Answer Right Now
For the most part, these are the original responses that I wrote on August 29, 2015. The text in bold is the question, written by Mr. Prada, and my response follows.
Question 11 was not part of the original article, rather was sent to me via Twitter by Mr. Prada.
Anyway, here it is:
#1: How long has it been since you’ve seen your butthole? Explain why.
A. I see it every morning, as I ram my head up it
B. I look at it often. Quite often 😉
C. Months. Has it really been months? Man, you get older, you get a job and a serious relationship, and all of a sudden close friends start drifting apart. That’s adulthood for ya. Makes you wonder why as kids we couldn’t wait to grow up. Pfft! If we’d only known. *takes a swig of Scotch*
D. There’s no way I could pick out mine in a police lineup. I’d need it to shout, “Gimme all your money, bitch!” to see if I recognized its voice
E. We are no longer on speaking terms
C. It has probably been years, but those are made of months, right?
I can remember the scene pretty well, must have been early in the morning, when I am still too asleep to really be responsible for anything that I might say or do. The toilet seat was at a nice room temperature, meaning I was probably the first person awake in the orphanage. This is always a good sign, as Ricky has issues when it comes to making fecal-to-water contact. Anyway, there’s this mirror in the bathroom, mounted to the door. The mirror stretches about 4 feet, give or take a couple, and has a nice hook for when you need to keep a shirt clean (Ricky has been known to pretty much go wherever).
So I am finishing up my morning poo, getting everything down there nice and clean, when a thought comes to me: “What does my butthole look like?” Except it was more like “What does MY butthole look like?” because of the nature of the orphanage most of the residents had seen at least a few buttholes in their time. I decide that this morning is as good a time as any to glimpse my poo-releaser, so I sort of just bend over in front of the mirror and try to get a decent look.
What looked back at me will probably haunt me for the rest of my life. As far as I know, everything down there was in healthy, working order, except that there shouldn’t be a need to say everything. I mean, most people just have like, one thing down there, right? There was a small colony, probably sent on a mission of peace and exploration, inhabiting the orifice that, until that moment, I had assumed was primarily used for expelling waste.
The colony had everything, a little town hall, a hospital, a rec center, an Italian restaurant with a chef named Paul. At first glance the people seemed to live a content life, however I could see discord among their ranks, apparently the captain of the original exploration party had fallen ill, and in his place was his power-hungry son. Arthur, I believe his name was, started out only wanting to please his father, however the allure of power, and the realization that his father would never be well enough to lead them out of this stinking colony twisted Arthur’s mind. He knew what the next step after colonization was: research and mining. All of the reports were right, this location was a goldmine for the brown sludge that Arthur’s people so desperately needed. However, as a colony party, they didn’t come ready to begin the extraction process, a process that requires the sacrifice of the first-born of every family in the colony. When the people heard of Arthur’s plan they began to revolt.
The revolt was bloody, but when it was over, Arthur had a small group of, if not loyal, then at least fearful, workers. They could maintain the mine long enough for the mothership to send new supplies. The mothership would be sending in supplies soon, Arthur thought, after all he had told them how rich this location was in the sludge. Surely they were still within range of the communication satellite.
Months pass. Only a handful of workers remain. Arthur’s father has slipped into a deep coma, and Arthur himself has become reclusive. The workers that are still alive spend their days in the mine, it’s all they know anymore. The mine and the fortnightly ping-pong tournament in the rec center. Greg and his wife Margaret have held the doubles champion title for the past two months. They are working to defend their title for the fifth consecutive fortnight, when a small beep is heard from the radio.
At first the room goes quiet. The radio has not been active since the revolt. Everyone waits a minute, then continues the game, figuring it must have been a mass hallucination. After a few volleys, a second beep pierces through the room. This time everyone recognizes it as the sound of the approaching mothership. For several seconds Greg and the others stay still, then, as if in a trance, they shuffle out of the rec center into the deserted town square. Up above them looms the mothership, a puke-green sphere, with cylindrical protrusions all around the northern hemisphere.
Margaret breaks free from the hypnotizing sight long enough to go back into the rec center to retrieve the radio. It is emitting a low hum, then after a few seconds, a voice:
“If there is anyone left alive at colony 514, seek shelter immediately. The mothership has been overrun by an unknown pathogen, there are few survivors left here. We have been locked out from all controls, and believe the pathogen is on a crash course for your colony.”
Margaret looks outside to see that the others have not moved, still transfixed by their old home, now no more than a thousand feet above them. She wants to scream, tell them all to run, but realizes that it is now too late to help them. There is an emergency hatch in the center of the rec center, it leads to a small bunker within the mines, maybe there she can think of something to do.
This was the last time that I looked at my butthole.
How small and thin do you let a bar of soap get before you replace it?
A. I throw them away after a single use
B. About halfway, after discovering they don’t have a jelly center
C. When it’s thin and bendy, like an orange peel that’s socially acceptable to rub on my nipples
D. I use it until it looks like a milk-flavored breath strip
E. Until it no longer exists and I’m rubbing the memory of soap on my body
C.5. I, having grown up to believe that it is not okay to waste things, usually try to get the most out of my cleaning products. I set the soap and shampoo bottles upside down to let it all flow out onto my hands when I need it. I don’t generally have bars of soap, however when I do, usually after an extended stay at a remote motel or cabin, I make sure that they are used to nearly the last drop.
A bar of soap serves an incredibly noble purpose in the same way that there was some poor soul who had to wipe the bum of King McDong in the late fourth century. I base my soap disposal ritual off of teachings of Mr. Quentin Tarantino, in his riveting film, Kill Bill (particularly Volume 2). For those unaware *SPOILER WARNING* Uma Thurman’s character, The Bride, is buried alive, forced to punch her way out of the coffin, and then dig through many feet of dirt to freedom. *END SPOILER*
I take inspiration from this scene, in that while using the bars of soap I train them in the sacred art of the one inch punch. If they are able to learn it by the time I dispose of them in soil of a small potted plant, then they may have a chance to break through my skin as I carry them from the water closet to my balcony garden.
If you could blame one of the world’s problems (Column #1) on one person/group (Column #2), who would get blamed for what? Most importantly, explain why.
A. Climate change
B. Gun violence
1. Everybody at Home Depot on a Saturday afternoon
2. The unattainable mental image of your ideal soulmate
3. Butter sculptors
4. Some guy named Rick
5. The 1972 Miami Dolphins
#3.1: C. Sexism
#3.2: 2&4: That’s right, two items from column two, because fuck you, I make the rules now.
#3.3: The Explanation: Fuck you.
#4: You can choose only one body part to grow on your body-part farm for the upcoming harvest season. Which body part do you grow? Explain what people would do with these body parts after picking them up from the grocery store.
B. Knee caps
D. Elongated earlobes
E. Testicles so large they always win the blue ribbon at the state fair’s testicle-growing competition
F. Other (name the body part and its use)
F. Eyeballs, the better to see your pretty face with.
It was about a week later that Margaret first whispered to me.
“Can you hear me?”
“Don’t panic, I need your help. There’s a deadly pathogen in your butt.”
“Yeah, that sounds about right, now who are you? And why aren’t we in the orphanage anymore?”
“My name is Margaret, you remember me, right? You saw me when you looked at your butt.”
“And as far as the orphanage, it was never real, both of your parents are super alive, and you live in a second story apartment, remember?”
“Sure, whatever. So what is all this pathogen nonsense about?”
“It is residing on your butt, right now. It killed all my friends, and my husband Greg.”
“Okay. What do I need to do to get rid of it?”
“Go get a bottle of Vodka, and just shove it up there. That ought to do it.”
“But I don’t-“
“Then light it on fire, for good measure.”
“But I don’t drink.”
“Oh…That could be a problem.”
“Any other ideas? Because otherwise I am going to see a doctor. Actually two doctors. I don’t need my butt doctor knowing that I am hearing voices.”
“No, that was all I had.”
#5: What is the percent chance of you eating food recently dropped on the ground when no one’s around? I’m not talking about wet, slimy stuff like ham that you’d have to be a deranged pervert to eat off the floor. Something dry, like a cracker or cookie.
A. 100% — ain’t no shame in my game
B. 80% — but as I’m doing it I’ll act like it’s 0% to make myself feel better about how I am trash
C. 60% — and I’ll even pretend the 5 Second Rule is a legitimate excuse for being 100% disgusting
D. 40% — largely dependent on remembering if I’ve recently walked on that specific spot
E. 20% — because I almost find that disgusting. Almost. I’m this close
F. 0% — because I’m a liar
G. Other — because Luis sucks and only let me choose increments of 20. (Luis’ Note: Fine. Write your highly specific answer. Just, please, don’t write 73%. I do not like that number)
B, since we are talking about my fictitious 2nd floor apartment, where the only pet I have is my goldfish, Walter Jr.’s Third Crutch, instead of three cats and a Saint Bernard.
I also have a Roomba that does a damn fine job of keeping the floor clean of dirt and encroaching chicken nuggets from the freezer of the guy(s) and/or gal(s) above me.
#6:You’re the captain of a starship on a five-year mission to explore new worlds deep in the farthest reaches of the Milky Way galaxy. You’ll make first contact with new, exotic forms of sentient alien life with whom you’ll get into wild adventures of dare-doing and swashbuckling, occasionally engaging these species in debates on war, love, death, and morality. What kind of shoes do you wear and why?
A. Super comfortable loafers
B. White shell-top Adidas with black stripes
C. Crocs with the heel-strap down
D. A sensual stiletto
E. Chuck Taylors, because in the background of this bright and shiny sci-fi future is a dystopian totalitarian government that controls everything and has chosen Chucks as the shoe of the oppressed galactic federation
F. Other (name the shoe and explain your choice)
F. Those awesome shoes that have wheels in them, here’s why:
After we got the whole pathogen thing under control, Margaret and I became pretty good friends. As an ‘artist’ I rarely made contact with the outside world.
Let me clarify that, I talked to plenty of people around the world, but there was always a screen between us, Margaret was the first person I had talked to face to face in months. I don’t count the college kid who worked late at Wal-Mart as an actual person, and if he were a person, I wouldn’t count our interactions as talking.
So we got by, Margaret crashed on my couch, she chipped in for food and rent. I never asked where she got the money from, but I suspect she had a fairly sizable inheritance, being the sole survivor of a group peaceful colonists.
Something that Margaret never mentioned to me, at least till it was too late, was that she was extremely ill. The disease she had, she thought it was from working hundreds of hours in the mines, showed no physical signs. It was eating her apart from the inside.
Margaret was my connection with the world outside of my apartment, she introduced me to new people that she had only just met. On one of her last trips to the store she bought me a present, but wouldn’t let me see what it was. She said it was my birthday present, and although my birthday was seven months away at the time, she said it would give her a reason to stay alive. She passed away a month later.
I let the present sit under the couch for several weeks. As I mentioned before I don’t drink, but this was a special occasion, not a good one, but still special. I bought a bottle of Vodka and blacked out within an hour of returning home.
I woke up in a field. A corn field to be exact.
There are no corn fields near my apartment.
I looked around. Jumped a few times to see over the corn. Nothing nearby that I could see. No farmhouse or barn. No sign of my car. I was wearing my favorite hoodie, my aviator hat, a pair of comfortable pants, and some shoes that I’d never seen before. They were those awesome kind with the wheels on the bottom. There was a ribbon around the left one.
#7: A genie grants you the ability to be the best in the world at one sport. So why the hell did you choose to be the best at ________? Explain why this particular sport is the best to be the best at.
A. Dumpster tobogganing
B. Speed felching
C. Competitive bog snorkeling
D. Fox tossing
E. Precision toenail firing (in which you clip your toenails and purposely attempt to launch the clippings into your own eyes)
D. Ladies love a guy who can toss a fox really well.
#8: Answer in 50 words or less: If you had the power to read a parrot’s thoughts, why would you ever use it? That sounds awful. Just awful.
The parrot knows where Margaret is.
She isn’t dead.
Not yet at least.
#9: When you look at yourself in the mirror, how long is it before staring into your own eyes causes an existential panic and you start questioning what it all means, your purpose, and why you are you and not someone else who would be you if you were them? Please describe a time you deeply rode this harrowing thought process into the inky recesses of delirium and somehow made it out alive.
A. Pretty much immediately
B. Around 30 seconds
C. About a minute
D. However long it takes to brush my teeth
E. I do not own mirrors for that exact reason
A. I’ve never been good at the whole picture thing. My face just doesn’t come out well in a photo. Others say I look fine, but what do they know.
One time I did look decent in a photo.
This was before Margaret, and before the incident with the mirror. We will get to that later (no we won’t). The photo in question was taken while waiting in line for a musical performance. I had my favorite hoodie on, the same one that I was wearing upon waking up in the field.
After waking up, I walked. It must have been a few miles at least. The field stretched for about a mile, after that it was open plains. There were some flowers here and there, but overall just a hell of a lot of grass. Eventually I came to a highway. I looked both ways, saw no cars coming from either direction. Looked up, the sun was being a little bitch hiding behind clouds. I decided to go left, wherever that might take me.
About an hour into my walk on the highway, as the sky was getting darker, a car pulled up next to me. There had been a few cars that had passed me by during my walk, this was the first to stop to see if I needed any help.
“Where you headed?”
“Not really sure.” I kept walking. I was in some sort of daze, but this guy was persistent. He eventually got out of his car, and put me in the passenger seat. I didn’t object, just stared ahead.
“I’ll take you to Baltsveil, ‘bout twenty miles away. I’ll drop you off at the gas station, you can figure yourself out from there.”
#10: You once did a harmless private little thing thinking you were alone and no one was looking. Unbeknownst to you, there was someone looking — a neighbor, someone driving beside you, a pedestrian on the sidewalk. They were just looking around and BOOM. There you were, doing that thing. Now you’re that stranger’s funny anecdote. You will never know who this person is, but every once in a while they think about you and that thing they caught you doing. Then, they will laugh at you. Of all the embarrassing things it could have been, what is the most likely thing you were doing at the time?
Singing and Dancing.
Thanks for reading.
Aside: So not all of what was said in #s 1-10 were facts. Some of them, in fact, were what I am now calling Not-Facts.
Not-Facts are not opinions. They are more like wrong answers on a test. They are just incorrect. So to clear things up before continuing on with the story, here is a bulleted list of all of the facts and Not-Facts that I can think of from parts 1-10 (I am not going back and reading that shit right now, so I will probably miss some)
- Fact: There is a mirror in my bathroom on the door.
- Not-Fact: The rest of #1. I think this was cleared up in a later entry, but if not, it is now.
- Fact: Margaret is real. So I guess that part of #1 is true, although that is not her origin story.
- I have no idea where all that nonsense about an orphanage and mine and settlement came from, like, I don’t think that’s even a dream that I have had.
- Fact: Pretty much all of #2
- Fact: Pretty much all of #3
- Not-Fact: Most of #4. I actually don’t remember how I met Margaret, so maybe it was something like this, but probably not.
- Fact: It’s time to clear something up here, and it’s going to require breaking the 4th wall just a bit, but bear with me. The things stated in #5 are all true, but you may notice that I (the fictitious I) makes reference to the real I (the author of this whole cluster-fuck). This should be the only time that this happens. I (the author) am sorry if it happened earlier, or if it happens later, but from now on, just take everything as being told to you from the fictitious I. The facts and Not-Facts being told are indeed facts and Not-Facts as they relate to the fictitious I.
- Not-Fact: The whole pathogen thing at the beginning of #6. I think this was sort of covered in a previous Not-Fact, but I want to be clear that there is nothing wrong with my butt.
- Fact: Pretty much the rest of #6.
- Fact: #7 is common knowledge.
- Fact: #8 takes place about a week after where we leave me in #9, but it is true, we just haven’t gotten there yet.
- Not-Fact: I wasn’t wearing my favorite hoodie in that photo that I look decent in. Memory can be a bitch like that.
- Not-Fact: We may get to the mirror incident eventually.
- Fact: All the rest of #9 and #10, especially when I thanked you for reading.
- Not-Fact: Near the beginning of this aside I state that I wouldn’t be re-reading the previous entries. My memory is terrible (about a week between writing #s 1-10, and writing #11), so I ended up skimming over the previous things.
#11: 73%. That number represents something about you. What is it?
73% is the percent of my life I have spent afraid of the dark. Not to go into specifics regarding my age, but I don’t think true fear of the dark develops until age 3 or so.
What’s that? You want me to cite my sources? Fine, let me go find some.
There, are we good?
Good. Let’s continue wherever the fuck we left off: Fear of the dark doesn’t really develop until about year three or so. Now the exact timeline is different for everyone. Some people have a nightlight that eventually weans them out of their fear. Others may have an experience early on where they must face the dark, and they will either overcome it, or it will consume them.
There is another way that a person can lose their fear of the dark, or of anything really. When something comes along that is worse than the dark. Or the boogeyman. Or Santa Claus. Or whatever the hell it might be. Depending on who you are, this event could be any number of things, hell, it doesn’t even have to be worse. It could be better. It could be something so good, so life-changing, that the dark just sort of falls away.
Regardless of whether the event is good or bad (probably bad), the point is that this event fills up the person’s mind and makes them unable to fear the dark anymore.
Am I rambling? I feel like I’m rambling.
I think that’s enough talk about fear for now. You probably understand. You’re a smart person.