John Dickerson has posted some of the conundrums submitted for the various Gabfest specials. Here’s my discussion.
If you were condemned to be a tree or a fish which would be better?
Tree. Live longer, and trees are cooler.
If all music were replaced by the works of one of the following artists, which would be better: Billy Joel or Beethoven?
Humans have destroyed the planet, and we are all now under the thumb of animal overlords. Would it be better to be ruled by dolphins or bumblebees?
You might be able to communicate with dolphins.
Would you rather live by an ocean or in the mountains?
If you were granted the godlike power to do one but not both of these, would you choose to end global warming or cure cancer?
Global warming: with enough time, humans can deal with cancer.
If Lex Luthor finally defeated Superman and condemned all productive Americans to communicate either by email or conference call, which would be better?
Would you rather meet your ancestors or your great-great-grandchildren?
Well I won’t have great-great-grandchildren, but if I did, I’d want to meet them.
Would you rather fight a horse-sized duck or 100 duck-sized horses?
100 duck-sized horses.
Who would win a battle between a nearsighted Mr. Rogers armed with a baguette, and Mr. Peanut riding a unicycle who had the ability to see 3 seconds into the future? (This question courtesy of Superfight!)
Would you rather play the world’s instruments expertly or speak the world’s languages fluently?
If you had to give up coffee or alcohol for the rest of your life, which would it be? (And I don’t just mean for breakfast.)
Which is more valuable: $100 donated to charity or three hours spent in a soup kitchen?
Cash is king.
If you could invite one person to dine with the family, who would it be?
Jesus Christ to get him to correct the record. And because it would mean one fewer person to share the stuffing with.
What era would you like to have grown up in?
Not unhappy with the present.
If you could live five years longer but had to give up your iPhone, would you do it?
I don’t have an iPhone.
If you could put a camera on any one person without them knowing it and observe them for a year, who would it be?
Probably someone very hot.
At what age would you hug yourself, punch yourself, or fall in love with yourself?
Hug: 45. Punch: 20. Fall in love: 10, because I needed some love then.
If you could be fluent in one language for seven days, which would it be?
Whatever they’re speaking in the Chinese shops here so I could know what they’re talking about.
In a survey, 75 percent of NASA employees say they would take a one-way ticket to Mars. Would you?
If you could demolish one building with no casualties, which would it be?
Tour Montparnasse springs to mind.
If you could move to any state for two years, what would it be?
State of ease. Or Oregon.
You are giving advice to a ninth-grader from a disadvantaged home and a rough neighborhood. Do you tell them they can be whatever they want to be or give them a more realistic assessment of their chances in life, so their hopes aren’t dashed?
Be whatever they can be. What do I know about what they can do?
Imagine your significant other proposed to you but told you he or she had a 3-by-3-by-3-foot metal box that you could never open and never know what is inside. Would you continue the relationship?
Which of the seven deadly sins (wrath, greed, sloth, pride, lust, envy, and gluttony) is most likely to lead to your soul’s downfall?
Well, gluttony, physically at least.
If you could give yourself one piece of advice at age 20, what would it be, and how would you convince yourself to take it?