Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Gorillas and rib kicking

Lately I have been reading an interesting book all about pop culture called Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs: A Low-Culture Manifesto by Chuck Klosterman. Some of you have probably read it or heard Kali talking about it. Klosterman is a writer for Spin and Esquire, and he writes about everything to do with post-modern America, from Pam Anderson to Saved by the Bell to The Real World.

Anyway, I am about half way through the book, and came upon a fascinating chapter. Klosterman writes 23 questions that he says he asks everyone he meets "in order to decide if [he] can really love them."

Here, I will offer up a few:

Genetic engineers at John Hopkins University announce that they 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 I.Q. of almost 85, and - most notably - a vague sense of self-awareness. Oddly, the creature (who weighs seven hundred pounds) becomes facinated by football. The gorilla aspires to play the game at it's highest level and quickley 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 it 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?


You meet a wizard in downtown Chicago. The wizard tells you he can make you more attractive if you pay him money. When you ask how this process works, the wizard points to a random person on the street. You look at this random stranger. The wizard says, “I will now make them a dollar more attractive.” He waves his magic wand. Ostensibly, this person does not change at all; as far as you can tell, nothing is different. But—somehow—this person is suddenly a little more appealing. The tangible difference is invisible to the naked eye, but you can’t deny that this person is vaguely sexier. This wizard has a weird rule, though—you can only pay him once. You can’t keep giving him money until you’re satisfied. You can only pay him one lump sum up front. How much cash do you give the wizard?


Your best friend is taking on a nap on the floor of your living room. Suddenly, you are faced with a bizarre existential problem: This friend is going to die unless you kick them (as hard as you can) in the rib cage. If you don’t kick them while they slumber, they will never wake up. However you can never explain this to your friend; if you later inform them that you did this to save their life, they will also die from that. So you have to kick a sleeping friend in the ribs, and you can’t tell them why. Since you cannot tell your friend the truth, what excuse will you fabricate to explain this (seemingly inexplicable) attack?


Klosterman, Chuck. Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs: A Low-Culture Manifesto. New York: Scribner, 2003.

17 Comments:

At 8:12 PM, Blogger CoachDub posited...

My answers:
1) No gorillas in the NFL.
2) $100
3) "There was a tarantula on your chest."*

*inspired by Home Alone

 
At 8:51 PM, Blogger hannah posited...

1) Yes. Absolutely.
2) However much money I had on me, I guess. Probably $15.
3) I wouldn't explain anything. I'd just do it and walk away.

 
At 9:32 PM, Blogger Josh posited...

1) The NFL is for humans
2) six dollars
3) "I love you."

 
At 10:01 PM, Blogger CoachDub posited...

Hannah, my answer to #2 is much the same as yours. It just so happens that I cashed a check today, so I have $100 in my wallet.

Josh, you claim for #1 is dubious at best.

 
At 10:31 PM, Blogger Johnny V posited...

1) Hellz yes.
2) Depends on if the wizard looked 2 legit 2 quit.
3) SIDS was about to strike.

 
At 11:12 PM, Blogger Houley posited...

1) Not with Oakland Raiders, but with the Kansas City Cheifs, being in sore need of a good defensive end as they are...
2) A nickel. Can't buy me love, but the guy would probably hate talking to me and getting nothing out of it.
3) Also "I Love You." It makes so much sense when you think about it.

 
At 11:14 PM, Blogger Houley posited...

and when I say Cheifs it reminds me of a Snickers commercial they played in Kansas City when I was younger, about a guy painting the end zone just to stand back and realize it said "CHEFS"

 
At 11:28 PM, Blogger CoachDub posited...

Jason, this story is not meant to criticize your spelling at all, but the misspelling reminded me of something.
There was a former student in my "Reading and Language" (low-level) class a few years ago, and he wanted everyone to call him Chief.
One day, he designed a tattoo, but he spelled it "Cheif."
I said, "You spelled Chief wrong."
"Nuh-uh," he said. "It's 'I before E, except after C.' And the I is obviously after the C."
I said, "True, but there is an H in between."
He looked confused, and just responded, "So?"

 
At 11:40 PM, Blogger Tom posited...

1) no
2) does he take plastic? cuz i almost have the numbers to my parents' platinum visa memorized...
3) i had just watched Walker Texas Ranger, and i was all pumped up and filled with testosterone, had to do something. they would understand, as would anyone.

 
At 11:42 PM, Blogger CoachDub posited...

Tom, so far your answer for #3 takes the prize. Good work. A+.

 
At 8:32 AM, Blogger Kid C posited...

My answers:
1) Let the gorilla play for the Texans, it pains me to see them continually losing.
2) Hundreds
3) I would explain that in the lighting, they reminded me of Jaume Collet-Serra and that his remake of "House of Wax" was so abysmal when put up against the Vincent Price classic that I felt a kick in the ribs was the only way to truly feel reimbursed for the money I paid. Hopefully, the person would not realize that I have seen neither "House of Wax" movies.

 
At 9:35 AM, Blogger mayah posited...

first of all, 23 is my lucky number, good work chuck klosterman.

1. i'll allow it. but if any foul play ensues, he'll ruin it for the whole species. careful, 'super gorilla!'

2. half of the money i had with me, so probably like 20 dolla.

3. i'd probably just apologize and offer them a snickers bar. or some reese's pieces.

 
At 10:01 AM, Blogger jimaal posited...

HE IS SO SEXY

 
At 7:53 PM, Blogger Tara posited...

I like this guy. From now on I'm going to ask people I meet really random questions like that.

1. probably not.
2. a dollar, because I like myself, but the dollar would make me "undeniably sexier" hahaha.
3. I would tell them that I tripped and I couldn't help it because they were directly in my path of fallage.

 
At 2:01 PM, Anonymous Karl posited...

1)Yes gorillas in NFL that would rock
2)$2 i dont know if it works
3)I felt like kicking something and you were there

 
At 9:12 PM, Anonymous Jeff posited...

1) No, he can't play for the Raiders or any other team. If he were a Ram or a Falcon or even a Charger, things would be different.

2) None. It took a long time to figure out how to live with the unattractive body I got. I don't want all that time to go to waste.

3) I'm a sleepwalker. Everybody knows I'm a sleepwalker. I'd kick him, then stumble around as if I were asleep. He'd understand completely.

 
At 2:01 PM, Anonymous KARL posited...

hey the woman didnt pay the wizard....so id actually just say you made her more attractive for free so make me more attractive for free. oh check that

 

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