Among Web journalers of a certain age (and by this term I mean "about half my age"), one phenomenon I find on a regular basis is the willingness to take surveys. No, not that tedious marketing stuff. I mean semi-serious questions about life, love, and values, favorites and fears, idiosyncrasies and video fantasies. For about two months I've been thinking "Maybe I ought to try one of these and see what happens," so I circled a date on the calendar and declared, "The first survey I encounter after this date, regardless of content, I will complete and post." I did, and you're looking at it, and thanks to Sia for bringing it to my attention.

1. If there were 3 wells (love, beauty and creativity) and you could only drink from one, which would it be?

I would opt for creativity, and hope (perhaps futilely) that the result of so doing might bring me closer to attaining the other two.

2. With problems, who do you run to?

My tendency is to hold them inside; they will find their way to the surface when the time comes, if not before.

3. Which finger is your favourite?

The middle finger is the most, um, expressive, but on a philosophical basis, I like thumbs. Especially when I'm told to get a grip.

4. What's the most disgusting thing you've ever eaten?

If it's that disgusting, it usually kills my appetite. I once, however, ate an entire Betty Crocker Pie Crust Stick.

5. Would you kill someone?

Now that I'm no longer a soldier and won't get paid for it, I have doubts that I could do it though I keep a list of deserving victims, just in case I'm wrong.

6. If yes, why?

Some people, I figure, should be taken out before they cause any more trouble.

7. If you were making a movie about yourself, who would play the lead?

The very idea of a movie about me leaves me cold. Still, I suppose Jon Lovitz needs the work. Yeah. That's the ticket.

8. Do you like your handwriting?

For about two sentences, after which it begins to deteriorate markedly. Not that it was all that good to begin with.

9. Who are you jealous of?

I'm more resentful than envious, as a rule, but there are some people whose lives seem immeasurably more fulfilling than mine, a few of them even related to me. I would never trade places with them, though; it would be grievously wrong for me to usurp that which is theirs.

10. What kind of person do you want to marry?

If we limit this to people who are likely to find me appealing, the question is over before it starts, and I don't believe there's anyone out there for me anyway. That said, however, what I look for is a solid sense of self, a value system that might bend a little on the small things but never yields on the important stuff, and the ability to translate on the fly (since I have a tendency to lapse into impenetrability when the philosophical going gets tough). Oh, and maybe a nice pair of gams.

11. Unluckiness?

In some things, perhaps; in others, definitely not. Most of my troubles, I am persuaded, are to some extent self-inflicted. I am perhaps less willing to claim credit for my irregular successes.

12. What do you put on your sandwiches?

Whatever I happen to have in the fridge. Sometimes the results are unspeakable, though they usually don't qualify as "disgusting" (see #4).

13. Do you think people on the Gap commercials are cool?

Seldom if ever. Then again, my definition of cool includes never having to expend any energy defining oneself (a notion lifted from Dave Marsh), which is the very antithesis of buying one's clothing at the Gap. Or maybe I'm just jealous (see #9) because they don't have anything that fits me.

14. If you were another person, would you be friends with you?

It would be a difficult friendship at best.

15. Are you a daredevil?

Occasionally I surprise myself, but mostly I'm not.

16. How big was the biggest mango you ever ate?

Now that you mention it, I don't think I've ever eaten a mango. At least, not a whole one. Maybe a slice here and there on the fruit tray.

17. Have you ever told a secret you swore you'd never repeat?

In my younger days, I was something of a blabbermouth; I have clammed up considerably since then.

18. What do you think is the most attractive animated character?

I can't prove it, but I suspect Penny, niece to Inspector Gadget, grew up to be a Major Babe.

19. Do looks matter?

Beauty, in this society, is often a substitute for currency, something else which is not evenly distributed.

20. Colour?

Greens and browns, which somehow seem more real to me than other colors. Must be some atavistic back-to-the-earth tendency.

21. Do you pray?

Hardly ever, and when I do it's usually on behalf of someone else. (I figure whatever divinities there be have better things to do than listen to my endless litany of complaints.)

22. Are you trendy?

Except to the extent that I'm filling out one of these surveys, no.

23. What do you do to prevent anger?

I figure, if the tranqs don't stop it, it's probably there for a good reason.

24. Who is your idol?

Nobody represents the absolute pinnacle of perfection, though there are some characteristics of others I wish I could acquire, or absorb, or whatever.

25. Who is your second family?

I really don't have one. For that matter, by most accounts I'm not all that close to the first.

26. Do you trust others easily?

I am distrustful by nature. I do not know if this stems from an actual childhood incident or if it's simply inborn.

27. What was your favorite toy as a child?

Give me some paper and something to write with, and I'd be happy. Or at least quieter.
The Vent

23 September 2001

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 Copyright © 2001 by Charles G. Hill