Next Question, Please

September 29, 2000

Vladimir Nabokov would not do interviews unless he got a written list of the exact questions to be asked well enough in advance that he could prepare answers. Stanley Kubrick was the same way. Kurt Vonnegut admitted that, after he’d done one interview, he took the written transcript and moved things around so he’d sound funnier and more intelligent. I’ve never been interviewed, and at the rate I’m going I never will be. But I’d still like to be, so I’ve written up some questions I’d like to be asked–along with the answers I’d like to give.

Question: Where do you get your ideas?
Answer: I have a friend in Miami who roots around in Dave Barry’s garbage.

Question: How long have you been doing "Freethinkers Anonymous"?
Answer: All my life. I have some hilarious stuff about boogers that I did in kindergarten.

Question: What would you do if stranded on a desert island?
Answer: First I would make sure there were no hostile natives or TV shows. My next priority would be food and shelter. After that I would make some friends out of sand, bamboo, and volcanic rock. I would write funny thoughts on clamshells and, once a week, distribute the shells to my "friends".

Question: I have a funny story about spiders taking over a small town in North Dakota. How do I get you to write something about it?
Answer: Send it to Dave Barry. He’ll throw it away, and it will eventually get to me. Either that or he’ll write something about how "Spiders Taking Over A Small Town In North Dakota" would be a really good name for a rock band.

Question: Why do you write?
Answer: I once had a college professor who said, "There is no such thing as a stupid question." He said this because a few years earlier he had berated a student for asking a stupid question. The student filed a complaint, and the professor was fired. The fact that the professor had been dressing as a woman and acting as the girls’ swim team coach didn’t help his case. Then someone mentioned that he’d led them to three championships and he was reinstated. What was your question?

Question: What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done?
Answer: Write a bunch of questions to myself and then answer them.

Question: Do you think you should get out more?
Answer: Please refer to the answer above.

Enjoy this week’s offerings.

A Brit, a Frenchman and a Russian are viewing a painting of Adam and Eve frolicking in the Garden of Eden.

"Look at their reserve, their calm," muses the Brit. "They must be British."

"Nonsense," the Frenchman disagrees. "They’re naked, and so beautiful. Clearly, they are French."

"No clothes, no shelter," the Russian points out, "they have only an apple to eat, and they’re being told this is paradise. Clearly, they are Russian."


  • If you choke a Smurf, what color does it turn?

  • Is it OK to use the AM radio after noon?

  • What do chickens think we taste like?

  • What do people in China call their good plates?

  • What do you call a male ladybug?

  • What hair color do they put on the driver’s license of a bald man?

  • When dog food is new and improved tasting, who tests it?

  • Why didn’t Noah swat those two mosquitoes?

  • Why do they sterilize the needle for lethal injections?

  • Why doesn’t glue stick to the inside of the bottle?

  • Why is it called tourist season if we can’t shoot at them?

  • Why do you need a driver’s license to buy liquor when you can’t drink and drive?

  • Why isn’t phonetic spelled the way it sounds?

  • Why are there Interstates in Hawaii?

  • Why are there flotation devices in the seats of planes instead of parachutes?

  • Why are cigarettes sold at gas stations where smoking is prohibited?

  • Have you ever imagined a world without hypothetical situations?

  • How does the guy who drives the snowplow get to work?

  • If the 7-11 is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, why does it have locks on the door?

  • Why is a bra singular and panties plural?

  • You know that indestructible black box that is used on airplanes? Why don’t they make the whole plane out of that stuff?

  • If a firefighter fights fire and a crime fighter fights crime, what does a freedom fighter fight?

  • If they squeeze olives to get olive oil, how do they get baby oil?

  • If a cow laughs, does milk come out of her nose?

  • If you are driving at the speed of light and you turn your headlights on, what happens?

  • Why do they put Braille dots on the keypad of a drive-up ATM?

  • Why is it that when you transport something by car it is called a shipment, but when you transport something by ship it’s called cargo?

  • Why don’t sheep shrink when it rains?

  • What would Geronimo say if he jumped out of an airplane?

  • Why are they called apartments when they are all stuck together?

  • If con is the opposite of pro, is Congress the opposite of progress?

  • If flying is so safe, why do they call the airport the terminal?

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