December 22, 2006

Frequently Answered Questions ®

Everywhere you go you see "Frequently Asked Questions" scattered about to help you find out what everybody else apparently knows. Nobody, as far as we know, is helping you with the essential questions of life, the Frequently Answered Questions ®.

These are the questions you ask or answer hundreds of times in your life? But do you answer them correctly? Sadly, millions of people do not.

As a public service we present the first in our ongoing series of answers to Frequently Answered Questions ®. If you have any Frequently Answered Questions® you'd like help with, pop them in the comments and our crack staff of out-of-work philosophers, professional wise-guys, cut-rate gurus, and grief counselors between assignments will be happy to enlighten you.

Was George Bush legally elected president the first time?
Only ask this question if you've got the next five hours to burn.

Have you lost weight?
Always an excellent question to ask. The answer doesn't matter.

Do you want fries with that?
Hey, if you wanted fries with that you'd have ordered the Happy Meal.

Do you love me?
Three answers only are allowed: Yes. Of course. Yes, but...

Be careful with that last one.

Did you pack your bag?
Yes, you always pack your bag. You'll be tempted to say that your new man-servant Abdul Arafat packed it in his tent, and then welded it shut so you couldn't peek. Resist this.

Did you get the license number?
Usually asked from a gurney. The answer is unimportant since the person asking it has just passed out.

Did you sleep with her?
No. Pure and simple even if you're lying.

Did you sleep with him?
No. Pure and simple even if you're lying. Especially if you are lying.

Did you sleep with them?
Always answer YES! Even if it ruins your relationship you always have bragging rights and, who know, he or she might be into it.

Can I call you a cab?
Oh well, another expensive Saturday night shot to hell.

Can't we just be friends?
Okay, let's move along. Nothing to see or do here.

Can you hear me now?
One of the more irritating current questions in popular culture. The only acceptable answer is to ask where this TV joker lives, go to his house, and burn it to the ground. Please send his charred cell phone as confirmation for the thanks of a grateful nation.

Can I call you?
Unless the person you are asking has previously said, "Call me," the answer is "NO."

Buddy, can you spare a dime?
Once popular in song, this question, adjusted for inflation, now translates as, "Yo, can you spare a C-note?"

Are we there yet?
The only reasonable answer to this question is "NO!" since, if you were there, you'd be there, unless there were no there there when you got there.

The unreasonable answer to this question involves asking: "Do you want me to pull over?" and then immediately assuring the party addressed, "You don't want me to pull over."

With small children, asking if they want you to pull over is usually enough to keep them from repeating this question for at least three minutes.

Are you a racist?
Well, if the truth were told, who isn't? But say either "No," or "Who you calling a racist?"

As we all know, this question is never answered in the affirmative except white liberals seeking to curry favor or get a date. Indeed, this question doesn't have to be answered. The fact that you are being asked the question establishes that you are, indeed, a racist. This is primarily true if you happen to be of the white persuasion, but can also be true is you are of a member of a majority-minority. This means any minority which is larger than any other minority present.

Hence, a Native American gets to ask an African-American if he is a racist because the Native American is from a minority-minority (unless the encounter is happening in a Casino). However, the "once-was-a-slave" rule comes into play here since the minority-minority was only conquered and subjugated, rather than captured and subjugated and made to take a long, unpleasant sea voyage. By invoking the "once-was-a-slave" rule an African-American, even if one of the majority-minority, can reasonably deny racism since, having invented the "Are you a racist?" gambit, African-Americans cannot, ipso facto, be racist. Got it? Good. There will be a spot quiz on this question when you least expect it for the next 50 years so you�'d better get crisp about it.

Are you sure this isn't dangerous?
If the answer you hear is "No problem, I've done this thousands of times." -- run. If it is "I'm not sure." -- run faster.

Are you sure this is legal?
The answer you are looking for here is: "Perfectly." Double check.

Are you sure you're 18?
A question that is most often asked in the afterglow. Too late either way.

Are you gay?
Hey, we're ALL gay now. The real question is "Will you shake your booty with me in the boom-boom room?" Should you wish to play for time an acceptable answer is "I'm in transition."

Are you straight?
Nobody is straight anymore unless they've got a guest spot on Queer Eye, in which case they are straight for the length of the episode only and then can get back to being gay.

Does this make me look fat?
Always answer "Yes." You will save money in both the short and long term -- once you amortize the lawyers' fees.

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Posted by Vanderleun at December 22, 2006 3:42 AM | TrackBack
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"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.


My question at the bottom is out of place as a comment to this essay but I thought that placed at the end of a string of numerous comments on "Toying with Genocide" that you would never see it. After reading "Toying with Genocide" I thought you might be setting up for the final installation of "The Sacrifice and the Reckoning" especially with your reference to our ace in the hole - our nuclear subs. Am I correct? When might we see the final part of your dark vision. With all due respect to your creative writing which of course cannot be turned on and off like a switch, when might we see it?

Posted by: Chester at December 22, 2006 6:49 AM


That's pretty good; clever, useful and funny.

Merry Christmas.

Posted by: Gray at December 22, 2006 11:44 AM

Curmudgeonly policy mandates that questions that embed offensive assumptions or implications should be answered in the most obnoxious manner possible consistent with staying out of jail.

"Have you stopped beating your wife?"
"No, I just started, and the novelty hasn't worn off yet."

"Will you respect me in the morning?"
"What's going to happen between now and then that would persuade me to do that?"

"Is it in yet?"

The rest is left as an exercise for the student.

Posted by: Francis W. Porretto at December 22, 2006 12:34 PM

I can't resist!

What is the meaning of life?

I know -- someone said it was 48. But now that I am 74 plus and can not remember anything about 48 or being 48, inquiring minds need to know.

Having read your many previous commenter's, I am sure some worthy expert will provide me with an answer that I can take with me anywhere.

Posted by: ChiefTestPilot at December 22, 2006 3:34 PM

Do you want fries with that?

Does a bear s... in the woods? !!!!!

Posted by: Dennis at December 22, 2006 7:32 PM

Gerard, how about...

Is THAT thing loaded?
Which thing are you talking about?

Are you sure you can fly this?
Well I did OK on the sim...and the instructions are behind your seat.

Happy Holidays,


Posted by: RunningRoach at December 26, 2006 12:22 PM

"Where are you going?" I'm leaving the couch for the hallway bathroom, so of course I say, "to the tennis court".

Posted by: Cindi at December 28, 2006 2:03 AM
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"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated to combat spam and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

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