Daisy, Daisy, tell me your answer, do...
Monday, March 6, 2000
My Survey Answers

As promised, here are my answers to the survey:


  • The Simpsons or South Park?

      The Simpsons.

  • Root beer or cream soda?

      Root beer. I hate cream soda.

  • Arcade games: '80s or '90s?

      '80s. The games of the '90s are much flashier, yes, but you can't beat the '80s games for playability. Besides, that's when I spent the most time in the arcade...

  • To be, or not to be?

      Better not to have been in the first place... but once you're already here, better to be.

Short answers:

  • How do you like your toast?

      Very lightly toasted; barely singed, in fact. Usually eaten plain, or in the form of peanut-butter-on-toast sandwiches with Skippy Super Chunk spread on immediately upon taking it out of the toaster.

  • How has your name been misspelled?

      Oh, I've lost track of all the ways. Shmvel, Shnuel, Schmoyal, and Smuel have all made appearances, among many others. In my junk mail, Samuel is probably the most frequent "correction." Online, Shumel and Schmuel are the top misspellings.

  • What's your favorite Monopoly property?

      Reading Railroad. It helps that I didn't know it was pronounced "redding" when I was younger.

  • What's your favorite Internet mailing list?

      CopyEditing-L. I don't often have time to keep up with it, but it rules. Useful and entertaining.

  • If you could have any one superpower, what would it be? Why?

      This is the one question I took from an outside source, swiping it from a "Meet the Editors" survey in my college paper a couple of years ago. My answer was and is "invulnerability," and I'm still amazed that I was the only person on staff to choose that answer; it seemed obvious to me. I guess I'm more interested in defending myself than in having power over others.

  • When you write, do you prefer to work in silence, or with something (music, television, etc.) on in the background?

      I nearly always have something on. Radio and CDs used to be the usual sources of background noise; since getting a TV set, I've tended to have that on instead. At deadline, there are particular CD tracks I tend to put on endless repeat: notably Pat Benatar's "Ooh Ooh Song" and Sister Act's "Hail Holy Queen."

  • You're a guest on Sesame Street, and they want you to sing a song with the Muppet(s) of your choice. Which song would you sing, and with whom?

      Now, this was a tough one. Well, actually, the song is an easy call: "Sing." There's a reason why it's been covered a zillion times by now; it's a great song. As for the Muppets... after some reflection, I think I'd go with Rosita and Prairie Dawn.

      (As it happens, Rosita and Gloria Estefan are responsible for my current favorite version of the song, performed in English and Spanish.)

Long answers:

  • Choose two of the following, and suppose that they have joined forces in a corporate merger. Describe the resultant commercial:

    • Old Navy
    • Taco Bell
    • Tampax
    • Any car dealership
    • America Online
    • Pfizer
    • Any phone service

      This is the tough one. I've left it for last, and I'm still not sure how to respond. And I wrote the question. It would help if I were more awake...

      Problem is, I'm not getting any more awake, and I really have to post this entry already.

      Now, if only I'd included Folger's Crystals... ("We've secretly replaced Mr. Jones's phone service with AT&T One Rate. Let's see what happens.")

      But what the heck. Here goes nothing:

      (Setting: A mall)

      What are we going to do?

      I dunno...

      1-800-COLLECT GUY:
      (On a red sofa covered with Performance Fleece, inexplicably in the middle of a wishing well)
      What's the problem?

      Well, our Dad gave us some money to get an Internet account, so we could keep in touch by e-mail this summer, when we're staying with our Aunt Sally.

      1-800-COLLECT GUY:

      So we got America Online. His e-mail filter sensibly bounces all our mail, and he has no way of knowing that. What'll we do?

      1-800-COLLECT GUY:
      Easy! Use 1-800-COLLECT and save him a buck or two! He'll be so happy, he'll just chalk it up as a learning experience.

      Gee, thanks!

      (Wanders on)
      Say, is that a Performance Fleece sofa?

      1-800-COLLECT GUY:
      Sure is!

      Camera cuts to TEENS, who chorus:
      Old Navy!

      Camera cuts to 1-800-COLLECT GUY and AUNT SALLY, who dance around the set, getting more and more excited as they do so. Fade to black as they begin ripping off their Old Navy blazers, then display:


      See? See? This is what happens when I try typing when I'm out of it...

  • Finally, this one's almost cliché by now, but what the heck... You have the opportunity to kill Hitler while he's still in the cradle. Do you do so, or not? Why or why not?


      For one thing, I don't believe in the death penalty, period... self-defense is something else, but that's only in cases of clear and immediate danger (e.g., somebody standing over you with a gun), which wouldn't apply here.

      For another, I'd consider it immoral to punish somebody for something he's going to do, but hasn't done yet.

      Finally, it wouldn't do any good. Hitler was only able to do what he did because the society at his time and place demanded somebody like him. If he hadn't been there, somebody else would have done the job.