"Will any woman be able to survive marriage to Dr. Laura's son?"
I have a friend, Barry, who spends time pondering questions that wouldn't even occur to normal folks. He refers to his style of thinking as eclectic. I used words like arcane, stupid or just plain weird, until he convinced me to try it. I must be honest. Thinking about these problems has been very relaxing, put my life in a clearer perspective and stopped me from worrying about whether they'll have just run out of money when I get in the social security line.
Barry's theory is that most people use their spare thinking time to ponder The Big Questions — to which there are no Big Answers. Big Questions such as What Came Before The Big Bang? Can God Travel Faster Than Light? and Would I Be Tongue-tied If Brittany Spears Said, "Hi"?
Barry's strategy is to think about questions that are small, may or may not have answers and, anyway, who cares.
If you'd like to experiment with this approach, here's a list of my current Questions-Under-Ponder. Feel free to borrow any that strike a chord. We can't have too many people working on questions such as:
• Is it safe to stand on a rubber mat when using an electric toothbrush?
• What if God's female, or gay, or a cat? (Whatever works for you)
• Will any woman be able to survive marriage to Dr. Laura's son?
• What's twice as cold as zero?
• Does Wiley Coyote have a good HBO plan?
• Can I still color as well as when I was six?
• Does Crayola's recent color changes make my old drawings more or less valuable?
• If I put my head under the pillow, will the tooth fairy take all my teeth? If so, is this a good way to make a quick $20?
• Is it dangerous to flush the airplane toilet while landing?
• What color is a choking Smurf?
• Does God ever make deals? If so, did I ever promise anything in exchange for letting me live to see the year 2000? (Or was that the Devil?)
• How do dyslexics experience alphabet soup?
• What happens if I don't remove my credit card quickly from the self-serve gas pump?
• How many years can I keep pizza slices in the refrigerator? (mostly a male worry)
• Why didn't they give the Kennedy assassination to Colombo?
• Do vegetarians eat animal crackers?
• What kind of reporter wouldn't see that Clark Kent and Superman are the same person?
• What do humanitarians eat?
• Why has no one has ever sent me a computer virus?
• What would the dog do if he caught the car? What will I do when I do?
• On Mother's Day, if a daughter and her mother and her grandmother go out to dinner, who picks up the check?
• What happens if you write in the space marked "FOR OFFICE USE ONLY"?
• Where does all that water go at low tide?
• Why do I usually see white hair on older pilots but rarely gray? Is it a visual record of their frightening experiences? If so, should I feel worried they've gotten themselves into scary situations, or confident because they got themselves out?
• When a dog flies across the country does he experience twenty-one hour jet lag?
If you come up with the answers to any of these questions, please keep them to yourselves. I also worry about not having enough to worry about.
[Originality Disclaimer: Some of the above are questions that have occurred to me when I've been drinking or otherwise had too much time on my hands. Others are ones I've read or heard and they stuck in my mind.]