Bob Dylan’s Tempest is as good as the cardboard heat on your palms when you carry the pizza box from the driveway to the front door; the sound and the weight, the doughy scrape of the crust sliding as you open the front door of your house and go in sideways; Has an electric charge, as present as the things on the kitchen table no one bothered to clean off while you went out to get the pizza with your parents’ money—the photo album, the blue ceramic bowl with keys in it and bananas, a block of newspaper. You will shove those things, whatever they are, whack them with the corners of the pizza box and not bother to investigate their fate. The song “Scarlet Town” is the knowledge that you are the one who will draw first-cheese on the pizza. You have the jump on the others—this is your privilege for making the drive. They will never see this pizza in its entirety, they are still in the other room watching television or in the computer room knitting a scarf. Only you will experience the full thing, and just for a brief glowing moment, but the moment belongs only to you and the crispiest curves, the oft floury hide of the total crust. That is “Scarlet Town.” “Tempest,” about the sinking of the Titanic, is the moment after your family’s initial pizza frenzy when you realize there’re more slices left than you’d thought there’d be. “Narrow Way” is the cold sweat of the 2-liter bottle of Coca Cola, unopened on the table next to the unaccosted box, ready to hiss. Bob Dylan is 71 years old and has made another of his greatest albums. Considering his catalog the odds of pulling something like this off have not been in his favor for decades, yet he beats them each time. Once more Bob proved you’re never too old to expand your lead.
Today marks the return of UWYR! But, instead of coming up with a brand new Would-You-Rather question to challenge my readers’ intellect and imagination, I kind of think it’s necessary to do my very first UWYR Revision. Specifically, I’m targeting what turned out to be a rather lopsided UWYR 2. Where UWYR 1 enjoyed perfect balance (the numbers are currently holding at 50/50), UWYR 2 clearly favored one of the two choices by a significant margin.
This I cannot allow.
It seems my readers would rather risk their lives than endure a Los Angeles/New York plane flight as Kevin Smith’s tighty whities.
I simply don’t believe you, Readers. I refuse to believe that you’d risk death in order to keep out of Kevin Smith’s pants. You mean to tell me that, say, some rich, sadistic Alfred Hitchcock villain captured you and forced you to choose between the jaguar and the Kevin Smith Underwear, you’d choose the option that might possibly get you killed (just to clarify, I’m talking about the jaguar, not Kevin Smith’s underwear)? Oh, come on! I don’t believe that you, the reader, ever took this question seriously. You didn’t give it the proper respect. At least most of you, anyway. Most of you just figured you’d “wing it” with the terminally ill jaguar. Sounds safe enough, right?
Don’t take anything for granted here at UWYR.
I mean, think about it. What if the tree branch snaps and you fall to the ground and break your legs? Kinda changes the chemistry of the confrontation doesn’t it. I mean, I’d already told you this jaguar, though dying, is experiencing one final flourish of big-cat berserker rage. I don’t like your odds against said jaguar in the event that one of your legs breaks from a fall. And, use your imagination! What if there’s a monkey in the tree before you even get there? I never said anything about a monkey either way, so one could very well be there. Do you think a pre-existing tree-tenant would help you or hurt you? Who knows!
Why take the risk?
I want more of you to choose Kevin Smith’s Underwear, and to help you make this difficult decision I will slightly modify UWYR 2. Just enough to (maybe) get you to make the “right” decision.
Would you rather be Kevin Smith’s underwear for an entire New York/Los Angeles plane flight?
supplemental information: Same deal as last time. He’s wearing tighty whities and God knows how long he’s had them on (or what activities he was doing with them on). The plane flight is nonstop from Los Angeles to New York.
Would you rather be chased up a tree by an otherwise healthy one-eyed male jaguar that hasn’t eaten for days and believes it is going to die unless it eats VERY soon?
supplemental information: You must survive this scenario for three full hours. Then the one-eyed jaguar gets shot with a tranquillizer dart and you’re good to go. There is an insane Orangutan in the tree before you even get there. I have NO IDEA how he’s going to react to you being in his tree.
Choose with your imagination…
While the votes for UWYR 1 are still trickling in (it’s still not too late to have a say!), the time has come for another edition of Ultimate-Would-You-Rather. Today’s installment will challenge your creativity and push your imagination to the limit—this time, in addition to battling jaguars, you must also ponder existence as an inanimate object. Good luck.
Would you rather be Kevin Smith’s underwear for an entire New York/Los Angeles plane flight?
Supplemental Information: He’s wearing Hanes tighty-whities. You are only responsible for the 6-to-7 hour plane flight, but remember that Kevin’s probably been wearing this same underwear for hours (maybe days) leading up to your assignment.
Would you rather be chased up a tree by a large, terminally-ill jaguar?
Supplemental Information: Yes, it’s dying. Won’t be long now. It’s dying before its time from some sad jaguar disease. But it hasn’t quite given over to despair just yet. It’s pissed that it’s dying in the prime of its life and so it has one last rush of energy. Wants one last meal. Can you outplay, outwit, and outlast the jaguar? Is it worth the risk?
As far as I can tell, the only way to buy milk chocolate Cadbury Mini-Eggs is in packages that are simply too big for someone like me. Someone who has a problem sharing. I’m a nice enough guy, but if I’m going to give into one of my ill advised food-cravings I’m going to do it without the least intention of
sharing my candy.
The way I figure it, if I’m going to cave in and nail an entire pizza I should do so when no one else is around so I don’t have to feel guilty when I don’t offer them a slice. If I’m going to buy a satchel of Chex Mix I’m going to do so when there’s no one else around so I can commit sodium-suicide alone. If I’m going to manhandle a bag of Cadbury Mini-Eggs I will bear their hellish sugar-rush all by myself. I will fall on that grenade. Slight guys can be heroes too.
I have an addictive personality. My goal is to eradicate anything near me that tastes good as fast as possible. To make it go away. To destroy it so that it no longer exists and therefore can no longer continue to challenge my physique and/or peace of mind. Rationing comfort food out over a period of days or weeks simply can’t happen when you’re me. Tasty treats, for me, are like Bilbo’s ring in Lord of the Rings, and the volcano at Mordor is my mouth. My stomach acids are the lava. Destroying the Ring is the only way to be free from its temptation, and so I eat my way through my obsessions regardless of the eventual side effects (lethargy, sugar crash, feeling completely gross). With this in mind, I follow a strict policy of consciously avoiding such “quests.” Should a bag of candy enter my life via some random gift-bag or care package I will reluctantly accept the challenge, but I will not seek adventure.
My original Easter-time craving, Cadbury Cream Eggs, were much easier to deal with. You could easily purchase them on an individual basis and so you could customize and personalize your level of temptation. You could buy just one or two, or you could by a whole four-pack. Whatever you want to handle. Get your fix, it’s over! But then came the day that I discovered, quite by accident, that Cadbury’s other “egg” product, the hard sugar-shell coated Mini-Eggs, are actually significantly more “bomb” than their bigger, gooier brethren. I’ve always known that the pleasure in eating a Cadbury Creme Egg owes as much to the deliciously awkward texture as it did to the actual flavor, I now I’d suddenly learned that Mini-Eggs, with their just-hard-enough-sugar-shell and just-soft-enough-chocolate-body, are a texture-lover’s dream come true! I fell in love. After that it was, and still is, all about the Mini-Eggs.
At least in theory.
If they came in Skittles-size bags we wouldn’t have a problem. I’d buy one bag and its contents would vanish before I’d even finished driving home. The bag would be gutted and dead and it wouldn’t be able to hurt me any longer. Perhaps I’d suffer a quick sugar spike, get a bit jittery, but a few hours later I will have returned to normal and the episode will be over.
However, Cadbury Mini-Eggs bags are massive! They remind Derek more of stone-filled pillowcases than bags of candy. At least the ones available in my neighborhood. In the Lord of the Rings analogy we’re talking a WHOLE RUCKSACK of One-Rings. That’s a lot of temptation. It’s enough sugar and chocolate to leave me crawling around my bedroom floor by the end of the day, beaten, broken, twitching like a junky, moaning, having visions of a huge furry Easter Bunny that promptly turns demonic the moment I reach out for its help.
I think for the past few years it’s been the same thing. When Easter comes around I tell myself I’ll “celebrate” by buying “a whole big bag” of Cadbury mini-eggs. I tell me I’ll let me go to town on them. And every year I go to the supermarket and I see the crinkly purple bags of Cadbury Mini-eggs stacked on their own shelf at the holiday end-cap dedicated, this month, to Easter-themed candies. But then I crouch down to the shelf, I pick the bag up and I feel its unexpected weight in my hand and my spirit breaks. My heart sinks. The glossy purple bag with yummy pink letters, drooping heavy and limp from my hesitating hand, feels more like a cumbersome sack of horse feed than something meant to satisfy a wee Easter-time craving. “Too much,” I say out loud, not caring that it’s generally considered
insane strange to talk to oneself in public. But if we’re continuing to roll with the Lord-of-the-Rings analogy, then I guess at this moment I’m sort of more like Golum. “There’s just too damn many of them, Smeegle, just too many,” And I angrily slap the bag of horse food back down with the rest of its kind.
And so I don’t end up getting my one small bag of mini-eggs after all. I guess because I’m too obsessive and too sugar-selfish. It turns out I don’t have the right stuff. I can’t bear the burden of the One-Ring alone.
I am of the kingdom of men.
Need more Cadbury Mini Egg Adventures? Check out the sequel to this post!