Sep 6, 2011

Would You Rather?

My daughter and her friends, all about age 21, like to play a game they call "Would You Rather," in which they pose hypothetical questions along the lines of "Would you rather lose your sense of humor or never eat sweets again?"  Some of the hypotheticals are more intriguing than others and it's difficult to dissect what makes a good "Would You Rather."  There needs to be some tension between the two options; both unappealing but not to a totally different degree.  For example, "Would you rather get your toe bitten off by a rabid rat or be required to promptly send thank you notes for gifts from here on in?" does not have good balance.  If you've ever seen Eddie Izzard's Cake or Death bit, you get the idea.

Her most intriguing, most popular, and most discussed Would You Rather by far is the one about the goat. It goes like this:  "Would you rather (drum roll please) have to live for ten years in some Godforsaken place (which has changed over time) with the two people you hate most in the world, or have to live the rest of your life with a goat tied to you?"  Almost everyone picks the goat, much to my daughter's chagrin.  Not the goat!  Questions have been asked. How long is the rope?  If your goat dies, is there a replacement goat? Can it be deemed a service goat so you can take it with you to restaurants and movies? One friend, who evidently has some experience with goats, asked the very important question: is it a billy or a nanny goat?  For her, that was the only question worth asking.  Either it's a nanny or she takes the ten years with people she hates.

I've never heard anyone ask similar questions about option B.  Can you go to counseling together? Can you sleep in shifts so you never have to see one another?  If you actually start to warm to one of your archenemies, is a replacement sent from the Would You Rather Central Commission? What do these poor people think about suddenly showing up in your Would You Rather?

What would you choose?

I'd take the goat.


  1. Wow. I followed a Twitter link to have a look at your new design and fell in love with your writing. Love the blog. Congrats on the fine new look.

  2. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  3. i like this game! think i'll play along. this is fun!

  4. I understand there are Would You Rather books.