Mr. Answer Man

As a public service, I have taken it upon myself to answer some of the questions people are asking Google. Without further ado:


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Q: Can a person live without a kidney?

A: To me, much more interesting is whether a kidney can live without a person.


Q: Can a person live without a heart?

A: Oh my, this is one of those difficult metaphysical questions. To my way of thinking, the Tin Man in The Wizard of Oz has “heart” even before he is given a heart-shaped clock to wear around his neck. But is the Tin Man in Dorothy’s dream a “person”? And if he isn’t, then why is Koch Industries one? Something about that doesn’t seem right, John Roberts. 


Q: Can a person be born gay?

A: In a word: yes. He or she can also live gay and die gay. Then there’s grocery-shopping gay, driving while gay (DWG), and — believe it or not — serving as three-term mayor of Houston gay.


Q: Can a person with a felony get a passport?

A: Legally, you mean?


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Q: Will I be alone forever?

A: Absolutely not. You’re not even alone right now, as you can see. Here I am, after all.


Q: Will I be single forever?

A: Maybe. My great aunt was single forever and she could recite from memory the names of all 159 counties in Georgia and their county seats. Do you think she would have been able to do that if she’d had someone snoring in bed beside her every night?


Q: Will I be famous quiz?

A: I hope this is a joke. Or do you actually think you can take a quiz that will tell you whether you’ll be famous? Here, let me save you the trouble. Answer these questions:

  • Have you discovered a cure for cancer? If “yes,” you will be famous.
  • Do you have one eye in the middle of your forehead? If you do, I’m pretty sure you’ll get a lot of attention.
  • Let’s suppose you are willing to do anything it takes to be “famous,” that you believe that being famous is the be-all and end-all of life, even to the exclusion of being good or virtuous or just or kind. If that’s how you feel, I sincerely believe you’ve got a good chance of being infamous at worst.


Q: Will I be a good mom?

A: Yes and no. And here’s a conundrum: the sooner you accept that fact, the better a mom you’ll be!


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Q: Should I go to law school?

A: Why not! I did for a year and it was fun! But you might want to apply for admission first.


Q: Should I upgrade to Windows 10?

A: Look, if you have to ask, then the answer is absolutely not.


Q: Should I remove it?

A: Hmm. Before I answer, a question: do I need to worry about what you’ll do with it afterward?


Q: Should I text him?

A: Hell no. Go to his house or apartment, knock on the door, and when he opens it, throw yourself into his arms and smother him with kisses. Accept his proposal that you spend the rest of your lives together. Feel your heart melt every time you look up from whatever you’re doing to see him sitting across the room. Know that whatever comes, you will be ready for it, because he will be at your side … Oh, scratch that. Texting is a lot easier. So go ahead.


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Q: Will you still love me?

A: Let’s get to know each other a little first.


Q: Will you marry me?

A: I would, I promise you. But I’m married already.


Q: Will you be there?

A: Honestly? Having put Traces into mothballs once already, I gotta say, I’m not sure. Let’s focus on the present, shall we?


Q: Will you press the button?

A: Now, this is a very difficult question. I’ve got “Save Draft” and “Preview” and “Publish.” So you might have asked, which button will you press?


But, okay, let me take your question as written. As a rule, I try not to press the button. I’ve learned the hard way that when I do press the button, I get one of several unpleasant reactions: a snarky response, explosive anger, eye-rolling exasperation, or 48 hours of brooding resentment. Does that mean I never press the button? Of course not. Sometimes I can’t help myself. It’s like that scene in Annie Hall, when Woody Allen is in the passenger seat and the driver says:

Can I confess something? I tell you this as an artist, I think you’ll understand. Sometimes when I’m driving… on the road at night… I see two headlights coming toward me. Fast. I have this sudden impulse to turn the wheel quickly, head-on into the oncoming car. I can anticipate the explosion. The sound of shattering glass. The… flames rising out of the flowing gasoline.

Or it’s like the story of Pandora. They gave her that box and told her not to open it. Oh please. We all knew where that one was going.


So, sure, I probably will press the button. Let’s see. This one that says “Publish” is outlined in blue, so …

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