Feeling Prompted

I was researching a few things on the internet the other day, you know, as one does, and I came across an interesting concept. Writing prompts. Who knew this was a thing?  Well, a writing prompt that I found on a site for writing prompts to combat writer’s block: Write about something you don’t remember.

How the hell can you write about something if you don’t remember it?

Writing prompts are stupid. Want proof?  Another writing prompt from that same site: travel the world and post as you go.

I mean, really? Okay sure, I’ll just pack up my pencil laptop and head to Cairo or Australia. Yeah, I hear that’s nice, but I’m not a fan of spiders that can eat my face. Actually, not a fan of spiders at all. Peter Parker is about as close to spiders as I would want to be (the Andrew Garfield version, just so we’re clear). But hey, I’m nothing if not adventurous (don’t roll your eyes at me!), so just let me enter my info in Google here and get my tickets… what?! Almost $2,000 dollars just to get there!? Moths currently inhabit my bank account, so yeah, I’ll get right on that.

I know! I could travel to work and discuss traffic or that plastic bag I saw rolling across the highway. Was it from Walmart… or Wegman’s? Now that seems more affordable.

Everyone and their brother seems to be writing articles on writing prompts. Articles written on writing prompts fill even the most cobwebby corners of the interwebs (ha!).  Not to be left behind on this blogging trend, here are a select few I’ve assembled from said corners — and answered — for your reading pleasure. Get ready to be prompted!

Would you rather be able to fly or be invisible? Honestly, I’d rather be invisible. As I mentioned in an earlier blog entry, not fond of heights, or the falls either for that matter.  Invisibility is right up there with teleportation… imagine the things you could see and do, the banks you could rob.  With my luck, if I could fly, I’d just I’d run into a powerline.

Would you rather fight off the zombie apocalypse, or defend the planet against hostile aliens? This is easy, zombies all day. Aliens have ray guns, ships, and anal probes. I really don’t need to go any further here – suffice to say, I … um… really dislike anal probes. And frankly, in our current political climate, I’d almost welcome a zombie apocalypse. I wouldn’t have to go to work, shave my legs, grocery shop, or do laundry. I would miss showers though, so there’s that. Not to mention running. I hate running.

One food for the rest of your life? Is wine a food? I would say brownies. Not sure it’s the healthiest choice, but it’s a solid one. Yep, I stand by brownies.

Batman for a week, or Superman for a day? Batman, and I only want to be him for about an hour. Hear me out. Bruce Wayne, aka Batman, is a rich, handsome, playboy philanthropist, oh yeah, did I mention rich? Stupidly rich. Like ridiculously stupid rich. Sure, laser beams in my eyes, flying faster than a bullet is great and all. But it’s also active, tiring, dangerous, and requires a lot of responsibility. Not things on my “I need more of this in my life” list. So, sign me up for Batman, drive me to the bank, and watch me drain Bruce Wayne’s billions into my own bank account before I switch back to good ole’ me.

Would you rather live forever, or be invincible? Ugh, I’m torn on this one, let me tell you. Most would think living forever would be great, but I’m only halfway to a hundred, and I’m already sick of people. Invincible would be handy, for those days I feel like smashing my head against the wall, at least I wouldn’t bruise easy and I could save money on foundation. But the big question here is this… if you’re invincible, wouldn’t you live forever anyway?  It’s a two-fer.

If you could be a flavor of gum, what would it be? Big Red, because I’m spicy. Although I don’t lose my flavor as fast, maybe 5ive? I don’t know about stimulating your senses, but I can mystify you with my witty charm.

What color is your aura right now and why? I feel purple right now. I don’t know why; it’s just how I feel. I’ve heard that the color purple is often associated with royalty, nobility, luxury, power, and ambition. Needless to say, I don’t fully relate on that level, but It apparently also represents, “creativity, wisdom, dignity, devotion, peace, pride, mystery, independence, and magic.” Now that’s a bit more me, color me purple baby! To see what your aura says about you, go here.

Would you rather be a vampire or a werewolf? I’m going to say vampire, because I don’t even want to think of the hair care products I’m going to need if I start dawning a full coat of luscious wolf fur. Not to mention shedding. I’ve got enough of that now with my cats, I don’t need it from myself as well. Plus, vampires sleep all day. It’s a win-win.

What Disney princess are you and why? I’m not a princess-y kind of person, but to be honest, I can see myself as bits and pieces of all them Frankenstein’d together. A bit naïve like Rapunzel (okay, fine, I just wish I had her hair!) yet adventurous like Ariel (so I like the beach… sue me), snarky and impetuous like Merida, but dedicated like Cinderella, and you know I’m not against catching that long nap if you know what I’m saying. Can you imagine how Sleeping Beauty felt after waking up? Probably a bit stiff, and maybe had to pee – but definitely well rested.

You’re a What!?

So, from time to time I’ll find myself watching the news, or YouTube, or a talk show or something, and I’ll come across these weird interviews. Whether it’s a fave musician or actor, or maybe it’s just a reporter talking with some random person on the side of the street… strange questions just seem to emerge. Even when you’re job hunting – maybe especially when you’re job hunting. There you sit with the hip HR Director and Bob from accounting, and the interview is going great, if not a little boring, and then BAM!

‘If you could be a fish in the ocean, what would you be?’

Um… what?

Okay sure, I get that these types of questions are supposed to help the interviewer figure out if you’re creative or analytical or, if we’re being honest here, a straight up freak. I have to say, I do miss the simpler days, when it’d go a little something like, “Hello, how are you, and how and/or why do you think you are qualified for this job?” And then you share your expansive resume and extraordinary successes and boom, you’ve got the job. Or not.

But wait, back to the initial question. What If I actually were a fish in the ocean? I tell you what I’d be.  I’d be lost at sea.

Without applying much thought on it, a shark should be at the top of my list. I mean, right? I think the apex predator of the ocean would be a top choice for most. Being at the top of the food chain would eliminate a lot of other problems with being a fish in the ocean. I would only have to worry about getting chomped on by cannibalistic sharks or hooking up with the odd sports fisherman or two (and not in a good way). And I can only imagine that it’s a fantastic answer to give in an interview. But when you get to know me, like I know myself, it’s pretty clear that I just don’t have that kind of all-encompassing aggression, no matter what my ex says.

Is there a fish that has major anxiety issues and constantly worries about, well, everything… while also saying “fuck this shit” to just about every situation?  That would be me. On another note, The Incredible Mr. Limpet is one of my favorite movies. If you haven’t seen it, you really should.  I could be like Mr. Limpet. Riddled with anxiety, but still comes thru in the end.

Or, I’d get eaten by a shark on my first day as a fish, which is most likely the harsh reality to my current ocean fantasy.

You have to ask yourself this, though, on the other side of the spectrum, as the employer or interviewer, what answers do you expect? Which ones are red flags, and which ones scream “I know this is the one!” Is there a cheat-sheet somewhere to help you figure it out?

For instance, a guy answers with, a sea snail. Cause he just loves to hang around and observe people all day. Maybe not the best answer for landing that new job. Oh sure, he’s lovely to look at (I mean, most sea snails are) but probably not a good fit for the work at hand.

What if the answer was, an octopus? And their reason was so that they could work 8 times more efficiently. Now if I was hiring for a job, I would probably hire the octopus. Just seems more logical, if you ask me.

Maybe you get that one person who doesn’t get the concept behind the question. ‘Fish? Pfftt! I’m more of a horse type, wide-open fields, running free, no-one can control me, I can’t be contained, I’m wild, baby, wild!’ Okay great! Allow me to validate your parking, and you have yourself a fantastic day! Please help yourself to an oatcake on the way out.

Not that I don’t love horses, cause let me tell you, I do.  I love them at least 10 times more than fish, if not more. But instead of highlighting your “outside of the box thinking,” one’s failure to answer a question according to the interviewer’s set parameters often implies that you can’t follow simple directions. Even if the question is bizarre and the interview is a joke.

Speaking of an affinity with specific animals. My spirit animal?  Truth be told, probably a sloth. Sloths are misunderstood. It’s not that we lack motivation, we just don’t see the urgency placed on us by others’ expectations. We’ll get there, wherever there is, eventually, just leave us the hell alone until then.

Or wait! A Tasmanian Devil (of the Looney Tunes variety) might be more accurate if you’ve ever seen me driving or getting annoyed at the grocery store or dealing with, you know, people.

Ugh… people, am I right?