Wednesday, 27 July 2011

The questionnaire - more of your answers

More responses to the questionnaire, more revelations from your deep, dark psyches. This time, the contributors are Donnie Ross, Melanie Robertson-King, and Fiona Glass. Once again, comment from me is superfluous.

1. If such a choice were possible and meaningful, would you prefer to live in a real or a virtual world? Why?
Donnie: I already live in a world which is simultaneously both real and virtual.  So do you.  Stop kidding yourself.  Why?  There’s no choice, other than to become aware of the real situation.  And the virtual one.
Melanie: Real. Yeah, it stinks at times but the virtual world is a place to escape to when real life gets too tough by picking up a book and reading or putting "pen to paper" and writing.
Fiona: The real world seems pretty good to me. I’ve always wanted to be a writer... and I’m a writer. I’ve always wanted to live in the English Lake District... and we’re hoping to move there later this year. I’m not sure I’d find anything better than that, no matter how good the virtual world. (Sorry if I sound smug, by the way. It’s taken me a long time to get to this stage, if that’s any consolation.)
2. You have permission to paint a celebrity in a colour of your choosing. That doesn’t mean you make a portrait, you actually get to cover them in paint. Tell us which celebrity, what colour, and why?
Donnie: Donald Trump, Cremnitz White.  Why do you think?  Lead Carbonate??
Melanie: Finger paint? Brush? Or just pour the bucket over his/her head? All could be fun. The colour and the person... hmm... will think about this one and come back to it...
Mel Gibson and it would be black... he's turned into such an ass (hope I can say that without getting sued). And I would pour the bucket over his head.
Fiona: Mel Gibson, bright blue. He deserves it for the historical drivel in Braveheart.

3. What do you think of the word ‘nice’? In what contexts would you use it?
Donnie: Curate’s egg of a word.  Good parts: I use it in the sense of accurate or condign.  Sometimes of people, maybe with a tinge of irony, but a nice one.
Melanie: It's lame and overused. I'd only use it when the thesaurus lurking in my brain couldn't come up with a word/phrase to replace it.
Fiona: Perfectly decent word if you ask me, but like so many cliches it’s been over-used to heck and back. Nowadays I would only use it in deep third person point of view if the character I was writing about was likely to use it themselves.

4. You have the chance to spend an evening with a film star of your choice. Whom would you choose and what do you hope the evening would bring? (Be honest.)
Donnie: Tom what’s his name, he’s nice.  No, not Cruz.  No, wait, that bloke from Indiana Jones, he might like my book, !Leonardo Mind for Modern Times (in Swahili).  Nah,  Margherita Buys.  She’s Italian, and the link with Donatello is irresistible too.  Besides, she doesn’t know me from Google.
Melanie: It would have to be either Judy Dench or Helen Mirren. I love their films and would like to just sit down over a cuppa or something and have a good natter.
Fiona: Preferably someone who didn’t look like a Greek god. I’m way too shy to talk to anyone as perfect as that and besides, in my experience the more handsome a man is, the more likely he is to talk about himself for hours. Give me someone who looks like the back end of a bus but is witty, charming and intelligent. 

5. Complete the following sentence – ‘If I won the lottery and discovered that the prize had to be shared with 3 million other winners, I would …’
Donnie: … make a decision based on a strategic analysis backed up by advice from Health & Safety.
Melanie: I guess a lot would depend on the size of the jackpot but I'd likely have the entire prize spent in my mind first, then take out a calculator and figure out what my share of the loot would be.
Fiona: Shrug. It’s just my luck to win the lottery and end up with sixpence. Having said that, vast sums of money don’t interest me - they bring responsibility and even unhappiness of their own.

6. If you had to change nationality, which would you choose and why?
Donnie: Italian.  Per che non?
Melanie: That's a no-brainer for me. Scottish. My dad was born in Aberdeenshire and came to Canada as a Home Child in 1930. Not to mention, I love the accent and the look of a man in a kilt.
Fiona: Irish. They speak the same language, the country is beautiful and they have a wonderful and inspiring heritage of culture, music and literature.

7. Nominate 3 types of people for a long custodial sentence in a prison that uses painful experimental therapies to ‘cure’ its inmates. (NOTE. Obvious categories, such as bigots, tyrants, traffic wardens, estate agents, bankers, politicians and family and friends of Rupert Murdoch do not count.)
Donnie: 1) People who’ve recently died. 2) People who’ve been dead for a while. 3) People who’ve been dead a long time.  This will teach those who run prisons not to waste their time with painful therapies, when they should be implanting electrodes into the relevant brain areas.
Melanie: Paedophiles, drug dealers and rapists. And with the former and the latter, put them in general population and let the other inmates have their way with them. They wouldn't last long.
Fiona: People who get paid to do a job but refuse to do it properly. People who are rude for no good reason. People who shout at children in public. (There’s plenty of others I’d like to nominate, but that’ll do for now...)

8. Your fairy godmother grants you a wish. You can curl up in front of the fire with your favourite object. What is it? (NOTE. You can define ‘object’ in any way you like.)
Donnie: Liddell & Scott’s Greek Lexicon.  It’s exactly the right thickness for a pillow.
Melanie: I'd curl up with my husband. Could we have a bear-skin rug and perhaps a bottle of chilled champagne?
Fiona: My fairy godmother??? You mean I have a fairy godmother? Good grief, where’s she been hiding all these years? As to the question, I’m going to cheat. A good book and a cup of tea. I know, that’s two objects. So sue me.

9. A beggar sitting on a blanket on the pavement (OK, sidewalk, if you insist), says as you pass, ‘Fortune has favoured you but looks less kindly on deprived and desperate beings such as myself. It would be a kindness if you were to redistribute some of your wealth to redress the balance between you and I’. What do you reply?
Donnie: Nae ti me!
Melanie: Sod off? I try not to make eye contact in these situations. In the end it likely wouldn't be quite so abrupt. I'd fall back on the 'sorry don't have any cash' excuse. And it's not really an excuse because with debit and credit cards, who carries cash anymore?
Fiona: I don’t think I would reply, I’d be too busy running away! (Has anyone seen Jasper Carrot’s marvellous ‘Nutter on the bus’ sketch? That’s me, right there, next to the nutter...)
10. Would you like to be immortal? Why or why not?
Donnie: Up to a point.  There would be enough time to get serious about learning to play the piano (500 years), paint (250 years oils, 400 years watercolour), write (1000 years).  Spending 5000 years without thinking a single thought about football would be a blow for freedom.  After all that I would go down the pub and then go clubbing.  One has to get out a bit sometime.
Melanie: I think I'd get bored living that long. And I'd want to have my health, otherwise, I'll stick with the lot I've been given and punch my ticket when the time comes... and I don't plan on it being any time soon. Could I come back and visit? By then my 'real' world would be unknown so my return would be my virtual world from question 1.
Fiona: No. Imagine having to watch everyone you ever knew or loved die, including your own children and grandchildren. It would be heartbreaking, and very, very lonely.

11. What music would you play through loudspeakers at night outside the house of someone you disliked intensely?
Donnie: Schubert’s String Quintet.  If they hated it that would show I was right about them.  If they loved it I would change my opinion of them.
Melanie: It would have to be Jeff Wayne's musical version of War of the Worlds. Cranked up good and loud! Bought the 2 CD set on my last trip to the UK after listening to snippets while we were driving... 
Fiona: Black Lace’s ‘Agadoo’. Possibly the most irritating song ever, and catchy enough to stick in your brain so they’d be humming it for days, thus doubling the torture. (Tiptoes away to dig out the hi-fi...)

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  1. This is one of the most entertaining interviews I've read recently. I liked the threesome answering the questions, and as for Fiona's reticence about men who look like Greek gods. I remember when Tom Cruise had squint teeth. In an early fantasy film, can't remember the name of it, they were very obvious. So when you date or meet a Greek god, fiona, just try to think what kind of remedial treatment they've had to look that way.

  2. Donnie, I knew we had something in common. Let's move to Italy and be neighbours. We'll listen to Schubert's string quintet first, then Schubert's 'death and the maiden'. As soon as you finished your 500 years of piano practising we'll go out to dinner with Roberto Benigni and we all scream for icecream.