I hit publish; WordPress congratulates me on a new post, and says: “Need an idea for your next post?”, and gives three suggestions.
One is, “You get to make a guest appearance on any TV show of your choice. What’ll it be?”
My first thought was of me on the 700 Club, leering at the camera and drawling: “There is no God! How you feel abou thaaaaaat?”
Not post material.
Another suggestion was “What do you think is the most destructive force to mankind?”
Short answer: Mankind itself.
Another short answer: Reality itself.
A slightly longer version of the first: Mankind itself — do you really think this bunch of monkeys should be trusted with nuclear weapons? The only reason plastic utensils are not a leading cause of death is guns and knives take their toll more quickly.
A slightly longer version of the second: Reality itself — heck, nature has no interest in keeping mankind alive. A meteor could streak in, and that’s all folks; the poles could reverse, the Yellowstone caldera burst, some killer virus get loose, some weapon could ignite the atmosphere — the universe is a dangerous and amoral place and people are, well, see the previous point.
The third suggestion — “Describe what your family dinners are like.” — isn’t very interesting. Being single, the short answer is “macaroni” — the long one defines this to be, my parents and my brothers being together, whenever we happen to be, and contains the following:
1) lotsa chatter: my dad and mom are like a comedy pair: he’s the outrageous one with an incredible poker face, and she’s the straight one,
2) questions, as the hometown newspaper carries a daily 10 questions about the news column. That is enthusiastically competed in, more for the question-by-question a-ha! moments than for the overall scores. Mom asks the questions, and invents hints if necessary; as the questions are about anything that has been in the paper, her hints can be wildly inaccurate and misleading; at their most unfortunate, on the level of hinting “that place in Asia” for Bolivia. Most times there is bitter complaining about the author of the column, though, because he or she at times (a) chooses stupid minutiae (i.e. sport, or the name of the mayor of Two Roads, Shitkicker Province), (b) repeats the same question, (c) repeats the same question (of which municipality in the Shitkicker Province is Hoary McCoot the mayor of?), or (d) gets something monstrously and peculiarly wrong. Dad usually wins, because of (a) age, (b) being a high-school teacher accustomed to quizzes, and (c) having most often read the paper while we children played with our computers.
3) and food. (Then again, most dinners do contain food. One might even say that a dinner without food is like a bow without a string: a mere stick of wood with notches at the ends.)
So as you can see, totally unhelpful suggestions that in no way make a post in any way, shape or… gol darn it.