53 thoughts on “What single question can tell you a lot about a person?

  1. Here are my (initial) entries:
    – Did you see the match? (Which match is the wrong answer- the sport they choose to refer to says a lot)
    – Do you mind if I sit here to feed the baby? (with my boobs)
    – What do you make of that ? (About something in particular that is controversial and telling)

    That’s a start

    • *recoils in horror* My God. I’ve just seen a game of breastfeeding in the Olympics between the Canadians and the Swedish.

      What do you make of that, Bumbles?

      I’m intrigued by your sports method of judgment. Please expand there like a good woman (with examples)

    • Ah ha (I started this ah ha business a few replies back. I sense it’s only going to get more annoying. Sorry). I like this one. This is a sneaky way of posing a potentially vast question that doesn’t contain your own value judgement to tip the questionee off that there’s a right answer. How do you define success, Alexis? (and welcome aboard)

      • Yes, I do believe the definition of success is the most telling thing about a person.

        I define success as doing what I love for a living, and being paid well for it, without giving up my freedom and flexibility, and without sacrificing my morals and relationships. Success is triumphing over our obstacles, and refusing to become a mere statistic.

      • Dang. I was hoping you would say success is settling for being ordinary and not realising your dreams while remaining slightly bitter for somewhere in and around the working wage. I win. (I jest)

    • How clean is yours? Ah, that’s a trick question. Since yours is fairly new in newly habited terms. Ours is…is.. definitely not tidy, and definitely not dirty. It’s a house a new-born would benefit reasonably from the friendly bacteria on offer. OK *lies on sofa* Give your report…

      • Ah, see? Hesitation in replying, that means I’ll get on just fine with you ๐Ÿ™‚ Anyone who replies immediately and says their house is in good order is the kind of person who will scare me with their methodical ways. They are likely to have one of those carry-about things full of cleaning stuff; and they are unlikely to have actual books on their bookshelves. I distrust people who don’t have books. And I get lost in houses where the ornaments are just the same as Jeannie’s down the road.

        It’s true, I do live in a new abode. And although I’m not a new born evangelical cleany person, I have changed my ways. Visitors can pop down with an hour’s notice without my heart sinking in shame.

        How’s the packing coming on?

      • Well (you can tell with that opener it’s exasperating), coincidentally, himself and meself came to verbal blows over books. I’m all for holding on to the cherished reads, and the ones that might get a repeat flick-through, but I was hoping the move might be an opportune time to donate the rest and lighten the load. Apparently not. I’m not sure if I really have to hold on to ‘Greatest Speeches’. Especially when it doesn’t include David Thewlis’s monologue from ‘Naked’. Did you chuck or cherish all in your move? As for heavy-duty cleaning types – that’s just another form of mental illness. We’re all on the spectrum somewhere.

      • Just books? Most came, but some went back to the charity shop. I usually hang on to the ones I paid Real Money for, although I deeply resent the smug crap I’ve been made to buy for book group. Most annoyingly I forgot to go to the damned thing last week – and me with all my withering witticisms written on me arm. Joyfully, they’re now reading a book I bought in the charity shop last week! Such Karma.

        Many other things have made their way over to the charity shop. It’s a little perturbing to see you stuff with a sticker on it. They clap their hands like excited seals when they see me coming. They know that not only am I bringing binbags of delight, but that I will also buy something before I make it back out the door.

        Drat. No wonder I don’t have any new posts – they’re all here in your comments!!!!!!!!

      • Hang on, you’ve been attending a book club and have been keeping it from the rest of your blogeagues? If I may take the liberty of pleading on behalf of us all (my lower shame levels allow me), your readers would be grateful if you could consider telling us about it via a post. In your own good time. Like, today. I’m even holding all burning questions to prevent more of your precious yarn time being taken up here. Don’t stall the quill.

      • ‘Twas my own fault for ending up in such a pretentious book group. This is one is held in our local bookshop – clearly a ploy to make us buy the unsellable books. But it seemed so much better than normal bookgroups – you know the ones, where you take turns at being hostess. I couldn’t have that, not with my slovenly ways. Of course, now I’m a changed woman….I could start my own ๐Ÿ˜€ Bookshop Jill (Not her idea to read the high falutin’ books) wants to start a group where we read children’s books; like the Moomins. Hmm…how does that chin stroking gesture go again?

        Actually, I’m in the midst of writing an actual post which will actually be on my site and not in your comments ๐Ÿ˜‰

      • Excellent. Do you go to the pub after the book club meeting for the real book club meeting? You know like we have pre-meets and post-meets in our line of work. All the real business never happens at the actual meeting. Permit me one question – what book are you currently reading? Oh, just one more – is there a woman called Hermione in the group?

      • No ๐Ÿ˜ฆ They all go home. I’ve put the book at the back and top of the high bookshelf. I got it for a pound and was fuming with incandescent rage at the poor writing by page 2. It did far too much telling of nothing in too many words. I skimmed ahead and it didn’t get any better. Hang on. *gets the stool to stand on to get book, seeing as how it’s yerself that’s asking* It’s “I saw a man” by Owen Sheers. And I was robbed at it costing a pound…it actually cost ยฃ1.75

      • To hell with that. Life’s too short. Come over here and join my pub quiz team instead. The one I can’t get together. Bring Hermione. She probably knows all about oxbow lakes and the latin word for daisies.

      • Are oxbow lakes the curvy ones which look like oxbows? I used to be in a grand pub quiz team. It was the Boyfriend of the Moment and his bandmates. Their arch rivals were another band. So of course, it was ahem, battle of the bands *ducks flying book* My moment of glory was winning the tie break question. It was how many saints has Pope John Paul ordained/christened/annointed – what does he do? I read the same weekend paper as the quizmaster and immediately knew the answer. Funnily enough, it was the same paper where I read about Trotsky’s elbow.

      • WTF just looked up oxbow lakes. Why aren’t they called horseshoe lakes???? Glad I did history, it made much more sense, what with Trotsky ‘n’ all

    • Ah ha! (etc.). If I were to say…. Don Delillo, does that indicate a) I’ve great taste b) I can read c) I’m a pretentious prat or d) all of the above. Who is your favourite author, IMHBSIR? (if I my call you that. And welcome aboard. Lovely to have you sticking your head round the blog door)

  2. Why do I always miss your posts asking readers to contribute, until about a week later?

    If that question does not paint a sufficient portrait of me, I vote for the clever person above who asked what you’ll have to drink, since I find that those who don’t drink alcohol are always a little bit too careful, and those who drink neither alcohol nor coffee seem to be lacking some essential ingredient that I look for in a friend or aquaintance – namely, a highly caffeinated energy and/or an endearingly alcohol-fuelled lack of good judgement.

    Asking about favourite authors is risky as it could go well, or may just reveal that you have never read their favourite author, or worse, you did read The Road and hated it, and thus lead to a long and awkward silence, only finally ending when you change seats on the train.

    • My Grandfather told my Ma (his daughter coincidentally) he never trusted a man who didn’t take a drop of the hard stuff. Unfortunately, he died before she met my Da. We have to suffer the ignominy of him not just asking for a Coke, but a diet Coke. Did you read Harry Potter, B?

      • I did read Harry Potter, only because I had a kid to read it to, otherwise I would never have ventured anywhere near it, but to my great surprise, I really enjoyed it, & even cried when *spoiler* died.

        I like to think I’m a reasonably literary minded person – I did do one year of English (and Russian!) literature at Uni before chucking that in for a far more useful degree in painting, AND I actually read Patrick White (Australian reference) – but I hated The Road & its bleak, yet supposedly hopeful ending (I found the hopeful part unconvincing) – and I liked Harry Potter. I guess that does say a lot about me. Alright, if you must know, my parents kept me under the stairs.

      • Did you have a basement? I feel a twinge of jealousy. Or envy. I can never tell the difference between those two emotions. I remember loving The Road was essential among my Americana loving friends. It must be so hard trying to be miserable all the time, I thought. Stop trying!, I’d exclaim. Just BE miserable. I was always at ease being the control in that experiment. Which meant I could never read Harry Potter. Did you make it over to Tarasparlingwrites yet? Seriously, I feel you will be among fiends there.

      • No basement, no – that’s also an American thing along with loving The Road. I was totally lying about the stairs, we didn’t have any inside the house, and just a set of cement steps out the front (because of the hill again, I guess.) Because our house was on a hill, there was a sort of cellar at the back part of the house, which was really just the sub-floor, & was just cement and dust and at it’s highest point it was about 5 feet high and then the “roof” got lower and lower till you had to crawl. So obviously it was kind of exciting to go into as a kid but no fun as an adult. We kept our bikes in there, that’s the only use it was ever put to. No wine, unfortunately! I haven’t checked that blog out, but on your recommendation I will do that very soon, or maybe tomorrow as it’s almost my bedtime.

      • PS – your dad didn’t drink? That’s funny, my mum doesn’t drink. It’s for religious reasons….don’t ask. She is “allowed” to have sherry if it’s in the Christmas Trifle; apparently God turns a blind eye to that.

      • He’s probably too pissed up himself to see straight. At least that’s the excuse I gave him for inventing Enya. Drink is an issue of conscience for me, too. But only in that way I would be uneasy going on the lash with someone who not only takes mineral water, but alternates between it with a dash of lemon, and cranberry. An untrustworthy species at best. My Da doesn’t drink mostly because it goes against his own deeply held religious views, which is to haggle over the price of everything.

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