Still More From 23 Questions Klostermeme

Answering the last of Chuck Klosterman’s 23 questions he asks people to find out if he can REALLY love them:

16. Someone builds an optical portal that allows you to see a vision of your own life in the future (it’s essentially a crystal ball that shows a randomly selected image of what your life will be like in twenty years). You can only see into this portal for thirty seconds. When you finally peer into the crystal, you see yourself in a living room, two decades older than you are today. You are watching a Canadian football game, and you are extremely happy. You are wearing a CFL jersey. Your chair is surrounded by books and magazines that promote the Canadian Football League, and there are CFL pennants covering your walls. You are alone in the room, but you are gleefully muttering about historical moments in Canadian football history. It becomes clear that – for some unknown reason – you have become obsessed with Canadian football. And this future is static and absolute; no matter what you do, this future will happen. The optical portal is never wrong. This destiny cannot be changed.

The next day, you are flipping through television channels and randomly come across a pre-season CFL game between the Toronto Argonauts and the Saskatchewan Roughriders. Knowing your inevitable future, do you now watch it?

My answer: I may pause on it but since at present I do not give a crap about such things, I would probably move on a watch Snoop Dogg’s Fatherhood instead. I doubt that just channel surfing is the inevitable event that leads to my fanaticism.

Klosterman Theory: He would not watch.

17. You are sitting in an empty bar (in a town you’ve never before visited), drinking Bacardi with a soft-spoken acquaintance you barely know. After an hour, a third individual walks into the tavern and sits by himself, and you ask your acquaintance who the new man is. “Be careful of that guy,” you are told. “He is a man with a past.” A few minutes later, a fourth person enters the bar; he also sits alone. You ask your acquaintance who this new individual is. “Be careful of that guy, too,” he says. “He is a man with no past.”

Which of these two people do you trust less?

My answer: A man with a past is much scarier because you know what you are in for and it’s no good. A man with no past is Wolverine and he is pretty groovy.

Klosterman theory: The man with a past. It’s the only logical answer.

18. You have won a prize. The prize has two options, and you can choose either (but not both). The first option is a year in Europe with a monthly stipend of $2,000. The second option is ten minutes on the moon.

Which option do you select?

My answer: Because of my deep fear of space travel (it never! goes! well!), it’s definitely gonna be Europe.

Klosterman theory: Most people would be happy to go to the moon. And I’m sure he’s been to Europe many times.

19. Your best friend is taking a nap on the floor of your living room. Suddenly, you are faced with a bizarre existential problem: This friend is going to die unless you kick them (as hard as you can) in the rib cage. If you don’t kick them while they slumber, they will never wake up. However, you can never explain this to your friend; if you later inform them that you did this to save their life, they will also die from that. So you have to kick a sleeping friend in the ribs, and you can’t tell them why.

Since you cannot tell your friend the truth, what excuse will you fabricate to explain this (seemingly inexplicable) attack?

My answer: OK, I find this to be the most rediculous of all the questions (yes, even more so than the Loch Ness vs. Sassquatch) but answer it I must. “There was a big-ass Brown Recluse on you! I saved your life, bro!” Fortunately for my friend, I don’t have a very powerful kick.

Klosterman theory: “It wasn’t me! It was the Sassquatch! He went that-a-way.”

20. For whatever the reason, two unauthorized movies are made about your life. The first is an independently released documentary, primarily comprised of interviews with people who know you and bootleg footage from your actual life. Critics are describing the documentary as “brutally honest and relentlessly fair.” Meanwhile, Columbia Tri-Star has produced a big-budget biopic of your life, casting major Hollywood stars as you and all your acquaintances; though the movie is based on actual events, screenwriters have taken some liberties with the facts. Critics are split on the artistic merits of this fictionalized account, but audiences love it.

Which film would you be most interested in seeing?

My answer: The big-budget biopic. I imagine watching the documentary would be a pretty painful experience considering how much I hate seeing myself in film. At least I could laugh at the biopic…depending on who they got to play me.

Klosterman theory: The big-budget biopic. Learning how the world sees you is a pretty scary concept.

21. Imagine you could go back to the age of five and relive the rest of your life, knowing everything that you know now. You will re-experience your entire adolescence with both the cognitive ability of an adult and the memories of everything you’ve learned form having lived your life previously.

Would you lose your virginity earlier or later than you did the first time around (and by how many years)?

My answer: At exactly the same time, but then I would dump the guy.

Klosterman theory: Earlier by 4 years.

22. You work in an office. Generally, you are popular with your coworkers. However, you discover that there are currently two rumors circulating the office gossip mill, and both involve you. The first rumor is that you got drunk at the office holiday party and had sex with one of your married coworkers. This rumor is completely true, but most people don’t believe it. The second rumor is that you have been stealing hundreds of dollars of office supplies (and then selling them to cover a gambling debt). This rumor is completely false, but virtually everyone assumes it is factual.

Which of these two rumors is most troubling to you?

My answer: Since stealing office supplies could potentially result in me getting canned, I would say the second one. However, I might want to quit my job anyway if I slept with a married co-worker.

Klosterman theory: The second one. I feel like this question may have come from personal experience.

23. Consider this possibility:

a. Think about deceased TV star John Ritter.

b. Now, pretend Ritter had never become famous. Pretend he was never affected by the trappings of fame, and try to imagine what his personality would have been like.

c. Now, imagine that this person—the unfamous John Ritter—is a character in a situation comedy.

d. Now, you are also a character in this sitcom, and the unfamous John Ritter character is your sitcom father.

e. However, this sitcom is actually your real life. In other words, you are living inside a sitcom: Everything about our life is a construction, featuring the unfamous John Ritter playing himself (in the role of your TV father). But this is not a sitcom. This is your real life.

How would you feel about this?

My answer: Whoa…wha? Please allow me to re-read the question…OK. Um…I guess my mind would be pretty blown but I’ve heard nothing but good things about John Ritter both as a man and a father so I guess I would eventually be OK with it. Please pass the water pipe.

Klosterman theory: …After recovering from the initial shock, he would also be OK with it. Because that is the way the world is and you can’t change it. We are all just characters in a sitcom, dude. Trip-py!


  1. #16 – I’d avoid watching Canadian football for as long as possible.

    #17 – I’d trust the man with no past less. People with “no pasts” may really have pasts that are just well-hidden, like serial killers. At least I’d know what I was in for when dealing with the man with a past.

    #18 – I was going to say Europe, but $2000 a month doesn’t go very far these days, especially with the dollar in the crapper. Plus, a year’s a long time to be away from the rest of my life, and I’ve seen a lot of Europe already. Provided it was guaranteed safe, 10 minutes on the moon.

    #19 – Jessica, you cheated on this because you’re telling the guy “I saved your life, bro!” but that would kill him. But as for me, yeah, I’d kick the guy and then pretend it was an accident.

    #20 – I’d watch the big-budget movie.

    #21 – I’d lose my virginity perhaps by 3.5 years. There was one girl in school who, I see in retrospect, had the hots for me and I did nothing about it.

    #22 – I’d be far more troubled by the stealing office supplies rumor, mainly because I’d hate people thinking something about me that wasn’t true.

    #23 – Life’s too short for me to deal with this question.

  2. Oh crap! I killed my friend. In that case, provided it’s not too late for him/her I shall steal the Klosterman answer that I made up.

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