Would you rather? I would.

Guest post by Alexander Bennetts.
Now a National Young Writers Festival staple, Would You Rather has become a bit of a Friday arvo institution. Would you rather live in a submarine or die at the age of 40? Would you rather never eat cake or never eat pizza? Would you rather have the power to read minds, but only the minds of racist people, or the power to fly, but be Alan Jones’ personal jet for the rest of your working life? None of these questions and  more were back in NYWF’s annual hour of enchanting bullshit.

Hosted by Ben Jenkins, this year’s event featured Christian Lander (from Stuff White People Like), Ben Law (from The Team That Totally Lost To Us In Literary Trivia), Tom Walker (from a comedy club in Sydney, probably) and our own Alexandra Neill (from Adventures In TV Land; you know, the blog you’re reading). Or, for your ease of use:

BJ = Ben Jenkins
CL = Christian Lander
BL = Benjamin Law
TW = Tom Walker
AN = Alexandra Neill

Much of this is paraphrased. Try and guess which parts.

Would you rather have all the knowledge from Wikipedia, including errors, or only the knowledge from Encarta 95?

[Lots of Encarta 95 jokes. In the space of a few minutes, the panel ruins Encarta 95 jokes for the entire room for at least a year or two. Wikipedia jokes are still in.]

CL: Is your brain slower if you choose Encarta 95? Does it occasionally have to buffer?

CL: If you choose Wikipedia, and your friends/enemies know of you ‘condition’, can they edit your Wikipedia page and you’ll be forced to believe it?
TW: If we even HAVE a Wikipedia page, Christian Lander! *extreme sighing noise that not-famous people make*

[the group agrees you can learn new things on top of your Encarta 95 knowledge, including the tragedy of September 11 as a pretty obvious example]BJ: I think we all agree that 9/11 was a bad thing.
TW: Well I came here to debate!

Would you rather be Will Smith’s best friend, but his wife hates you, or be Bill Murray’s best friend, but he’s kinda racist?

TW: Is that like drunk uncle racist?

BL: If you can convince Will Smith to leave his wife, who’s going to take care of Jayden?
CL: Martin Lawrence.

CL: There’s no way to choose Bill Murray without appearing racist – choosing the slightly racist guy over the black guy – so I’ll be Will Smith’s best friend.

BL: I would kinda enjoy seeing Bill Murray in blackface…

Would you rather have Bono as your heavily involved life coach, or have 10 dogs that you have to take care of, and if 1 dog dies, another 4 dogs replaces the deceased dog?

CL: What happens if you kill Bono? Do 10 more Bonos come out?
BJ: No, but The Edge does.

TW: Is Bono giving advice relevant to your life, or is it just like, “…write an album about FEELINGS.”

[Christian Lander tries to cheat the system by choosing short-lived dogs]BJ: Well, bulldogs have a short lifespan, but also they’re bulldogs.

Would you rather be worshipped by aliens, or be worshipped by robots?

AN: What kind of robots are we talking about? Are these car making machines?

Sidestep! You can talk to anyone from history for 10 minutes, on the proviso that you then punch them and then spend the next 1 minute dealing with it. Who would you choose?

BL: I don’t know why, but my first thought was to say Princess Diana…
BJ: Are you suggesting that you just really want to punch the People’s Princess?

AN: I’d choose Robert Louis Stevenson, because besides the fact that he wrote Treasure Island and seemed like a cool guy, he was very sickly and wouldn’t be able to fight back.

CL: Tupac. I’d just run for a whole minute after I punch him.

TW: Roald Dahl. Because I’d love to talk to him about his amazing stories that I grew up with and about his amazing life as a spy, but then I’d punch him in the face for having questionable views on women.

AN: Hilter was cool.
[The crowd is taken a little aback and fall into laughter. As seen before, Christian Lander doesn’t want to be associated with (mistaken) racism, but nobody points out that he ran a blog called Stuff White People Like. Afterwards, Alexandra corrects herself: “Hitler would be interesting. And you get to punch in the face.”]

Note from AN: I do not endorse Hitler in any way. At all. Even a little bit. Thank you.

Would you rather commute everywhere in a packed party bus, or that every time you enter a pub, there’s a 1-in-3 chance that a hen’s/buck’s night is in procession?

BL: In each of these options, what is the density of herpes clusters?

TW: That’s the title for my memoir: Alone On The Party Bus: the Tom Walker story.

Would you rather be the world’s best dad/mum, or go to Jurassic Park for a week?

BL: As homosexual who likes dinosuars…
BL: …could I touch Jeff Goldblum?

TW: So apparently what this has come to is: would you rather gay marriage legislation, or a DINOSAUR PARK!

[after someone has decided on Jurassic Park, and sold the greatness of Jurassic Park to the audience]TW: Well check under your seats!
BJ: …it’s a baby!

Would you rather have everyone think you killed Steve Jobs, but you haven’t, or nobody thinks you’ve killed Neill Armstrong, but you have?

BL: Do I get to decide how Neill Armstrong dies?
BJ: Well, yes.
BL: …erotic asphyxiation.
CL: Sexting gone wrong with Neill Armstrong?

TW: Does everybody reel at you and give you death stares when you enter an Apple Store if they think you’ve killed Steve Jobs? If so, I’ll choose not killing Steve Jobs.

Would you rather become a werepants (turning into a pair of sentient pants upon every full moon) or only be able to wear pants every second day?

BL: If you become werepants, do you get to choose who wears you?
BL: …if so, Jeff Goldblum might be wearing a new pair of Ben Laws come the next full moon.

BJ: C’mon guys, who hasn’t read Werepants fanfiction?

Would you rather be consistently be mistaken for David Blaine, or be invisible to 1-in-10 people?

BL: Well sometimes I’m mistaken for Lawrence Leung …and sometimes I’m mistaken for Poh from MasterChef.

AN: I feel that, as a young woman, being constantly compared to David Blaine would be damaging to my self-esteem.

(But really. Do not take any of these quotes as quotable because they were hastily transcribed with pen and paper. Basically: would you rather I shank you for misquoting these fine people, or continue to live your perfectly reasonable life? …good choice. See you on the internet.)

Further reading

December – home

I spent the first minutes of 2018 on the beach. I’ve never actually spent New Year