THE ACTORS QUESTIONNAIRE

On the TV program "Inside the Actors Studio" the host asks each guest actor ten standard questions, apparently intended to reveal something about the guest's personality. I could not resist trying the questionnaire on myself.

1. What is your favorite word?
I cannot improve on the aphorism of Dorothy Parker, who said that the most beautiful words in the English language are "check enclosed."

2. What is your least favorite word?
"Megadeath" meaning a million deaths, an obscene euphemism coined in 1953 by Herman Kahn at the RAND Corporation to make the ghastly nature of nuclear war more manageable for dispassionate discussion. In his book, he discusses alternate scenarios in which the USA suffers 10 megadeaths or 100 megadeaths. He calls these "tragic but distinguishable outcomes."
     Once, when I looked at the graffiti written by high school students on a bus stop, I was horrified to see "MEGADETH" which I thought was misspelled. I was shocked that a teenager was so taken with that filthy word that he was moved to write it on a wall. Later I was no less shocked to discover that it was the name, purposely misspelled, of a wildly popular heavy metal rock band, that was ranked as one of "The Big Four of Thrash" along with "Metallica," "Slayer," and "Anthrax." Heaven help us!

3. What turns you on?
The sudden wide-eyed silence in a university classroom, indicating that I have gotten through to them, and they glimpse something they never even dreamed existed.

4. What turns you off?
A committee meeting.

5. What sound or noise do you love?
A slow movement by Mozart.

6. What sound or noise do you hate?
The whanging of electric-guitar-scratchers and the yowling of microphone-kissers.

7. What is your favorite curse word?
In Yiddish: "Zolst areinchappen a missa meshina!" which means more or less: May a peculiar death come upon you suddenly. "Peculiar death" is a euphemism for the unspeakable sufferings and tortures visited upon Jews by the Inquisition, the Nazis, and many others.

8. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
Short order cook -- but it is no longer an aspiration because I have achieved it.
     When I was a child I was fascinated by the short order cooks who whipped up sandwiches, pancakes, waffles, hamburgers (real ones), omelets, French toast, etc. My family were making sacrifices so that I could study the piano, so when I Iet it slip that I had a secret longing to be a short order cook, my mother nearly murdered me.
     Now that I am retired, and live alone, I cook for myself and enjoy every minute of it -- not to mention the egotistical reflection that I have attained what was once a forbidden secet desire, without guilt.

9. What profession would you not like to do?
Doctor. I shudder at the thought of spending one's whole working life smelling that sickening medicinal antiseptic smell, surrounded by disease and death.

10. If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?
Heaven does not exist. The myth of the afterlife is a fabrication, exploiting people's fear of death in order to subject and control them.
     However, since this is a hypothetical question, I answer it as such. "If Heaven exists," the powers that be surely have not failed to notice that I have all my life denied the existence of God, and denounced religion as a poisonous pernicious method of preventing freedom of thought.
     Therefore, "If Heaven exists," I will not "arrive at the Pearly Gates," but at the gates of Hell, to be greeted by Satan, not God. Satan will say, whether I "would like to hear" it or not: "Ha ha, boychick, you were wrong! Tough shit!"