Catnapped and Doggone
I goofed on the calendar and thought we were still doing the Proust questionnaire and it turns out we're really supposed to be writing a sociopathic questionnaire. Are they the same? Can I use what I've already written to good effect? Let's see. I'll do my answers first and then the flag-raising call security answers I'd be on the lookout for.
Your most marked characteristic?
Red hair. SP: Anything but red. Aren't all these people Joe normal brown-haired guys?
The quality you most like in a man?
Looks. My shallow period lasted a good long while. SP: See Ted Bundy. I think this one might still work.
The quality you most like in a woman?
Toughness. SP: Okay, this one makes me look bad. Aileen Wurnoss was no shrinking violet.
What do you most value in your friends?
Honesty (with general exceptions for hairstyles and fashion choices). SP: This one could also go with honesty because then you'd know when that friend was on the verge of calling the cops.
What is your principle defect?
Honesty. Go figure. SP: Whew. Another quality I think takes me out of the top ten most wanted list. These guys seem like born liars.
What is your favorite occupation?
Lawyer. Realism came early to me, I guess and I really wanted to be Atticus Finch. SP: Uh oh. Back in trouble. These aren't generally your good-hearted never hurt a fly sorts.
What is your dream of happiness?
To not worry about the rent. SP: What the heck do these people dream of? Their victims? Fear? Getting away with it? I feel yucky all over.
What to your mind would be the greatest of misfortunes?
Hunger. SP: This seemed like a rational choice but I start to think about Hanibel Lecter and I wonder.
What would you like to be?
Successful. This was before I realized that word was one of those meaningless blanket things that, without specificity, is unhelpful. SP: Successful is such a big, useless word. It fits everyone.
In what country would you like to live?
Germany (give me schnatzel and streudel every day). SP: Hello, Joseph Mengele.
What is your favorite color?
Grey (How pathetic was this?). SP: I see sociopaths in neons, maybe prints. Definitely those weird golf pants.
What is your favorite flower?
The easy, obvious rose. SP: Creepy rituals are found in every part of the garden.
What is your favorite bird?
The ruffed grouse. My uncle taught me how to make their call (like a tennis ball falling and hitting the ground) and I’ve been fond of them ever since. SP: Wouldn't the real crazies go with, say, the common crow? You know who you are!
Who are your favorite prose writers?
Jane Austen, James Michener. John Jakes. SP: Not Elizabeth Bennet, obviously, but Centennial and Hawaii (Poland, too, now that I think about it) were full of possible rule-breaking role models.
Who are your favorite poets?
Edna St. Vincent Millay, Shakespeare. SP: Do sociopaths read poetry?
Who is your favorite hero of fiction?
Phillipe Charboneau of John Jakes’ The Bastard. SP: Murderer, dark childhood, elimination of enemies -- yep, it's a guide for the wrongdoer in all of us.
Who are your favorite heroines of fiction?
Still Jo March. This might be the only thing that hadn’t undergone serious change in the preceding seven years. SP: A reprieve from matching the sociopath answer-for-answer. Who would they migrate toward? I don't know. This ones a toughie.
Who are your favorite composers?
Music for one hundred, Alex. I didn’t have any although I was listening to a lot of, ouch, Madonna. SP: This has to be heavy metal or punk, right? It couldn't be Holiday. Could it?
Who are your heroes in real life?
George Brett of the Kansas City Royals. Honestly, where did this come from? SP: I suppose these nutters might like baseball, too.
Who are your favorite heroines of history?
Jenny Lind, Helen Keller (Tough women, remember?). SP: Aren't these the answers you'd give if you were trying to prove you weren't a sociopath (or a Russian sleeper agent, for that matter).
What are your favorite names?
Anything normal. I always thought if I had kids they’d be called Ryan (after my favorite babysitting customer of all time) and Amalia (after great-grandma with the mashed potato hair). SP: Trouble, Will Robinson. See how "normal" sociopaths fade into the background in the hair question.
What is it you most dislike?
Liars, cronyism and chauvinism. SP: At least I limit my dislikes. I'm not sure they would.
What historical figures do you most despise?
Idi Amin, Joseph Mengele. SP: Despise in an admiring sort of way.
What event in military history do you most admire?
Guillaume the Conquerer, 1066. He was French, you know. SP: Guillaume the Conquerer, 1066. Blood, lots of it.
What reform do you most admire?
Women suffrage. SP: Equal opportunity in all things, I suppose.
What natural gift would you most like to possess?
I’d like to be able to draw anything that doesn’t look like a bad cartoon. SP: I can't help but think of John Wayne Gacy and his clown drawings, here.
How would you like to die?
A long time from now. SP: Wouldn't everyone?
What is your present state of mind?
Anxious, stressed. Okay, this one hasn’t changed that much, either. SP: Are these people stressed? I know they respond to stressors.
To what faults do you feel most indulgent?
At 20, not very much. In my defense, I think I was harsher in applying the standard to myself but there wasn’t a lot of forgiveness there and then. SP: Another place of common ground.
Maybe checking for sociopathy was what Proust was really doing with this questionnaire thing. He says it's just Vanity Fair, celeb easy feedback, but he's really making sure he's not living next to the "he seemed so nice" guy. Or girl. Or me. I guess I'll have to be glad it's not science or I'd be on my way to a secure facility right now.
Thanks for reading and not reporting me.