April 12, 2006

Magic Shuffle vs. Wendell Jamieson

Three months ago, Wendell Jamieson wrote a charming little article for The New York Times in which he got experts to answer his six-year-old son's goofy six-year-old questions. As I am a cyncial bastard who is impervious to charm, of course, my immediate response was, "someone's getting a book deal."

Sure enough, the deal was announced just over a month later, and cynical (evious?) ol' me grumbled, "His kid comes up with the questions, other people come up with the answers, what's Jamieson's job, cashing the check?" Now it gets even better: Li'l Dean Jamieson is apparently shirking his duties, so pop is asking for questions from other kids. (Frighteningly, he's also put the word out on the Park Slope Parent's listserv.)

But you know, there's an even easier way to write this book. Just use Magic Shuffle, the viral meme quiz (kisses, Lindsay) that uses iTunes shuffle to tackle life's biggest questions. Here's how the oracle answered Dean Jamieson's initial batch of questions.

Why do ships have round windows?
Nail in the Coffin — Eminem. Hmm. So the water can rush in and drown everyone? So Benzino can jump out after he's been thoroughly humiliated? This one's a little obscure.

What would hurt more: getting run over by a car or getting stung by a jellyfish?
Love over Gold – Dire Straits. Given the choices, I'd have to say the jellyfish is love and the car is gold. Wendell's pain doc gave the same answer. I'm skeptical.

Why are there sidewalks on both sides of the street?
Falling in Love With Love – Sammy Davis, Jr. So you can cross the street when the gal who broke your heart passes by. But in a jazzy hep-cat way.

If Mrs. O'Leary's cow knocked over a lantern in our neighborhood [Cobble Hill, Brooklyn], would all the buildings go on fire?
King George Street - Squeeze. Well, I guess we can spare one street. Especially since there is no King George Street in Cobble Hill.

Am I allergic to metal?
Tenderly – Art Tatum. Yep.

What was that movie about?" (After watching the 1947 film noir "Nightmare Alley" with me.)
The End of the Ramones – Mr. T Experience. Really? So what was End of the Century about?

What happens when lava goes on dirt?
It’s Alright – Sam Cooke. Reassuring, but not really an answer.

Are killer whales mean?
Dancing Queen – Abba. Very, very mean.

Is hummus like dinosaur poop?" (As I dipped a piece of pita bread in hummus.)
One Irish Rover – Van Morrison. Van = dinosaur = yes.

What does 'from the horse's mouth' mean?
Don’t Fence Me In – Ella Fitzgerald. Magic Shuffle prefers deep philosophical questions to quirky, gift-book ones.

[More Magic Shuffle. Also, Worker #3116 has an even better subversion of the meme: come up with the questions after you get the answers.]

Posted by Daniel Radosh


I Havnt yawned in a while thanks much.

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