I've actually had time to be bored tonight! It's awesome! I'd forgotten what bored feels like. I've read the NYT, watched the Chicago mayoral debates (Rahm really seems to have it in for limousines and private jets. Also no cursing. I am disappoint!), tried to catch up on the world... and then I puttered around Reddit for a bit and came across a question I would like to pose to all of you, because 1) bored! and 2) for some reason these kind of questions have been popping up all the time lately and I've realized that I never ask people nonsense secretly-about-life-philosophy questions.

Which (one) of these magical items would you choose, and why? (Assuming a no-trick-genie rule here, because I don't want to think about being crushed under a metric ton of moose jerky.)

1. A pot that can produce 1,000 kilograms of any food a day.
2. A bracelet that keeps weather perfect wherever you go and within a 250 kilometre radius.
3. A necklace that allows you to touch books and instantly absorb knowledge from them, without reading.
4. An unlimited bottle of perfume that will make you wildly attractive to the opposite sex (or same sex if you’re gay), which cannot be used on anyone you love.
5. A watch that allows you to reverse time by a minute or less per day.
6. A bell that when rang fixes any one object at a time, excluding living things, within a minute.
7. A chocolate bar, with twelve pieces, that makes anyone who eats a single piece invincible and youthful until the age of 160.
8. A no fuel required, maintenance free, eight person van that can take you anywhere on the planet within one second.
9. A remote control that allows you and another person to change, superficially, into anyone you want; the effect lasts until you decide to revert.
10. An immortal dog that poops out one gold coin every time it goes to the bathroom.

My immediate instinct was to go with 8. But then I thought, okay, I should actually think this out.
One would be very useful, and a lot of fun, but 1,000 kilograms of food is just... so much. If I kept it for myself I'd be wasting it, but in order to make full use of it I'd be dealing with hundreds of people a day and would either have to set up some kind of corporation around it (ugh) or deal with it all myself and neither of those options sounds good.
Two would be nice, but what's "perfect" weather, anyway? Most things rely on seasonal temperature changes so I'd either kill a lot of plant and animal life around me or the weather would be pretty much the same, probably minus global warming. Also I'd have no idea what to complain about in elevators if the weather was always nice.
Three would be great, but I'm not doing much with the knowledge I do have, so it would be more of a novelty than anything else. And I think I'd miss actually reading. (Though, of the ten, this probably comes in second.)
Four... just... do not want!
Five would be very interesting, but the one-minute limit would make it a lot less fun. I'd end up spending most days saving it up just in case I needed it for something really important.
Six is a novelty and, much like number one, would require too much frequent interaction with people to be truly useful (though the idea of being an itinerant fix-it person is pretty cool). I just cannot break enough stuff myself to use this alone.
Seven is good in theory, but 160 years is just way too long and I'm afraid I'd get bored about 100 years in, if I even made it that far. Plus the invincibility would lead to a lot of recklessness on my part and I'd probably try to become some kind of vigilante superhero out of boredom.
Nine is kind of weird. I like the idea, but over anything else on the list? No way. Great for a supervillain, though. Or a character actor.
Ten is... kind of interesting. I mean, I wouldn't have to worry about my pet dying. But do I care that it poops gold? No. Not beyond what it'd take for me to pay off my loans and go back to school. So definitely not one of my top choices.

So that leaves me with number eight. And I'm sure in a few years' time my answer would be different, but right now the idea of instantaneous travel sounds perfect. Sure, parking would be a nightmare, and I'd be besieged by those who would use it for evil (and those that would use it for corporate travel in lieu of the private jets and limousines Rahm wants to tax out), but I could come home from a long day at work, make a cup of tea, and pop off to a cave in Vietnam or something until bedtime (okay, I am a little obsessed with that cave. I don't think I'd have to worry about finding a place to park in there, though). There would also be the issue of securing it so it wouldn't be stolen, but who wants an 8-person van? It'd hardly look like a prime target (unless people saw me using it... but I could be crafty. Maybe disguise it as a police box?). With a bit of retrofitting and planning I could grab a couple of friends (from anywhere!) and we could spend a weekend checking out the ocean floor. It'd be awesome. And I'm pretty sure I wouldn't run out of stuff to see, though there would probably come a point that I'd have to loan it out to someone I trusted while I took some time just to stay put. It'd also be great if I decided to take up a life of crime, and passable for the vigilante route as well. Or, if I ever felt like starting a business that could deliver a pizza anywhere in the world I'd be set.

From: [identity profile] apple-pathways.livejournal.com

I'll take the book-touching-knowledge-absorbing necklace please.

From: [identity profile] evilhippo.livejournal.com

"and why?" (-;

I'll grab the van, we'll find someone with a bell, and go to the Library at Alexandria (that counts as something to fix, right? ^_^)

From: [identity profile] apple-pathways.livejournal.com

The why of it is simply that I am (as described by a friend) "a bit of a know-it-all", and the idea that I could know it all is just too, too tempting! I would miss reading, but I think I've found a loophole: it says you can absorb knowledge by touching books. Therefore, I am interpreting that I could still read e-book novels without the instant download function. (Of course, this means I would have to reverse my stance on hating ebooks, but it's a sacrifice I'm willing to make.)

The travel van was an extremely close second. BUT, if you're willing to let me ride shotgun, that quite neatly solves that problem, doesn't it? :D

From: [identity profile] evilhippo.livejournal.com

I probably skewed this with my assessment, but as [livejournal.com profile] zolac_no_miko pointed out, it's a necklace, so you can always take it off if you want to read something. So, secondary question: would you share? With whom? When? (Whether you get to ride shotgun or have to hang out in the back with the rabble may hinge on your answer. (-;)

From: [identity profile] apple-pathways.livejournal.com

Yeah, I think I accepted your judgment as canon and assumed the power would omnipresent. :P

Would I share? Hmm... To barter my way onto the magic van? Yes, I believe I could do that!

SHOTGUN! (I called it! :P)

From: [identity profile] zolac-no-miko.livejournal.com


Like, the second runner-up is the chocolate, because I totally don't think I would get bored in 160 years, and I hate hate HATE the idea of getting old and unable to do the youthful things I can do now. And I don't like the idea of debilitating injuries, either. I'm such an active person! (I didn't even think of the superhero option, WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME, I would totally do that oh my god!) ...My biggest problem would be what to do with the other pieces. I would keep the chocolate a secret and then agonize forever over who to offer pieces to (because I would love to bring a whole bunch of my friends and family with me), and then I would ask them individually very seriously if, hypothetically, they would want that and... or that would be the plan, but I don't know how I would choose eleven people, it would drive me insane.

First runner up is the necklace of book-absorption. Because oh my god I am so hungry for knowledge, and it drove me nuts in college that there was never enough time to study, and this would be so useful for future schooling and my research career and it would save so much TIME... and I could still read if I wanted to, all I'd have to do is take the necklace off. Honestly, this option is still very tempting, omg.

But insta-travel van edges it out, because it is the option that I think would bring the greatest amount of joy to my life, and it doesn't have any really major drawbacks. And I can share it with friends. As many people as I want, as long as it's eight at a time, and more, actually, I mean I've fit 21 people into a 7-seater for a five mile drive. And I love love love love love to travel, only it's expensive and takes time, But this wouldn't! I could go anywhere! And live anywhere, I could commute to my job from Nepal if I wanted to! And, yeah, not just enjoyable, but useful too, think of all the commuting time you'd save! And I suck at car care so not requiring maintenance is good, and I'd be saving the planet with no fuel, no emissions! And I could visit all my friends all the time and and and... but I'd have to enforce a NEVER ASK ME FOR A RIDE, I MUST BE THE ONE TO OFFER WITHOUT COERCION rule because man that would get old! Actually, probably a FUN, DIRE EMERGENCIES, AND PERSONAL USE BY ME AND ME ALONE rule, too. And a FIRST RULE OF MAGIC TRAVEL VAN IS DO NOT TALK ABOUT MAGIC TRAVEL VAN rule.

...Man, I'd really have to keep up with my shots, though. XD Maybe I could work out a deal with the person who gets the chocolate, trade them taxi-service for a piece.

Anyway, that was a lot of words.

Do you think Rahm would support Batman on the freelance taxiing thing? They seem like they would be friends.
Edited Date: 2011-01-28 05:25 am (UTC)

From: [identity profile] evilhippo.livejournal.com

I, too, hate the idea of getting old, but 160 is two lifetimes. I worry that I'd see to many people I'm rather fond of disappear. But, that aside... I'd like to see how those conversations go. I can't imagine anyone would believe you, probably even after you demonstrated your invincibility, because it's... chocolate. (-; There's probably also the option of just eating all 12 yourself and living for 1920 years.

Hehe, I didn't even think about what a nightmare it'd be once my friends knew about it. I bother the few friends I know with cars way more than is strictly necessary--and in this case they wouldn't even owe me for gas money! "Oh, it just takes a second, come on..."

The more I think about it, the more I think most of these items are meant as a team-up scenario. You get your friends together, all take different things, and then fight crime? do something interesting (probably fight crime).

You know... Rahm and the Batman are a complicated issue. I have a feeling he supports him on a lot of levels, but due to the nature of being mayor of a naturally corrupt Gotham Chicago, he has to pretend to at least be a bit aloof about it (while secretly having Batman bedsheets or something). The taxi issue is definitely one of the most difficult problems. As with many Batman-related problems, it comes down to whether you can support unlawful behavior that is performed with good intentions, or if you believe the slippery slope theory (Rahm, I think, is on the slippery slope, but he was carrying an ice pick). Also, the Batmobile is technically within limousine dimensions, and a freelance (therefore tax-free) limousine-taxi is precisely the sort of thing Rahm would not be allowed to tolerate in his city if he wanted to maintain his credibility. I think on his first day in office Rahm would put up the Batsignal and they'd have a nice little chat over hors d'oeuvres and Alfred would have to build a new, smaller Batmobile just for taxiing purposes (and for navigating streets like Lake or Wells more efficiently... I mean, the update is lost past-due).

Also, should I run into Rahm in the Loop (which has happened now to several of my co-workers), I know exactly what I'm going to ask him about. ^_^

From: [identity profile] flutingfrenzy.livejournal.com

With the van, you could evacuate disaster areas! As long as it was unobtrusive, people wouldn't know what it was capable of until they actually got out, so you wouldn't have to worry about being mobbed. To keep it and yourself from becoming famous, just repaint it after each disaster and wear a wig and glasses. Instant hero!

With the pot, yeah, you'd probably have to set up a corporation. But it could be a nonprofit, and you could solve world hunger.

To me, the only other two that aren't *eh* are 3 and 6, both of which I would totally use for myself on an appallingly frequent basis. 3 for obvious reasons, and 6 because my computer is having some really frustrating problems right now, and seriously, fuck computers. Also, I could finally get rid of the crack in my car bumper.

Although, wait. I know 5 seems like it wouldn't be that useful, but once you got used to it, I bet it would be awesome. If your computer unexpectedly crashed, you could go back one minute and save your work. If you were in a car accident, you could go back one minute and pull over. If you had something to say to somebody but weren't sure how they would react, you could just say it and go back a minute if you got the wrong reaction. Yeah, 5 would be pretty cool, too.

From: [identity profile] evilhippo.livejournal.com

Is it sad that one of the first things that actually occurred to me in favor of the van was "I could repaint it for fun!" >.> (I think I'd probably have a very hard time not popping off to help with disasters. And if I had the person with the one-minute watch we could keep going back just a couple of seconds to get people out more quickly, until the minute was up. I think the shock the people would be in would also keep them from really remembering exactly what happened. People would just think it was stress that made them think they'd been thrown into a van and magically transported away. ...Hopefully this wouldn't lead to too much therapy in their futures.)

I think it's just the small scale of 5 that bothers me. It'd be fantastically useful on a personal basis (and the one-minute this-never-happened conversations would be awesome), but it's not much good for anyone else while many of the rest of the choices are. It's definitely one of the most practical, though, and the one that's least likely to have half a million or more people pounding on your door. (-:


evilhippo: hippo (Default)

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