Sometimes, even perhaps the simplest of questions can let you know more about a person than you’ve ever known before.
I used to watch a TV show called ‘Inside the Actor’s Studio’. Hosted by James Lipton, it’s a long-standing interview program that features the best and brightest of Hollywood, taking place at a performing arts school on a university campus in New York, and the show’s audience mostly comprised of students in acting and motion picture production programs.
Lipton is very unlike most television interviewers in the sense that he digs deeper with his guests, and the result is an engaging, informative hour-long interview that gives us a clearer, more well-rounded picture of that person.
At the end of each episode, Lipton presents his guest with a questionnaire consisting of ten questions; always the same questions, no matter who his guest is. I guess the questionnaire is very neutral in that sense.
They’re ten simple questions, at least at face value, but they’re also quite capable of opening up a sizable door as it relates to a person’s thoughts, feelings and beliefs.
I don’t know if I’ll ever have any other platform to answer the questions myself, so I may as well do so right here.
- What is your favorite word? ‘Cool’. I use it every day, and 98% of the time, it’s an indication that everything is as it should be, or in other words, that everything is…..well……..cool.
- What is your least favorite word? ‘No.’ It’s negative, sometimes it’s demoralizing, and it can represent a roadblock to accomplishing something you’ve set your mind to. I know that ‘no’ is a part of everyday life, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it!
- What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally? Deep-spirited conversation. The kind of talks that are had around a bonfire, around one more round of drinks at the bar, or that kind you have with your best friend on a long drive. They can be about anything and everything; life, love, where the years have gone, where the future is headed, someone’s hopes and dreams, and often I’ll leave these kinds of conversations with a desire to write them down, or they’ll serve as the catalyst to a short story, or perhaps even another edition of this fine column. On top of all that, they simply make me reflect on life. If I can leave a conversation and it makes me think, then I’m turned on.
- What turns you off? Biased and judgmental attitudes. Unfortunately, we see far, far too much of this in the world, whether it’s on social media or in the news media. We react before we think, and we’ve become a race that is too dug in to see things from another view.
- What is your favorite curse word? Without having to curse in the pages of our newspaper or on our website, let’s just say it rhymes with ‘son of a witch.’
- What sound or noise do you love? Waves lapping on the waters of a lake. To me, it’s the sound of summer, which means fun times and a head and heart full of childhood memories. It’s incredibly soothing; I even doze off to the sound sometimes with the help of my sleep machine.
- What sound or noise do you hate? Any kind of abrupt grinding, like when a fork scratches the surface of a plate, or when a rock would get caught in the lawnmower when I would cut grass as a kid.
- What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? Conservation Officer. I love wildlife and the wide open outdoors. To be able to be directly involved in the protection of both of those has always sounded very appealing to me, even with the mountain of paperwork that can be involved.
- What profession would you not like to do? Paramedic. I gained a whole new respect for what the men and women in this field do after watching the show ‘Paramedics: Emergency Response’, which follows the work of Saskatoon emergency personnel. I have a pretty iron will and I can put up with a lot, but I think that job would really test those limits.
- If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates? “Your old man’s been waiting for you. Ice is in the bucket, the good stuff’s on the middle shelf, and the horses line up at the gate in ten minutes.”
Those are my ten responses. They’re unique to me, my life, my thoughts and my feelings, so odds are that mine and yours won’t be very similar.
But hey, if they are, that’s cool too.
Man, that really is my favorite word…
For this week, that’s been the Ruttle Report.