Have you tried asking Siri what zero divided by zero is yet?
Before you do, please be forewarned that after all these years, Siri is done with stupid questions and has gone to the dark side.
In short, Siri is now a punishing bitch.
While “indeterminate” is her “straight” answer, if you’re lucky, Siri will tell you this:
“Imagine that you have zero cookies and you split them evenly among zero friends. How many cookies does each person get?
See? It doesn’t make sense. And Cookie Monster is sad that there are no cookies. And you are sad that you have no friends.”
Oh, snap, Siri! When this kinda shade is thrown by a disembodied robot voice, it’s somehow even more damning. And endearing.
Which is the perfect combination for an excellent comeback. It’s what Mad magazine’s Al Jaffee perfected with “Snappy Answers to Stupid Questions.” (Remember those? I believe your Mad magazine collection is hidden under your shoebox full of Wacky Pack stickers.)
And it’s EXACTLY what you need right now. Because summer, which is lousy with mind-dulling scenarios — vacation, extreme heat, and no school to keep it all in check — is the perfect breeding ground for inane questions.
So the next time someone asks you the following, like Siri and Al Jaffee, you’ll be ready with some bitch’in answers to stupid questions.
1. Question: Is dinner ready?
- I don’t know – what are you making?
- Has the smoke alarm gone off yet? If it has, then yes, it’s ready.
- Good question – what time did you make the reservation for?
2. Question: Can I just finish this game, and then I’ll do it?
- As long as the fate of this planet depends on it, sure.
- Of course — while you finish up, I’ll just turn off this pesky green button so you’re not distracted.
- I’d say yes, but everyone in [name of game] and I took a vote and we’ve all determined you totally suck at this game. You’re much better at [fill in the thing your kid is trying to avoid doing].
3. Question: Are you almost here?
- Depends on what you mean by “here.” If you mean still at home and about to get in the car, then yes, I’m almost there.
- Sure. Where did you say you were again?
- Depends what you mean by “almost.” If that means in 20 minutes after I stop to get a coffee, then yes, I’m almost there.
4. Question: Where are we going?
- Considering all I do for you, I’m pretty sure I’m going to Heaven. And for asking me where we’re going when I just told you 17 times, well, you can guess where you’re going.
- This is a test. If you can think back three seconds and remember what I just said, then you’ll win. If you can’t, well, you get to go anyways.
- If you can’t retain what I just said, then I’d say you’re going nowhere fast. And I’m very worried.
5. Question: Do I have to go to practice?
- I’m not sure. Why don’t you call your coach and ask him/her that same question?
- So funny you’d ask. Your coach just sent out an email telling you to please skip practice. She’d/He’d much rather you clean your room today instead.
- You don’t, but I’m so there. There’s nothing I like better than dropping everything to run to your practice.
6. Question: Can I do it later?
- Yes, if by later you mean three seconds from now.
- Actually, later just called in a pre-emptive strike to say that he’d prefer you do it now.
- Absolutely. I’m sure your new mom/dad will be thrilled when you finally get it done.
7. Question: Are we almost there?
- If by “almost” you mean another four hours, then yes, we’re almost there.
- Oh, sorry! You were sleeping when we got there the first time, so just so you wouldn’t miss the exciting drive (flight/train ride/etc.); we turned around and started over.
- If by “there” you mean the middle of nowhere, then yes, we have arrived. Would you prefer it if I left you here instead of [your destination]?
8. Question: Do you have any gum?
- I do, but it’s holding my teeth in place at the moment, so I really can’t share.
- If you look under your seat, you can probably find some — and as a bonus, it’s already conveniently chewed!
- Totally — go ahead and stick your hand in my purse. There’s some gum in there somewhere, along with that baby alligator you flushed down the toilet, an angry puppet, and a hungry Venus Flytrap.
9. Question: Where did I put my [missing thing]?
- Let me think back to when I was in my demon form, inhabiting your body… oh yeah, it’s under your bed.
- I’m not sure — do you remember where you put your eyes? Because I’m betting if you could find those first, you’ll definitely be able to find your [missing thing].
- If that’s your way of asking me to look for your [missing thing], that’s fine, but just know if I find it first, my fee is $100.00.
10. Question: What are you doing now? (Note: This is always asked when you’re busy, but your kid wants you to drop everything and tend to his/her momentary whim.)
- I know I look busy, but it’s just a ruse — I’m waiting to do whatever you ask, master…. Just kidding.
- Teaching myself Mandarin while I [cook dinner, fold laundry, pay bills, answer email — whatever it is you really are doing]. Not to make you feel bad about yourself for being lazy, although all you’re doing right now is asking me what I’m doing. Want me to teach you some Mandarin instead?
- I was just waiting for you to ask me what I’m doing. Thank you! I guess my work here is done. (Mime dropping a mic, take a bow, and quickly run away.)
So if you see me asking Siri what the meaning of life is, just know that I’m not really looking for an answer — just taking a lesson in snark from the master. Because as Siri and my old friend Carl Sagan once said, “There are naive questions, tedious questions, ill-phrased questions, questions put after inadequate self-criticism. But every question is a cry to understand the world. There is no such thing as a dumb question.”
And now you have 30 bitch’in answers to questions to address all those naive/tedious/ill-phrased/reflective of inadequate self-criticism questions!