Impossible Choices: A Holiday Game
When the Neralich family is together, it has become holiday tradition that I force my sweet little mother to play a warped, extremely uncomfortable game of my own invention. It’s based on the novel/movie, “Sophie’s Choice,” in which a mother is forced, in a few seconds, to choose which of her children the Nazis will put into a gas chamber. The game is played as follows: I berate my mom with impromptu questions that ask her which of us three bothers she would pick to live under extraordinarily fucked up circumstances. Her answer is always: “No, no, no. I don’t play that game.” Inevitably, I bother her until she does. Of course, when she finally answers, my brothers tune in to give her a hard time over which son she picked to experience the most horrible trauma. Everyone laughs, my mother is remarkably annoyed, and the questions continue ad nauseum. It’s a great game. Now, in the spirit of the forthcoming Thanksgiving holiday, I will pose to the readers some questions of a similarly fucked up nature. Discussion is encouraged.
1. Would you rather lose your arms, legs, and genitals, or have your mother lose her ability to see, hear, smell, and taste?
2. Would you rather have to jab a white-hot needle under each fingernail, once per day, for the rest of your life, or have your newborn daughter’s face tattooed with 50 different obscenities?
3. Would you rather kill and eat your grandmother and grandfather, or see you and your teenage siblings suddenly aged to 85 years old?
4. Would you rather watch your mother and father killed quickly and painlessly, or watch your three brothers and five sisters stung into unconsciousness and receive brain damage from a swarm of huge, acid-spitting Japanese hornets?
5. Would you rather shrink to 2 inches tall and lose the ability to stand, or see your mother grow to 13 feet and lose her ability to sit?
6. Would you rather receive a colonoscopy from your grandmother, every week for 10 years, or give your grandfather an enema, every day for 5?
7. Would you rather eat 5 pounds of moldy ear wax, or see your little sister drink a gallon of rancid hog snot?
8. Would you rather have your older brother end up on death row for murdering your parents, or have your two younger brothers and 3 younger sisters injected with HIV-tainted blood?
9. Would you rather be buried alive in an avalanche or watch every member of your family have their fingers and toes cut off with a rusty butcher knife?
10. Would you rather have every inch of your body sliced with a lemon-juice-dipped razor blade, or have me for a son/sibling?
I do hope you enjoyed these questions…Share them with your friends/family over a bowl of gravy and have a Happy Holiday!
By Jon Neralich