Friday Free for all #44: Flavor, tech, and the truly visible

Friday Free for All

The next in an ongoing series in which I answer random questions generated by a website, although it’s been on hiatus since the Christmas Countdown began. Here, I resume with this week’s questions. Feel free to give your own answers in the comments.

What flavor combination is kind of weird but you really like it?

Okay, this probably isn’t that weird because I’m sure a lot of people have discovered it, but maple syrup and bacon. I mean, it’s basically dumping a ton of fructose (yes, I’m talking real maple syrup, thanks, not that high glucose crap) on top of cooked, processed meat.

But it’s a collision of sweet and savory that works. Then again, since maple syrup invades everything that shares a plate with the pancakes, I’ve also tasted it with scrambled eggs, sausage links, hash browns, and wheat toast, and it works with them all.

Maybe that’s because maple syrup, having Canadian roots, is just polite like that and gets along with everything. I don’t know. But if you never have, make sure it hits every part of your next classic American diner breakfast — except the beverages, of course — and see what you think.

What is your favorite piece of technology that you own?

This is probably going to sound trite, and will be the answer that most people give, but hands down it is my phone. How could it not be? It’s a device that I can carry in my pocket that replaces so much other bulky tech that it’s ridiculous.

If you took a time machine back to thirteen-year-old me, then gave me a tour of my phone and said, “One day you will own this,” I would have probably cum in my pants and then passed out from the huge nerdgasm on the spot.

I mean, come on. It’s a super computer, for one thing. Your phone is more powerful than probably any office PC or Mac you’ve worked on since the early aughts. It’s a communication device that can do audio, video, text, and email.

And when it comes to revolutionizing making phone calls — as if any of us really do anymore — one of its biggest innovations was the complete destruction of the concept of toll calls and long distance, as well as the relevance of area codes.

Once upon a time, if the person you were calling lived a certain distance away, then it was a toll call, and incurred extra charges per minute. And if they were farther away, it was long distance and the charges were bigger. Also, you could always tell where someone lived by their area code.

You could also tell when you’d made too many toll calls by Dad bitching at you and Mom about the current phone bill, but those days are long gone.

Nowadays? Nope. You can call anyone in the North American Numbering Plan as if they’re local, and all that someone’s area code will tell you now is where they’re from (probably) and not where they live.

Your phone is also your music collection and player, a still and video camera, a calendar, alarm clock, timer, voice recorder, universal translator, GPS navigator, and so much more.

And, since they follow Moore’s Law as well, they’re only going to get more powerful and amazing as time goes on.

What do most people think about you that is absolutely not true?

Over time, I’ve found out from people, directly and indirectly, that they often think that I’m the smartest kid in the room. Honestly, when I hear this assessment, it kind of blows me away, because I have a ton of friends whom I consider to be a lot smarter than me in ways where I’m just dumb.

Like… adulting. And motivation. Yeah, technically, I’ve got a ridiculously high IQ, but that really means nothing. Well, not nothing… it just means that at seven years old, I was really good at taking tests designed by upper-middle-class white men.

Yeah, no big deal when you’re the seven-year-old son of an upper-middle-white-class father. It’s called privilege, and I fucking hate having been born into it, goddammit.

Now, what I am good at is learning things fast and remembering trivial shit forever. I think that if I ever decided to go on to Jeopardy! that I could Ken Jennings the shit out of it. But, again, that’s not intelligence.

That’s just a brain that assimilates new information quickly, and then holds onto it for easy recall for whatever reason. But there are so many ways in which I’m just stooped and rely on friends to bail me out.

What’s invisible but you wish people could see?

This one is easy, because it’s something that would save (and would have saved) me and a lot of people I know a lot of grief in our lives. Hell, it would even save the world the same.

It’s this: make toxic people visible from a mile away in some manner. I don’t know… maybe they glow green or something?

But can you imagine how much better all of our lives would be if we could just see and avoid them from the outset? The liars, abusers, users, gaslighters, incels, haters, rapists, killers, Karens, Trumpers, Berners, cultists, fanatics, and other dross that we’d all be better off without?

There’s an old, old comic hero catchphrase I had to look up, but it goes like this: “Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? The Shadow knows!” Now imagine if we did all have that super power.

How many of your exes would be people you never even dated? How many jobs would you have passed up, probably for the better, if you’d had warning? How many people would you not have voted for?

Yeah. Our lives would be a lot easier if everything kind of looked like The Sims, and everybody had a little twirling status crystal above their heads that clearly indicated, “TOXIC! Avoid.”

Or, conversely, “GOOD PERSON! Say hi!”

And if it were that easy to initiate Woo-Hoo…

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