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For $1,000,000…

April 17, 2009


Joe is a writer with a bad beard and a bottomless stomach. He lives in Astoria, Queens.

The truth is, he’s a music writer who’s written for a bunch of stuff you know, but he’s too modest to go on about it. And he’s very funny. Just so you know.


Would you ride the New York City subway naked for a day?

So when I agreed to be Guest Blogger, I was secretly hoping I’d get one of the gross-out challenges – eat or drink something foul, or do something brief-but-embarrassing (like, say, shit on a bar) and cash in quick. This question, to me, is a lot harder because it involves something I’m not especially good at: prolonged public humiliation. I’m not even completely sure this is a question of being comfortable with your own body. I think, at a certain point, you’re just naked on the subway, and I think the vulnerability that comes with that is completely fucking crazymaking. In fact, I’m going to go so far as to say that the only people who might be able to completely pull this off and come out unscathed are male bodybuilders. I think lumpy men like myself are making themselves a target for just about everyone, and I think women are going to be subject to all sorts of awful harassment no matter what the state of their bodies. I think if you’re going to do this, you need to be prepared for the name-calling that’s going to come with it.

What makes this challenge extra hard for me is the duration. Twenty-four hours straight is a long fucking time. And I don’t think you get to a point after, say, two or three hours where it feels perfectly normal for you to be naked on the subway. I’m pretty sure you spend that entire 24 hours in a heightened state of awareness about your own nudity. And, for me anyway, that protracted humiliation is pretty damned close to the same panic I think you’d get from being, say, buried alive for a day. And god forbid you fall asleep for a few minutes.

Having said all of this, my answer is probably going to come as a shock: I’d probably give it a shot. I have a level of resilience honed through years of being bullied, and I think the worst moments will probably be morning and evening rush hour. If I could bring a book and choose the subway line, I think I could get to a point where I was almost amused by it.

Plus, I’ve always wanted to live in London for a year. Pretty sure a million dollars would be able to make that dream a reality.

– Joe K.

I’ll keep this short and sweet. I’m not embarrassed about my body, and until Joe brought it up, it wasn’t even the part of the dare I found troubling. No, I’m more worried about the harassment. On a summer day – at least when you’re a woman – you can barely take the train fully clothed without some guy saying some stupid bullshit that he thinks makes him seem sexy when, really, it makes me want to vomit in his face or say something back like, “Is yours really THAT small that you’re forced to beg for it on the subway like this?” I mean, who’s actually had success with that bullshit? It’s fucking pathetic. Still, I would try to pull this dare off. I would bring a New York Times with me 1) to hold up and read (frontal boob coverage, although there’d still be plenty to see from the side view) AND 2) to put down on the seat, because NYC subway seats are Club Med for everything foul and filthy. And if any perv tries to get close, I’ll pull one of those crazy-cat-lady-from-The Simpsons screaming, arm waving, gibberish talking routines, which no one finds sexy, even when you can see all the goods. Oh – and I’ll be keeping my legs crossed very, very tightly for the entire ride. Safety first.

– Kali

P.S. Live Wrong and Prosper is moving (!) to The final day of posting on this site is today! I HOPE HOPE HOPE you’ll move with me!

For $1,000,000…

April 16, 2009


Would you accept $5 million dollars if it meant somewhere, someone unknown to you would die?

How could you say yes to this? Didn’t you ever see the Button, Button episode of the New Twilight Zone? No? Oh my god it was so scary! This totally broke, desperate for money married couple receive – out of nowhere and from an anonymous sender – this plain wooden box with a button on it. Shortly after, this weird “men in black” type named Mr. Steward shows up at their shithole, rundown apartment and tells them that if they press the button, they’ll get $200,000 – but that someone they don’t know will die. The husband – who’s dead set against even having the box in the house – takes the box apart, discovers there’s no wires or anything inside, and throws it away. But the wife can’t help herself and retrieves it in the middle of the night. Then she spends the next minutes, hours, days, just sitting and staring at that box and driving herself crazy thinking about how desperately they need that money. And then, finally, she pushes the button. The next day Mr. Steward comes back, hands them a briefcase filled with $200,000, and turns to leave. The couple stops him to ask what will happen to the box and he says that it will be reprogrammed and given to someone else who will be made the same offer. And then, looking directly into the eyes of the wife, he says – and sorry to interrupt here, but, holy shit, this just freaked me the fuck out as a little kid – “I can assure you it will be offered to someone whom you don’t know.” I mean, he might as well have said, “Girlfriend, you fucked up big time!”

If there was ever a chance in life I’d accept a dare like this, that episode effectively destroyed it. Karma will beat the piss out of you, and you’ll deserve it (because, um…that’s like, the whole point of karma). Plus, I just couldn’t live with the guilt. Because if you say yes to this, you essentially have a hand in someone’s death. As I said from the start, no dares involving murder for me.

– Kali

P.S. Live Wrong and Prosper is moving (!) to The final day of posting on this site will be this Friday. I HOPE HOPE HOPE you’ll move with me!

For $1,000,000….

April 15, 2009


Would you get an extraocular jewelry implant (eyeball jewelry)?*

* A cosmetic surgical process in which a tiny piece of jewelry is placed in the eye. The stuff hasn’t been around for all that long, so nobody really knows, but so far, no one’s vision has been the least bit affected. Just so you know, I’m not making this up. People really do this shit.

Yeah, sure, whatever, I’ll put jewelry in my eye if someone pays me a million dollars. At least that way I’ll kill two birds with one stone: 1) I’ll be a better person (because everyone knows that the more money you have, the good-er you are) and 2) I’ll have an excuse for agreeing to get that stupid fucking ridiculous shit in my eye. I’m sorry to come down on you if you’re one of those Burning Man, stilts walking, fire eating, all-I-can-talk-about-is-what-gauge-my-septum-piercing-is types but, fuck, I am so over all this Modern Primitive bullshit. You did not grow up in a rainforest and no amount of splitting your tongue in two or piercing your forehead is going to change that. In fact, you know what gave you away right off the bat? The fact that you graduated from Hampshire/Wesleyan/Reed/Oberlin.* And frankly, just because you did this to yourself or bought a rabid ferret as a pet does not make you interesting. In fact, it just comes off as a pathetic way of saying, “I have a personality???” and “I’m different???” and “Look at me – I’m an outcast! (pause) Hello? Is this thing on?”

On a side note, I want to direct this to a whole other subculture of people who do shit like embedding a diamond in one tooth or piercing their nails. STOP IT. You look rifuckingdiculous.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, concludes today’s lecture.

* I went to Oberlin. I’m allowed to say that.

– Kali

P.S. Live Wrong and Prosper is moving (!) to The final day of posting on this site will be this Friday. I HOPE HOPE HOPE you’ll move with me!

For $1,000,000…

April 14, 2009


Would you take a job as a short order cook in a diner for a year with the sole purpose of spitting in every dish that leaves the kitchen?

I know fuck all about cooking, so if you walk into your local diner and see me in the kitchen wearing a hairnet or a little paper cap or some crap, and I’m putting food in the window and ringing that little bell and yelling “Pick up!” you need to immediately GET THE FUCK OUT OF DODGE. No, really, I mean it. Because I am going to spit in your food. And then, after about a year of all that spitting, I’m going to have a million dollars. I’m not going to be a real asshole about it and hock a loogie right on top of your pancakes or anything like that – I don’t think I need to get all extravagant and show off-y about it. But there will be some saliva involved. Maybe I’ll just drool into the pancake batter or whip some of my spit into the butter I cook your eggs in. You won’t even know it’s there, and you probably won’t give a shit anyway, because every time you come to the diner it’s, like, 4 a.m. and you’re drunk and sloppy and drooling on yourself anyway. You’ll probably be like, “This food is delicious. My compliments to the chef.” And I’ll feel a little guilty, but also a lot proud. Because I’ll know that my spit is the secret ingredient that makes every dish better. And that will be our little secret. Except that you won’t actually be in on it, but whatever. Anyway, it’ll be a much nicer secret than what the delivery guy put in your food last week. That was just straight up nasty.

– Kali

For $1,000,000…

April 13, 2009


Would you model for, release and promote your own blow-up doll?

Jesus, I hope my parents never find this site. Because not only would they be stunned to learn that I could even come up with this kind of question, they would also be none too happy to read that the only thing stopping me from saying yes is the promotional clause. No one wants to hear that their little girl – once their clumsy, four-eyed, nerd – grew up to say things like, “Hell yeah, I’d let them put my face on a blow-up doll for a million dollars. ‘Cause that’s how my morals roll!” – and that she says it on that World Wide Webs. I’m sure there would be some mention by them of not being angry, just disappointed. That line is some make-you-ashamed-of-yourself genius, right there.

Anyway, the point is, I wouldn’t care if my face was the model for a brand of blow-up dolls.* The faces on those things look like something drawn by a cross-eyed 4-year-old with ADD and depth perception problems, and I’m 100 percent positive the reproduction they’d make of my face would have zero real resemblance to me – or any other living person, actually. But attaching my name to a line of blow-up dolls? Then going out and publicly promoting those things? First of all, no. Second of all, you just know some sweaty, crazypants loner – the kind who really throws his heart and soul into stalking – will believe the doll is his girlfriend (he probably has arguments with it and stuff) and, therefore, so are you – real you, that is. He’ll start showing up at your house a lot. Probably with the doll. Good luck having fun with your million dollars when you have to deal with Batty Von Pervy all the time.

My official decision on this dare, therefore, is No Way, Jose.

– Kali

* Did you know people can customize their Real Doll order by submitting a photo of a person they want to be used as a model? And unlike blow-up dolls, those dolls look real (hence the name)! So there’s maybe someone out there who you don’t know, regularly doing super filthy dirty sex stuff with a doll that looks exactly like you. Think about that.

For $1,000,000…

April 10, 2009


Would you get a permanent tattoo right above your mouth that reads “NATIONAL SPERM BANK DEPOSITORY”?

I don’t know if there are words to properly convey how much I’m not doing this dare. For any amount of money. Or – wait – maybe for like, googolplex dollars, or King of Bahrain money or something. I mean the kind of money that would allow me to literally spend the rest of my life letting my muscles atrophy and shopping for islands and having panty and bra sets woven from $100 bills (I’d prefer $1,000 bills but they aren’t making those anymore). I would do it for that kind of bonkers cash, but nothing short of that. Mostly because 1) again, I don’t fuck with the face and 2) when you start advertising your mouth as the country’s depository for sperm, at some point, someone bigger and drunker and with more behavioral pathologies is going to decide to make you prove it. And that’s just not a scar I need on my soul.

– Kali

P.S. I know the picture isn’t really related to the dare but I just thought it was so fanamfuckingtasticmazing that maybe you’d want to see it.

For $1,000,000…

April 9, 2009


Would you eat a shoebox full of dandruff?

Okay, so, not to be a jerk about it, but if you say no to this one, you’re kind of answering it wrong. Because (and again, I don’t want to be a dick here. If you hate money, you hate money) you’ve taken in far worse things than dandruff before. If you are breathing at this very moment – and I’m guessing you are – the kind of disgusting stuff you’re breathing in is a lot grosser than just dead skin flakes. And actually, like, 70 percent of it is dead skin flakes (people are constantly shedding their skin all over the place – it adds up to about 1.5 million flakes per person per hour), mixed with stuff like the carcasses and feces of dust mites (the tiny bugs that live in your bed and your carpet and your furniture and eat your dead skin), bacteria, mold spores, toxic chemicals and other microcrap that can cause asthma and general annoyance. Plus, you’re constantly eating totally yucky things. There are rat hairs, insect heads, maggots and bug eggs in every food product that you buy – and those are the ones the meet the FDA’s standards! (A full list of what’s permissible is here, but this less heady general breakdown is a good cheat sheet.) In fact, one study found that Americans unknowingly eat about one to two pounds of bugs and bug parts a year – and bugs are tiny, so imagine how many of them it takes to equal two pounds. I hate to be a bummer, but I (and you, too!) already consume an awful lot of really nasty things, and there’s nothing I can do about it. Dandruff seems like a fairly innocuous meal in contrast, and at least I have some agency in deciding to eat it. So I say yes, yes, yes to this dare! I would absolutely eat a shoebox full of dandruff for one million dollars. And frankly, I’d do it with a smile on my face and a song in my heart. One you’ve eaten bug poop – and we all most certainly have – dandruff is cake.

– Kali

For $1,000,000…

April 8, 2009


Would you French kiss Shane MacGowan, deeply and passionately, for a minimum of a minute per kiss, twice a day – once immediately after he woke up and once just before he fell asleep passed out – every day, for a year?

Jeepers. It’s hard to know where to start with this one, so I guess I’ll start here, with an inside view of Shane MacGowan’s mouth (pay close attention right around the :30 mark; there’s a close up of it there.). If ever there was someone who does not fear the Cavity Creeps or Yuck Mouth, it is Shane MacGowan, lead singer of the Pogues and the original Pete Doherty. Never a man to turn to for dental advice, MacGowan has pretty much said fuck you to toothpaste and dental floss, opting instead to embrace a life free from the tyranny of daily brushing and regularly scheduled visits to the dentist. The Tic Tacs that once filled his mouth have rotted down to his gums, and those which MacGowan did not erode away with constant boozing have been destroyed in more creative ways: Two were knocked out when he drunkenly fell over a wall while attempting to vomit up booze; a bunch of others fell out in 1996 when, according to longtime girlfriend Victoria Clarke, MacGowan tried to eat a copy of the Beach Boys’ Greatest Hits, Vol. 3 LP while tripping balls on acid. (Congratulations, Vicky! Hold on tight to that one!) I have a pretty good feeling that his mouth first thing in the morning is absolutely rancid, and that in the wee, shitbombed hours before he turns in, it might best be described as putrid. Add in the chronic halitosis caused by non-stop drinking, puking (at a 2002 concert in Dublin, he threw up on audience members in the first row) and tooth decay, and I’m sure it smells like an animal that sleeps in its own dung crawled down his throat and just fucking expired there. Oh – I almost forgot – have you seen If I Should Fall From Grace? The documentary about The Life of MacGowan? You should, if only to see him drool into his beer as he slurs poetry and to watch spit fly from his mouth as he laughs at his own jokes. And you know what all that adds up to? A no on this dare for me. I get nauseous just thinking about that smell, a sickening stench that stays with you all day long, no matter how much you try to brush or gargle it away – and then you have to go back for more at night! No. Thank. You. I’m sorry to be such a wimp but I don’t think I could keep food down. It would be a road straight to a cavernous state of depression for me.

As a bonus, I want to share with you a story a friend told me years ago. He’d gone to see the Pogues (or the Popes…I don’t remember now) and, of course, everyone there was singing along and all that, when MacGowan suddenly left the stage. The band played on for 20 minutes while audience members wondered aloud where he’d gone and if he’d ever come back. When he finally reemerged, Shane MacGowan ran onstage, grabbed the mic, and shouted, “Ahhhh…there’s nothing like a good shite!

So, again, in conclusion, no. No. No.

– Kali

For $1,000,000…

April 7, 2009


Would you go five rounds with a boxing kangaroo?

I would fight a variety of wild animals for a million dollars (no, really. I would.) but, holy crap, have you ever seen a kangaroo box? Basically, they knock you out cold first thing and then just keep kicking your ass once you’re down. And if you think you can bob and weave your way through a fight with a kangaroo you are sadly, pathetically, assbeatenly mistaken. I promise you, that kangaroo is going to jab you right in the face real quick-like and then he’s going to start kicking you with his super duper strong hind legs, just like in 1) nature and 2) Looney Tunes cartoons – the ones where that baby kangaroo would beat the holy living crap out of Sylvester. You know who learned this the hard way? These three peopleand that kangaroo had a rapport with two of them! I mean, that’s what it’s like when a kangaroo goes easy on you, for god’s sake! Kangaroos mean business, and when you set foot into a ring with them you better know that. Because you are going down.

Also, who the hell fights kangaroos? I mean, aside from people living in the 19th century? I guess there’s been some weird kangaroo boxing going on in Shanghai in the last few years, but that seems to be some isolated and totally bizarre thing. You want to know why animals attack? Because one minute you’re just hanging around in the Outback with your joey eating shrubs and stuff and the next you’re in a g.d. ring with human boxing gloves tied to your paws and some guy in a clown suit all up in your grill. I’d knock that clown out, too, if I had kangaroo strength.

I guess what I’m trying to say is, my money-lusting animal brain wants to say yes to this dare but my sense of self-preservation says no. So I’m torn – I guess I sit directly on the fence on this one.

– Kali