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 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 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 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

For $1,000,000…

April 3, 2009


Would you live in a house built on an Indian burial ground for a year?

If your life was a horror movie, here’s a list of things that would ensure your death by the next scene:

  • Going to check out that strange noise in the basement
  • Following your cat into the basement, where it’s headed because it heard a strange noise
  • Ignoring those menacing prank phone calls
  • Babysitting
  • Having sex
  • Taking your friend up on his offer of a weekend away at his family’s secluded cabin in the woods
  • Exploring said woods
  • Ignoring the advice of the town crazy person when he or she becomes strangely lucid on the subject of how you need to get the hell out of there
  • Using an ancient book to conjure up demons
  • Taunting inbred locals

And then we have the granddaddy of Horror Movie Death Predictors that this dare relies on: having anything to do with an indian burial ground. When some hapless family or greedy developer attempts to move in or build condos, you know they’re gonna get it but good. Still, this is real life we’re dealing with, not Zombie Braves of Doom #7, so I’d be willing to give this a try. Maybe I’d end up with a phantom tomahawk embedded in my skull, but maybe I’d merely end up a million dollars richer. I’ll play the odds.

– Lauren

I would do this dare for a lot of reasons (i.e., money), but I would definitely be nervous about it. As I mentioned before, I am a bit of le crackpot. Which means I believe in ghosts — and while I 1) like the scary, freak-me-outness involved in actually living in a haunted house, 2) it kinda makes me wanna puke, too. Still, pukey or not, for a million dollars, I’d pack up and move in today. And for another grand I’d have a t-shirt made that said I’D RATHER BE DESECRATING INDIAN BURIAL GROUNDS RIGHT NOW.

– Kali

For $1,000,000…

April 2, 2009


Would you have one of your eyes replaced with a glass eye?

You known what’s pretty fucking bitchin’? Eye patches. You could be like, the biggest dork on the planet and an eye patch would turn you into a dangerous, mysterious, one-eyed sexpot. If you think eye patches are only for pirates, you need to get hip to the jive, Poindexter, and take a look at all the famous eye patch wearers throughout history. Q: You know what they have in common? A: Nothing really, except for the fact that they’re all cooler than you. There’s Patch, from Switchblade Sisters (“Hey – I lost my eye for this gang!”), Elle Driver (Quentin Tarantino’s attempt to sneak a fake Patch into one of his own movies. J’accuse!), Bushwick Bill, Your Mother (YA BURNT!), Danger Mouse, Slick Rick and Sammy Davis, Jr. See? All better than you. I really wasn’t lying.

Comparatively, the list of glass eye wearers is pretty piss poor. Sandy Duncan and Sammy Davis, Jr. — who was clearly trying to milk his cool points by wearing as many prosthetic eye parts as he could (We are not amused, Mr. Jr.). Anywho, I’m going to have to say no to this one because I NEED BOTH MY FUCKING EYES AND DON’T WANT THEM VIOLENTLY GOUGED OUT.

So, yeah. That’s a no for me.

– Kali

While there is no way that I’d say yes to this (come on – what if something happened to my remaining good eye? I’d be blind, for chrissakes!), I feel compelled to point out that Peter Falk and Ry Cooder both belong on the list of glass eye-wearers, and they up the cool factor by like, a zillion.

– Lauren

For $1,000,000…

March 31, 2009


Would you be waterboarded?

Hell yes. Not only would I experience the TORTURE (fuck you, Dick Cheney) that is waterboarding, but I have a few people I’d like to personally waterboard. For political reasons, mostly. I’ll start with former Bush administration members and work my way down to conservative bloggers. Yeah.

– Kali

Since drowning is one of my biggest fears, this is a no. Seriously, I start taking huge, gasping breaths if I even think about it, and I basically go nuts if I feel confined in any way, so I’m afraid that this dare would give me a heart attack. And what good is a million dollars if you’re dead?

Now if the question were “Would you waterboard someone?” then my answer would be different. Although I have the patience of a long-suffering saint, people just go too far sometimes. I can think of one or two or fifty folks right off the bat who I’d like to “question,” starting with the nursery school attendant who force-fed me corned beef hash 28 years ago. Miss Denise, I’m looking at you!

Not like I’m a grudge-holder or anything.

– Lauren