Single in Sandpoint: The art of asking questions

By Scarlette Quille
Reader Columnist

A curious mind is a good thing. However; asking questions when you’re capable of obtaining the information yourself is annoying. Really annoying.

I am convinced that the genius behind Google at one time lived in a resort town and got sick of answering ridiculous questions from tourists. The genius was motivated to create something that would answer simple, obvious questions quickly for tourists and other annoying people who refuse to take the extra two minutes to find out information for themselves. Google was made for the average gas station cashier who is constantly telling people how to get to a place literally two blocks away or where to find the nearest Chinese restaurant. When customers ask for a well-crafted review of local dining experiences, the cashier is fantasizing about punching them in the throat. Trust me, I’ve been the cashier.

If you can Google an answer, the questions should disappear. To hear the answer in a forced polite voice, you can now ask Siri. Seriously. Have you ever been in the line behind one of these people grilling the 16 year old working at McDonald’s for a highlighted verbal tour of our town? I try to wait patiently, but in my head I am thinking, “You are driving a $20,000 SUV. I’m pretty sure you have a smartphone. In fact, I’m pretty sure I just saw your kid using it to look for pokemon.”

No offense to the “Pokemon Go” people out there. I am actually in support of putting an app on everyone’s phone that encourages them to exercise and capture cartoon creatures instead of disseminating images of their genitalia to the public.

I get how some of you parents are skeptical, especially those of you who have kids obsessed with comic books. Those comic book-crazed adolescents aren’t the nerds we grew up with. I became aware of how ingenious these kids are when I went to the opening night of “Deadpool.” I was expecting to be around a bunch of superhero-obsessed weirdos, not a bunch of tween daughters and their friends dragging along middle-aged fathers. I imagine these kids told their parents that it was rated R because of violence and “bad words.” I bet the guy sitting in front of me, nervously shifting around in his seat while his 13-year-old daughter laughed hysterically at Deadpool’s eye- opening sexual journey with a stripper girlfriend, wishes that he would have “Googled it.” It was almost as hilarious to watch the horrified fathers as the movie itself. Almost. “Deadpool” is pretty freaking hilarious.

What might surprise you is how the questions you’re asking may be affecting your dating options or lack thereof. Are you turning off potential love matches and infuriating people wherever you go because you refuse to use Google and/or common sense? Does your spouse secretly hate you because of your constant barrage of ridiculous questions? Let me shed some light on this for you.

Questions to stop asking, for the sake of mankind.

1. Any question to a cashier that requires an answer longer than 10 seconds, especially if there is even one person in line after you. I have worked as a cashier on many occasions and never once did I think to myself, “That was so awesome when that guy asked me how I liked working here, then followed up with, ‘So how about this weather?’” Cashiers and other hourly employees get asked these things hundreds of times a day, and guess what? They have to lie to you. It’s called customer service. The truth would get them fired.

2. “Have you seen this or that ‘film?’” Stop saying film. It gives you an aura of pretentiousness that cannot be overcome. I see film in my shower and movies at the theatre. If we are friends or potential lovers, we are going to a movie. Films are for professors and hipsters. This kind of language will only attract other people who think they are smarter than everyone else, and a relationship can only (barely) work with one of these types of people in it. Think about it. This applies to any pretentious word that you may feel the need to use in common conversation. Save your vast vocabulary for things like Scrabble and midterms, not asking strangers questions.

3. Asking for substitutions and menu changes instead of what you want exactly. Let me clarify: If you go to order at a restaurant and you find yourself saying something like, “I’ll have the chicken Caesar salad without dressing, cheese, croutons or chicken,” you have annoyed everyone in the room. That is not a salad. That’s just a leaf dipped in air and sprinkled with tears, and it’s not on the menu. The waiter will comply and charge $13.50 for that bullshit, but everyone within earshot feels sorry for your dining companion, who is stuck with someone who would pay or expect someone else to pay for a blatant cry for help.

4.“Can you make me look skinny?” When someone takes your picture, cuts your hair or does a beauty treatment for you, they hate when you ask them this. Why? Well, if you are skinny, it’s just annoying. Just stop fishing for compliments. If you are fat, the person is searching for a nice way to say, “ Hey, I am talented enough to make you look better, but this camera/pair of scissors/bronzer isn’t a magic wand.” Again, don’t ask questions that force the other person to lie. It hurts everyone.

5. “Can you get your [random loved one] to do this for me?” I am going to provide a personal example on this one. I regularly have people come up to me and ask me this: “Can you get your sexy musician boyfriend to sing ‘More Than a Feeling’ for me? You should talk him into it.” OK, here is the deal. Don’t ask someone else to do something you are uncomfortable doing. That is the behavior of a complete sissy pants. Furthermore, speaking from experience, negotiations with a boyfriend typically involve some sort of payment relative to the discomfort of the request. I am going to have to “offer” him something that makes playing a song he might hate worth it. Now, maybe I am a bit selfish, but I am going to use that type of currency to fulfill my own desires. My leverage cannot be bought easily.

I hope that I have shed some light on this crucial issue. If you got lost somewhere in this column, try to answer your own questions first.

Happy hunting, whether it is for a Pikachu or piece of A . . .


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