Art Direction, Motion Design & Illustration by Patrick Hosmer

The Unanswerable Question

Added on by Patrick Hosmer.

I know you. You're at a party and you've got nothing to say. Worse yet, you are standing directly between two people you just met, your friend left you high and dry to throw your coats on the bed* and you've just passed the ten slowest seconds of your life not speaking. Your brain's all rusty because you haven't gotten to the liquor yet and you're sort of thinking,

"Hurry, say something before they hate you! Too late! Now wallow in the hate! Let it wash over you. How do you like the way hate feels?"

Then after a few more seconds of skin-peelingly awkward silence, one of the two people finally says,

"What are you doing?"

Perfect, you're in. Because now you say,

"I'm trying to figure out what my new name is going to be."

Yes. You're picking a new name for yourself and tell them they should do the same. Ask them the unanswerable question: IF YOU COULD CHANGE YOUR NAME TO A SINGLE WORD, WHAT WOULD IT BE? Whoever you say that to will get excited and then they'll immediately shut up because they're stumped. 

Then you walk away.

If you're lucky, you won't have to talk to those people again. If you do, the pressure's off. You can say literally anything to them and the ice will be broken down to a fine powder. It's impossible to be awkward talking to someone named Hawk or Burger.

Names you can't choose because my friends and I already shot-gunned them:

  • Torpedo
  • Knife
  • Birds
  • Butter
  • Tater
  • Surf
  • Pick
  • Damage

*A Bed of Coats is a great thing. Wait until midnight (the peak time for most coats accumulated and least people leaving) grab a friend and get ready to play BOC. It's all surreptitious so it's extra sexy. Lights off. Part One: Swan Dive. Take a flying leap onto the bed. This is a guaranteed winner because it's so fucking fun. Part Two: Incognito. Laying on your backs, try putting one of the coats on without looking. Lots of wiggling; you will elbow someone or get elbowed. Part Three: Christmas. Still on your backs without looking, you can reach into any three pockets of any coats under you and play with their contents. Chances are it's keys or cigarettes. Sometimes it's reading glasses. Once it was cocaine. G'night!