Quiet Desperation

Would you rather be this or that — or that or this?

Column by Craig Marshall Smith
Posted 9/11/18

Would you rather be rich or famous? Questions like this are fun but fruitless. Let’s have some fruitless. (Disregard that some of your options are deceased.) Would you rather be one of the Beatles …

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Quiet Desperation

Would you rather be this or that — or that or this?

Posted

Would you rather be rich or famous?

Questions like this are fun but fruitless.

Let’s have some fruitless. (Disregard that some of your options are deceased.)

Would you rather be one of the Beatles or one of the Rolling Stones?

Thomas Edison or Nikola Tesla? Bruce Jenner or Caitlyn Jenner?

Would you rather be Sarah Huckabee Sanders or Colonel Sanders?

Would you rather be allergic to country music or allergic to rap? (I’m both.)

Would you rather be a cat or a dog? Cat Stevens or Dog the Bounty Hunter?

Would you rather own a Mustang dealership or the Mustang Ranch?

Would you rather be Jerry Lewis or Jerry Lee Lewis?

Ulysses S. Grant or Cary Grant?

As this adventure (life) of mine is winding down, I have very few regrets. I wish I were more musical. Actually, I am not musical at all. I can “Name That Tune” with the best of them, but I can’t play music on anything except the radio.

But if I had to choose between music and writing or music and art or music and humor, I couldn’t do it. I am happy with what I have.

I wouldn’t mind trying rich and famous for a month or two. But famous for what?

Would you rather be a jewel thief or Rickey Henderson, the all-time leader in stolen bases?

Would you rather be Godzilla or King Kong? Dr. Jekyll or Mr. Hyde?

Steve Lawrence or Eydie Gormé? Seals or Crofts? Ben or Jerry?

Would you rather have a walk-on part in a war, or a lead role in a cage?

Would you rather be Pink or Pink Floyd?

UCLA or ACLU?

George Will or Will Rogers? Mr. Rogers or Captain Kangaroo? Would you rather be a contestant on “The Price is Right” or have a measureable IQ?

Would you rather have a ton of friends or 2,000 friends?

Would you rather be Hoda or Yoda? Sarah Palin or Michael Palin? Katharine Hepburn or Audrey Hepburn?

Synonym or antonym? Protagonist or antagonist? Would you rather be a metaphor or a cliché? (Be careful what you wish for.)

Wide receiver or tight end?

Would you rather watch an Adam Sandler movie or hit yourself over the head with a croquet mallet?

“The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” is a short story written by James Thurber. Mitty is an uneventful man who daydreams about being someone he is not: a magnificent surgeon, a deadly assassin, and a Royal Air Force pilot, among others (the film versions are somewhat different).

It’s natural to imagine yourself leading the team down the field in the fourth quarter, or hitting the walk-off to put your team in the play-offs. Those are not unrealistic.

Becoming a millionaire overnight supports the concept of the lottery. I see a one-legged man in a wheelchair scratching a lottery ticket at least once a week, and I always hope I will hear him say, “Hallelujah.”

Craig Marshall Smith is an artist, educator and Highlands Ranch resident. He can be reached at craigmarshallsmith@comcast.net.

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