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Fun with Facebook Questions

September 16, 2010

The Man with All the Answers, Naturally!Have you seen the Questions feature on Facebook? Any Facebook user can post a question, such as: “What is the square root of 49?,” “What’s a good Nepalese restaurant in Russell Springs, Kentucky?” or “Why does it hurt when I pee?” and any user–that’s right, any user–can answer that question. Users then rate which answers they like the best, and they can also mark answers “unhelpful.” If an answer gets enough “unhelpful” marks, Facebook makes it quietly disappear.

Seeing so many questions to which I know answers, I could not help but respond. Sadly, 3 of my answers have been marked “unhelpful” and have disappeared from the vox populi wisdom in Facebook questions. I have to disagree with that assessment, and so, for the sake of enlightening the unlearned masses, here are the original questions posed and my thoughtful answers to them:

Q. What happened before the Big Bang?

A. The Big Foreplay.

Q. What is it about cedar that repels insects?

A. All insects are anti-Semitic, and they especially detest Passover, let alone cedar.

Q. What are the best age-appropriate time travel novels for my nearly-13-year-old son?

A. If your son is 13 years old, by now he is grappling with his unresolved feelings of attraction for his mother. Why not let him resolve these conflicting emotions vicariously by giving him Time Enough for Love by Robert Heinlein, in which Lazarus Long, the main character, goes back in time and falls in love with his mother as a young woman.

Now why was that voted “unhelpful?” I read Time Enough for Love when I was a teenager, and look what a well-adjusted and productive member of society I turned out to be.

I admire Brian Cordry’s stealth approach to this last question with his recommendation:

You might try House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski. It’s a classic story of time travel, the good guy saving the girl, and other things that are relevant to a 13-year-old girl.

I voted this answer up, so it’s currently in 3rd place for the best recommendation. You may want to swing over to this Facebook question and vote it up in the hopes that the parent asking this question won’t actually bother trying to read the book, and some 13-year-old son will have his mom or dad knock on his bedroom door, hand him House of Leaves, and say cheerfully, “Here, son, here’s a great time travel novel!”

Update: Yikes! I had the wrong link for the time travel novel question. I fixed it. Go and vote up House of Leaves for best age-appropriate time travel novel!

My further adventures with Facebook Questions and the tragic conclusion are continued in this post.

  1. George Weinberg-Harter permalink

    “Oh, Lazarus! Now I know why they call you ‘Long’!”

    (She may have been robbing the cradle, but at least it was her own.)

    I hope I’m being unhelpful.

  2. Mikesensei permalink

    I so loved Heinlein’s epic “Time Enough for Love” when I was a teenager–until, yeah, until I got to that creepy final section. =brrrrrrr=

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