Snakes on a 10 horse power outboard engine.

So since gas is expensive to the power of hella and I’m still at least one decimal place in my salary away from being able to afford to buy a Tesla, I do the occasional online survey to earn fuel reward points, because a 10¢ off per litre is currently higher on my priority list than my dignity.

The surveys are usually pretty innocuous if occasionally somewhat time-consuming, and just between you and me, trying to figure out how the hell I would rate the overall personality and trustworthiness of a particular brand of dish soap is a great way to look like I’m concentrating on something super important when I’m actually just bored out of my skull in the office.


As one might expect, the questions are usually heavily focused on one single company or product. Does this meatless burger packaging have enough “kale-loving yogi” appeal? Would you be more willing to switch from soulless internet provider A to soulless internet provider B if they could install an ethernet port directly into your brain? How likely are you to recommend General John Johnson’s Grade AAA Panda Jerky to a friend or loved one?

Sometimes this means I’m not in their target demographic at all (hey, they can’t all be about panda jerky), and after a few questions I get a nice, “Well, thanks for your time, but as you’re not looking into purchasing an ethically sourced, wind-turbine-powered breast pump in the near future, we’re done here.”

And then sometimes there’s the odd exception to that whole specificity thing.

And I mean the REALLY odd exception.

I feel like there has to have been some mistake. Like the Most Interesting Man in the World’s email address is one letter off from mine and this was meant for him instead.

I find myself really, really wanting there to be someone out there for whom every answer to these questions is yes. Maybe they’re even on vacation in Europe right now, unicycling their way around the streets of Luxembourg with a crab pot balanced on their head because they’re the kind of person who can get away with crab pots as a fashion accessory.

You know the type.

Out of curiosity, I refreshed the page to see if this was a set list of questions or if shit would get even more random. And shit got more random.

Did I own a pet snake?
How about a ferret?
Had I been caught running a red light in the past six months?
Have I purchased a kayak recently?

I hit refresh about six more times, getting new questions almost every time, and literally the only ones I could honestly respond to in the affirmative were Have you ever owned a TV? and Have you been to a shopping center in the last three months?

I can’t be sure, but I think I just heard the Most Interesting Man in the World swivel around in a supple leather desk chair perched precariously on a remote peak of the Himalayas to shoot me a long-distance withering glance over his bottle of Dos Equis.

Okay, so I haven’t had sprinklers installed so I can play tennis on my beautiful healthy green non-existent lawn. So I haven’t fitted an outboard motor to a kayak to take my pet snakes for whirlwind rides around the coast. Not everyone has the luxury of driving recklessly while waving ferrets around and having July birthdays, okay? That doesn’t mean all I am is a dull TV-watching mallrat. It just means these survey people aren’t asking the right questions.

You know, like Have you bought a mandoline slicer off Amazon between the hours of 2 and 3am within the past week?
Or Have you consumed one or more bottles of late harvest Merlot by yourself over the course of a single evening while playing Overwatch in a fluffy turquoise bathrobe?
How about Do you own more than a dozen pairs of novelty socks featuring any species of bird?
Or even Do you spend at least ten minutes a day staring at the cracks in your washroom ceiling hoping the neighbors’ bathtub isn’t going to crash through and flatten you while you’re showering?

‘Cause, I mean, that’s 4/4 resounding yeses right there.

Your move, Most Interesting Man.

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30 thoughts on “Snakes on a 10 horse power outboard engine.

  1. Where is this survey? I want to answer “yes” to all of the questions and watch the internet explode.
    Do you own a crab pot? That is the one that threw me. How many people actually own ocean vessels and of those how many would actually be crabbing? No one wants to haul those up by hand, so the next question would be do you have a crab trap harness?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh, we can be friends, for sure.

    I REALLY need a mandolin, and I generally remember it (and other random kitchen items) around 1am when I’m on amazon for no reason at all, actually

    I do not own bird socks. I do, however, own holiday socks, and fuzzy socks, and mix ‘n match socks and not even one single pair of plain white socks because if they’re just going to be hidden in my shoes anyway why in the hell would I pick boring ones? The only people who will see them are either people who have me over to their house and then make me comfortable enough to kick off my shoes (close friends) or people who are in my house (very close friends)

    I worry about the bathtub thing whenever I see cracks, even if I know for a fact that it’s not a bathtub that’s directly above me.

    If I’m not drinking while gaming it’s because someone forgot to buy more wine and you can bet he’s out rectifying that mistake while I enjoy myself as best I can without a fluffy robe but with yoga pants and giant sweatshirt.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The ones I’d ace: Were you born in June? Have you ever eaten Chinese food whilst sporting a heinous perm? Has a child screamed at you in the past 5 hours? Do you currently have sand in your ear? Have you recently, as in, last week, binge watched the entire first season of Stranger Things barefoot while “working” at your computer until 12am?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. …And so, boys and girls, after they drove the wicked witch off the cliff the Seven Dwarfs took up data mining.

    That’s the only justification I can think of for such specificity in their interrogatives. And also somebody get Samuel L. Jackson on the line stat. You’ve got a brilliant sequel idea here, although I think we should replace the snakes with ferrets which are, let’s face it, just furry snakes.
    I also wanted to throw in a clever reference here to the capital city of Luxembourg but it turns out the capital is Luxembourg City.
    Seriously, Luxembourg? Even Andorra is laughing at you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I just had a mental image of a swearing Samuel L. Jackson (is there any other kind) being swarmed by ferrets and it was glorious.

      And yeah, you’d think Luxembourg could’ve come up with something more inventive to name their capital considering they had no trouble calling their other towns things like Dudelange and Differdange.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I do the GooglePlay surveys, because… well, it’s free money, and I don’t have anything better to do with my time. My favorite thus far was an exceptionally specific questionnaire about my stances on the language that should be used when referring to human cloning. Like, um, it wasn’t about “Do you approve of human cloning?” It was more like, “What words could we use so you’d be on board with human cloning?” Um. I don’t know. Who are we cloning? Donald Trump? No words make that okay. Or Idris Elba? Because no words make that NOT okay.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. My male is a data analyst – so he doesn’t make up the questions, but he helps program surveys etc. Those questions would be designed to weed out the bullshitters who are answering yes to everything to get their 10 cent fuel voucher more quickly. This means that if The Most Interesting Man In The World did complete this survey, his answers would likely get dumped since it is unlikely people would answer yes to most of those weird questions, let alone all of them. Besides, as if TMIMITW has time for online surveys, what with all his unicycling and all.

    The weirdest questions I have ever had were on the immigration paperwork when I moved to the US. I was asked straight out if I intended to engage in prostitution, money laundering, had ever been involved in recruiting child soldiers….who the fuck is answering yes to these questions?!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I’ve never owned a car in my entire life and I would do these surveys just for the questions. Not least because I have purchased a kayak in the past 6 months, and would really like to know what they want to know about that…

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I’ve just seen your comment over at Exiles that made me laugh so I came over to see if you maintain said humour. Imagine my delight.

    Who owns a crab pot? I have superhero socks so…what? They look good when riding one’s unicycle past the marathon runners in Luxembourg.

    Liked by 1 person

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