Here's to you —all you sufferers of genius envy.
To: Matthew Alice: You've got the life. As I hang out reading your stuff. I’m thinking, “I want to be you.” Seems to me like a pretty good life. One catch. What do you make? I’ve got a family to support, and I suspect that you are grossly underpaid. — Kinda Curious, faxland
Okay, kinda. Walk a mile in my huaraches. You say, “I want to be you.” Well, I gotta be me. But I’ll let you be me temporarily. In fact. I’ll give everybody a chance to be Matt for a Day and see how you like the headaches. If you are Matt for a Day, the research elves and I can take off and fish or whittle or have that long-overdue salon makeover. So here’s the deal. I’ve selected two real questions that arrived in the Matt mail from two real Alicelanders. And all you wanna-bes, all you sufferers of genius envy can pick one, research it, and pound out an answer. I can blather on as much as I like; you’re restricted to 150 or 200 words or so. I can take years to come up with an answer; you’ve got a month. Entries will be judged on (1) accuracy, (2) entertainment value, (3) impressiveness of bribe included with entry, though not necessarily in that order. (In lieu of accuracy, we’ll consider very cleverly shoveled B.S., though the truth does have its charms.)
For my troubles every week, I make enough to support a nagging dried apricot habit. For your troubles, you’ll get a couple of minutes of fame, depending on how long it takes people to read your answer. Oh, yes, and our traditional prize of a year’s worth of free Readers. Can’t forget that one. I’ll pick the best of the lot and print them. So here are your questions.
Contest Question Number I:
Dear Mr. (Ms., Mrs.?) Alice: Okay, smartypants, I got one you’ll never figure out. There is a champagne glass in downtown San Diego that is as tall as a building, but it’s not as visible as it used to be. Where is it, exactly? — Patrick Lockwood, San Diego
Smartypants that I am, I’ll leave the impossible-to-figure-out questions for others to solve. Question number two is for those of you who live in trees in Rainbow or Dulzura and don’t drive the buckboard into town very often.
Contest Question Number 2:
Dear Matthew Alice: I’ve been in San Diego five years now and am continually amazed at the phenomenal percentage of left-handed people there are here! It’s almost like something from the Twilight Zone!! Can you tell me the actual percentage of left-handed people in San Diego and how we compare to other cities in the U.S.? — Feeling Left Out, San Diego
When I think of all the work you guys will save me by answering this one — well, it brings tears to my eyes. That is assuming this question is answerable at all in any realistic way. Well, now it’s your problem, not mine. Try to have your answers in by mid-June so we here at Queries R Us can take the summer off. (Note post office/fax/e-mail address at the bottom of the column.)