Monday, October 2, 2006

The Answer We've Long Awaited

I wouldn't call him my favorite author, but he is definitely one I enjoy. In a feature called Ten Questions on his webiste, Dean Koontz provides the following in-depth response to that popular question: How much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood? — Dan, Shreveport

You have posed an unanswerable question, Dan. It’s unanswerable not because the chucking capacity of a woodchuck is one of the great cosmic mysteries, and not because there is a powerful interest group that would be offended by the very discussion of the subject. I’m sure that in contemporary America there are in fact several groups who will be ferociously offended by the subject and that even by allowing you to raise it, my reputation will be savaged and my life will not be worth spit. But we are not going to be cowed by the threats of the politically correct. I would be happy to answer your question if you would qualify it in ways that make an answer possible. First, what is the time frame? Are you interested in how much wood a woodchuck could chuck in ten minutes? An hour? A day? A standard woodchuck lifetime? Second, please define what you mean by the word chuck. Do you mean “to toss, to throw with a quick motion” or do you mean “to tap or pat lightly?” I hope you do not mean “to vomit,” because this raises in the mind the disgusting image of a spewing woodchuck, which would offend the sensibilities of my gentle readers. Finally, by the use of the word if in your question, you suggest that in reality woodchucks cannot chuck wood, that your question is entirely and hopelessly hypothetical. But to pose your question from such a philosophical position suggests that woodchucks are frauds, that they choose to be called by a name to which they cannot live up. Personally, I have never met a woodchuck who was anything but straightforward and honorable, so I am quite sure that they can indeed chuck wood, and I think you should apologize for implying otherwise.

No comments:

Average Joe's Review Store