Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Real Debate Questions

It’s official; Wednesday night’s presidential debate will be a colossal waste of time. If you hadn’t guessed that already, it’s now a no-brainer after the Commission on Presidential Debates announced that it has shared the debate topics with the candidates ahead of time.

Since Obama and Romney have agreed not to ask one another questions or even to allow for rebuttals or follow-up questions, Wednesday night’s performance will be a debate in name only. In all likelihood, we’ll be watching two pre-programmed robots offering the same scripted responses they’ve been feeding the American public for months.

I, for one, would like to see a new debate format where the candidates are required to answer questions from average voters. If I was given the chance to participate, here are some of the potential questions of importance to me that I might put forward:

* The Houston Texans are playing the New York Jets this coming Monday night. What do you think the point spread should be and why? Would your answer be different if Tim Tebow replaces March Sanchez at quarterback?

* The National Hockey League owners have locked out the players and it looks like the season might be cancelled. Can you name the head of the N.H.L. or the Players’ Association and have you intervened to try to save the season and, if not, why not?

* I have a six-pack of Bud Light in the basement that I purchased in March. Can I still drink them or have they gone bad by now? If I had stored them in the refrigerator, would that change your answer?

* What are your views on casual Fridays in the workplace? Do you think jeans and t-shirts should be allowed? What rules apply in your workplace?

* If you kept seeing more and more hairs in the sink in the morning, would you ignore them or would you start thinking about hair replacement? Have you ever used Rogaine or considered a toupee? What have you done about your increasing back hair?

* When the bathroom sink gets clogged, do you call a plumber or do you man up and try to fix the problem yourself? If the latter, what steps would you take and what size pipe wrench would you use?

* Where do you stash your personal collection of men’s magazines so your wife can’t find them? Do you keep the videos in the same location?

* The basement is so full of junk you can hardly move down there. Your wife has been nagging you for months to clean it out but you just haven’t found the time. Would you recommend a garage sale, hauling the stuff to the curb or just ignoring the problem? Support your answer with examples from your personal experience.

* It’s Saturday night. You’ve had a long work week and you’d really just like to sit back and watch some sports on TV but your wife is insisting you go out. How do you convince her to let you stay at home?

* Say you end up having to go to the opera on Saturday night after all. What’s the best way to survive the performance without really pissing off your wife?

* You’ve got a 1963 MGB four-cylinder roadster in the garage that you’ve been working on for close to ten years now. Trouble is that you haven’t been able to find a four-speed gearbox with a non-synchromesh, straight-cut first gear. Where can I get a reconditioned gearbox and how do I install it? There is some urgency in this question as my wife is pestering me to “get rid of your silly toy.”

* When you’re barbecuing steaks, do you use a charcoal grill or a gas grill? If the former, what type of charcoal do you use and how do you test for doneness? Any suggestions for a good barbecue sauce?

* How do you make a stinger, a rusty nail and a manhattan? Do you prefer them on the rocks or straight up?

* Do you rent or own? They say when you rent you’re just throwing your money way. What’s your experience and what would you suggest? Can you recommend a good real estate agent?

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