“Employment as a Question Mark” (humor) by Bob Rich

I want to update you that I read in the L.A. Times that people are making good money as punctuation and I just got part-time employment on evenings and weekends as a professional Question Mark! To explain, my work as a Question Mark will require that I dress-up in a six-foot plush Question Mark body-suit and, dressed as a Question Mark, I will motionlessly, conspicuously, soundlessly, yet very thought-provokingly stand in various locations around Southern California in order to present various philosophical “rhetorical questions” to the general public. My presence as a silently profound Question Mark at strategic locations in the Southland will address concerns related to deeper truths or underlying ethical dilemmas related to each particular location where I am standing.

For example, I will stand at the front of the line in a Wendy’s Hamburger restaurant in order to rhetorically ask such questions as: “Is this restaurant even remotely healthy?,” “Couldn’t you be preparing a nice, fresh tossed salad for yourself at home right now?,” and “Who in the world is Wendy anyway and does she have even the slightest personal interest or knowledge about hamburgers?”

Likewise, I will also be standing in the middle of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, such that my quiet presence will provoke such questions as: “What really distinguishes art from just amateurish but well-intended creativity?,” “Does ‘beauty’ really exist in an objective sense, I mean outside of how you yourself spend so much time arrogantly studying your own physique in the mirror, Narcissus?,” and “How much would even the most aesthetically exquisite piece of sculpture cost if it were constructed solely from Play-Doh?”

I also plan to serve as an insightful yet silent Question Mark presence on the sand at Zuma beach in Malibu, so as to wordlessly yet indelibly ask the questions: “How many burritos do you think have been eaten on these shores, and, out of the patrons who purchased those burritos, how many of those real historical people thought that you desperately needed to get a life?,” “Did you know that only eight people on the face of the Earth know that Schering-Plough Healthcare Products is the name of the company that makes Coppertone sun-tan lotion, which includes the seven people who ever worked at Schering-Plough?,” and “Why for the love of God are you staring at a Question Mark on the beach when that redhead is sitting only twelve feet away from you and she thinks you’re an interesting guy? — are you really that dense? — do I have to walk over there and stand right next to her, jumping up-and-down? — why do you think I’ve been motioning in her direction with my head for the past ten minutes, because I’m trying to shake some sea-water out of my ear??… wake-up, jack-ass, and ask her about the weather or something before I run over and pounce on top of you like punctuation gone postal !!”

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