Brian Answers Ad Questions with Literal Accuracy

Got milk?

Yes, I have a half gallon of 1% on the top shelf of the refrigerator. But it’s almost empty, so I will have to purchase more in the near future. This purchase/consumption cycle has been part of my life for as long as I can remember.

What’s in your wallet?

Two credit cards (neither of which is from Capital One), a driver’s license, two medical insurance cards (one is for vision), a Books A Million membership card that I rarely use, an old ID card I never use, a prescription card, two blank checks for emergencies, and $121 cash.

Have you had your break today?

I woke up two hours ago. I would consider the sleep to be a break.

What would you do for a Klondike bar?

Aside from the obvious (paying a reasonable sum to purchase one in the grocery store), I would also accept a Klondike bar in exchange for memorizing and repeating a sequence of 50 arbitrary digits.

Where’s the beef?

This is a vague question, but broadly speaking, it’s in refrigerated storage spaces and living cattle. Frankly, if you can’t find it, I have to wonder how hard you’re looking, as it’s fairly ubiquitous (at least in the United States).

Pardon me, but do you have any Grey Poupon?

I do not. The closest thing I have is a jar of Braswell’s Select Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce.

How do you spell relief?

Confidently, relying on my expertise as a National Spelling Bee competitor, author, and professional copyeditor. If for any reason I were less than confident on this question, I would turn to Merriam-Webster Unabridged, a subscription service that costs $32 annually and is worth every penny, mainly for the faster load times and lack of ads.

Where do you want to go today?

I’m thinking Meijer. I have a few things to buy. Other than that, I tend to stay inside a lot, probably more than is healthy. I may take a walk with Betsy tonight, although it’s raining at the moment.


Besides writing a blog post, I’m also pondering how I’m going to meet all my editing deadlines, and considering installing some new smoke detectors today.

Have you driven a Ford lately?

No. My car is a 2006 base-model four-cylinder silver Honda Accord. Betsy has a Kia Sorento. I rarely drive vehicles other than these.

Can you hear me now?

No. This is a text-based medium, and you’re hypothetical in any case.

Did somebody say McDonald’s?

That is a thing that has happened, yes. But if you’re asking whether someone in this conversation mentioned McDonald’s recently, the only occurrence of that was in your question just now, and in my response, both of which you presumably already knew about.

How many licks does it take to get to the Tootsie-Roll center of a Tootsie-Pop?

I don’t know. I’m sure this depends on a wide array of factors, but I’d be interested in seeing a statistical distribution from a controlled test based on the typical Tootsie-Pop-licking scenario. I would imagine that in many cases the Tootsie-Pop is discarded before the Tootsie-Roll center is revealed.

Perhaps the more relevant question is why you want to know in the first place. It seems like an odd thing to wonder about. I’m not judging by any means, I’m just curious about your curiosity.

Need a minute?

I need an enormous quantity of minutes. Time is arguably the most precious commodity that exists, since no good things can happen without it (metaphysical and supernatural situations aside). I do worry pretty often about whether I’m making good enough use of my time, or if I’m wasting it. The irony – that such worrying is, itself, usually a waste of time – is not lost on me.

Sorry, that went to kind of an existential place.

Hungry? Why wait?

I am not hungry right now. But even if I were, I can imagine myriad reasons for waiting, including: no food currently available; fasting in preparation for a blood test; concern about making a mess or spilling on dress clothes; doing so would be socially inappropriate at the moment; deliberate spitefulness.

There. Now I hope that’s all settled.

6 responses to “Brian Answers Ad Questions with Literal Accuracy

  1. Thank you for answering these essential life questions. I feel my life is now more fulfilled.

  2. I’ve been a fan of yours ever since I read The Silent Dark, it remains one of my favourite poems ever, it has a flow that you rarely encounter! Exquisite work:D And now I found your blog and this stuff, this is just fantastic! Thanks for the laugh too, I just downloaded The Witching House and am really looking forward to reading it.

    All the best, Brian.

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