For some reason, we thought it would be a good idea to include a staff-wide Hot Seat in this issue. To do so, we sequestered ourselves in Sacred Grounds one evening and recorded an erratic hour of conversation, taking turns berating a single person with (varyingly unintelligent) questions. In the following pages we’ve included our debatably comical dialogue.
Kat: Would you rather have no eyes or be covered in functional eyes?
Callie: I don't want either of those things! ... I'd rather have no eyes because I already feel like I see too much, and I get really stressed out about it, so I feel like if I had eyes all over my body it would hurt me.
Megan: On a scale of one to 10 how excited are you about life right now?
Callie: Ha. I'm at like a constant below 5.5 at all times. I'm at like 5.5.
Sara: So right now is a good time for you?
Callie: It's ... a 5.5
Sara: What's your ideal sandwich?
Callie: On sourdough, on like sprouted sourdough bread. That's pretty much all I know about it at this point. I just want toast. No, I just want peanut butter toast with hemp seeds on it.
Jenny: What's something that most people enjoy to do that you don't like to do?
Callie: Uh, talking to people sober. Like at parties. Like talking to people. At parties. It came out wrong.
Yumiko: What is the most absurd thing that's ever happened to you?
Callie: Being born. No, I don't know. A lot of absurd things have happened to me, but a lot of them are mostly just sad when I think about them. Like I thought I told a really funny story about how one time a cat caller spat on me from above and I was laughing and the person I was with was like, that's really awful.
Kat: What do you feel most guilty about?
Callie: I don't think I'm a very good friend or family member or person
Kat: [quietly] Don't we all.
Megan: You're making dinner for three people, any three people, who are they?
Callie: Uhh, fuck. I don't know. Babe Ruth? He'd be like, good conversation. Cameron Diaz and Michel Foucault. I think they'd make a good group. They're offering really different things to the table.
Jenny: What is something that you've been rejected for that you're still bitter about?
Callie: Oh, like a lot. Friend groups in middle school. There was one mean group of friends and I sat down for lunch and they all stood up and walked away and sat somewhere else. I could see the comedy even then.
Maddie: How did they organize that?
Callie: With clearly a lot of discussion.
Megan: In 40 years, what will you feel nostalgic about?
Caroline: I mean, probably this. Cipher being an all girls staff. We just get to fuck around and do whatever we want.
Megan: What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever seen in someone’s house?
Caroline: At Sara’s house, they have a whole pot of dead flies.
Callie: What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten?
Caroline: When I was younger, I used to suck my thumb a lot and then I would eat dandelions and then my thumb would taste like dandelions and it would be really bad but I still did it.
Megan: What’s the trashiest thing someone could do on a date?
Caroline: You have to be a pretty shitty person to scare me away, because people are very awkward and I’m very awkward and I like that.
Caroline: When I was in ninth grade it was my first time going out to a club with my friends and I was dressed as Pikachu, but like … Sexy Pikachu. And then I went home and slept by the elevator because my parents thought I was at a sleepover but I wasn’t.
Sara: Would you rather be hairy or bald?
Jenny: I already am hairy.
Callie: If a person is bald, do they have no forehead, or never-ending forehead?
Jenny: I think they’re the same as the rest of us. They have a scalp and a forehead.
Callie: What is your most irrational fear?
Jenny: I don’t have any irrational fears.
Callie: What is your most rational fear?
Jenny: Breast cancer.
Callie: What is a food you didn’t like when you were younger, but you really like now?
Jenny: Um, alcohol.
Sara: What’s been your favorite age to be so far in your life?
Jenny: Probably 17.
Sara: Why? Because you were smokin’ hot?
Jenny: Because I was smokin’ hot. There were no rules. I had a car, I was in high school.
Callie: Wow, you are so fucking cool. I can’t believe I’m friends with you.
Megan: What is the most imaginative insult you can come up with?
Jenny: The other night I had a dream that I was insulting a Zionist in Hebrew with real-life Hebrew vocabulary, and I just called him an ugly big-head. Well, how I said it was “not-pretty big-head.”
Sara: Can you pronounce that in Hebrew?
Jenny: Yeah, uh, um, לא די גדול הראש.
Callie: Worst job?
Callie: This one.
[Sara, the boss, looks internally wounded.]
Jenny: I’ve loved all of my jobs.
Sara: Do you think falling in love is a choice or an accident?
Kat: I think … that you can choose to continue to associate with someone. [laughter] Yeah … I’ll end it there.
Jenny: What’s your dream block break?
Kat: I’ve always dreamed of having a block break where I just drink and sleep for five days.
Callie: So like a big bender?
Kat: Yeah, but it’s just me.
Callie: Do you think it’s cruel to have children?
Kat: Yes, I actually very much think it’s cruel, but I’ll still do it because I don’t care … I want to replicate my relationship with my mother.
Megan: You’re 16 years old, you’re a virgin, you get pregnant: who do you tell?
[After some discussion everyone understands that Megan is referring to a Virgin-Mary-carrying-the-Messiah situation]
Kat: Planned Parenthood.
Megan: You would kill the Messiah!
Callie: Worst color of light?
Kat: You know when it’s cool light and it’s blue, not warm light, that never fails to make me anxious.
Yumiko: If you could feel one emotion for the rest of your life what would it be?
Kat: I guess … slightly better than average?
Megan: What’s a book that everyone should read?
Kat: Tao of Pooh.
Callie: What’s a book no one should read?
Kat: Te of Piglet?
Jenny: When was the last time you tripped?
Kat: [Does not realize that Jenny is referring to physically tripping and falling, tells story that won’t be included in this issue.]
Kat: What’s the last question you would want to be asked? Like the worst question we could ask.
Megan: What was the worst thing you did in middle school?
Kat: What was the worst thing you did in middle school?
Megan: Y’all, I am really not going to answer this question.
Callie: What’s one of your interests that’s sort niche or weird that you know a lot about?
Megan: Oil. Production. In Siberia.
Lo: We have to put periods after all those words … Oil! Production! In! Siberia!
Jenny: What’s your favorite spot in your hometown?
Megan: Ohmigod, anywhere along the Mississippi River or Lake Pontchartrain.
Callie: What’s your favorite spot in Colorado Springs?
Megan: The first pull off by the parking lot at Garden of the Gods. Sometimes my friends and I go there at night and look at the stars or [whispered] smoke.
Sara: What was your favorite age to be?
Megan: Oh … I’m pretty happy at 20. 19 was pretty good.
Everyone: That’s positive
Sara: I always answer I’d go back to 10. [Everyone looks sad.]
Megan: What’s something everybody looks stupid doing?
Maddie: Like if you’re not a good dancer, you can’t dance. But everyone dances, so is dancing really all that good?
Callie: If you had to give an organ to somebody right now? Which organ would you choose (and you can’t say blood)?
Maddie: I would give a kidney. Because I only need one.
Callie: What if it was someone you hated?
Maddie: If I could be a hero, if I was the last person available, and everyone would be like, “That was a really nice thing you did,” I would absolutely do it.
Yumiko: What is something you always lie about?
Maddie: When I notice a change in someone’s appearance, I always compliment it, even if I think it’s bad.
Sara: That’s good to know.
Maddie: But sometimes I actually like it.
Sara: Where do you hope to be in your life when you are 57 years old?
Maddie: I don’t know. Like alive. And maybe not really poor.
Megan: What is something you really liked in your adolescence that is something you are now really embarrassed about?
Maddie: I had a Green Day phase, and my mom got me Green Day Rock Band, and we had the whole set, but my sister was like five and I was 15, and that wasn’t something my friends and I would do together, so I would play the drums, and then I tied the microphone to my face so I could do both things at once.
Megan: What kind of cult do you want to start?
Sara: One where we follow the philosophical teachings of one philosopher a year. So every year we switch.
Callie: What kind of dad would you be?
Sara: I would be … I am a dad. I would just be like … God, I would be the kind of dad my dad is: very compassionate and guiding and supportive. My dad is great!
Megan: Do you miss Wi of the Tiger?
Sara: Yes, because it was called Wi of the Tiger.
Caroline: Favorite kind of wine?
Sara: Uh … white?
Callie: What was the first thing you got too drunk on?
Kat: Most embarrassing really drunk story?
Sara: In Cuba, I passed out in a bar and had to be driven home by the cousin of the owner of the bar—I don’t remember this, because I was passed out, but the person I was with told me that like six guys picked me up and carried me to his car.
Lo: What’s the trashiest sex you’ve ever had?
Sara: [tells story of trashiest sex] But we’re not going to put that in the issue.
Callie: Since your body is more bacteria than it is you, what do you name all of the collected bacteria in your body?
Kat: Do you think that they are you? Or are they someone else?
Yumiko: I don’t know who I am.
Callie: Could they be you?
Yumiko: They could be! They could be more me than even me.
Callie: What do you think God looks like?
Yumiko: I think he could look like a little guppy.
Callie: If you had to kill somebody right now, who would it be? And alive right now.
Yumiko: I …
Callie: … but that you’ve met.
Kat: It’s good that Yumiko’s having trouble with this.
Yumiko: I think this lady who yelled at me … No, just kidding.
Megan: Can we extend this killing to anyone, because I feel like this is a very hard question to answer.
Callie: Anyone in the world.
Maddie: And you wouldn’t be held responsible for it.
Megan: Also, no guilt.
Callie: Well, maybe some guilt?
Sara: Yumiko can’t answer this question.
Yumiko: I just have a deep … love? for humanity? I just don’t …
Jenny: Do you like sea lions or seals?
Yumiko: I’m … kind of stupid. I have no idea what those are.
Callie: What’s your weirdest late-night purchase?
Yumiko: This wasn’t really a purchase, but late at night, I get into these strange internet rabbit holes. Hence, the clinical trial I’m in with the mysterious prebiotics, and hence, my sugar daddies.
Sara: What is the most corrupt thing you’ve ever done? Or against the rules?
Yumiko: Against the rules … I mean, I do a lot of weird things … (accidentally overshares and launches into an embarrassingly strange story)
Megan: Stairs or elevator?
Lo: Oh man … you know, when my legs aren’t broken, I really like the stairs.
Sara: [incredulously] When your legs aren’t broken?
Callie: [also incredulously] So like most of the time?
Callie: Most irrational fear.
Lo: That I won’t live in Chicago.
Kat: What would you do if society collapsed due to like, environmental decline and it’s just anarchy, like where would you go?
Sara: Chicago’s gonna be underwater! Actually, that’s not a sea. It’s a lake.
Callie: If you could turn into an animal what would you turn into?
Lo: I would turn into a bunny.
Callie: I see that.
Megan: What’s a smell that you have a specific memory of?
Lo: Uh … Casinos. Like nothing says home like getting off the airplane and smelling the smoke and hearing slot machines.
Jenny: Wait, there’s a casino in the airport?
Callie: [urgently, for some reason] What was the first thing you ever smoked?
Lo: So it was 3 a.m., and I was in my pajamas on the Las Vegas strip and this 21-year-old bought me a cigar and, I was just smokin’ it.
Jenny: How old were you?
Lo: I was 15. And I had cut open my arm earlier, and we couldn’t find a bandage, so I had a sanitary pad wrapped around my arm to stop the bleeding, and I was smokin’ this cigar in these pajamas.
Sara: What would’ve been your middle school clique’s lunch table label?
Lo: Y’know, I kind of floated around a lot.
Sara: [wisely] You were a floater.
Megan: Song that you can listen to on repeat.
Lo: Oh, I’ve been listening to “Primadonna Girl” by Marina and the Diamonds nonstop recently.
Jenny: That’s my dad’s favorite song.
Yumiko: Do you have a secret talent?
Lo: You know, I can make a really good dying swine sound.
Everyone: Oh my god!
Lo: So, anyways.
Maddie: How are we gonna transcribe that?
Callie: Asterisk, dying swine noise. And then HUEHUEH.
Sara: Everyone else, Wow.
Kat: What food would you be?
Lo: You know… I wouldn’t be yeast, that’s for sure.
Sara: That’s an ingredient!
Kat: [with stereotypical Italian accent] That’s an ingredient!
Callie: [mocking Kat’s stereotypical Italian accent] That’s a spicy meat-a-ball!
Lo: I feel like you can’t go wrong with a bowl of rice.
Megan: White rice, brown rice, what kind of rice are we talking? Fried rice?
Callie: Forbidden rice? Jasmine rice?
Lo: You know I think I would be wild rice ‘cause I’m kind of like … edgy.
Sara: You’re rice, but you’re wild rice.
Callie: She’s wild.
Heat Issue | November 2018