They burned a question mark on his lawn.
Hey, don't blame me for the joke. I'm just repeating it as a lame way of getting into the topic of questions.
I originally thought of doing a blog full of the questions that pass through my mind on a daily basis. But I realized that observations such as "Why do so many women worry about their butts looking big, then wear rear-hugging leggings and yoga pants in public?" or "Why are people still talking on their phones and texting while driving?" would only become a list of peeves. Instead, questioning itself became interesting.
The question mark could be my personal symbol. In many ways I am still that tedious 3-year-old asking "Why?" until my frustrated mother would exclaim, "Because!" It's no surprise that I gravitated toward language and art instead of math and science. Questions that lead to more questions are more interesting to me than ones that lead to answers.
Although I often resisted thinking of myself as a journalist, the profession is a no-brainer for the curious. Asking questions and sharing other people's answers have been quite fulfilling.
Getting the answer, in my mind, is less important (and fun) than asking the questions. And that is the basis of my fiction, too, which asks all sorts of odd things: Is a certain way of grieving culturally ingrained, or can it be changed? How can a man compete with his wife's soul mate? How does a young person live with hope on a dying island?
As Jimmy Durante said, "I got a million of 'em." Not jokes, questions.
Now it appears that asking questions makes other people think you're smart. A recent article in the Wall Street Journal explored how people project intelligence, and it turns out that attempts to "look smart" by using big words or putting on a serious face usually have the opposite effect. Instead, those who appear intelligent are the ones who say, "I don't know" and ask questions.
How about that? Who knew?