Choose Your Own Adventure covers

  • Receiving the power of flight or the power of invisibility, my choice: Prepared extensive Socratic questions for proper decision making, such as “How fast can I fly?” and “If I’m invisible, am I also blind because light passes through my retinas?”
  • Surviving as long as possible in the vacuum of space: After stumbling onto the phenomenon on TV Tropes, read multiple articles, including the few historical examples of spacesuit malfunctions. Practiced breathing out slowly. Recalled physician’s positive assessment of lung capacity.

  • Buying multi-million-dollar real estate: Calculated ideal mortgage duration. Role-played talk with real estate agent, with me playing both sides of conversation. Promised self to get 10% below market rate. (Next month, was late with rent on apartment share.)
  • Discovering my life is a TV show: Searched for cameras in my home. Tested friends’ memories of past events. Jokingly mentioned suspicions, then gauged friends’ reactions for “he’s onto us” signals.
  • Running for President: Built “straight talk” middle-of-road platform. Read Arianna Huffington’s book on forming political third parties. Entered college as poli-sci major.
  • Starting a religion like Scientology: After late-night bull session with serial-startup-founding friend, wrote list of necessary steps, possible focuses for religion, and means of obtaining followers, in preparation for funding pitch to friend. (Woke up sober, did not pursue.)
  • Time-traveling to the Middle Ages: Studied the time-traveler poster multiple times, tried to memorize list of basic inventions reproducible with historical technology. Seriously considered probability of surviving long enough to become king.
  • Being famous: Considered lifestyles for avoiding paparazzi attention. Decided to let any fan say hi, but to politely decline autograph and photo requests. Worried I would “grow out of” significant other. Vowed not to move to LA.
  • Being trapped on a desert island: Chose reading material.
  • Sociopathically climbing the ranks of an unspecified large corporation: Read The Art of WarThe Prince, and Never Be Lied to Again. Internet-window-shopped for tailored suits. Considered whether it would be “fun” to spend thirty years friendless and fully dedicated to occupational dominance. (Switched major to English instead.)

Photo via Jeff Atwood on Flickr

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