Question of the Day

Since there is a dearth of responses to my more prosaic pennings, I have decided to post a question of the day from my book of questions, in order to provoke ponderation:

"For an all-expense paid, one-week vacation anywhere in the world, would you be willing to kill a beautiful, rare butterfly by pulling off its wings? What about stepping on a cockroach?"

I asked this question of my first two classes today, and with only three exceptions, they said an enthusiastic "YES!" to the ripping of the butterfly. I was a little bit surprised (but not, sadly, much), so I gradually upped the ante from the butterfly to tearing the legs off a frog to popping the head off a canary to breaking the neck of a bunny rabbit to stomping on a kitten to gutting a puppy.

Believe it or not, a lot of kids would break the neck of a bunny rabbit, and a few would stomp a kitten, but not one would gut a puppy. Apparently, gutting a puppy is just too much for their violence-saturated little selves to take.


  1. Interesting question...I think my answer would be no.

    This stems from what I see as the point of travel. It's not to completely indulge myself (even as I understand I will indulge myself)like the question describes.

    The thesis behind travel that I operate under is that it should lead me to do something I can't do at home. Things like hike a section of the Appalachian Trail or chase my niece around a playground. The vacation described seems like one where I'm lazy; I can be lazy (and I often am) at home.

    Travel in this regard, in pursuits of things and people that I love, should cost me something. Airfare, gas, time away from work should cost me and not cost things that are unrelated, like a butterfly or cockroach.


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