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The Answer Room

Last week’s episode of BONES sparked a discussion between me and my wife, which ultimately led us back to one of her favorite subjects. The show revolved around the assignation of John F. Kennedy and speculation about what really happened on that fateful day. It’s one of those questions that fascinate so many, and despite the mountain of information that support the conclusions of the official report, doubt still lingers. We both understand that our desire to know the truth will probably never be realized during our lifetimes, but what about afterwards?

For as long as I’ve known my wife she’s held a conviction that when she departs this mortal plane and moves on to her next destination, that one of the stops along the way will be a place (appropriately tagged the answer room) where all of the answers to questions she longed to fathom are revealed. Any question that burdens your mind would be instantly known to you.

Did Lee Harvey Oswald really act alone when he shot President John F. Kennedy? What happened to Amelia Earhart? I have to admit, it’s an interesting concept. Looking at it a different way, the doorstep to this room is a place where you’ll find many a writers imagination. A truth unknown that resonates for so long is bound to be fruitful ground for seeding a premise. How many story ideas do you think gestate from iconic questions like what happened to DB Cooper… where is Jimmy Hoffa buried…is there something to the Bermuda Triangle or Easter Island mysteries…who built the pyramids? The simple association of ‘what if’ statements have fostered many a book or short story.

So tell me, what questions would you like to have divulged in your answer room?


  1. Hey DL
    Thanks for stopping by and pulling up a pew!
    As for questions:
    I'd have to ask about the Nazca lines - what was that all about? How could the line patterns have been done with such accuracy?
    I can't see extra-terrestrials as the answer.
    Nice meeting you :)

  2. I'm not sure any answers would be in the answer room for me. To a degree, I'd rather not know. I think the unknown in our lives and how we deal with them create who we are.

    Very interesting post =]

  3. Very thought provoking post, DL. The questions I would like answered are personal ones, ones I'm probably better off not knowing the answers to. So maybe, I should quit worrying about them now...

  4. Why is a raven like a writing desk?

    What really killed the dinosaurs?

    Seriously though...that's an awesome question, and I don't really know. Because I've moved into a big, Eastern New-Agey phase in my life...there aren't a lot of questions that bother me.

    I think it would be a really neat idea for a short story or one-act play though. Very 'Waiting for Godot' sort of thing... :D

  5. I sort of imagine an answer room myself ... the concept is intriguing and allows me to 'let go and let God' here on earth because I have the notion things will be bettr explained later.

    And, my questions? mostly personal ones about relationships and influence.

  6. Oooh, interesting. I'll have to think about it. I'm not sure I have any pressing questions right now...

  7. I'm surprised by how many people would rather not know the answers. Curious. My own post got me thinking, and I'll be posting a follow-up soon.

    Thanks for the comments!

  8. I'd like to know what SPAM is really made out of. :P

    Maybe also what the deal is with Deja Vu.

  9. Ha! I think about that all the time! I hope it's true because i'd like to know the answer to all those questions.

    I'd throw in some questions regarding cryptids, like Yetis and Mothman and all that junk, because i'm a cryptozoology fan

  10. I'm with Fallen. I want to know what the Yeti really is!

    Also, if there's a Loch Ness Monster, did Lizzie Borden really do it, how did Rasputin live through the first six attempts on his life, did any of the Russian Arch-Duke's family live, were there aliens involved in the pyramids, why did the Anasazi leave their cliff homes...

    I hope your wife is right. I'm definitely hoping for answers. :)

  11. I second voidwalker on both of his questions. What is SPAM really made of and why in the world did they name it SPAM???

    As for Deja Vu...well it really creeps me out sometimes. : )

  12. Now that's an interesting question. Since so much of my mind is occupied by trying to solve mysteries and answer questions, if I suddenly knew "all" I might be bored. I do have one that I could stand to be answered: Why do we have such extravagant imaginations but most don't actually believe that anything out of the ordinary can happen?

  13. Kellie ~

    I LOVE your question! That is such a mystery to me as well.


  14. Wow... although I'd love answers to the big questions, I'd also like to know the little things... like 'what was my best friend thinking when she did that?...' Things like that.

  15. On the spam thing... it's kind of short for spiced ham. I actually thought it was something like: Specially Prepared Abstract Meat :)

    DL - having worked closely with many countries' governments, I have yet to see one that is efficient and clever enough to keep ANY secrets, let alone large-scale ones. It's the greatest compliment to the US government that so many people think that the conspiracies are true!

  16. These are the kind of "what if" questions that lead to great fiction - both because there's so much potential for originality, and because people everywhere (writers and non-writers alike) are endlessly fascinated by the mysteries of celebrities' lives and deaths.

  17. Why does nothing rhyme with orange?

    Great post DL.

    Oh-and where does the other sock go once it enters the dryer?


  18. I love the concept of the answer room! I'm so stopping there when it's my time!

    In addition to the quesitons posed, I'd like to know who really killed Martin Luther King Jr, Dian Fossey & why. Good post!




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