Is saying "my cat" cruel, convenient, or just plain unambitious?
Welcome to Question of the Day. It gives interns something to do!
We humans aren't so different from the animals. Take away the penchants for clothes, language, and shitting in privacy, and people are essentially as primal and amoral as any other species. Have you ever seen a man beat another man over the head with a rusty hammer? Probably not, but you're picturing it. Now imagine that the man with the hammer is still a man, but that the other man is a pig, and that hammer is a brick. Not nice, is it? Not nice at all.
But who knows? One day, you could be that man beating a pig to death with a brick in front of its screaming children. And when that day comes it might not be a pig. It could be a giraffe or a cow or maybe something else entirely. But on that day, as you wipe the tears and the blood out of your eyes, at least you'll know the answer to today's question: What's the biggest animal you could kill with a brick?
Paul, 47, cashier.
Paul: That’s a tough one. I’m not really into killing animals, but if I had to... I think I’d go for something that wouldn’t hurt me, like a cat. I have one at home.
So you'd kill your own cat?
I suppose that's convenient at least.
Well yeah, that's my thinking.
What if you were under threat from something more dangerous?
Now you’re talking. Probably a lion, if I was lucky.
Where would you aim for?
Right in the middle of the head. Stun and kill.
Rachel, 21 (left) and Jordan, 20, both students.
Rachel: A cow, maybe?
Jordan: Do we just get one hit?
No, you can take as many swipes at it as you like.
Jordan: OK, I think I could kill a whale.
Have you seen a whale?
Jordan: I’d just keep hitting it—aim for the head. I’d have to beach it first, though.
How would you beach it?
Jordan: That’s the flaw in the plan. I’ll come back to you on that one.
Some guy playing guitar who wouldn’t give his name.
[guitar man]: I’d throw the brick away and say: "Animal, let’s go and play."
OK. Have you ever found yourself in a dangerous situation with an animal?
A dog ran at me once barking, but he just wanted a ball someone had thrown for him. I’ve also been threatened by drunk guys with an animal instinct after busking and playing a song they didn't like. I like animals, though. I’m better than Doolittle.
Frances, 60, (left) and Yvonne, 53, both accounts clerks.
Frances: Depends if I could get a brick out of a wall.
You don't have to. Someone's handed it to you and told you to go out and kill the biggest animal you can with it.
Frances: I wouldn’t kill an animal.
What if you were in danger, and it was going to kill you?
Yvonne: I suppose if I was in danger, I would throw something at it.
Frances: She’d throw me at it. I’d run. I’d probably just lie down and let it kill me, though. I couldn’t kill an animal. I’d kill a person, but not an animal. I have three cats, and I love them.
What if an animal was going to kill your cats?
Frances: I’d just kick it.
Alex, 33, filmmaker.
Alex: A horse.
Why a horse?
Because I think if you battered it around the head enough with a brick, it would probably die.
I see. Do you dislike horses?
No. I’ve ridden one. It was a bit out of control, I don’t think I’d do it again.
Are you scared of any animals?
Only ones that could eat you, like crocodiles or a lion.
Would you throw a brick at a crocodile?
No way. I hope I never get into a situation like that.
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