Caricatures. Palm readings. Balloon-tying. Face-painting. And once upon a time, kissing. Many are the arts and gimmicks people have provided in booths at fairs and malls, for profit and nonprofits. But how about a Truth Booth? Basically, somebody sits there and when someone pays a buck or two, gives a truthful answer to a question. Could be about the asker (“Is my baby ugly?”) or about the answerer (“What’s the most embarrassing secret you’d never want the world to know?”). In every case the answer is promised to be honest. Ask for esoteric information and you’ll get an annoyingly correct “I don’t know!” but a free second chance. With the right witty Answerist, perhaps it could be a money-making business. More likely, though, what I’ve really come up with a skit for Saturday Night Live.
Woman: “I’d like 7 questions for $10. OK?”
Answerist: “OK. You have 6 questions left.”
Woman: “What? Did that count? What do I look like, an idiot?”
Answerist: “I said, ‘You have 6 questions left.’ Yes, it counted. And, yes, you do look like an idiot! Down to three!”
Woman (pulling an iron out of her shopping bag): “Well, I’ll show you who’s an idiot! Clank! Iron whacks Answerist’s head, sending him sprawling on the floor.) Smacked you, pretty good, didn’t I?”
Answerist (moaning in fetal position): “Actually, you’re pretty weak if that didn’t kill me! Two left!”
Woman (kicking several times quickly in succession): “Ha! Got you good in the family jewels, didn’t I?”
Answerist (writhing): “Yes. Yes, you did. One left! Last chance to ask your original question!”
Woman (shifting her hands onto her hips): “Do I look sexy in this dress?”
Answerist (choking and groaning): “I can’t really tell any more, because I can no longer see! But as I recall, the answer is decidedly, a big fat yes! You look extremely sexy … to a water buffalo that just got out of prison!”
Woman glares as crowd applauds and drops dollars and coinage in overflowing Tips cup.
And that’s just Questioner No. 1.
You want the truth? You can’t handle the truth.