The Poetry Question

Discovering the Relevance of Words

QOTD: What Would You Do With A Million Dollars?



And don’t say, “two chicks at the same time.”

It’s kind of obvious, and quoting directly from movies is a very lazy form of comedy.

However, I won’t deny that this scene from Office Space is the first thing that popped into my head as I passed that billboard with the lotto jackpots on the way to work this morning. That scene where Peter recalls being asked by a guidance counselor what he would do with a million dollars. The idea is to think of the thing you would do if you could do anything.

The amount of money makes the question feel dated, I know. It is especially apparent as I pass the aforementioned billboard promising to award hundreds of millions of dollars to whatever convenience store patron or suburban book club played their kid’s birthdays and came up with the correct series of numbers. But the idea remains the same. What would you do if you didn’t have to worry about money?

I assume that we can all share a common love of words, so for most of us the answer to that question probably involves writing. But writing doesn’t cost anything. Anyone with access to a scrap of paper and a piece of charcoal can write. When I was a kid I wrote swear words with bark dust on the sidewalk. It doesn’t take resources to write. It takes desire.

So, aside from writing, what would you do? That billboard is offering you $200 million. You can only buy so much crap. Would it become a burden? Would you grow to hate all that money and yearn for simplicity, like Hurley from Lost? Or would it destroy your humanity and turn you into a cocaine-snorting, assault-rifle-wielding maniac like Pacino in Scarface? Obviously these are only a couple of examples of the effects of sudden, extreme wealth. You might not get marooned on a magical island or take over the Miami underworld at all. But think of the possibilities.


About Doran Simmons

I'm a writer and a camper and a keeper of fish. I was trained as a flight instructor and work day jobs and write nonsense for public consumption (hopefully).

4 comments on “QOTD: What Would You Do With A Million Dollars?

  1. The Running Son
    September 26, 2013

    I have long wanted to remind MTV Productions an the team behind Office Space that you can get 2 women cheap— like 75 bucks and a teener. It is a misconception that open boils are dangerous btw.

    If I had 200 million dollars I’d get all sciency ans stuff. I’d build a super-lab, like on Breaking Bad, but not for meth. I’d do cloning experiments. I want to know what would emerge from the genetic stew if I crossed Depak Chopra with the Iron Sheik, for example.

    Or Hemingway with Gloria Allred. I know I can get Hemingway’s DNA, and I am pretty sure I can get Gloria’s. Maybe.

    Or maybe I would purchase WordPress and fix the bugs in their word processor. Yeah.

  2. J. Gabriel Allan
    September 26, 2013

    Otter pops.
    All otter pops.

    Honestly, I would purchase land and create a commune near the mountains with river access and a garden, which also fully operates as a school (imagine how large a plot of land this is) and runs performing arts camps.

    • J. Gabriel Allan
      September 26, 2013

      btw… for the Takilma peeps who may read this I mean an actual food garden

  3. Cassidee M
    October 22, 2013

    If i got 500 million dollars i would buy the best basses, amps, mics, an awesome PA, a guitar and lessons to see if i could actually figure chords on guitar out if i had instruction, my own recording studio and other ones that i would let talented but poor bands use for free. I would start a charity type program that gave solar panels to people, i would donate money to a charity after i searched charities and decided on one. I would definitely buy me and my friends houses and give them some money. Other than that, i’d probably put the rest of it away to be given away to some random poor children since i am not having kids after i die. I figure if you have so much money that you couldn’t spend it all if you tried, you might as well put it to good use.

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This entry was posted on September 26, 2013 by in Question of the Day and tagged , , , , , , .

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