Q. Is it a rhetorical question if I ask you “Is this a rhetorical question?”
A. Who hates me so much they would send a lunatic with the brains of an after-dinner mint?
Q. Speaking of which, can you eat an after-dinner mint before dinner?
A. Who gives a herbaceous shoot?
Q. So, what exactly is a rhetorical question?
A. One might just as easily ask “What is a Texas Ranger?”
Q. One what?
A. Look, it’s a question you ask to make a point and, therefore, you expect no answer.
Q. Like ‘How much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?’ Because I know that answer. I used to be a woodchuck. I mean, woodchuck-like. Or woodchuckian. It’s why they wouldn’t let me into the Navy. Or Manitoba.
A. Will no one rid me of this blathering gerbil? No? This is the thanks I get? Am I out of here? Are two mimes worse than one?
So listen up. Here is a brief guide to rhetorical questions. Why don’t you read it and get your donkey out of here?
Often, a rhetorical question is a verbal way of sighing and feeling sorry for yourself.
• Do I have to do everything myself?
–God, Day Three
Sometimes it’s the utterance of one who has seen the light too late in life.
• Why didn’t I join the Coast Guard?
–Custer at the Little Big Horn
A rhetorical question can answer a sudden “Hey, whaddya doin there?” question:
• Julius Caesar: Et tu Brutus?
• Brutus: Will you stop with the Latin all the time?
Sometimes the rhetorical question can serve also as a rhetorical answer.
• Holmes: The murdered pianist’s stool is missing. Do you know what that means, Watson?
• Dr. Watson: No shit, Sherlock?
Sometimes the aim is biting (or gumming) sarcasm.
• Martha Washington: George, are you mad because I accidentally dropped your wooden teeth in the fire?
• George Washington: Buz Belly Pourj bolber ban a bwaff poilit peep atta Norf Poe?
Sometimes it’s just a way of expressing wonder at life.
• Why do dogs always want to hump my leg?
Beware: Some rhetorical questions should never be answered honestly.
• Vladimir Putin: Do I have stupid written all over my bare chest?
Sometimes rhetorical questions are a way of using sarcasm to answer an obvious yes or no question.
Obvious Q: Is that guy an idiot?
Rhetorical Q: Does a bear poop in the woods? (i.e. yup)
ObQ: Will I ever get rich?
RheQ: Does Donald Trump ever poop? (i.e. nope)
ObQ: Won’t The Donald eventually explode?
RheQ: Does a bear poop in the woods? (Aiiieee: I just got hit with a flying toupee)
Sometimes rhetorical questions are a more polite way of asking WTF (What the freen), as per Moses on Mt. Sinai.
• “Holy God, there’s ten of ‘em?”
Rhetorical Questions for any occasion
• What planet are you from?
• Why does this always happen to me?
• Why am I always the last to know?
• Did I ask you?
• Do you think I’m made of money?
• How crappy is that?
• Why on earth would you do that?
• Why don’t they fire that bozo?
• Is he going to eat that whole debenture?
• Is that a pile of crap or what?
• Where’s an armored car when you really need one?
• Does he ever shut up?
• Isn’t that the biggest bunch of crap you’ve ever heard?
• Why is that baby looking at me?
• How could anyone be that stupid?
• If tin whistles are made of tin what are crap heads made of?
• Are we ever going to eat?
• What kind of crap is that?
• Why don’t I ever shut up?
©Patrick A. McGuire and A Hint of Light 2013-2015, all rights reserved.