Dear Guru: Burning Down The House


Your home is on fire. Grab five items (assume all people and animals are safe). What did you grab?

–Peeping Pyromaniac

You’re sick, you know that? Seriously. Get some help. I mean, I like a tasty thought experiment as much as the next guy, but come on! My home is on fire? Tell me how you really feel.

OK. I’ll do my best. I’m a professional and I still have a job to do. I have taken the Advice Columnist’s Oath and that means, basically, I have to take it. Each and every time. Very well. Out of respect for the craft I will give this question a serious response.

What do I grab?

First Item: “Screen.”

I grab the screen. Get it? Screen grab? Woo hoo! I crack myself up. I’m a real hoot. My house is on fire and I’m cracking some of my best improv material ever. It’s a win win.

Professionalism be damned.

Uh, what was the question again?

Seriously, though. I’m not kidding. The 42″ flat screen LCD TV is obviously the first thing. I’m not insane. An American is nothing without his TV. And I can carry that puppy under my arm, all by myself. I’m sure it won’t be too heavy because I’ll be all hopped up on adrenaline from the flames.

Second Item: Velvet painting of Elvis from The Graceland Wedding Chapel in Las Vegas. Good times. Yes, plural. As in more than one. What can I say? I really know how to par-tay. In Vegas I’m known as The High Roller. Because that’s how I roll. I’m also well known at The Graceland Divorce Chapel, but that’s another story.

Third Item: Star Trek the Next Generation Writer’s/Director’s Guide (original, pre-production). Signed by Majel Barrett, the First Lady of Star Trek. Without this possession my life would have no meaning.

Fourth Item: Mother goddess figurine carved in wood. A surprise gift with a message from my wife while visiting Boise, Idaho. Don’t think me too sentimental, though. This artifact also served as the immunity idol on my season of Survivor: Abyss Island.

Fifth Item: The Constitution of the United States, pocket edition. Yes, just like Cliven Bundy’s, although I’m pretty sure I had mine first and it’s way cooler than his. Couldn’t I just get a new one for 99 cents? Not on your life. That little guy and I have been through a lot together.

Honorable Mention: My collection of 42 broken mice. Ten years worth of cheaply made electronical crap. (That’s an average of 4.2 per year.) I don’t know why I don’t throw them away. For some reason I hold back. Over time these little buggers have come to mean a lot to me. I can’t imagine life without ’em. I know I’m only limited to five items in this psychotic torture, but, dammit, I’m going back in there. I’m braving those flames. I gotta have my mice!

So, what would you grab? Besides the Annotated and Unabridged Compendium of Tom B. Taker Blog Posts? (All 42 pounds of it.)

4 responses

  1. NotAPunkRocker | Reply

    Would “laptop with charger already attached” count as one item or two?


    1. Studio judge says that only one item. That means you can still save your iTunes and Starbucks cards, smartphone and Google Glass.


  2. 3 of my guitars would be on that list.
    But I’d count them as one item.


  3. Uhh… underpants.

    There’s no WAY I’m running out of my burning home without a pair on.


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