I WENT to a hip event in New York last week. I know it was hip because there was a lot of facial hair in attendance — not the paedophile type, I’m talking grade-A, hipster-quality. And I happen to know that fh/m² (facial hair per square metre) is how you measure coolness these days.

Advertised as “Ask Roulette”, it was “a conversation series” in which strangers asked each other questions on stage, with only three rules: anyone could ask a question, you could only ask one once you had answered one, and you could ask anything.

I figured either it would be a crowd of three, awkwardly asking each other why we’re such losers. Or it would be packed, with more questions than an eight-year-old watching lions shagging on Discovery Channel.

Fortunately for this column it was the latter. The MC was a comedian, backed by a guy in a questionable jumper on keyboard, and another on guitar. Two chairs on stage were separated by a partition so the strangers couldn’t see each other as they filed up, answered a question, asked a question, then left the stage.

Were they legitimately curious or is everyone just interviewing for a spot on a reality show? Wanting to be famous seems to be our new default position. Due to popular demand and to match programming, Andy Warhol’s 15 minutes have been extended.

I had questions. I wanted to ask the keyboarder what made him decide to wear that jumper. ? And hey you, with the glasses, wanna come back to my place? I could only come up with mean questions or sex questions. Good thing I was more interested in what other people were asking.

Lots of the questions were dull. I could have done without “In what way are you patriotic?” or “Have you ever jumped over the subway turnstile?” But many initiated debate, like “Which work of fiction would you want to be true?” Answer: “That’s hard, I like really sad books.”

You know how in the old days when people bought condoms, they would also buy additional decoys like gum and plasters, to disguise their real purchase? The night felt like that. People hiding their dirty questions with ones like: “Have you ever had a sublime experience in nature?” Blech! Excuse me Miss, but didn’t you mean to ask: “Would you ever consider anal sex?”

Other peepholes into the human psyche were questions like: “If you could do something that made you disgustingly wealthy, but also made you a public laughing stock, would you?” The person who answered opted for anonymity, but in a show of hands, a third of the audience declared they would do it.

A big surprise was how long it took to get around to sex. There were 36 questions in total, and it took 18 to get to: “Where do you fall on the Kinsey Scale?” (On this scale, created in 1948, zero means exclusively heterosexual and six is exclusively homosexual.)

It took an hour and 35 minutes for the word “pornography” to come up. What’s wrong with these people? Surely the thing we’re all most curious about is sex? Or am I just a gutter brain?

You know how in the old days when people bought condoms, they would also buy additional decoys like gum and plasters, to disguise their real purchase? The night felt like that. People hiding their dirty questions with ones like: “Have you ever had a sublime experience in nature?” Blech! Excuse me Miss, but didn’t you mean to ask: “Would you ever consider anal sex?”

The question “What advice do you wish you hadn’t ignored?” inspired a seven-minute tangent from the answerer about his relationship with his father. How did this turn into a therapy session, checked-shirt-beardy-guy?

Question No27: number 27: “If you could do any drug without consequences, which would you do?” Ah, that’s more like it. (He answered “heroin” without blinking.) “If you spotted your mate’s girlfriend necking (necking, really?) someone else, would you say something?” and “Would you rather lick someone’s armpit, or have yours licked?”

The dodgy finally started to come out. The piece de resistance: “If you were faced with a monkey and you had to either kill it with your bare hands or have sex with it, which would you do?” At last! After two hours my faith in human nature was restored. Want to know the answer to that last question?

I’m sorry, but we seem to have run out of time.

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