You're Norman Mailer! Can you make it out of this cocktail party without stabbing your wife?
You're celebrated novelist and journalist Norman Mailer! Okay? For some unknown reason you have been granted the opportunity to relive the night of November 20th, 1960, the night you stabbed your wife Adele Morales in the back and chest! Can you make it through the party celebrating the start of your New York City mayoral campaign without stabbing her again? Ready!
You are counting the canapés in the kitchen with critic Lionel Trilling when you suddenly experience a Dostoyevskian desire to explore evil. Do you:
A. Stab your wife Adele Morales twice with a penknife, then forbid your guests from calling the police?
B. Cram prawn vol-au-vents into your hungry mouth until the desire passes.
C. Quickly reread the copy of Crime and Punishment you have hidden under the chafing-dish, then run for mayor of New York City.
Later that evening, George Plimpton refuses to take off his jacket and fight you in the living room, even after you explain that bare-knuckle boxing is the purest form of "participatory journalism." How do you soothe your wounded sense of masculinity?
A. You stab your wife Adele Morales twice with a penknife, then shout, "Get away from her. Let the bitch die," when another guest attempts to stop the bleeding.
B. Stab some other woman that you are less married to.
C. Call Gore Vidal crying until he promises to come over and make George Plimpton fight you.
D. Write a novel about Hitler's childhood.
You've written a lot about stabbing women in your books, and tonight you're having a party. Should you stab a woman, specifically the woman who is married to you, even if it means that, at future parties, you will experience "five degrees less warmth than [you are] accustomed to; not fifteen degrees less – five"?
A. Yes, because of existentialism. You stab your wife Adele Morales twice with a penknife, spend seventeen days in Bellevue Hospital, and then guest star on an episode of the popular mother-daughter dramedy Gilmore Girls titled "Norman Mailer, I'm Pregnant" forty years later.
B. Maybe later! Right now you are busy making celebrated publisher Barney Rossett cry into his little logs of celery and cream cheese.
C. No! When you are the Mayor of New York, you can establish a Stabbing Commission to do your stabbing for you.
D. No!!! What if this means, at future parties, you will be asked to talk about testing the limits of evil within yourself, instead of being allowed to make prank phone calls to Truman Capote's summer house from the upstairs bedroom?
You are saying goodnight to the last of your guests after they have talked you out of setting up a fight between the partygoers and a group of strangers you have dragged in from off the street. How do you thank them for coming?
A. By maintaining eye contact and shaking their hands firmly with the hand you have recently used to stab your wife, Adele Morales.
B. By asking them to mail a letter to Fidel Castro for you asking for his opinion on your plan, as Mayor of New York, to make juvenile offenders participate in jousting matches in Central Park.
C. Headbutt Dick Cavett, whom you have stashed in the front-hall coatrack for this very purpose.
D. Give them a commemorative penknife.