When asking a direct question, the answer is very likely to be previously curbed by your interlocutor’s consciousness. He/She/It (Let’s call our subject of study Mr. AlwaysPerfectAnswerInMind) will say what he wants to say but maked up to take the shape of what you want to hear.
Are you a reliable person? Are you a hard working person? Are you a responsible person? Yes, I am. Yes I am. Yes I am.
Everybody seems to be perfect to the eyes of direct questions! And this is what I most hate of them: the studied answers! Why don’t ask indirect questions? Funny questions, surprising ones. Apparently no sense questions! Questions that give you the chance of extracting your own conclusions. Harmless questions that beg answers to be spontaneous. The kind of questions that shows authenticity, that reveal Mr. AlwaysPerfect as the thing he actually is: an imperfect human being. Because only imperfect things can aspire to be loved, and only things that can be loved can aspire to be human beings.
The Question is…
Into how many pieces would you cut a snake? And how?
Why should I cut a snake into pieces? Maybes – Distrustful. Critical questioning of authority. Ethical. Freethinker. Disobedient. Ecologist.
Into vertical slices, cutting between consecutive ribs. The number of slices depending on the number of ribs. Maybes – Awareness of snakes anatomy, possibly interested in biology. Thinking of cooking and eating the snake, possible fish consumer. Clever. Effective.
Into two parts, cutting it lengthwise. Maybes – If he knows about snakes anatomy, hard-worker or idiot. If he doesn’t know about it, lazy. Thinking of saving the skin to make a good pair of shoes, possible fashion victim. Non ecologist.
Into vertical slices. The number depending on the number of stripes of the above picture snake. Maybes – Easy to manipulate or to influence. The perfect target of teleshopping channels.
Ok, I recognize that I could easily make a mistake in my conclusions, which could be really unfair. But so could I make it by using the direct questionary. Moreover, this is about guessing and proving that even the most absurd question is a valid one, not about judging anybody. Facts and time will speak in the end anyway, and that will be the only truth.