Marathon Journey: Day 29

I’ve been neglecting my journey here, so we’re going to get caught up. Don’t worry, I made notes. I just haven’t had a ton of time to write full posts. But that’s going to change.

I wanted to be clear about this because this post is about Day 29, but today is really Day 59. No, I’m not time-traveling. Hmm. If I WERE, would I kill Baby Hitler?

Sure, this is ostensibly a running blog. But c’mon. The New York Times Magazine asked. Results: 42% Yes, 30% No, 28% Not Sure.

To that 28%: What the fuck? Not that I have a problem with your answer, I just don’t understand why you’d answer a survey with “I Don’t Know.” What’s the point? How slow is your workday and how much free reign do you have when it comes to internet? Too slow and too much, it seems.

A lot of folks said things like, “Couldn’t you do this or that non-violent thing instead?” Which is a valid question, but really gets at the problem of talking hypothetically with certain people.

See, I think there are three kinds of people. When presented with a hypothetical, people will be:

Type 1: Play along.

Type 2: Refuse to play along.

Type 3: Play along, but also refuse. Rather than truly going along with answering the hypothetical, they try to find loopholes or alternative ways of answering.

I respect people in the order above. Type 1 are the best. Because here’s the thing about a hypothetical: It’s not really about the answer, it’s about how you arrive at the answer. Also, Type 1’s understand that the point of a hypothetical is to make a difficult choice. There’s no point to a hypothetical about whether you’d rather have annuity or lump sum when you win the lottery. You won the fucking lottery. Nobody gives a shit how you rake that money in. That’s not a difficult choice because both answers are awesome.

Type 2 I don’t really like, but at least they’re honest.

Type 3 is the worst because they’re basically Type 2, but they don’t want to admit it. Therefore, when presented with a question of whether they’d prefer to burn to death or drown, they’ll come up with some cockamamie third thing. When asked whether they’d kill Baby Hitler, they suggest kidnapping him and raising him to be an artist. Which, duh, is a better idea. But it’s not the question. It’s answering a completely different question. If I ask whether you’d like a hamburger or a hot dog, don’t tell me you want a goddamn pineapple. I don’t have those, and knowing your preference does nobody any good.

Plus, there’s a certain high and mightiness to this when it comes to Baby Hitler. It’s like, “Oh, I can’t throw away my morality, even if it’s to answer a hypothetical question that will most certainly never come to pass.” The whole point is to think through what you would do in a difficult situation where both possibilities are morally gray.

Would I kill Baby Hitler?


The thing is, there might be someone else who steps into that role, there might be unforeseen consequences, there might be this and that. But, given the option to do it or not do it, those being the only options, I’m going for it. Let’s face it, things might get fucked up, I might have to make out with my mom like Marty McFly, but I don’t really know how I could face the world and say, “So I had the chance to possibly prevent a tragedy, but I didn’t do it.”

I figure a guy’s gotta try.
Which is a good marathoning slogan. Slap that shit on a t-shirt, and don’t tell anyone it’s about killing Baby Hitler.