Would You Rather Sweat Milk or Sneeze Glitter?

Choose your fighter. Photo: Getty Images, Shutterstock

Would you rather play Would You Rather or literally any other icebreaker game, and does it matter, because icebreaker games are well known to be terrible? I hear what you’re saying and would tend to agree with the latter half of the statement, but listen, if Would You Rather isn’t fun for you, it’s possible you are doing it wrong.

In my professional opinion, Would You Rather works best as a tool for filling the silence with wildly distracting imagery, as your situation (and social distancing) demands. I have some really hard Would You Rather questions up my sleeve, questions that will give you a haunting peek inside your friends’ mind-scapes. Let’s get started! It’s going to be a great time, I promise.

Would You Rather: Sweat milk or sneeze glitter?

On its face, the sneezing glitter concept sounds very fun and jazzy. How festive, to have a disco hydrant for a nose! But keep in mind, in terms of cleanup, glitter is a tremendous pain. It gets everywhere, gluing itself into crevices you never knew existed, and that’s just when you’re using it in a controlled setting. Think about allergy season!

But then, milk is useless and gross, and the type secreting out of your pores would not be an oat or an almond or any plant-adjacent milk, but mammal milk: cow or goat or, eek, human. Sweating milk would probably mean near-constant bathing, and you would (in all likelihood) still smell somewhat sour much of the time. But then, platypuses sweat milk, and most people seem to like them fine.

Would You Rather: Have walrus tusks or baleen hair for your teeth?
There’s no hiding walrus tusks, unfortunately, but I imagine they would be very useful when it comes to opening cans and … maybe that’s it. They might lend you an air of wisdom, if not necessarily sophistication, but you would for sure be able to chew food, whatever kind of food you wanted.

Unfortunately, I cannot say the same for baleen hair, which — for the unfamiliar — is the krill filtration system found in the mouths of baleen whales. I imagine that baleen hair would feel somewhat like having a dense and bushy mustache inside your mouth, but on the plus side, you can hide your mouth mustache when you want to.

Would You Rather: Have carrot fingers or have crispy skin, as if someone had battered and fried your bod?
On their face, carrot fingers don’t seem so bad. Carrots already look sort of like overlarge fingers, which is part of their charm. But a carrot finger wouldn’t bend like the rest of your digits; it would just thump around rigid, until of course it started to rot, in which case it would go all bendy and soft. Carrots being hardier than many of their vegetable comrades, this process would take a few days, but once it really gets going, your carrot fingers are going to stink. Maybe you will take comfort in the fact that, once they go completely bad and fall off, new carrots (baby carrots) will sprout up to replace them? Meaning you’ll only be without your carrot fingers sometimes.

Having crispy fried skin, meanwhile, would be messy. You wouldn’t really sweat; you would instead become warm and damp, and your fragile outside would become mushy. Most days, your skin would go crumbly on contact, leaving dust wherever you sat. However, you would smell amazing, and your new skin would regenerate quickly. Animals would absolutely love you, possibly a little too much. But then, a good number of them — dogs, rabbits, bears, horses, pigs, and many, many more — would probably also love your carrot hands. We roll the dice.

Would You Rather: Have eyeballs covered in tiny teeth like a shark’s or a T. rex tail?
When you are a whale shark, your eyeballs are coated in dermal denticles, which is to say, a tiny type of tooth that serves as armor against “the elements,” per Gizmodo. Whale sharks — and many other kinds of sharks, apparently — have this tiny dental coat all over their bodies, so it does not feel particularly extraordinary that their eyes would be toothy, too. But for you, a human, this would be a trip. But then, you would apparently be able to see in all kinds of water, even salt water, and perhaps this is important to you.

Lugging around a T. rex tail, on the other hand, would be an inarguable burden, as this firsthand account from writer Joanna Rothkopf makes clear. You would knock things over left and right, like an overexcited golden retriever confronted with a coffee table, but probably this tendency could be curbed with time and practice. No matter what you do, though, the tail will trail along behind you on the ground, meaning it would get very dirty and require regular cleaning, which, to me, sounds like an inconvenience.

Would You Rather: Do Legolas or Aragorn?
There are obvious merits and unexpected pitfalls on both sides, as the Cut’s Sangeeta Singh-Kurtz has amply explained, but I don’t think you can really go wrong either way. That’s why I’m throwing you this softball, to give your brain a little break.

Would You Rather: Have eyebrows that move all around your face or cry oil paints?
Autonomous eyebrows — a concept with which I must credit my good buddy Kit — admittedly come with complicated social implications. While you might find ways to control milk sweat over time, you will never be able to control people’s reactions to the hair caterpillars skittering across your face at random. Imagine trying to stifle your giggles as your rogue brow tickles the inside of your nostril, in the middle of a funeral! Imagine attempting to explain your qualifications for the job while subtly huffing a hirsute squiggle out the corner of your mouth!

Crying oil paints would potentially make your first couple of weeps memorable and even a little more enjoyable, because look at this rainbow creeping slowly down your face! I suspect, though, that the novelty would wear off about as soon as you realize your tears have transformed into a damn-near indelible substance that is impossible not to notice. Even if you manage to hide your technicolor tears from other people, you will never be able to hide the evidence: your splotched clothes; your stained sheets; your paint-matted dog. And true, certain people simply don’t cry very much — but all of us, no matter how we express our emotions, sometimes get things in our eyes. No one can escape debilitating airborne debris.

Would You Rather: Have a turtle mouth or eyes in the back of your head?
I don’t know that you have ever seen what the inside of a turtle’s throat looks like, at least the throat of a leatherback turtle, but it is a real hellscape in there; a nightmare of prongs designed to help these large reptiles grip jellyfish as they eat. On a human, this set up could be intimidating, to say the least, and whether that reads as a plus or a minus depends entirely on you.

Theoretically, eyes in the back of your head would enable you to spy on people, which has its obvious advantages. But the spying only works when the eyes are not covered by a hair curtain, which limits your styling choices, and realistically, is going to blow your cover. Who isn’t going to notice a pair of eyes ogling them out the rear of a person’s skull?! In any case, this ocular arrangement will require frequent maintenance: lots and lots of haircuts to avoid the uniquely torturous feeling of always having something in your eye.

Would You Rather: Leave a trail of mucus wherever you go or have frog hands?
In scenario No. 1, you exist basically as a snail, only sans a small, portable house. You would leave a little squalene streak on whatever you touched, much like the slime trail snails, slugs, and other mucous creatures deposit on leaves. Your body has no discernible sheen, so people will be surprised at your wake of tacky goop, but on the bright side, it won’t stain. Physical intimacy may become a slippery affair, but isn’t that always the case?

Frog hands, meanwhile, may look sort of fun — four digits cartoonishly bulbed at the tips — and nearly as practical as person hands, but they could be a nuisance, due to stickiness. Hands with little suckers on them are good for frogs who need to climb trees, but might prove messy for your human agenda: Imagine trying to read, or leaf through your files, but the pages keep getting stuck to your fingers like flies to a glue trap. It’s also important to note that they will be disproportionately large in relation to your body.

Would You Rather: Be an Ent, or a cat … from Cats.
Ents, for those who have neither read nor watched Lord of the Rings, are towering tree creatures who inhabit and protect the forests of Middle-earth. Ents are very old, and also very wise, although they require long-winded Entmoots — basically, exhaustive tree-giant conferences — before taking any decisive action. Your life would be very slow and very deliberate, but you would also possess enormous strength. You would, for all intents and purposes, be a tree in a fantastical forest. On a day-to-day basis, you would not do very much. But occasionally, you would be called upon to fight a world war you had no hand in making.

When you are a Jellicle cat living the Jellicle life, by contrast, the world is your oyster. You can do pretty much whatever you want whenever you want, because your plane of existence is not ruled by things like proportions or logic, and because you somehow have human hands with opposable thumbs. Nothing means anything, which is probably freeing. But all of that freedom comes at a price, namely that you are frightening to behold and widely ridiculed.

Would You Rather: Live in a house made of cheese or a house made of hair?
As a building material, cheese has obvious merits: A nice sharp cheddar can be easily cubed for use as bricks, while a Cheez Whiz or perhaps a sticky Brie functions beautifully as mortar. Or why not a string-cheese cabin? So many options, all of which are bound to become stinkier with time, and grow mold.

Human hair, by contrast, is more difficult to build with, although I’m sure you could find a way to compact it into a dense and sound-muffling surface. You could weave the hair into a sort of fabric, or thatch it into a roof; most probably, we’re looking at a sort of hair-nest situation that may smell a bit, but not as immediately or as strongly as the cheese house will. Neither will fare well in rain, but a hair house won’t sweat or melt in the heat. Candles are a bad idea inside a hair house, which might be worth keeping in mind if ambience ranks high on your list of priorities. But, counterpoint, does overwhelming cheese smell place on that list at all? It’s a subjective rubric, of course. You simply have to decide what fits best with your lifestyle.

Would You Rather Sweat Milk or Sneeze Glitter?