Political Gabfest

The “2016 Conundrums” Edition

Listen to Slate’s show of listener-submitted conundrums, answered live in Brooklyn.

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For this week’s Slate Plus bonus segment the hosts tackle conundrums with special surprise guest Stephen Colbert. Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at slate.com/gabfestplus.

On this week’s Slate Political Gabfest, Emily Bazelon, John Dickerson, and David Plotz finish this year of conundrums with their annual year-end show of listener-submitted conundrums.


Here are the conundrums from the year’s show:

  • Would you kill a dog or a tree?
  • If suspended animation were perfected and you could safely awaken after years of sleep, would you do it? If so, how far would you want to go?
  • What direction should you face in the shower?
  • Would you rather marry Ted Cruz or Tom Cruise?
  • How much accommodation is a home chef supposed to do when hosting for the holidays?
  • Did you ever have a moment in your life where you made a small decision that ended up being enormous?
  • Books, podcasts, or television: You have to live off only one medium the rest of your life. Which do you choose?
  • A person physically pushes or hits you in public. When you confront him, he begins to take video of you on his phone. What do you do?
  • Is it really better to have never loved and lost or never to have loved at all?
  • What fictional city or other locale would you like to inhabit?
  • You’re a presidential campaign manager for hire. You know for sure that you want to be involved in this election. Opting out is not an option. The field you have to choose from is any of the fictional characters used in advertising children’s cereals. Which of these characters do you choose to work for and why?
  • Would you rather be a public school teacher now or back in the days of the one-room schoolhouse?
  • What should you do to bridge the rural-urban divide?
  • What is the most graceful animal?

Topic ideas for next week? You can tweet suggestions, links, and questions to @SlateGabfest (#heygabfest). (Tweets may be quoted by name unless the writer stipulates otherwise.)

Podcast production by Jocelyn Frank. Links compiled by Kevin Townsend.