Questions Beget Questions on the Mood Survey

by Kristina Saccone

At my appointment for the flu shot, the doctor asks, “Do you own any weapons?”

Today, I braced myself to bare an arm, feel the pinch of the needle, and wonder about the vaccination’s route in my body. The question I was prepared for: “Do I want to see the needle piercing the skin or not?” Most often, I do look.

This question, however, gums up a neatly cleared channel in my SSRI-soothed brain.

Questions beget more questions.

I don’t own any firearms, but a kitchen knife can be a weapon, right? I have several of those.

Take the two-piece Kyocera ceramic set, in white, which we received as a wedding gift. My mother’s old adage: put knives on your registry, and it’ll bring bad luck. “You never know, your husband might decide to murder you with it.”

Over a decade, these particular blades have proven both delicate and efficient, thinly slicing lemon rind for cocktails or neatly rending a blueberry for the baby to eat. Now, they are riddled with tiny ridges, chips like broken fingernails stuck in the doorway.

I’ve been reading Agatha Christie novels at bedtime, where poison is often the weapon of choice, slipped into someone’s soothing evening cocoa only to freeze the nervous system while sleeping. Is there anything in the house that might double as a deadly poison?

How about a fruit fly trap? Ingredients:

      1. A cup of apple vinegar
      2. A slice of rotting fruit, thin enough to float
      3. A drop of dish soap

Vinegar and fruit draw the fly in, and the soap traps and poisons it. Simple household chemicals. I set the trap and wait. It feels more humane than smacking flies between my hands after they stupidly dart around my face.

Explosives? I spent one July 4th as a teen smoking cigarettes, sharing a 40, and setting off Roman candles in someone else’s backyard.

Didn’t I read somewhere that a pen could be used as a weapon?

How long is too long to think through my response to this question?

What is the right answer to this question?

“No, I don’t own any weapons,” I say.

Kristina Saccone crafts flash fiction and creative nonfiction in the hours between logging off from work and wrangling her young son. Her work has appeared in Dwelling Literary and The Minison Project, and she has a piece forthcoming in Unearthed. You can find her on Twitter at @kristinasaccone or haunting small independent bookstores in the Washington, DC, area.


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