The Marcel Proust Questionnaire: Tony Healey Edition!

I recently saw something on ‘Brain Pickings’ in which David Bowie answered the infamous series of questions laid down by Marcel Proust. So I decided to have a go at answering them myself. In doing so I tried not to overthink any of the answers, to simply put whatever came to mind, on the theory that that answer would be the most honest.

1. What is your idea of perfect happiness?

– Any moment I’m afforded the luxury of daydreaming

2. What is your greatest fear?

– The uncertainty of what lies beyond death – if anything

3. What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?

– That my best comebacks always happen after the fact

4. What is the trait you most deplore in others?

– Condescension

5. Which living person do you most admire?

– The Boss

6. What is your greatest extravagance?

– A 50 inch Television

7. What is your current state of mind?

– Too busy for my own good

8. What do you consider the most overrated virtue?

– Forgiveness

9. On what occasion do you lie?

– “Did you leave the toilet like that?”

10. What do you most dislike about your appearance?

– Everything from my head down

11. Which living person do you most despise?

– Kerry Katona – has there ever been anyone worse?

12. What is the quality you most like in a man?

– That he is what he says he is

13. What is the quality you most like in a woman?

– That she is what she says she is

14. Which words or phrases do you most overuse?

– Fuck

15. What or who is the greatest love of your life?

– My wife, Lesley

16. When and where were you happiest?

– I’ve never been happier than I am now. But my most cherished memory, something I hold very dear, dates back to 1986: Guy’s hospital, London, pretending to listen to my brother Danny’s heartbeat with a plastic toy stethoscope. It’s a sad memory, since he died later that year, but it’s also the one I cherish most because I’m so lucky to have it.

17. Which talent would you most like to have?

– Turning back the clock

18. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

– My itchy nipple (perhaps I’ll cut it off . . .)

19. What do you consider your greatest achievement?

– There are three (at the moment) and their names are Leah, Freya & Olivia

20. If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?

– The wind, since I’ve had practice making so much of my own

21. Where would you most like to live?

– Somewhere in the west country, overlooking the sea

22. What is your most treasured possession?

– The blue Woolworth’s teddy I’ve had since I was 1 years old

23. What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?

– Never achieving any of your dreams

24. What is your favorite occupation?

– Writing

25. What is your most marked characteristic?

– My pointy spock ear

26. What do you most value in your friends?

– That they keep their distance

27. Who are your favorite writers?

– Science Fiction: Arthur C. Clarke, Fantasy: Joe Abercrombie, Short Stories: Harlan Ellison, Literature: John Irving & Michael Chabon, Horror: Early Stephen King (before he got sober and lost it), Crime: Any of the writers published by Hard Case Crime, Novelisations: Alan Dean Foster

28. Who is your hero of fiction?

– Grady Tripp

29. Which historical figure do you most identify with?

– Zefram Cochrane

30. Who are your heroes in real life?

– Film: Clint, Music: The Boss, Books: Arthur C, Politics: George Galloway, Locally: Whoever has the balls to try the XXX chilli burger at ‘Burger Off’.

31. What are your favorite names?

– Tobias & Lola

32. What is it that you most dislike?

– See question 4. That, again. Times two.

33. What is your greatest regret?

– That I wasted so long NOT writing

34. How would you like to die?

– In my sleep, completely unaware of the fact

35. What is your motto?

– “It’ll be alright”

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