What if you had 72 hours to save everything you live for? Do you need some time to think it over? Are there any tea leaves or astrological charts you would like to consult before tendering a response? Do you require any verification—say, a stack of blurry photos, a video with a date stamp, or an Excel spreadsheet where everything is itemized in neat, color-coded rows—that everything you live for does, in fact, need to be saved, or are you willing to just go with it? Are you surprised that anyone, let alone someone other than you, can pinpoint exactly what you live for? Are you flattered?
Do you happen to bear a striking resemblance to a certain Hollywood actor who’s famous for assaulting a hotel concierge with a telephone? Would it help, in this situation, if you did? Why didn’t you become a famous Hollywood actor, anyway? Are you going to sit there and whine about it? Have you ever accomplished anything more impressive in a 72-hour span than hauling your ass out of bed three times in a row? Is all of that going to change right now?
Are you beginning to wonder if “everything you live for” is really all it’s cracked up to be? Do you think you could learn to live for other things? For the campaign to pass new federal legislation that encourages sustainable farming, for instance? Or so you can raise a pair of beautiful, brand new kids, who, for all you know, might be even more precious and promising than your current kids, if kids are what you live for?
Does your answer change if one of your favorite TV shows is on during the next 72 hours? Does it change if saving everything you live for might require you to perform an emergency tracheotomy without adequate medical training, or drive a luxury speedboat into a crowded restaurant, or get naked in public? Does all this talk make you crave a cigarette? How long would it take you to learn some useful martial arts moves? Would you go to extreme lengths to make sure you have enough 5-hour energy drink to last the full 72 hours?
Given the choice, and the means, and barring any serious impediment in your schedule, and taking it on faith that these are, indeed, the things you live for, and that you will, in fact, get them back in a fair and timely and fashion, with no funny stuff, would you consider trying to save everything you live for? No harm in trying, right?
Would you ask for an extension?