The Burning House

The Burning House tumblr asks:

If your house was burning, what would you take with you? It’s a conflict between what’s practical, valuable and sentimental. What you would take reflects your interests, background and priorities. Think of it as an interview condensed into one question.

And what an interview that would be! As one of the many surplus Graduates this fine country has amassed, attending interviews has become a regular feature in the tedium of my life. One thing I’ve noticed – they all ask the same bland, tiresome and interminably boring questions.

Presumably, an employer asks someone to interview to figure out if they’re a) capable of the job and b) going to fit in with the company. Both of these you should have a reasonable idea of anyway from the person’s CV, so why not make the most of meeting an actual person by talking to them, not at them; finding out what they’ve got to say for themselves, and what they’ll be like on a day-to-day basis rather than the vapid robot they’ll inevitably be when asked a standard question. There  is little more demoralising than going into an interview like an exam – getting the same questions you had anticipated and then rattling out the answer you had prepared. Yeah, the answer may be correct, but it will also be really fucking dull. More than likely, it will bear an uncanny resemblance to the answer given by the next poor, unemployed bastard as well. ‘Scuse my French.

What I would give to attend an interview that asked me a question like this. Simple, interesting, and you would learn more about the suitability of the person in five minutes than if you spent an hour reeling off the list of questions you downloaded off

A selection of my favourites:

Name: Fifikoussout Age: 29 Location: Stockholm, Sweden Occupation: Illustrator Website:
  • A kimono my Grand Ma gave me
  • A box (filled with photos) i bought in Spain when i was 11
  • A copy of the Gradute i received from my danish friend
  • A box my mum used to keep coarse salt
  • An old salt shaker
  • A snake bracelet i bought when i was a student in France
  • My wisdom teeth
  • A locket medallion with a photo of my mum insdideA clay ocarina i bought in Portugal as a kid
  • An old glasses case 

Name: Mårten Bläckberg
Age: 22
Location: Umeå, Sweden
Occupation: Technician at a Recycling Center

  • Ernest Hemingways selected letters
  • My collection of Western DVD’s
  • My favorite backpack that i use everyday
  • A horrible painting from the 50’s made by a crazy starving artist found in my mothers childhood home picturing – – the death of Stefanus.
  • My stratocaster
  • The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt by Edmund Morris, to remind myself who the man is.
  • Nikon F4, the only camera i will fail to break, built like a tank.
  • The first shirt i bought which founded a life-long interest in blue shirts, you can’t have too many.
  • iPhone
  • My beautiful loving girlfriend (pictured in my iPhone)
  • My favorite records:
  • Pebbles vol. 2, a collection of super rare 60’s garage punk singles, love it!
  • Them!
  • My humble collection of 7” punk singles
  • Snus
  • Hungarian mustache wax, got to keep it under control
  • The key to my bicycle

Name: Alejandro Sosa
Age: 36
Location: Venezuela
Occupation: Technology consultant


  • Everything is recoverable, except my daughter

Name: Andy Forch
Age: 27
Location: San Francisco, CA
Occupation: Sous-chef, Huckberry


  • Toms Shoes: They smell horrible and gave up the ghost years ago, but they’re still my go-to.
  • Infinite Jest: DFW is my favorite writer, it’s a first edition, and yet I’ve never read it despite having it on my bedside table for over two years. It’s coming with me.
  • iPhone: Never. Lose. iPhone. Again.
  • Pipes: My uncle smoked these bad boys in law school. Incredible smell and patina.
  • Tag Heuer watch: The most expensive thing I own. If my apartment burned down, I’d pawn it.
  • Boxers: My favorite pair from college. Close second to my Toms on most-comfortable-(and smelly)-thing-I-own-scale.
  • Thinkpad: Worst computer on earth. I just got a Mac, and only included it because I want to be the one to throw it in the fire.
  • Jameson: I’d first use it to stoke the flames around my Thinkpad, and would then swig it on the street.
  • Favorite shirt: Wear these threads way too often.