a conversation with Mil Millington      
photograph of Mil Millington


The Millington Questionnaire

Since 1993, Vanity Fair has devoted its back page to the Proust Questionnaire, a set of questions adapted from a social entertainment played by French littérateur Marcel Proust. Each month, a different public personality takes up the challenge, revealing the nuances and sensibilities of their characters in the answering.

The Millington Questionnaire, adapted from the novel Things My Girlfriend and I Have Argued About, favors the same philosophy, providing glimpses into people's characters while serving as a jumping off point for profound conversations on phone sex, Jeremy Northam, Batgirl, or the thrill of deactivating one's car alarm (chunk!).

This month, author, web celebrity, and Guardian columnist Mil Millington pauses to reflect on the sound of cigarettes in the toilet bowl, idiots, and offers that end in February.

You can kill anyone—who will it be?

I best not say right now—it's a work-in-progress.

What do you wish you'd known at eighteen?

This is it, mate.

Best sound in the world?

There's very little to beat the sound of a cigarette butt abruptly fizzing out on being thrown into a lavatory bowl—which says a lot about beauty, in a way. (Oh dear, I said 'cigarette': I'm wanted in four states now, right?)

You can only take one CD to a desert island, what is it? (Up to your interpretation, of course.)

Ack. In the non-Roo sense, Hejira by Joni Mitchell. Quick, move on before I waver and the list goes on forever.

How can I improve my life by fifty percent without doing anything that requires any effort? (No, seriously. I would love to know the answer to this one.)

Roo's answer here is undoubtedly the correct one but, if I have to think of an alternative then, 'Stop talking to idiots as though they aren't idiots. What? You think if you take the time to explain things, slowly and carefully, that they'll get it now? They're idiots.'

Actually, please phone every morning and tell me that—just keep going until I finally accept it.

If you were the eighth dwarf, what dwarf would you be?


What's better, to be clever or to be beautiful?

Clever. I'd never be comfortable with being content.

Who would you be if you could be anyone?

Me—out of sense of duty.

What's the most important thing to remember in the Britain of today?

Offer Ends February.

interview by Kelley Kawano

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    Photo credit: Mil Millington