... what my favorite Beatles song was.
A fairly straightforward question, but the implications are incredibly far-reaching. My first reaction when an inquiry such as this comes my way is a wave of excitement. Because I love making lists, and ranking things, and having favorites, and I get happy when I find someone to share with.
At the same time, though, there's a gnawing anxiety. What is their ulterior motive for asking? Are they going to (silently or out loud) ridicule my tastes for being too obvious, or for being too obscure? Do they want a top five list or just one? A top five list would probably be going overboard, but how on earth can you pick just one? And what if my favorite Beatles song is the one they can't stand?
Then I start to worry about my own memory. What if I just say the first song that comes to my mind, but it's really not my favorite and it won't hit me until tomorrow what my actual favorite is? At that point I'd have to update the person. And what if I discover a new gem in the next few days that replaces the top spot? I would probably mention it, but does this mean I'm obligated to keep this person updated on Beatles song status for the next twenty years as I acquire new music and as my tastes change? And then there's the issue of once I've said out loud that "this is my favorite song," is it going to influence my listening patterns? I don't want to feel guilt-tripped into liking something forever just because I liked it one day in September when someone happened to ask me about it.
I think my brain works too hard sometimes. That said, I still love these conversations. And I absolutely adore making top five lists. (hello, High Fidelity!)
Also, in case you were wondering - my favorite Beatles song is a tie between "Revolution 1" and "Hey Jude." These have stayed fairly constant for the past few years, so I'm probably safe to put it in writing, don't you think?