Ed Gebert
Ed Gebert

I haven’t been enrolled in school for many years, but it seems we are always quizzed in life. I’m not talking about figuring out which fork in the road to take or deciding if your friend is telling the truth or not. I’m talking about magazine-type quizzes.

Back in my younger days, non-school quizzes were mostly out of Cosmopolitan magazine. My research shows they still have all these silly quizzes (at least on their website, I’m not shelling out money to do research!), and they seem to be rather limited in subject. There are personality quizzes (Would anybody put up with me?), relationship quizzes (Would anyone of the opposite sex put up with me?), and of course, intimacy quizzes (Would anyone of the opposite sex… ), and that’s pretty much the whole selection. The current intimacy quizzes have off titles, in my opinion. Do Guys Think You’re Sexy? (I hope not), Are You Good in Bed? (I am a good sleeper), and How Much Sex Appeal Do You Have? (I’m scared to get near this one). All I really know for sure is that if my date had been taking a Cosmo Quiz before I picked her up for our date, I didn’t stand a chance because they all seemed to be targeting men as good-for-nothing pigs. I didn’t want my date to find that out too early. I preferred to spring it on her later!

Now the online world has brought forth a whole host of ridiculous quizzes which seem to have no real meaning or worth whatsoever. I took one this week to find out Which Barry Manilow Song Are You? I dodged “Copacabana,” thankfully enough, but got “Can’t Smile Without You” instead. Now the problem is trying to figure out what that means: Is it bad or good? Does this mean I need the company of a specific person to be happy? Does this mean I also can’t laugh or can’t sing? Or am I overthinking this? If I had gotten “Copacabana” as a result, would that have meant I should be named Rico and wear a diamond? Or wear a dress cut down to there? The results page simply is no help.

So I decided more quizzes might help. What Song Was Actually Written About You? I got “Wild Thing” by the Troggs. I must be quite the rebel. What Broadway Musical Are You? I’m “West Side Story,” despite the fact that I live on the east side. What Kind of Storm Are You? I’m a blizzard, cold and windy. How do all these things fit together? I have no idea.

With no explanation anywhere, I will use my computer to pull up an actual random quiz. Let’s take it together. You won’t know your result, but I have a feeling that’ll be as useful and accurate as what I’ll get.

Let’s begin. The quiz is What Decade Are You? Here’s the first of six questions. What’s most likely to get you out of the house? The choices: Meeting friends for coffee, a hot new club opening, a new video game at the arcade, a political protest, burgers and shakes. I can see where this is going already — each answer is a stereotypical answer of a decade like a political protest is the 60s, etc. I’ll go with burgers and shakes since I always need to eat. Question Two. You prefer jeans that are: designer, tight, well worn, classic and cuffed, flared. Same obvious stereotyping I see. I’ll go with well worn, since that pretty much describes me. That or well worn out! Your political views: are liberal, are radical, are conservative, depend on the issue, are on the libertarian side. A lot of ways I could go with this, but I like to study and make my own decisions, so I’ll hit Depend on the issue. Next question: You relationship could be described as: full commitment, an open relationship, a friendship that turned into love, living in sin, complicated. Of course that last one could probably apply to everyone in a relationship, but in my case I’m going with A friendship that turned into love, which also could probably apply to everyone in a relationship also. Question 5: What musical artist will you always love? Choices: Led Zepplin, Nirvana, Elvis, U2, Beatles. I’ve narrowed it down to the last three, but none of those fit the question perfectly. I’ll go with U2 because it’s easiest to type. In quizzes, that’s a legitimate reason to decide on a choice. Last question: How would you describe your outlook? Anxious and bold, rebellious and free spirited, conservative and respectful, cynical and realistic, wild and outgoing. That’s a tough one. If my song is truly “Wild Thing” I should go with the second one, but nothing ever seems to correspond between quizzes. I’ll go with cynical and realistic. I am real, anyway. That much I know. That and I “Can’t Smile Without You.”

Now the result. Brace yourself. Are you braced? Me either. I may fall off my chair. I am… the 1990s. I was alive during the 1990s, but other than that, I just don’t get it. Am I modern? Am I outdated? I wonder if I could have gotten a result of the 1890s? the 1770s? Anything BC? Oh well, I’ll try the next quiz… If I Were A Tree What Kind Would I Be? I’m guessing I’m a wild tree, planted in the 1990s by a guy either Watching West Side Story or whistling “Can’t Smile Without You.”