August 29, 2004

50 Facts, of Dubious Import, About Us

WE HAVE NOTICED that plenty of folks are taking part in a quiz called "50 Things You Probably Don’t Want to Know About Me." It is a badly-named quiz, as we only found perhaps four questions on the questionnaire which would prompt an immediate and visceral response from readers, this indicating that we had provided Too Much Information. However, the quiz exists, and it looks kinda fun, so we’ll have at it.

(quiz via Sheila)

1. Your name spelled backwards. You figure it out.

2. Where were your parents born? Ask them, and maybe you’ll get an answer.

3. What is the last thing you downloaded onto your computer? Internal Revenue Service Publication 15 (Circular E, Employer’s Tax Guide).

What? Look, we recently had to check our withholding to see the impact of the Government’s fiscal policies upon our personal economy. So we did – and we were right too, as it turned out.

4. What’s your favorite restaurant? La Diva, 139 Rue de Hollande, Marigot, St. Martin. Wonderful and small Italian place run by a Frenchman – few tables, low lights, excellent food. We haven’t been there in more than a decade -- but we can assure you the place served up THE best Caesar salads and veal parmigiana we’ve had in our lives. In fact, it was so good that on our family vacations, we routinely went to La Diva twice – which is no joke when you consider you’re on an island noted for excellent restaurants.

Interesting side note: one thing we noticed on the wall was a small portrait of an Indian mystic who was proclaimed to be "a silent listener in every conversation, and unseen guest at every meal." Do not ask us how we remember this – we just do. That said, given the quality of the several dinners we have eaten there, this would be one very lucky mystic indeed.

5. What’s the last time you swam in a pool? Oh, Gad. Ah. Gee. Oh! Now we remember. It was in Scottsdale, Ariz. We were there for a business trip back in … 1998 or 1999, we think it was.

6. Have you ever been in a school play? Yes. In fourth grade, we were forced to take part in a school play as part of a class project. The play was one of those badly-written drama exercises for young children; an unpleasant affair in which our poor mother was forced to make a costume for us and we as a class had to put on the project for the whole school. The play was a complete disaster as the kid playing the lead role – the poor girl – got awful stage fright and forgot her lines entirely. The whole episode convinced us that we were not actors at heart.

7. How many kids do you want? This number varies from zero to seventeen based on a complex series of variables which change without notice.

8. Type of music you dislike most? Rap music with stupid lyrics. The stupid lyrics are the trouble, not the rap music itself. We are sorry, but we do not particularly care if the singer is spending a great deal of his newly-found wealth on quickly-depreciating goods and believes, because of this, that Government seeks to put a damper on his activities. This combination of delusion and fecklessness amazes us. After all, these singers rail against the established order as a matter of course, yet through their example encourage their listeners to support that establishment through conspicuous consumption.

To be fair, we should admit that we like this, as more spending equals greater corporate profits, which means greater returns for our own small investments. However, as these songs are a potent societal force, we do think a greater good would be achieved if the singers placed more emphasis on savings, investment and other forms of wealth-creation. Accordingly, we look forward to hearing these singers proclaim their portfolios make the financial-services industry look weak and contemptible in comparison.

9. Are you registered to vote? Yes.

10. Do you have cable? Yes. A better question: do we watch it?

11. Have you ever ridden on a moped? No. We like our legs, so we’d like to ensure they are kept intact.

12. Ever prank call somebody? No. However, back when we were a boy, we do recall a friend of ours prank-calling the answering service for a personal-injury lawyer repeatedly over the course of one night.

13. Ever get a parking ticket? OK, folks, this is why this quiz was badly-named. None of our readers care whether we have ever received a parking ticket. Not only that, the quiz’s title gives the impression that we’re going to be discussing matters at a level a bit more personal than whether we received parking tickets – which we most certainly did. We lived in Los Angeles, for Pete’s sake. That said, back when we were in Los Angeles, we routinely took part in a parking-ticket alert system at our office.

We worked on the twelfth floor of an office building on W. Pico Blvd., which conveniently enough had a branch of the city’s Parking Violations Bureau on its lowest level. The street itself was supposed to be free of all parked traffic after 4 p.m. so commuters could have an easier ride home. Therefore, when we saw anti-social malcontents blatantly park their expensive foreign automobiles on the street after 4 p.m., we and our coworkers would sometimes alert the bureau to dispatch a tow truck. We realize many people may be shocked we would engage in such an activity, but hey: if people were potentially going to screw up the drive because of their refusal to follow clearly-marked street signs, they deserved whatever they got. Plus, there was a parking garage in our building as well as plenty of side-street parking, so it’s not like we were truly being malicious.

It was also common practice in the office to stop work whenever a freeway chase was on television. We even made popcorn.

14. Would you go bungee jumping or sky diving? No, we would most certainly not.

15. Farthest place you ever traveled? Maui, Hawaii.

16. Do you have a garden? Oh, please.

17. What’s your favorite comic strip? Dilbert. Definitely Dilbert.

18. Do you really know all the words to your national anthem? Of course. Rockets' red glare ... ah ... dah dah dah -- oh, right, bombs bursting in air, and so on.

19. Bath or shower, morning or night? Shower, morning, although maybe a second one at night if we actually got some exercise.

20. Best movie you’ve seen in the past month? Donnie, shut the hell up, OK? These questions are starting to really get on our nerves, they’re all so bloody random. Has the whole world gone crazy? Are we the only ones here who give a shit about the rules? MARK IT ZERO! Shut the hell up, Donnie—Smokey, my friend, you are entering a world of pain. MARK IT ZERO!

21. Favorite pizza topping? Anchovies. Yes, really. We like anchovies.

22. Chips or popcorn? Neither. Some of us have to keep our effin’ blood sugar under control and neither of these things are exactly helpful in that regard. Being diabetic just sucks.

23. What color lipstick do you wear? That’d be a bit kinky, wouldn’t it?

24. Have you ever smoked peanut shells? Dear God – don’t tell us that’s among the ingredients in the damned cigarettes.

25. Have you ever been in a beauty pageant? What is this, some kind of joke? What kind of quiz writer writes a quiz and then makes half the questions only applicable to half the population?

26. Orange juice or apple? Neither. See Item 22.

27. Who was the last person you went out to dinner with and where did you dine? Boy, that’s a badly-phrased question. Anyway, it was … God, we’ve been so busy … ah … you know, it was with Dean Esmay and Rosemary, his wife, and Geoff Brown and Amy Premo and Moe at Occam's Toothbrush and Dean and Rosemary's son, at the Red Hawk Bar & Grill on State Street in Ann Arbor, Mich. Busy but good place serving reasonable American food.

28. Favorite type chocolate bar? Oh, shut up.

29. When was the last time you voted at the polls? Our last municipal election, so that would be November of 2003.

30. Last time you ate a homegrown tomato? Years ago. You know, it was probably one of our late grandfather’s tomatoes: he was a fabulous gardener.

31. Have you ever won a trophy? We were runner-up in the sixth grade Civic Oration Contest at Woodward Elementary School in Kalamazoo, Mich.

32. Are you a good cook? We are a passable cook, but perhaps best noted for our dual ability to a) make something out of various non-related ingredients and b) eat said dish.

33. Do you know how to pump your own gas? We’re starting to think this quiz was taken from an edition of Good Housekeeping magazine – circa 1958.

34. Ever order an article from an infomercial? Um, no.

35. Sprite or 7-Up? Diet Sprite, but only – and we mean only – when we are sick.

36. Have you ever had to wear a uniform to work? For roughly 18 months, during periods in high school and college, we worked in the kitchen at various McDonald’s restaurants. Our experience there led us to realize that fast food restaurants are similar to cemeteries: one goes there between sunset and sunrise at one’s peril.

37. Last thing you bought at a pharmacy? Pharmaceuticals.

38. Ever thrown up in public? No – although we’ve certainly felt like doing so at times.

39. Would you prefer being a millionaire or find true love? True love. Besides, economists have proven that being married carries with it a proven happiness quotient that’s roughly the equivalent of doubling one’s income. So, with that, we must say we’d prefer to have true love, as we sure as hell feel like a million bucks when we’re in a relationship.

40. Do you believe in love at first sight? Yes and no. By this we mean that we do, except we force ourselves to think otherwise for our own good.

41. Ever call a 1-900 number? If we wanted to be told unconvincing lies, we’d call our cable company.

42. Can ex’s be friends? Sure – but it’s generally a tough go of things.

43. Who was the last person you visited in a hospital? This question is more applicable to our own situation if we ask who was the last person to visit us in hospital – and that would be Mr Kepple.

44. Did you have a lot of hair when you were a baby? How should we know?

45. What message is on your answering machine? It’s the standard boring message.

46. What’s your all-time favorite Saturday Night Live character? The samurai whom John Belushi portrayed. Really, we mean, how can you go wrong with a skit entitled, “Samurai Delicatessen?”

47. Name of your first pet? Maddie. Golden retriever. Good dog!

48. What’s in your wallet? This question originally read “purse,” but we changed it so we could given an accurate answer. We carry in our wallet … let’s see here … debit cards … a credit card … health-insurance cards … identification … and our collection of weird business cards that we’ve accumulated over the years. This last item, we have no doubt, will somehow prove to give us more trouble than having it is worth.

49. Favorite thing to do before bedtime? Reading. Well, OK, making out – but in the absence of that, reading.

50. What is one thing you are grateful for today? Well, we finished this quiz, so we’re grateful for having finished all that up. Oh, and we have air conditoning in our apartment, because the weather outside seems somewhat Miami-ish. Plus we have a good stock of Diet Cherry Coke in the fridge, and dinner lined up, and … you know, this is a pretty good life we have going here.

Posted by Benjamin Kepple at August 29, 2004 09:33 PM | TrackBack