Thursday, September 24, 2009

Mary Ann DeBorde - A Slice of Wry 3 INSANITY QUIZ

In moments of quiet reflection, have you ever asked yourself what is the meaning of life? Have you ever pondered the mystery of the little light in your refrigerator, wondered if flies pass gas, and continue to insert cotton swabs into your ear canal even though package instructions explicitly state not to?

If so, you are obviously not right in the head, are probably suffering from an enormous brain tumor the size of a cantaloupe, and should not be left alone with anything more dangerous than a can opener (manual - not electric).

But that's okay, because most of us aren't right in the head either. We just pretend to be. Life is making all of us crazy.

See, the human brain contains a whole bunch of important cells - let's say 10 zillion - and due to stress, these cells are dying by the bucket each day until eventually most of us will be left to function with a brain the size of a Tic Tac.

According to secret information recently declassified under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), the only known safe cure in the war against stress is laughter. Which is why humor will be outlawed any day now.

So laugh while you can. Before the Feds show up to confiscate your old issues of MAD magazine and Monty Python tapes ... for your OWN good, you goober.

No, I'm only kidding about the Feds (not really) (please don't hurt me). But, the fact of the matter is that if life hasn't made you nuts yet, it's only a matter of time. THEREFORE, out of the goodness of my heart, I have taken valuable time out of my horrendously busy schedule in order to devise a simple quiz to measure how far along the insanity curve you are:

Q. You finally have an hour to yourself and are curled up with a new bestseller you've been dying to read for ages, when a neighbor pops by to present you with a dewy zucchini picked fresh from their garden. You ...

A) Discreetly put away your book, thank them for their thoughtfulness, and enjoy an hour of neighborly companionship over a freshly brewed pot of coffee. All your cups and saucers match.

B) Grunt something unintelligible, shove the zucchini between the pages to use as a biodegradable book mark, and try to act interested in their stupid garden for the next hour while you seriously consider faking a heart attack.

Q. It's 6 p.m., supper time. You are in the process of removing from the oven a pan a mouthwatering lasagna and hot, crisp garlic bread when the doorbell chimes - heralding the arrival of unexpected company. You ...

A) Smile and express your unbounded delight over this wonderful opportunity to share a home cooked meal with good friends such as these. You usher the unexpected guests into a dining room straight out of Country Living for People Who Don't Live In The Country, where candles burn discreetly, the table linens are hand crotched Irish Linens, and an organic centerpiece fashioned from natural fruits and berries grace the center of a 200-year old Amish great table. Broadway show tunes softly play in the background.

B) Grimace, grab up a spatula and then use it to vigorously scratch your back, thus making certain that NOBODY but you is going to want any of that lasagna. As added insurance, you casually - albeit in a loud voice - whine about how the recent hot weather has played havoc, absolute havoc with your recurring boils. You act surprised when, in the middle of fetching the crumby card table stuffed behind the hot water heater, the one you use to groom the dog on, your guests quickly announce they cannot stay. You scream at junior to turn down Mortal Kombat.

Q. Imagine yourself as a respected head-of-state in a closed door summit with a foreign dignitary whose country is on the verge of nuclear armament.

Tensions are high. The fate of the free world hangs in the balance. Face to face, eyeball to eyeball, you prepare to broach the subject of nuclear weaponry with every shred of tact and diplomacy millions of people pray you possess, when SUDDENLY you happen to notice that your potential adversary has so much hair sprouting from his ears it looks like he has a live weasel glued to each side of his head. You ...

A) Are a mature individual who sees nothing funny in hairy ears or weasels, AND - without batting an eye or missing a beat - you go on to give the best impromptu speech of your life, thereby averting disaster and saving the lives of millions in the process. Your mother is proud.

B) Are morbidly fascinated by this guy's ears. It looks like ZZTop is jamming in there. It's like a forest of hair. Bambi's mother could still be alive in this guy's ears!

And though you bite the inside of your lip to keep from laughing, though you give a discreet cough to cover up the chuckles threatening to erupt, your brain hates you and won't let up for a second, until you are helplessly convulsing so hard that tears are streaming from you eyes, you are snorting up small paperweights off the desk, and all you can manage to do is point, howl and try not to soil yourself.

The summit is a disaster. Millions of people die. Your mother included. And her little dog, too.

Now then. For each "A" answer award yourself 1 point. For each "B" answer, give yourself a a trillion points. Next, RUN to the nearest Electronics-Are-Extremely-Expensive-Store and buy one of those calculators like they use at NASA. When the purchase is denied by your Discovering Debt Card, write a check and leave your youngest child at the counter as collateral.

When (if) you get home, punch in your quiz score and then multiply by Pi (3.14), multiply by the square root of infinity, then calculate the cosine while figuring X as a negative integer of Y.

Avoid drooling on the keys while you ignore all the incoming messages from DCFS and the bank, piling up on your voice mail like lights on a Christmas tree.

If the end result of your calculations looks something like the Mandlebrot*** set, you are hopelessly insane but may still be able to secure a job in Congress.

Otherwise, stay on the line until an operator can assist you. Because your call is important to us.

*** Mandlebrot set: a simple fractal algorithm (also see Juliet sets). Colorized images of these fractals are incredibly beautiful.

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