Well, let's just say you probably won't see me standing behind a video-monitor-equipped podium, with a signaling device in hand, asking Alex Trebek questions like, "What is the Venus de Milo?" (er, actually, I mean this one) or, "Where is Lake Titicaca?" anytime in 2010.
I think I acquitted myself fairly well, but in the immediate aftermath of the 50-question test (15 seconds to answer each one), the only thing I'm confident of is that I've got almost no chance to make it to the next round. I'd guess I got about two-thirds correct, but I can think of too many I flubbed. For better or worse, the website doesn't recap which ones you got right or wrong, or even give a score, and I don't even know if there's a preset minimum number of correct responses to qualify for the next round, but... eh.
A few quick highlights and lowlights from the test:
- The first question was about a Dr. Seuss character - child's play! was my first thought - who has some thing or other to do with trees. Argh! Pretty sure that ruled out The Cat, Horton and Sam He Is, and for the life of me, I couldn't think of The Lorax.
- My mom always used to tell me I should read more books, and although I usually do alright on trivia questions about novels, even when I haven't read them, tests like this are pain-in-the-ass reminders that my mom was probably right. One question referred to a Faulkner novel with a title that repeats the same word twice. As time ran out, "Absalom, Absalom" came to mind, but literally only because it was the one two-repeated-words title I could think of. Except that I was completely sure it wasn't a Faulkner work, so I left that one blank. Um, oops.
- I always like ending on a high note, so I was glad that the last question was about a pro tennis player born in Basel in 1981. A cinch for an incurable sports fan.
- My wildest guess that actually worked came on a question about a Supreme Court justice who, from 1801 to 1804, wrote a biography of George Washington. Thought process: "Marshall sounds like an early 19th century judge kind of a name.... There was another Marshall besides Thurgood, right?... Oh, whatever, I'll go with Marshall."
- ZenMom is going to absolutely murderize me for missing the question that sought the name of the TV show whose theme song includes the line "Our whole universe was in a hot dense state" and is performed by the Barenaked Ladies. I knew it was "that show with three science dorks and a cute chick that I watched once and swore never to watch again," but I think the judges were probably looking for The Big Bang Theory.
- I did, however, guess right on another pop culture question, figuring that it was Penelope Cruz who played "neither Vicky nor Cristina, but Maria Elena in Vicky Cristina Barcelona."
- I got the one about Ben Franklin's 1784 invention that was probably a result of his advancing age and increasing trouble reading - bifocals - and I dug back into the recesses of my 11th grade chemistry knowledge and remembered that the chemical symbol for potassium was K. (Fist bump!)
- The one that really fried my brain was a geography question having something to with Albania and a large lake and some peninsula. (Possibly they were going for the Balkan Peninsula - I don't know.) I couldn't even discern the question what the question was asking because as I was reading it, all I could hear was a hilarious scene from a 1985 Cheers episode, with Coach and Sam studying for Sam's GED exam by singing, "Albania, Albania. You border on the Adriatic."