In 1994, I’d check my email like 42 times a day and get maybe 6 emails. Each one was exciting, it’s unopened little blinking envelope off to the side, its bold font looking at me with such unfettered promise. It was back in those Model T days of Outlook that I received my first All About Me quiz. And it was frickin’ awesome. What an amazing opportunity to share what time I woke up, the color of my socks, my middle name, my preferred toothpaste brand and whether I like hugs or kisses simply by Copying This Note And Forwarding. Also, it took up like 15 minutes of time when I should have been writing copy to sell cable television to people in West Virginia with black lung disease. Not kidding, my “You’re Dying. Might as well watch Cinemax!” campaign garnered a 3.8% response rate. Garnered is really a word I’ve only ever used in conjunction with the phrase “response rate” by the by. They go nicely together, I think, or at least Cable TV executives seem to think so. Sounds much better than “I GOT ME a 3.8% response rate.”
I digress. The All About Me quiz… I really do like getting them still to this day, I really do like reading other people’s sock colors, favorite ice cream and biggest fears. I really really do. But, I hate answering them. You see, back in 1994, I came up with some super good Hi-larious Hi-Jinx answers! Nutty, funny answers. Answers so good, they had to invent the acronyms LOL and ROFLOL just for MY answers.
One little gem:
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE FLOWER?
My answer: Cauli.
That is pure comic gold, dammit.
But, you can only answer Cauli so many times before it gets tired. And now, 14 years later, I’ve officially had to retire Cauli and all my other amazing answers – and right when all the “2009 Version” of All About Me has just been released. Which pretty much looks exactly like the 1994 version, but whatever, it makes people happy.
Scientific studies from leading researchers at really important universities with rich histories and ivy have proven that the All About Me quiz was originally made up by a female and 99.8% of the people that keep them going on the Internet are female. Which is why most of the questions are about chocolate and flowers and kissing. Further studies have shown that the very first quiz can be traced to a pair of 12-year-old girls connected to the internet via a Compaq computer in a public library in Yuma, Arizona. (They were wearing stripey socks, their favorite animal was a pony, and they loved hugs, incidentally. Biggest fear? That Tommy would make fun of their braces in front of everyone.)
All of this brings me to the very interesting thing that happened to me this week, and that is that I got an All About Me quiz from a boy. And not some girly boy, and not a “boi” and not a kid type boy under the age of 11. I got it from a self-proclaimed redneck. A country boy who wears boots and does construction and spits and drinks beer. A 42 year old father of three and owner of a big, loud pickup. Who apparently is rather new to email and the Internet.
And it was about the coolest thing ever. For starters, I’ve never seen “Carhart” as an answer for Favorite Brand Of Clothing? before…and I’m sure his wife was horrified by his answer “lint” to What’s Under Your Bed? Where women write “Losing my family” or “Dying before my husband” for Biggest Fear? this guy, this big, loud, belching guy, wrote “spiders.” His Favorite Flower was the unexpected and sweet “lilacs on the bush.” But perhaps the best part of all was his answer to “How Are You Feeling Right Now?” where he answered something a woman never ever would. He said: Tired. Overweight. Overall Good Mood! And he meant it.
No need to analyze that. I can’t wait to read his “All About My Spouse.” I’m sending it over to him right now.