I am a complete sucker for online quizzes--the crazier, the better. I'm not sure what is the motivation for this compulsion--if there were a quiz to determine it, I would take it--but my quiz-taking has increased substantially this summer. Maybe it's my own innate sense of procrastination or just having some spare time on my hands, but this summer has found me staring idly at my computer, answering pointless quizzes.
At first, my quiz-taking was somewhat analytical and self-reflective. I've had several people ask me what Enneagram number I am. I wasn't sure, so I took a couple of Enneagram quizzes online. My score each time was 5--Investigator, Observer, or Thinker. I'm okay with this result, or so I thought I was. According to the personality blurbs, 5s are curious, independent, and introverted but also prone to, and I quote, "eccentricity, nihilism, and isolation." I'm not sure what the world has against eccentric nihilistic loners, but there you go. Scanning a list of famous 5s, I spotted Samuel Beckett, Tim Burton, Albert Einstein, T.S. Eliot, and Franz Kafka, which made me feel pretty good about myself, until I also noticed Howard Hughes, Tim McVeigh, and the Unabomber, as well. I've had several people tell me I'll meet a bad end. It must be because I'm a 5. . . .
Inspired by the Enneagram results, I also retook my Sparknotes personality quiz and got the same results I did last time: Submissive Introverted Abstract Feeler. I would argue that I'm not submissive, but my boss told me the same thing last semester, and my totally assertive response was "Yeah, I guess you're probably right." Oh, Zella, your assertiveness overwhelms us all. I felt somewhat enlightened by these results, though my inner nerd revolts against the idea of being pigeon-holed by a number or a label or both.
Nevertheless, I continued on my quest for enlightenment by taking some of the quizzes on The Oatmeal. (Just FYI: Some of the quizzes are a bit more vulgar than you may care to experience. Just trying to give you a head's up.) I learned that, if faced with a swarm of Justin Biebers, I could fight 22 of them single-handedly, and that my corpse would feed 48 starving weasels, and that I would survive 58 seconds chained to a bunk bed with a velociraptor, and that I would last 1 hour and 10 minutes before becoming infected by a zombie bite. All important things to know about one's self that I gained on this quest for self-awareness.
I think the most important bit I picked up, though, was when I clicked on a link from The Oatmeal to another website that promised to tell me what I would taste like to a cannibal. I answered several routine, matter-of-fact questions, regarding things like weight, ethnicity, and eating habits. I waited with great anticipation as the little cursor promised me that my results were coming. When I read them, I recoiled with horror. According to this highly scientific quiz, I would taste like mesquite chicken to a cannibal.
I was flabbergasted--a cannibal would find me tasty? My mind tried to rationalize what this would mean--I'm not sure if that's the 5 or the submissive introverted abstract feeler coming out in me--and I realized the most disturbing thing about this quiz was the fact that the questions in it were so matter-of-fact. If the quiz had asked me weird questions, the results would have seemed funny. As they were, they were just disturbing. Why did I taste like mesquite chicken? Is it because I'm a little overweight or because I don't exercize constantly? The results and their implications drove me to the brink of despair.
I told my brother about my pain. He thought it was hilarious. Then he wanted to take the quiz. I found it for him and let him answer all of the questions. We waited in rapt silence for his results to be generated. I assumed that since we were siblings, we would probably belong to the same food group. Heck, we might even both taste like chicken. Then I heard a little whimper at my side; Brother Dearest was staring at the screen, with a look of profound disturbance upon his brow. His results? Undercooked tofu. Ewww. . . .
I tried to console him the best I could as I also attempted to stifle my laughter.
"Hey, at least you're not something anyone would want to eat. *snicker*"
"But . . . but . . . you're at least tasty. I'm not."
"I don't think that's a good thing when confronted with a cannibal."
"Well, no, but . . . you're at least not undercooked tofu."
Brother Dearest doesn't eat tofu, regardless of how well it is cooked.
My one consolation is that, according to The Oatmeal, I only have a 58% chance of being eaten by my relatives. Good to know. Good to know, indeed.