THE RANCE TURLEY GEEK TEST
First of all, this is not a test to determine whether or not you are a geek. It's a given -- you are a geek by virtue of the fact that you are reading this now. Instead, this is a test to determine just how big a geek you are. Ready? And begin:
1. Does "Dilbert" still "speak to you?"
2. When chatting with friends, do you still pretend to understand "The Matrix" even though research scientists at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory who have a complete mastery of quantum mechanics have produced reams of empirical evidence clearly demonstrating that the film is incomprehensible?
3. Do you listen to Supertramp when "kicking back," and the Alan Parsons Project when you really want to "rock out?"
4. When you finish reading a comic book -- even before forming your own opinion -- do you ask yourself, "What would Scott McCloud think?"
5. Can you read more than six pages of Tolkien before dozing off?
6. Do you listen to Steely Dan and/or Yes because you think they sound "jazzy" or "fancy" in the hopes that somehow this "fancy jazziness" will reflect positively on you, making your tastes seem sophisticated even though it is impossible for their music to reach ANYONE on an emotional level?
7. How many copies of "Starlog" do you have polybagged and boxed? 1-10, 10-20, 20-100, 100 or more. (If your copies are in mylar slipcases, no matter how many, default answer is 100 or more).
8. When watching the "Star Trek" fan documentary, "Trekkies" with friends, do you find yourself saying, "Boy, what a bunch of weirdos, huh?" just a little TOO loud?
9. Do you leave your "mature-themed" comic books lying around so that all your friends can plainly see how "grownup" and "unchild-like" you and this very mature medium really are?
10. Do you consider ZZ Top the mighty waterhead from which flows all the various imitative tributaries of The Blues?
11. If you think of Frank Frazetta wannabe Boris Valejo as a "kick-ass" painter, subtract 10 points.
12. If you think of Frank Frazetta wannabe Boris Valejo as the "Rich Little of paperback cover artists," add 10 points.
13. While I won't insult you by assuming that you still live in your mother's basement, I will ask, what part of your mother's house DO you live in?
14. How many times per day do you make reference to a "Monty Python" skit? 1-3, 3-5, 5 or more.
15. Do you still insist that comics are no longer for kids, even though "Archie" remains one of the most consistently rendered, well-written, best-selling titles on the planet?
16. Which is funnier to you:
Adam Sandler or a George Bernard Shaw play?
Adam Sandler or a Marx Brothers film?
Adam Sandler or uncomfortable shoes?
Adam Sandler or a wagonload of manure?
(Trick question: ALL of the above are funnier than Adam Sandler)
17. (Bonus question: Are you aware that playwright George Bernard Shaw and the mustachioed CNN teleprompter reader who declared Al Gore the winner of the 2000 presidential election three times in one night are not the same person?)
18. Do you think that the flautist/frontman for Elizabethan boogie band Jethro Tull is actually a guy named "Freakin' Tull, man!"
19. Do you still stubbornly apply the term "graphic novel" to all those slightly thicker comic books printed on slightly shinier paper?
20. If you are 21 or older and own five or more "Sailor Moon" videos, explain why you shouldn't be confined to your home and electronically monitored.
21. True or false: Nobody understands you.
22. Do you still think of the Internet as the last bastion of free, artistic expression, even though it is controlled entirely by two financial mega-conglomerations -- one of which graciously loaned you the browser you're reading this on?
Okay, put down your pencils. How'd you do? If you responded affirmatively to five questions or more, you are a geek in unimpeachably good standing. A king among geeks. Geekus Maximus. But there is hope. Before you waste another precious nanosecond organizing a groundswell write-in campaign to revive "Sliders," do old Rance this one favor: Stop taking yourself so damned seriously.