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How To Find Your Soul Mate.

SINCE WE ONLY have 353 days left until the millennium (and doesn't that word make you puke?), I've decided to try to make the world a little bit better place to live in before God (or Tupac Shakur) comes back. Throughout this coming year, I'll occasionally offer the wisdom of others (or my own if I get too lazy to help people out of those annoying little jams so they can better spend their time getting into big jams.)

To kick things off, we'll start with one of the worst problems we've all faced at one time or another. So here, as a public service, I offer a list of questions to ask of your honey during those terrible moments on the phone when the conversation thuds to a halt and the deafening silence builds. Asking any of these questions during such a moment should allow one the time to come up with a good reason to hang up...and then change one's phone number.

These are questions asked by one person to their moderately significant other. These should be used by boyfriends and girlfriends, people who are engaged, and/or dysfunctional married couples. (These are not to be used by people under the age of 18, people who start sentences with "Um...," or those with limited imaginations (which generally includes everyone who has majored in business, law or economics). Some of these questions are deeply philosophical; others are merely time-buyers. Please use in case of emergency only.

Remember, these are being asked from man to woman, or vice versa. Or man to man or woman to woman, I suppose. Just no family pets, please.

· Alexander Pope wrote:

'Tis not a lip nor eye,
We Beauty call,
But the joint force,
And full result of all.

Is this true? Is beauty the entire package or does it reside in individual attributes?

· Does love bring with it a greater capacity for joy or pain?

· Which is better for your soul -- laughing or crying?

· If I were wearing a pair of mismatched shoes, how hard would you try to keep from laughing?

· Who's the best James Bond ever: Sean Connery, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton or Pierce Brosnan? (If they say George Lazenby, run!)

· Would you rather be rich or famous? (Assume you could only be one and could not use your status to also become the other.)

If I asked you to strip down to your underwear and dance and sing over the phone (not in person), would you do it? And would you really do it or just fake it?

(Believe it or not, some guy I know read that question and found it vulgar and obscene. Dude, I have neckties that are more obscene than that. Obviously, there are some things that are obscene to just about everybody -- child abuse, professional wrestling, stuff like that -- but this is someone asking the question over the phone. And not one of those TV-phones like on The Jetsons. At the very worst, it would be mildly titillating.

Obscene, my butt. Which, come to think of it, probably is.)

· How would you least like to die? Drowning? Fire? AIDS? (Actually, the answer to that is "young.")

· If you were sliding down a bannister of razor blades, would you rather land on a bed of nails or in a tub of vinegar? (This one might get them to hang up so you don't have to.)

· If you had to work in a fast-food place (not a restaurant) for six months, which one would it be? And why?

· Would you rather be a great singer or a great actor?

· If I got a really ugly haircut, would you tell me? Or would you just wince and say, "That's...interesting."

· Which looks better, my ear or my knee? (This is another one the guy thought was vulgar. What the hell?! Actually, you can substitute any two body parts for this question, except for the obvious ones. That's no fun.)

· If my sibling flirted with you, would you tell me?

· If you were in a barrel of manure up to your neck and someone came along and dumped a bucket of snot on you, would you duck down?

· Honestly, do you feel safer riding in the car with me driving or with a perfect stranger driving a taxi cab? (This is one of those "Do you think I look fat in this?" type of questions. There is no real good answer here.)

· If I had a piece of green food matter stuck between my teeth, would you try to get it out while we're kissing? And then what would you do with it?

· Shakespeare said, "What's in a name? A rose by any other name would smell as sweet." What if my name were Rhonda or Gladys? Would I be the same person I am? Or if your name were Quincy or Earl?

· In descending order of preference, if you could only use one, with which sense would you most like to sense me? (Sight, Smell, Sound, Taste, Touch; I put them in alphabetical order so as not to influence the answer.)

· Would you rather be able to write great music or great lyrics?

· If you could go back in your life and play one game, which game would it be? Would you play in a game in which you would try to change the outcome, or would it be one with which you could relive a glorious time in your life?

On a totally separate note, I wrote in the year-end thing that the United States women defeated China in the World Cup soccer finals by a score of 0-0. However, someone in editing probably figured that there was no way that the world's most popular sport could ever end a game with someone winning by that score, so they changed it to "1-0."

The actual, official final score was indeed 0-0, the same as the final score in the 1994 men's World Cup finals.

How this sport hasn't caught on here continues to baffle me.

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