Thanks to everyone who came out to the When I Was a Loser party last night, and especially to those who shushed the throng of investment bankers until they were shamed into relocating their networking/backrub party outside the reading zone.
Kelly Braffet and Owen King dug out plaid shirts, concert tees, and baggy pants from high school, while I wore an ’80s gold-lamé-with-black-flowers prom dress that I bought at a Goodwill on Miami Beach four years ago. It looks every penny of the three bucks I paid for it. Jim Othmer got in the spirit with a corduroy jacket. And Maxx Klaxon played everything from “How Soon Is Now?” to “No Action,” “Tom Sawyer,” and “Loser.”
With 17 correct answers, he won four DVDs: This is Spinal Tap, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Wet Hot American Summer, and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. How would you have done?
1. How many sides are on the D&D die with the largest number of sides?
2. What became Chuck Woolery’s trademark commercial break gesture on Love Connection?
A. The two minutes, two seconds sign
B. A “V” for “victory”
C. Two thumbs-up
D. A high-five
3. When, in Freaks & Geeks, Lindsay’s father tells her a cautionary tale about his first sexual experience (which happened while he was serving in the armed forces), which of these lines does he say?
A. Condoms just don’t last long in that kind of heat.
B. I wish I could get that five dollars back.
C. Marching is a lot harder when you have to keep stopping to scratch yourself.
D. And remember, they didn’t have “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” then.
4. Walker Percy called which cult novel centered on a misfit protagonist a “gargantuan tumultuous human tragicomedy”?
A. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
B. The Sot-Weed Factor
C. A Confederacy of Dunces
D. The Catcher in the Rye
5. Trent Reznor of NIN sang back-up vocals for which Tori Amos song?
A. “Past the Mission”
B. “Little Earthquakes”
C. “The Wrong Band”
D. “Cornflake Girl”
6. Donnie Darko/Battlestar Galactica actress Mary McDonnell had her first recurring TV role on which soap opera?
A. The Young and the Restless
B. As the World Turns
C. General Hospital
D. All My Children
7. What band performed the song “Weird Science,” which appeared on the soundtrack for the 1985 movie of the same name?
A. Thomas Dolby
C. Oingo Boingo
D. Gary Numan
8. In the Doctor Who episode “City of Death,” Tom Baker and Lalla Ward, running around Paris with several copies of the Mona Lisa, save the world from an alien invasion. Who wrote the episode?
A. Stephen King
B. Douglas Adams
C. Terry Gilliam
D. John Cleese
9. According to the Smiths song “How Soon is Now?,” when you go to the club hoping to “meet somebody who really loves you,” you will end up doing all but which one of these things:
B. Want to die
C. Wear all black
D. Leave on your own
10. What early ’90s book inspired fascination with Elvis Presley among previously disdainful music scenesters?
A. Dead Elvis
B. White Blues
C. We’re All Living in Graceland Now
D. Son of Tupelo
11. In television’s Parker Lewis Can’t Lose, Parker and friends would synchronize what ’80s must-have accessory before embarking on one of their hijinks-heavy schemes to elevate their social status?
A. Calculator watches
B. Digital timers
C. Mickey Mouse Seikos
12. “Go crazy with the Cheez Whiz” is a line from what song?
A. “Creep,” Radiohead
B. “Loser,” Beck
C. “Eat It,” Weird Al Yankovic
D. “Groove is in the Heart,” Deee-Lite
13. Which of these changes were not made to the original theatrical release of Blade Runner for 1992’s director’s cut?
A. The voice-over narration is eliminated
B. A replicant snake devours a replicant owl
C. The ending is shorter
D. A unicorn dream sequence unfolds
14. In the pre-Internet era, in the absence of free-flowing porn or actual information about sex, some junior high school girls turned to which slightly risqué book written by an author best known for her teen classics?
B. Giving It Up
C. My Darling, My Hamburger
D. The Art of Sexual Seduction
15. In the movie Heathers, Heather asks another Heather to fuck her gently with which piece of machinery?
16. When the original Boondoggle rage of the ’70s abated, only losers continued to:
A. Play this particular pinball game.
B. Plait these strands of plastic into keychains.
C. Put this type of grease in their hair.
D. Have these scenes painted on the sides of their vans.
17. “Is She Really Going Out With Him?” is a hit song originally recorded by?
A. Joe Jackson
B. Elvis Costello
C. Graham Parker
D. Gram Parsons
18. In which of Jonathan Lethem’s novels does a private investigator converse with animals and take mood-altering drugs?
A. Amnesia Moon
B. Gun, With Occasional Music
C. Motherless Brooklyn
D. The Fortress of Solitude
19. In Pump up the Volume an FM radio pirate obsessed with Leonard Cohen’s “Everybody Knows” runs an underground station from a suburb in which state?
20. Beavis’s sugar-fed alter ego is:
21. The title of the Duran Duran album Seven and the Ragged Tiger was (cough) allegorical. The “seven” were the five members of the band and their two managers; what was the “ragged tiger”?
C. A model
D. The lead singer’s “little friend”
22. In the show Family Ties, Alex P. Keaton’s first major girlfriend was Ellen; The actress who played her later became Michael J. Fox’s wife. She was:
A. Courteney Cox
B. Justine Bateman
C. Tracey Pollan
D. Billy Vera
23. Which of the following musicians did not do a guest appearance on Miami Vice?
A. Sheena Easton
B. Robert Palmer
C. Leonard Cohen
D. Ted Nugent
24. The protagonist of Neil Gaiman’s Sandman series is Dream. He is also called:
Answer Key: 1. D; 2. A; 3. B; 4. C; 5. A; 6. B; 7. C; 8. B; 9. C; 10. A.; 11. D; 12. B; 13. B; 14. A; 15. C; 16. B; 17. A; 18. B; 19. B; 20. C; 21. B; 22. C; 23. B; 24. A