Monday, April 14, 2008

Let’s catch up

I’ve been living in Chicago for around 3 weeks now. I do not currently have a job. Up until today, that hasn’t actually been a problem because there’s been a lot to do around the new place I’m living. In fact, given the things I’ve been doing, I think I’m now fully qualified to assemble any and all Ikea furniture by myself. Yes, even those items where the manual shows a picture of one, frowning guy awkwardly trying to lift a large piece of furniture by himself, encompassed by the red circle with a line through it. Then right next to it, a picture of two guys smiling happily and enjoying the lifting of that same large piece of furniture. (For the record, I don’t recall ever seeing anyone smile while assembling Ikea furniture.) The down side to that though, is that I’ve also learned that I am no longer qualified to ROCK at Guitar Hero. Let that be a lesson to all you young kids out there. Don’t stop playing your video games for too long or you will get rusty. That’s a free public service announcement from the Shuck N’ Jive. Normally, we charge a hefty fee for that kind of humanitarian good will, but not this time, it’s a good cause.

Ok, it’s pretty obvious from that first paragraph that I’ve forgotten how to write.

Pop Quiz!

SITUATION: You just moved into a new place in downtown Chicago. You’ve purchased a new, 37” HDTV and it has just been delivered. It’s a weeknight and you’ve only got half an hour before primetime starts, but you don’t have any cable or satellite services turned on yet. WHAT DO YOU DO?

You should have heard a buzzer by now. If not, it must not be working. That’s a pretty common problem when administering Pop Quizzes over the internet to random people at random times, but don’t worry about that because your time is up. Check your answer below and see how you did.

ANSWER: You build an HD antenna out of that solid copper wire everyone makes fun of you for carrying around in your backpack with you all the time and a 75 ohm to 300 ohm matching transformer that you can buy for $3 at the Radio Shack on Michigan Avenue. Then using some cardboard left over from a box that housed a now built piece of Ikea furniture and an empty 32 ounce bottle of Gatorade, you fashion a stand and hold the whole thing together with some electrical tape that you also carry around in your backpack all the time. (see figure A and B)

Figure A

Figure B

Ok, add up all of your points, subtract negative eleven, multiply by your great grandmother’s birth year, subtract the current age of your least favorite cousin, divide that by how many days you think your next pet goldfish will live and tell the next person you see to rearrange that number randomly. Once you have that number, submit it to the post office to be put into bar code format. Then take that bar code along with all the paper money you have, no credit/debit cards or loose change, down to the fifth best dry cleaner in your town, ask him to scan that bar code. If he does not have a bar code scanner, just ask him to guess what he thinks you should be charged. Try to get a 10% discount if he doesn’t have the scanner. Once you pay him, take the remaining change (coins only) left in your pocket and you’ll have your score. Check below to see how you did.

99-100% - You and I must think a lot alike. Chances are you suffered severe ridicule in high school. Why didn’t you make more of an effort to be social back then?

90-98% - You and I seem to have a fair amount in common, let’s hang out sometime. Maybe catch that new flick about those MIT card counters.

83.6 –89% - You’re on the right track, but most likely you need to drink more Gatorade. It’s time to step up from that sippy cup.

78-83.5% - Where’s your copper wire? Don’t tell me you had to buy that too? And try not to get too many more mustard stains on the cardboard.

43-77% - You can’t just go out and spend $40 on an indoor antenna at Radio Shack when you can build one out of spare parts for under $5.

22-42% - If you go through life paying someone else to solve your problems, you’re just going to end up having someone else chew your food. Is that what you really want?

20-21% - Watching someone else’s TV across the street with a telescope is wrong on several different levels, but really the worst part is that you have no sound.

12-19% - I’m not really sure that imagining what you think the characters of your favorite shows are doing is the same as actually watching the show, but at the very least, when you ask your neighbors to come over and help you act out the scenes, try to refrain from yelling at them when they mess up their lines.

8-18% - It doesn’t matter, Lost has been on hiatus anyway.

0-7% - You’re right, no one uses that TV in the common area downstairs anyway. Chances are you could watch whatever you want without any problems. Plus, the pool is right there, so when you find out that once again, Two and a Half Men is the top sitcom in the country, it will be easy to drown yourself.

EDIT: In case it wasn't obvious, the antenna does work. I get around 30 over the air HD channels with it at no cost to me. Well, minus the money I spent on the TV and antenna...