I feel like Andy Rooney* when I say this, but did you ever notice that you can’t remember where you put your car keys or what you ate for breakfast this morning, but you can remember every word to a song from 1978? Get ready for a midlife pop quiz that will make you feel confident that your gray matter still works.
*NOTE: If you got stuck at the name Andy Rooney, you will not pass this quiz.
Thanks to the wonders of long-term memory, you can preserve many of the important events and rich details of your life, like your first pimple-free high school yearbook picture or the pair of crazy-expensive shoes you bought with your first real paycheck. But the failure of your short-term memory can frustrate the hell out of you, like when you’re yelling at your kids and you can’t even remember their names. (Or is that just me?)
This frustrating, I-can’t-remember feeling only compounds as you get older, making you wonder if you’ve got any working brain cells left some days. To the rescue? This no-fail, midlife quiz you’re guaranteed to pass whether you’re straddling middle age or thick in the middle of it.
1. Who will you reach if you call 867-5309?
a. Poison Control Center
b. AARP Headquarters
c. Jenny (made famous by Tommy Tutone’s 1981 song)
d. American Idol voting hotline
2. Which of these audio formats came first?
a. 8-track tapes
b. Cassette tapes
c. Vinyl LP records
Can you identify the picture above?
a. Pottery Barn’s always-trendy apothecary table
b. The X-Files
c. A library card catalog
d. Emeril Lagasse’s extensive recipe collection
4. Which one of these pop culture fads is not from the ’70s?
a. Mood rings
b. Sea monkeys
c. Kardashian Kollection
d. Pet rocks
5. Back in the ’70s, when you used “suntan lotion” (known today as sunblock or sunscreen), which SPF were you most likely to find in the store?
a. SPF 75
b. SPF 50
c. SPF 4
d. SPF 100
6. Of the fashion trends below, which one did not occur in the ’70s or ’80s?
a. Leg warmers that had no real, identifiable purpose
b. Bell-bottom pants that got caught in the chain of your bicycle
c. Live Strong bracelets made popular before Lance’s doping scandal
d. Tube tops that slid down every time you raised your arm
7. Which of these products were not sold door-to-door?
a. Fuller Brush cleaning brushes and supplies
b. Encyclopedia Britannica
d. Avon beauty products
8. Which of the following performances by comedian/actor Eddie Murphy occurred in 2001, years after he shot to fame in the ’80s?
a. Eddie Murphy Raw concert film
b. Regular cast member of Saturday Night Live
c. The voice of Donkey in Dreamwork’s Shrek
d. The movie 48 Hrs. with Nick Nolte
9. Which of these games did not exist when you were growing up?
b. Mystery Date
10. Which products were primarily sold through more than 550 shopping mall-based kiosks in the U.S. and Canada during the ’70s and ’80s?
a. Crocs footwear
b. Flowbee precision haircutting system
c. Hickory Farms summer sausages, cheeses and specialty food items
d. Snuggie, the blanket with sleeves
11. Which of these catchphrases did not originate in a ’70s or ’80s TV show?
a. Dynomite! (J.J., Good Times)
b. Jane, you ignorant slut. (Jane Curtin and Dan Aykroyd, Saturday Night Live)
c. How you doin’? (Joey Tribbiani, Friends)
d. De plane! De plane! (Tattoo, Fantasy Island)
12. Which of these is not an actual musical group popular in the ‘70s and ‘80s?
13. Which of these books was not a best-seller in the ’80s?
a. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
b. The Color Purple by Alice Walker
c. Bossypants by Tina Fey
d. The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan
14. As a kid, how did you most likely learn about (and remember) how a bill became a law?
b. Your high school textbook
c. Schoolhouse Rock (“I’m just a bill, sittin’ here on Capitol Hill”)
d. Your local congressman
Quiz Key: The correct answer to every question is “c,” so if you got even half of them right, you’ve passed, proving that your midlife brain cells still have a fighting chance. Quick, go do a Sudoku puzzle while you’re on a roll.