Have You Ever Question Time

There was a quiz over at Contains Moderate Peril, which was grabbed from Ace Asunder, where it had been borrowed from RNG, who got it originally from Vamp It Up Manchester, which probably makes it more of a UK thing, but it had a few questions I though might lead to amusing anecdotes about which to write, so I figured I would swipe it next.

Now that we have established the lineage of the quiz, let’s jump straight into the questions.

Driven or been driven at 100 mph/160 kmh?

Yes.  While the speed limits on US highways top out at about 70 MPH most places, there are plenty of long runs of road where you can get up to speed.  Also, cars tend to have the most ridiculously optimistic speedometers.  My Toyota speedometer measures out to 160 MPH, a speed it could only attain if you pushed it out of an airplane.

I think the first time I hit that speed was shortly after I got my drivers license.  My grandmother would let me use her car, a 1970 Buick Electra 225 with the 455 CID engine. (7.5L for those who measure in that way.)  It was a mighty motor, with more torque than a sane man ever needs, and I once laid a 70 foot long patch of smoking rubber on the pavement in front of a friends house.

It looked something like this… image borrowed from the internet

One evening I got onto highway 85 and nobody was on the road, so I decided to see if I could peg the speedometer, because I was a 16 year old boy in command of two tons of iron with a powerful engine.  I was well past 100 MPH by the time I passed Fremont Blvd and let off the gas to let it wind down so I could take the exit to highway 280 and fill up the gas tank.  I think I blew through almost a quarter tank getting that brick up to speed.  Gas was $1.29 a gallon at the time, which seemed expensive at the time.

Learned a possibly deadly skill?

I spent summers on my grandparents farm where I learned several skills that might fall into that category, the most obvious being how to handle and shoot firearms.  It is just a thing in the country.  At eight years old I was judged worthy of being sat with a bolt action .22 rifle and a baby food jar full of bird shot to pick off the starlings that would peck at the figs on the big tree my grandfather had planted.  I was paid 25 cents a head.  I also learned how to handle poison gas bombs for the ground squirrels and traps and a few other things.  I was, however, not allowed to get within six feet of the table saw in the barn because that was dangerous.

Ridden in a helicopter? Gone zip lining? Been Bungie Jumping?

I am going to lump these three together because they are all negative answers.

Been to an NFL game or Ice Hockey?

I have lived within reasonable driving distance of two NFL teams, the San Francisco 49ers and the Oakland Raiders, all of my life and I have never been to an NFL game. (The Raiders are leaving for Las Vegas though, so my opportunities will soon be reduced by 50%.)  NFL teams only play 8 home games a year, the stadiums are huge and crowded, the tickets are expensive, and I am not a fan.

I have been to many NHL games.  We have a professional team in San Jose, the Sharks, though I even went to a California Seals game back in the day.  I have also been to major league baseball, NBA basketball, and MLS soccer games as we have teams in the SF Bay Area close by.  Just never an NFL game.

Watched Dr Who?

PBS during my childhood seemed to entirely consist of Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood, Sesame Street, nature documentaries, pledge drives, and television from the UK, including  Doctor Who.  I watched a lot of Tom Baker episodes and some of the Peter Davidson episodes.  If you ask me who my doctor is, the answer will always be Tom Baker.  If Gandalf were a time lord, he would be the Tom Baker version of the doctor.

Been to Canada?

I’ve been close enough to see Canada, but I have never actually been into Canada.  I’ve been to Minnesota, and that’s about the same, right?

Visited Disney?

Disneyland is an hour flight away.  You can hardly avoid it.  I have been a bunch of times, twice for company events where we left in the morning, flew down for the day, and got back home that nights.  I am also just old enough to have gone as a kid when they still had tickets, so saw the “E Ticket” of legend. That said, I am not a big fan and it is hugely expensive these days.  My daughter complains that we never go, but she has been to Hawaii more times than most people ever will.

I have also been to Disney World in Florida once and on a Disney cruise.  That mouse is everywhere.

Visited an actual castle?

That depends on what you call a castle I suppose.  I’ve been on forts and fortifications and in a palace or two.  But not a medieval castle, that being what I imagine the question is getting at, as that wasn’t really a thing where I live.  I did find an arrow head once though.

Visited Vegas?

Vegas is a 90 minute flight away and the location where many conventions and events take place.  I have been many times. (I’ve posted here about going to EVE Vegas at least five times.)  It is bright and shiny and colorful with some good places to eat.  But if you don’t really drink or gamble it can lose its edge pretty fast.  Also, the dirty, seedy underbelly of the whole thing is pretty visible if you start looking for it.  I enjoy the first day I go and am generally ready to leave by the end of the second.

The hardest thing for me about Vegas is that they allow smoking everywhere.  I’m from California where smoking in public is only allowed in very specific pariah zones.

Eaten alone at a restaurant?

I am not sure why this is even a question.  Yes.  Many times.  I see people do it all the time, though I am not one of those people who sets up a nest with a good book in a corner booth, but if I was alone and needed to eat I wouldn’t think twice about eating alone in a restaurant.  This must be one of those English things where they are always looking for something else about which to feel embarrassed.

Played an instrument?

I took trumpet lessons in school in 4th grade.  I wasn’t any good and didn’t have any passion for it.  I am pretty sure I just wanted to get out of class for an hour one day a week.

Ridden a motorcycle?

Yes, in the form of a dirt bike out on the farm mentioned above.  It was fun then, but I have no desire to ride one now.  I’ve seen what happens when cars and motorcycles collide.  If there was a question about seeing a dead body, my answer would involve a motorcycle accident I witnessed.

Ridden a horse?

Again, on the farm.  My grandparents didn’t have horses, but the neighboring farm did, so I got to ride a bit back then.  It wasn’t a big deal to me.  A dirt bike is more exciting to a young male I suppose.

Been skiing/snowboarding?

I have been skiing.  My stepmother liked to ski and so we went once or twice a year when I was a kid.  It was a very yuppie sport, expensive and inconvenient, and while I enjoyed it some at the time, when it came to the point that I had to pay in order to participate I stopped completely.

Gone to a festival?

Yes.  Maybe.  I am divining what these means from context, which is a multi-day musical event.  But I’ve only gone for one of the days, so does that count?

Driven a stick shift?

My first three cars were manual transmission.  By the time I got to the fourth car I was commuting daily across the valley in stop and go traffic and got tired of “rowing the boat” constantly, so went for automatic transmissions after that.  But hell, even F1 cars have paddle shifters now, which is something you add to an automatic transmission.

Ridden in a police car?

I have been frisked up against a police car, but never invited inside.  I have ridden in a fire engine though.  When the SFFD took over administration of Treasure Island in SF Bay and friend of my aunt’s drove us around the island in one of the fire trucks.  It was loud, even without the siren going.

Driven a boat?

A few times.  No particular stories to go with this though.  We live near the ocean and a huge bay and a freshwater delta and a series of lakes and reservoirs, so the opportunities are at hand.  Going water skiing in the delta was a thing when I was a kid.

Eaten Escargot?

No.  I poison snails I see, but don’t see the need to consume them.  I have plenty of more palatable food at hand.

Been on a cruise?

My step-mother again, she loves cruises and goes on a few a year.  Her and my father have brought the whole family along a few times.  As a floating hotel that brings you to the next destination while you sleep they are fine I suppose.  The food aspect is overrated to my mind.

The best cruise was probably on the Freedom of the Seas, which was the largest cruise ship in the world when we went.  That ship had a lot of space and things to do.  I enjoyed just being at sea on that one.  The Disney cruise was good too, all the more so if you have kids.  The rest have been on Carnival ships, which are okay but not as much fun.  I’d go again, but I am not interested enough to plan it myself and I’d rather go sit on the beach in Hawaii or by the pool somewhere, it being cheaper, more relaxing, and less crowded.

Been on TV?

In a couple of crowd scenes on the news.  Nothing that would have had my presence noted.

Been in a paper/book/magazine?

I was quoted once in the local paper when asked some questions by a cub reporter who then printed what they felt I should have said rather than what I actually said, much to my annoyance.  The problem with the news is that every story I have been personally involved with has had significant material errors and the reporting team doesn’t really seem to care.  If the news has a bad reputation these days, it is in part their own fault.

Eaten Sushi?

I live in California.  You cannot drive two miles without passing a sushi place.  I am a peasant and like things like California Roll and the Shrimp Tempura Roll, but I’ll eat sashimi.  Raw fish, fine.  Snails, no.

Seen a UFO?

Literally, I have seen many things flying I couldn’t identify.  Flying saucers or space aliens from other planets however, no.

Rescued an animal?

Out on the farm, depending on how you want to count rescue.  There were a whole series of dogs who showed up in various states of repair, hung around for the summer, and disappeared of their own accord.  A few cats too.

Met someone rather famous?

I like the modifier “rather” in this question.  It is a very English affectation, like you might not be expect to have brushed up against real fame, just some lesser degree of it.

We occasionally talk about famous people at family events and I always find it amusing who focuses on what sort of fame.  It seems to be divided up between sports stars, musicians, movie and television stars, and then there I am talking about tech luminaries.  So when it is my turn I always bring up that I have met and conversed with Steve Wozniak a few times.  But if you need somebody in one of the other categories, I got to talk with Bob Weir of The Grateful Dead a few times as he was something of a Macintosh enthusiast back in the late 80s/early 90s.

14 thoughts on “Have You Ever Question Time

  1. bhagpuss

    The provenance of this quiz is confusing. I agree that using “rather” as a qualifier is quintessentially English, but then almost literally no-one in the U.K. would ever talk about driving a “stick shift”. If you stopped a hundred English people in the street and asked them if they’d driven a stick-shift you’d probably have to explain what it meant to eighty of them before you got an answer.

    Also, the NFL question is peculiar. The NFL does play games in London, something I’d completely forgotten because it gets zero publicity outside of the tv channels that show it. I guess going to one of those games would be unusual enough to rate a question but it’s an odd thing to pick on.

    Maybe the questions were the work of several people from various backgrounds. It’s a random enough set to have been decided by lottery.


  2. anypo8

    Quiz sounds like it was from Usenet Times.

    Yes to everything except Bungee Jumping (hell no) and seeing a UFO (I mean, technically yes, but nothing super-alien-seeming).

    Brought back a few memories, anyhow. I guess that’s part of the point.


  3. kiantremayne

    I’ll second Bhagpuss’ comment – the stick shift question strikes me as a very, VERY American thing. Not only do we not call it that (we refer to manual or automatic cars), but manual is very much the default over here. Even if your preference was for an automatic, if you pass your driving test in an automatic you’re only licensed to drive automatics, so everyone I know takes their test in a manual.
    The castle question is also a bit of an odd one, because the country’s lousy with the things (most in various states of disrepair). To have never been to a castle, even if your family had no interest in ever visiting one on a day out, you would have had to actively avoid going on school trips throughout your formative years.


  4. Nogamara

    I also liked the yuppie expensive skiing comment, as that is indeed absolutely true if you live anywhere where you don’t simply grow up learning it because the mountains (preferably the Alps) are just 1-2h away. We even did a week of skiing in school and when I go (prefer snowboarding these days) it’s a thing of “get up at 5, catch a train at 7, the train ticket includes the ski lift pass, rent some equipment, be home again at 7-8 in the evening” – 12h, ~60 EUR for train + ticket, ~60 EUR to rent gear (or bring your own, but I don’t have board and boots). Not really cheap for a single day, but if you do it 1-2x per winter it’s not more expensive than a night in a hotel.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Vamp It Up Mcr (Chrissie)

    Helloo! Okay, just to clear some stuff up. The questions were made up by me who’s from Manchester, England but I have a lot of blogging/Insta friends who are American. I’ve also grown up with (and still love) as much US pop-culture (TV, Music, street style, slang) as English. Never realised how much I sound like a blend of the two until I read these comments, ha!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Vamp It Up Mcr (Chrissie)

    I think your Grandmas car was awesome, reminds of my Dads old Ford Cortina.
    In England everyone is primarily meant to be obsessed with football/soccer. Must be nice to have various sports and teams near by.
    In the UK we call a ‘stick’ an ‘automatic’ and it used to be very rare and a bit of a joke that it’s not really driving properly. These days we love them.
    I think its funny about that channel randomly having Dr Who, it’s just so British! Do you have British soaps in the US?
    I did mean a medieval castle yup.
    I always thought Minnesota was in Canada after watching Fargo and them sounding Canadian, ha!
    In the UK if you eat alone in a restaurant (not a chilled cafe like Starbucks) and your’e a man, it might be assumed you’re in town on business. If you are a woman, people would normally assume you’ve being stood up for a date! So yeah, it can feel awkward, same with the cinema.
    That must have been so much fun having a dirt bike as a teen/kid. Lucky to have the opportunities to go skiing and on a cruise!
    I think it’s sweet that animals thought your farm and family was a safe place to recuperate.
    Yeah, by ‘rather’ I meant to leave it rather open as there’s reality stars (whatever), soap stars (again, whateverrr), TV stars and film stars so I suppose it’s all relative! It’s nice to talk to a star about something other than what they’re famous for isn’t it?
    Thank you so much for joining in, it was fun reading your answers.


  7. Vamp It Up Mcr (Chrissie)

    …I agree with you on how things seem to get twisted around or plain missed out when it comes to facts in media reporting, even if it’s just laziness. I also agree with how middle class skiing has become over the past decades, to the point where it’s impossible for a lot of working class people to do.


  8. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @Chrissie – PBS (which is a loose affiliation of public TV stations) ran East Enders for a while, but I think it fell off the map somewhere in the 90s. That is the only soap opera I recall.

    PBS tended to show high brow stuff under the Masterpiece banner (I, Claudius, Upstairs Downstairs, Jeeves & Wooster, Downton Abbey), crime dramas under the Mystery banner (which is now Masterpiece Mystery for whatever reason, but Rumpole was a staple there) and comedies (Monty Python, Reginal Perrin, Butterflies, To the Manor Born, The Good Neighbors, etc.).

    British SciFi was a pretty niche corner of that and I remember watching Doctor Who, Blake’s 7, and The Prisoner late at night on our local channel 54, which was the second tier PBS station in our area. Mainstream PBS in our area (channel 9, the “real” PBS station) never touched it. When Doctor Who was revived after a decade hiatus the cable channel BBC America became the place to watch it.


  9. kiantremayne

    Glad to see you got Blake’s 7 over there. That was very much the British answer to Star Trek – smarter, darker and with about one tenth of the production budget.


  10. Archey

    I will third the experience of being interviewed. Any news story I’ve been a part of (a handful at best) was simplified and misrepresented to the point of no longer being accurate. Based on that I believe the news can communicate the general outline of a story, but I assume the details are always at least inexact or possibly just wrong.


  11. Redbeard

    I’m gonna just put this out there: my first car was a 1976 Plymouth Volare with the 225 Slant Six.

    The speedometer said the car could do 120 MPH.

    If that freaking car made 60-65 MPH, it would start to shake uncontrollably because the engine was stressed to the limit.

    My next car was a 1980 Chevy Malibu wagon, with the 265 V8.

    The speedometer said the car could do 110 MPH.

    When I got the car to 80 MPH, the fuel pump blew up and stopped working.

    So no, I’ve never been to 100 MPH, because my youth was populated by cars that couldn’t handle “driving” speeds.

    Kudos to you for getting there, however. My Great Uncle had a 1968 or 1970 Chevy Impala (which looked a lot like the Buick you showed above) that my dad turned down when I was ready to drive a car to high school. Officially it was because there was no A/C and the seatbelts were “removed” by my Great Uncle, but unofficially it was because it could haul ass in spite of the fact that my Great Uncle never got the car up to within 5 MPH of the speed limit.


  12. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @Redbeard – And then there were the 80s, when the government said speedometers could only go up to 85 MPH, so car makers sometimes just stopped printing at 85 and left big open spaces at the far end of the speedo so you could guess where 100 MPH ought to be.

    My grandmother traded in that Buick Electra for a 1980 VW Rabbit diesel. You had to be very patient to get up to 60 MPH on the highway. But it did teach me to preserve speed in corners because it was so slow to accelerate.


  13. Pingback: Have you ever…? – Mailvaltar

  14. evehermit

    I drove at more than 125 MPH once. The car was sitting comfortably and still had more in it – but then I crossed some undulations in the road. For a moment that lasted just a second or three I was more of a passenger than driver. It was an impactful lesson on risk taking and safety margins.


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