The 2023 trivia test


By Neil Offen

As we approach the end of the year, it’s time for the end-of-the-year personal trivia contest. Were you paying attention during 2023? Or were you just doomscrolling or trying to fold a queen-size fitted sheet?

Let’s see how trivial you were.

(The answers are at the bottom, mainly because if we put them at the top, this would be Jeopardy, and we’d have to pay royalties.)

  1. What were the books you planned to read but didn’t finish reading during 2023?
  2. How many rooms in the house didn’t you clean up this year?
  3. What was longer — your to-do list at the beginning of the year or your to-do list at the end of the year?
  4. Name the skill you were going to learn and master during the year — but didn’t, because you spent too much time on Facebook trying to find out if kids you went to high school with ever made anything of themselves and are still going to better parties.
  5. Name the three old friends you said you were going to get in touch with during the year but still haven’t.
  6. What item did you spend too much money on buying during the year and now completely regret ever purchasing and never using?
  7. How long did your commitment to your new exercise regimen last? Did it outlast your commitment to your new diet plan?

The answers:

  1. Once again, you committed to finally reading “War and Peace” and probably would have made it at least through war if not for the fact that you were already committed to reruns of “Emily in Paris.” For this coming year, you might want to choose “Crime and Punishment,” which would definitely be punishment enough for never finishing “War and Peace.”
  2. The answer is three rooms you didn’t clean. Cleaning out the garage by moving everything in the garage up to the attic, then cleaning out some of the attic by moving stuff to the extra bedroom, then taking the overflow from the extra bedroom and putting it all in the garage definitely counts as three. Or maybe one. Or could be two.
  3. The end-of-year to-do list is always longer than at the beginning because during the year you again learned the key with to-do lists, which is always to put on them things you know you can most likely actually do — like sleeping. What remains on the list, unfortunately, are a number of items that you planned to do back in ’08 and every year since. They have received honorary lifetime membership on the list.
  4. Yes, it would have been nice to learn Swedish. Or take up the French horn again. Or arrange to play the French horn in Sweden. At the very least you could have learned how to say French horn in Swedish (Fransk horn).
  5. You’re absolutely right: If those old friends were really friends why didn’t they get in touch with you if they were such good old friends? Were they too busy watching “Emily in Paris”?
  6. So, you got a spiralizer. And you still can’t figure out how to make it spiral. And even if you could, would you want it to? Probably best to keep it in the top cupboard along with the two fondue sets and the electric egg poacher.
  7. It doesn’t matter if the exercise plan and the new diet both died early. You’re going to start new ones on Jan. 1, right?

Carrboro resident Neil Offen has been a humor columnist for four decades and on two continents. He will speak and sign copies of his new book, “Building a Better Boomer,”at Flyleaf Books Jan. 4.

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1 Comment on "The 2023 trivia test"

  1. On one of my trips to France, I was going to learn the Swedish horn.

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