“I could’ve been a Rempe!” I’ve heard this from a number of people over the years. In most cases*, the person speaking is attesting that they share much in common with the Rempe boys, love some of the old family stories, and would have enjoyed being raised in our household.
But there is more to being a Rempe than sharing genetic code or a general lack of common sense. There is an ethos, a mentality, a philosophy that permeates the very being of a natural-born Rempe.
Do you have what it takes to be an honorary Rempe? The following questionnaire will help determine your level of Rempeness.** Points for each answer will be revealed in the answer code. Please proceed with caution.
1. The proper level of “doneness” for a nice steak is:
B. Medium Rare
E. Well Done
2. Bell, Biv, or DeVoe?
3. Name three things the following individuals have in common: Carmen Cozza, Earl “Red” Blaik, Weeb Ewbank, Paul Brown, Ara Parseghian, Bo Schembechler
4. Whose the black private dick who’s a sex machine to all the chicks?
5. Name four instances where it is appropriate for a man to cry.
6. You have become rich and famous to a level that requires you to travel incognito. When checking into a hotel, what alias do you use for the hotel registry?
7. Match the following trophies with the corresponding college football rivalry:
|A. Floyd of Rosedale||i. Minnesota/Wisconsin|
|B. Old Oaken Bucket||ii. USC/Notre Dame|
|C. Jewelled Shillelagh||iii. Mississippi/Mississippi St.|
|D. Golden Egg||iv. Washington/Washington St.|
|E. Keg of Nails||v. Michigan/Minnesota|
|F. Little Brown Jug||vi. Indiana/Purdue|
|G. Paul Bunyan Axe||vii. Iowa/Minnesota|
|H. Apple Cup||viii. Cincinnati/Louisville|
8. Pronounce this word: Coupon
9. Unsalted pretzels are:
A. A good way to keep high blood pressure down.
B. A decent snack when regular, salted pretzels are not available.
C. A crime against nature and nature’s God.
10. Commodores or Earth, Wind, and Fire?
B. Earth, Wind, and Fire
11. Name five ancillary, recurring characters on The Simpsons.
12. The best day to have elective, outpatient surgery is:
A. Day of company outing/picnic
B. Day after Super Bowl
C. Day before start of NCAA basketball tournament
13. CINCINNATI PARTICIPANTS ONLY: Favorite chili parlor
A. Gold Star
D. Blue Ash
E. Camp Washington
14. The best running back of the 1970s was:
A. O. J. Simpson
B. Franco Harris
C. Larry Czonka
D. Chuck Foreman
E. Essex Johnson
15. The best iteration of Star Trek is:
A. Star Trek (original series)(1966-1969)
B. Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987-1994)
C. Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1993-1999)
16. Name your favorite Led Zeppelin album.
17. The best way to serve eggs is:
E. In a Cake
18. The ideal household pet is a:
A. Sporting breed dog
B. Lap dog
F. Something exotic, carnivorous, and/or illegal
19. If I were to purchase a race horse, I would name it _______________ .
20. 1970s-era “prog rock” (e.g., Yes, King Crimson, ELP, Genesis, Traffic, Rush) is best described as:
A. Intelligent; Artistic; Classically Inspired; Conceptual
B. Musically Complex; Virtuoso Performances
C. Self-Absorbed; Pretentious; Overwrought
D. All of the above
21. A properly dressed pizza will include (check all that apply):
22. Name one musical band or artist that you are somewhat embarrassed to admit that you like.
23. For my friends of a more liturgical background, what was your confirmation verse?
24. The best movie staring Paul Newman and/or Robert Redford is . . .
A. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
B. The Natural
C. The Sting
D. The Hustler
E. Slap Shot
F. Cool Hand Luke
25. On a dark summer night, you find yourself traveling on a remote country road. Suddenly, a bright light appears, and you see a large spaceship descending. A being of undisclosed origin exits the spaceship and approaches you. After assuring you that he comes in peace, the being hands you a small, intricate box. He explains that this box has inside it the answers to all of Earth’s problems. Famine will be eradicated; wars will cease; ethnic and racial strife will be something of the past. The being bids you well, returns to the his ship, and departs. You . . .
A. Contact the local authorities and inform them about the incident and the box.
B. Find the nearest military base in the area and ask to speak to the highest ranking officer.
C. Demand an audience at the United Nations to tell the world about the box.
D. Sell the box on eBay.
E. Get a screwdriver and disassemble the box to see exactly how it works.
1. Full credit (4 points) for either B or C. One point for A (not my preference, but I admire anyone willing to take his health in his hands in such a way). Zero points for D, and -1 for E.
2. B. The glasses gave Michael “Biv” Bivins the persona as the intellectual in the group. Of course, one of their hit songs was entitled “Do Me,” so that should be taken with a sizable tablet of salt. (4 points)
3. All six men are graduates of Miami University; all started their coaching careers at their alma mater; and all are in either the college or professional football hall of fame. (one point for each correct answer)
4. SHAFT! Can you dig it? Four points for correct answer, and two bonus points if the version of the song going through your head when you answered it was the Sammy Davis, Jr. one.
5. Death of an immediate family member (for pets, two points for dog only); favorite sports team winning national championship after prolonged drought; Children of the Heavenly Father; Brian’s Song. (One point each)
6. Four points for use of any obscure fictional or historical character that might nevertheless cause the hotel clerk to say, “Where have I heard that name before?” Extra two points if said name is clearly from a different ethnicity than your own. (Beth’s “hotel name” – Fawn Liebowitz.)
7. A – vii; B – vi; C – ii; D – iii; E – viii; F – v; G – i; H – iv (one point for each)
8. A. Four points for correct answer; -2 for incorrect answer, and a suggestion to find a good elocution class in your neighborhood.
9. C. No other answer is acceptable (4 points)
10. B. “Brick House” aside, the body of work from EWF is far superior to their funk brethren. Also, Lionel Ritchie. (4 points)
11. One point for any correct five names given. Two extra points if one of these names appears as your answer for question 6.
12. C. Ideally, one should seek to convalesce at a time where they can sit on the couch and see non-stop tournament action for the duration of their healing. (4 points)
13. B. One point for E, as you have to be pretty hard-core to go to Camp Washington for your chili fix. -1 point for A. Poser. (4 points)
14. E. Forged Christmas card aside, Essex remains the man for me. Negative point for Franco Harris – I still hate that guy. (4 points)
15. D. Will all due respect to my Trekkie brethren, William Shatner had it right. (4 points)
16. Four points for eponymous first album. Half-credit for Led Zeppelin II, Houses of the Holy, or Physical Graffiti. No points for Led Zeppelin IV (Runes) – so cliche. Minus one point for Coda.
17. E. Like baking soda and cream of tartar, eggs have their place in the kitchen, but were never intended by God to stand on their own as a main course. (4 points)
18. A. No offense to owners of other domesticated animals, but the retriever truly is man’s best friend. One point for F – I appreciate your adventurous spirit, but if you want to get together, let’s not do it at your house. (4 points)
19. Points to be determined by me on a sliding scale of 1-5. Credit is given for cleverness, dual meaning, and pop culture relevance. The best possible answer: Haulin’ Oats – it works on so many different levels.
20. D. At its absolute best, prog rock is all of these things simultaneously. (4 points)
21. Full credit (4 points) if pepperoni and/or Italian sausage is included. -1 for pineapple, olives, or anchovies.
22. Points for honesty. If you ride a Harley, yet admit that you secretly like Taylor Swift, that’s full credit. I promise not to judge too harshly. For me, I’ve got a bit of a soft spot for the 1990s pop stylings of Hootie and the Blowfish. Not entirely sure why. (4 points)
23. (4 points). 2 extra points if you are still able to recite it, and a bonus extra point if you can do it from the King James’ Version.
24. C. This is a matter of great debate in our family. I am firmly in the Sting camp, while brother Tom is adamant that Butch is the greatest movie of all time. I’ll give half-credit (2 points) for A. One point for E – I enjoyed it, but not to the level of my hockey playing friends, who revere it. (4 points)
25. E. How could you be willing to turn down such an educational opportunity? Negative one point for either C or D. (4 points)
Less than 75 points: You do not really think like a Rempe, and are probably just fine with that fact.
75-85 points: There is a glimmer of Rempeness in you, but probably nothing that a little deprogramming or a good ointment wouldn’t clear up.
86-95 points: Well down the path to Rempedom. Please avoid all sharp instruments, and do not operate heavy machinery.
More than 95 points: Welcome to the family, and my condolences to your friends, family, and co-workers.
*The exception to this would be Rempe cousins Kurt, Mark, and David Bratlie. Many years ago, their mom, Margita, came to the United States, an escapee from communist East Germany. My father’s mom (a pre-war German immigrant) heard about this, and found out that Margita would be attending the Luther League (youth group) at their church. Dad was encouraged to attend, with the hope that he might find his future wife there (hint, hint). Turns out, he did. Margit also ended up meeting her future husband there – my mother’s cousin Ernie. So when the Bratlies say “I could of been a Rempe,” they mean it in a much different sense.
**In all honesty, this is a test of “Steve Rempeness,” as my kin were not inquired of during the creation of this test.