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The BHBQ Official Baby Boomer Qualifying Exam

I recently exchanged messages with someone on the information superhighway. I asked my electronic pen pal if she was a baby boomer. She replied, “What’s a baby boomer?” That pretty well answers my question, young lady; it’’s way past your bedtime. But it did bring up an interesting point: Just what are the qualifications for baby boomer status?

When you look up the word baby boomer in the dictionary, you’ll find a picture of me. (That’s me over there on the right.) I am the epitome of a baby boomer. That’s rather strange, since I am hesitant to allow myself to be grouped into any category. Certainly I am a loyal, proud American. And I do fit into the male category; although frankly, many of my peers often embarrass me. But generally, I am not a joiner. As Groucho Marx said, “I would not want to be part of any group that would accept me as a member.” But without a doubt, I am a true baby boomer.

Although not all of us have served our peers well. Aside from taking way too many head trips in the 60s and 70s, as adults and parents we have nearly single-handedly destroyed the next generation of children. But that may not be all our fault. Besides, nobody’s perfect.

I have many fond and deep memories of growing up in the 60s and 70s. That may be the primary requirement for baby boomer status. The 60s was a special decade, unlike any other before or since. And the 70s were pretty wild, too. If you were a teenager in those years, the 60s and 70s left an indelible mark on you. Unlike today’s youth, we don’t need a tattoo or navel earring to show our identity. Our memories are what make us special.

The sociologists define baby boomers as those born between 1946 and 1964. That cuts a mighty wide path, as I see it. I was born somewhere near the front of that window, and I know that my memories are considerably different from those of boomers born after the assassination of JFK. So, in order to provide a better indicator, I offer The BBHQ Official Baby Boomer Qualifying Exam.

Fear not. There’s no studying necessary; you either know it, or you don’’t. And to bring back memories of that high school physics exam, there is one trick question here.

We’re in the process of re-writing our exam. In this new, beta, interim version, you can enter your answers in the space provided. When you click the submit button, we’ll take you straight to the answer key. We’re grading on the honor system for now. At present, we’re not keeping score.

1. Name the Beatles – both the first and last name of each, of course. (If you leave off the last names, we’ll dock you half a point.) Consider this a warm-up. If you are completely lost on this one, switch to another page and move on to something else; we have nothing further to discuss.


2. Finish the line: “Lions and tigers and bears, !”
Admittedly, this came along before we boomers were born. But we remember it from both the movies and the boob tube.

3. From a classic, 70s TV sit-com:
  Who can turn the world on with her smile?
Who can take a nothing day, and suddenly make it all seem worthwhile?

Here’s a hint:

The answer key includes a nostalgic video clip.

4. What do M&M’s do? (And no, they don’t make you you-know-what!)


5. The pants... they may look goofy now. But in the early 70s, they were the “in thing.” What did we call them?

6. Long before he was Muhammad Ali, before he was The Greatest, we knew him as .

7. In 1975, “Jaws,” the shark, scared the bahungas out of us. The crusty, old shark-hunter, was pretty un-nerving, too.


      What was his name?      


The answer key includes clip from the movie.

the pants

8. When he said, “Go stifle yourself!”, who was he talking to?

9. M-I-C - See ya’ real soon;
      K-E-Y - why?

      Here’s a hint:

video size + 8; loading....

10. Definition: A “streaker” is someone who might go running through the lobby of the girls’ dormitory (one word).

11. “Brylcream: .”

12. It changed colors, based on your relative, mental state of tranquility.
No; it was not a smartphone app.

      It was called a ring.

13. He is perhaps more famous for the TV ad than his performance on the field.
He is known as “Mean Joe .”


The answer key includes the classic, nostalgic TV ad.

14. War ... uh-huh, huh ... yeah; what is it good for?

      Here’s a hint:

Mean Joe

15. Confirming that the 70s were really nuts, early and late boomers alike remember the gift for the person who had everything... and needed nothing. It came in a small, cube-shaped box, with holes in the top and sides for fresh air, and included feed and caring instructions for a . (2 words)

16. Meanwhile, back home in Metropolis, Superman, “disguised as Clark Kent, a mild-mannered reporter for a great metropolitan newspaper, fights a never-ending battle for truth, justice, and .” (3 words)


The answer key includes 2 video clips.

17. He came out of the University of Alabama, became one of the best quarterbacks in the history of the NFL, and later went on to appear in a television commercial wearing women’s pantyhose. He is Broadway (first and last name).


The answer key includes the surprising, weird commercial.

18. Kids may think of it as history. But it is a classic, boomer thing: When Richard Nixon resigned, who took over as president (first and last name)?


(I know this stuff is fun. But no, you may not copy it and post it on your site, or send it to any other site. This exam is copyrighted; it is not in the public domain! You may, however, use our form below to send it to your friends. Please tell your friends about WWW.BBHQ.COM.)

19. I’m Popeye the sailor man;
    I’m Popeye the sailor man.
    I’m strong to the finish,
    I’m Popeye the sailor man.

20. In The Graduate (right), young Benjamin Braddock, played by Dustin Hoffman, was counseled about his future, and told to consider one thing: .


The answer key includes a great movie clip.

video size + 8; loading....

21. In another movie from the late 60s, Paul Newman played Luke, a ne’er do well who was sent to a prison camp for cutting off the heads of parking meters with a pipe cutter. When he was captured after escaping from the camp, the camp commander (played by Strother Martin) used this experience as a lesson for the other prisoners, and explained, “What... we’ve got... here... is .”

      Here’s a hint:


The answer key includes clip from the movie.

22. In 1962, a dejected politician chastised the press after losing a race for governor while announcing his retirement from politics. “Just think how much you’re gonna’ be missing; you don’t have to kick around any more.” (1 word)

      Here’s a hint:


The answer key includes a video clip.

23. Every morning, at the mine, you could see him arrive;
    He stood six foot, six, weighed 245.
    Kinda’ broad at the shoulder, and narrow at the hip.
    And everybody knew you didn’t give no lip, to


      Here’s a hint:

24. I found my thrill,   .
You may remember Richie Cunningham singing this. But if you are a true boomer, you know it is Fats Domino who made this line famous.

      Here’s a hint:

25. It’s a lyric you know you know. And it’s a boomer classic. Finish the last line of this hit song from 1974:

  Sing us a song, you’re the piano man;
Sing us a song, tonight.
Well, we’re all in the mood for a melody;
And you’ve got us

26. “Good night, Chet;”

27. “Liar, liar, .”

28. When it’s least expected,
    you’re elected.
    You’re the star today.

      Here’s a hint:

29a. In the late 70s, an accident at a nuclear plant in Pennsylvania derailed the construction of nuclear power plants in the U.S. The plant was identified by its location. What was it called (three words)? .

29b. Eerily coincidental to this event, at the same time a motion picture was released with a plot involving an accident at a nuclear power plant. The movie was called (eerily coincidental, three words) .

29c. How many people were killed as a result of the nuclear power plant accident in Pennsylvania? .

30. Who put the bomp in the bomp, ba-ba, ba-bomp?
      (Students, you may answer this one in the Socratic manner.)

      Here’s a hint:

Just for our records (and NOT for the NSA), we’d like a little demographic data. (It’s optional, of course):

We heard that Facebook has 27 categories for gender; we keep it simple:
      Male     Female

Your age group: under 30     31-40     41-50     51-60     over 60

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