Description A man takes a mysterious online quiz, unaware that his answers are causing changes to his body, mind and life.
|Updated||08 Feb 2020|
I enter my darkened little one-bedroom apartment, lugging my briefcase and a McDonald’s meal, having already devoured most of the fries during my commute. I felt like such a pig, wolfing down fries as my Hyundai idled in the chugging traffic, but everybody knows McDonald’s fries have a half-life of about thirty seconds before they start to devolve from yummy treats into petrified wood. I know I’m not helping my fitness goals, but some nights you just feel like bagging on the gym and eating something horrible for you.
Besides, one night isn’t going to make a big difference, right?
I take a seat at my Ikea desk (a BORGSJÖ, if I remember correctly from the assembly instructions) and power down my grilled chicken sandwich while I boot up my laptop to check my personal emails, the kind you don’t dare open at work. Looks like the standard assortment of spam selling cheap boner pills, dubious-sounding dietary supplements, and entreaties begging me to take millions of dollars off some foreign stranger’s hands.
I’m about to delete another email from a sender whose name I don’t recognize when the subject line catches my attention.
“Re: The Perfect Guy”
I figure it’s probably a come-on from some gay dating service or maybe a link to a porn website, but it piques my interest enough to click it open.
“To my new friend,
Another night alone at home? Here’s a game to amuse yourself.
Have fun! I know I did!
Your new friend.”
Okay, if this is from anyone who knows me, it was probably a safe guess that I’m going to be home alone. Things have been pretty slow for me lately, as I’m getting tired of the old grind and the old Grindr. That’s probably why I’ve gotten into writing those fantasy stories that I’ve been posting online in the last few months. When you can’t find the guy of your dreams, it’s tempting just to dream him up.
I’m fairly certain this message must have come from another of the contributors to my favorite site. If it’s who I think it is, I figure I can trust any link he would send me, so I click the hyperlink. I’m taken to a stark website that looks like it was designed around 1998. Just basic black text in a non-descript font against a white background. It makes the Drudge Report look flashy.
The home page instructs me to answer the questions as truthfully as possible and that, if I stop or don’t answer, “something bad” will happen. I should just close the site immediately because I’ll probably get a nasty virus or a cascade of undismissable pop-up ads, but my curiosity is already aroused. Following my dick instead of my brain, I click on the button that reads “Good luck!” and am taken to the next page where a banner at the top reads, “If You Were The Perfect Guy… Questionnaire.”
That’s unexpected. I figured I’d be specifying what kind of guy I’d like to fuck, not what kind of guy I’d like to be. This must be one of the earliest ancestors of those lame Buzzfeed quizzes where they make you answer a bunch of questions to determine where you should live (L.A. in my case), what would be your ideal job (mine, strangely, was pastry chef), or which “Buffy” character you’re most like (supposedly Willow, for fuck’s sake, both times I took the goddamn thing!).
Oh well, might as well start. Could be fun.
“Question 1: If you were the perfect guy… what would your handwriting be like?”
Damn, this quiz really has been floating around for a while. There must be kids taking this who’ve spent their lives typing and don’t even know what handwriting is. I’ve always liked my handwriting – it has a distinctive artistic flair – although the less and less I write anything by hand, the sloppier it has become. I could never hand one of my scrawled grocery lists to anyone else and expect them to decipher it.
The screen provides a box into which I can enter my answer. I think it over and type:
“My handwriting would basically be the same as always, but written with more care and legibility.”
Not sure handwriting is the first thing I think about when envisioning my perfect guy, but the question must tell the quiz designer something about me. I click a button reading “NEXT” and am taken to a new page.
“Question 2: If you were the perfect guy… what kind of music would you listen to?”
I hate that I’m starting to become one of those guys who isn’t keeping up with the good new bands out there. In high school and college, I amassed a huge collection of music, but I’m afraid that’s still mostly what I listen to. I also wish I had broader tastes, since I mostly limit myself to rock and pop. But since I’m hypothetically redesigning myself…
“I would be up on the best new music in addition to my old favorites, and would stay aware enough of the top forty songs to know what is good and what is dreck. I would also have a deeper appreciation of jazz and classical and be able to talk about them knowledgeably with other aficionados.”
My finger hovers on my mouse, ready to click, when I decide to answer something that wasn’t specifically asked.
“I would also be a soulful singer and an excellent musician who can play piano, guitar and saxophone equally well. I would be able to compose melodies and lyrics, and both read and write sheet music.” I’ve always envied great musicians and wished I had that kind of skill. Not only are they great artists, but their fans always seem eager to fuck them. Perfect Guy is gonna get so laid. Click!
“Question 3: If you were the perfect guy… what would your favorite color be?”
I don’t think I’ve been asked that since grade school. I didn’t think I had one, but as I look around my apartment, I realize that my sofa is blue, my gym bag is blue, and my Stratocaster is blue. Then again, would blue be my favorite color if I were the perfect guy? I’m probably overthinking this whole silly questionnaire, but I have to hope that Perfect Guy would be less conventional and more adventurous than me. At the very least, he wouldn’t pick a goddamn primary color as his favorite. I type “Purple” before I can change my mind and hit “Next”.
“Question 4: If you were the perfect guy… would your hair be long or short?”
Hmm. I can never decide what looks best on me. When I have short hair, I want to grow it out, but once it gets too long and shaggy, I’m tempted to get it buzzed to practically stubble, but I can’t go too short because I have a cowlick. I usually end up somewhere in the mushy middle, which is another pretty boring choice for Perfect Guy to make.
“I would have long hair that could be swept back from my forehead and groomed to look neat and businesslike or could hang down to my eyes and shoulders to make me look wild and animalistic…like when I’m onstage doing a particularly great guitar solo. BUT NO MULLET!”
An emphatic click!
“Question 5: If you were the perfect guy… what color would your hair be?”
Now here is a question that demonstrates the difference between who I’d like to fuck and who I’d like to be. Without a doubt, I am more attracted, by and large, to guys with dark brown hair like my own, but I’ve always had a secret longing to be a blond. I’ve just never had the guts to walk into a salon and go through with it. It always feels like it would be too big a change and I’d have to worry immediately about my dark roots growing back in. But speaking ideally…
“I would have naturally golden blond hair which would lighten even more in the summer.” I submit my reply and go to the next page.
“Question 6: If you were the perfect guy… what color would your eyes be?”
As I look around the living room at my purple couch, my purple gym bag and my purple Strat, I’m tempted to color-coordinate and ask for purple eyes, but that seems too obvious. I really have to take a leak, so I walk into the bathroom and brush back my bangs from my forehead to study my blue eyes. Why mess with a classic combo like blond hair and blue eyes? It’d be nice if they were really spectacular, though, so they’d be noticed from across a room.
I finish pissing and flush. This whole quiz thing is making me horny, so I strip off my blue Oxford shirt and beige dress pants and toss them in a heap on my bed, then return to the living room in just my Fruit of the Loom cotton briefs. I grab a banana from the kitchen counter and flop down on the sofa. I’m just about to reach for my remote to see if anything new has been released on Netflix when I notice a countdown timer on my computer screen and the warning, “YOU MUST FINISH THE QUESTIONNAIRE OR SUFFER THE CONSEQUENCES.” Consequences? Shit. My gut tells me to shut off the computer right now before this quiz thing installs any malware, but for all I know the program has already infected my computer. On the off chance that continuing to answer will prevent that kind of calamity, I figure I’d better keep going.
Okay. Eyes. “Piercing blue, like Paul Walker or Paul Newman.” I can’t think of a third dead Paul to add to the list, so I move on.
“Question 7: If you were the perfect guy… what would your complexion be like?”
My ruddy skin is fine, or at least I’m used to it, but since I’m designing Perfect Me from scratch, I’d want to be flawless. And as much as I love to get a nice tan in the summer, I always feel like I’m inflicting long-term damage on myself, like I’m doing the equivalent of making my skin smoke a pack of unfiltered Camels a day. But imagine if I could swing it so there were no negative consequences. Then, I’d be “Smooth with an even moderate tan…with no tan lines. Permanently, with no chance of weathering, crinkling or skin cancer.” Man, I’m getting greedy now.
“Question 8: If you were the perfect guy… how much body hair would you have?”
Glancing down at the short bristles poking out of my chest, I know my ideal would be not having to put up with shaving or waxing to have a sleek hairless torso. I do like the light coating of hair on my arms and legs, but a bare chest shows my silky tan in its best light. “Modest blond hair on my arms and legs, but no hair on my pecs and only a faint treasure trail on my abs.” Not that my abs are anything to write home about, but I wouldn’t want anything to obscure what little is visible.
“Question 9: If you were the perfect guy… would you have any facial hair?”
I’ve never been able to grow a decent beard – too many gaps in the placement of the follicles. The few times I’ve tried, it took forever to grow in, felt unbearably scratchy and looked too seedy to keep. I’d hoped I would look rugged, but ended up looking like I’d just traveled to Californy to be a character in The Grapes of Wrath. Still, Perfect Me should definitely have the option. “I would usually be clean-shaven or have a sexy one- or two-day growth, but I could grow a full thick beard if I wanted in a week.” Perfect Me is sounding better all the time. The more I envision him, the harder my cock gets.
“Question 10: If you were the perfect guy… what would your voice be like?”
Two words. “Jon Hamm.” Next!
“Question 11: If you were the perfect guy…. what would your body type be? Choose one: Ectomorph, endomorph, or mesomorph.”
I consciously have to stop my fingers from typing “Mesomorph” and moving on. Tempting as that seems to someone who has only recently beefed up from lifelong ectomorph status, I’m not sure I would want to be a pure musclehead. While visions of muscle twinks dance in my head, I type, “Somewhere between ectomorph and mesomorph. Somewhere between a wrestler’s build and a swimmer’s build. Strong but lean. Powerful but not intimidating.” Fast but slow. Day but night. Wishy-washy much? I don’t know why I’m taking this goofy quiz so seriously. It’s not like my answers really mean anything.
“Question 12: If you were the perfect guy… what kind of clothes would you wear?”
As I rub my hand down my bronzed and sculpted abs and over the bulge in my briefs, I’m tempted to answer “None”, but I’m not sure how well that would go over at the office. Actually, it might be okay with most of the women, and with Daryl in accounting. I’ve always cleaned up well when necessary, but have never had the budget to be a fashion-plate. I tend toward ultra-casual when I’m not at work – comfort-fit jeans and pop-culture t-shirts – but it’d be nice if I looked fantastic even when I was kicking back. “I would be able to pull off everything from a classic tux to a tank top and board shorts and look totally stylish. For my everyday wardrobe, I’d have an eye for finding clothes that gave me a sexy image without requiring a huge bank account, but I’d also occasionally splurge on some great designer clothes. I would fill out my jeans like they were custom-tailored for me, and I’d look awesome in leather.”
“Question 13: If you were the perfect guy… would you have any piercings?”
I’ve always been a coward about piercings. Not the pain so much as the permanence. Heck, if I didn’t come by my blond hair naturally, I’d probably even feel skittish about changing my hair color. But I can definitely envision myself with a couple simple hoop earrings or gemstones. “Yes, but no more than two holes in each earlobe, and no piercings anywhere else.”
“Question 14: If you were the perfect guy… would you have any tattoos?”
Talk about permanence. I can’t think of anything I desperately loved five years ago or even one year ago that I would still want branded on my flesh for the rest of my life. I type an emphatic “No”. Besides, if I did have the whim to get a tattoo in the future, I could always change my mind.
A window pops up in red letters. “PLEASE ANSWER TRUTHFULLY. ANSWERS CANNOT BE CHANGED AFTER THE QUIZ.”
Okay, that was spooky. Does the quiz actually know I’m wavering? If so, how? I leave my answer as “No” and click through.
“Question 15: If you were the perfect guy… how big would your penis be?”
Ah, here we go. I should have known. This whole thing is just a roundabout way to sell knock-off Viagra or penis-enlargement surgery. I shut the laptop, annoyed with myself for getting this far into it. As I finish off the protein smoothie I had brought home as my supper, I’m now regretting that I wasted my time on this quiz when I could have been at the gym. Maybe that cute trainer who looks like a taller, buffer version of a young Michael J. Fox would have been working tonight. One of these days I’ll have to talk to him, but I’m sure he gets hit on all the time by hotter guys than me. I get so nervous around him, I’ve never even learned his name.
I stalk around the apartment restlessly, wandering into the bedroom. Not sure why I feel so tongue-tied when I try to strike up conversations with guys like that. Not to be arrogant, but I’m looking in the mirror and I look damn good. I sweep a hand through my mane of blond hair and admire how pumped and cut my arms, legs and torso are. All that time at the gym hasn’t been a waste. About the only thing that doesn’t look big on me is the bulge in my underwear. No one has ever complained out loud to me, but I sometimes sense disappointment when someone finally sees my cock and doesn’t feel it measures up to the rest of me. Of course, in a perfect world…
It’s crazy, but I suddenly feel compelled to tell the quiz my answer about penis size as if it’s an urgent bulletin, as if the quiz is waiting impatiently for my response. I go back to the living room and open my laptop. Sure enough, the screen is flashing “YOU MUST FINISH THE QUESTIONNAIRE OR SUFFER THE CONSEQUENCES.” You want an answer that badly? Here’s your answer. “Five inches soft. Eleven inches hard.” There. Satisfied? I know I would be. I click emphatically and proceed to the next page.
“Question 16: If you were the perfect guy… what kind of underwear would you wear?”
Just pondering the question makes my dick stiffen. Boxers look too baggy on me. I like the look of boxer-briefs, but I’ve always felt too hemmed in when I actually wore them. My Fruit of the Loom tighty-whities are having trouble containing my jumbo hard-on just sitting here, so I probably shouldn’t go too much smaller. “Briefs, jockstraps or, when I’m feeling in the right mood, a silk thong might be fun.” Just imagining the feel of silk against my sensitive cock makes me wonder why I’ve never bought any silk undies. I’ll have to put them on my shopping list.
“Question 17: If you were the perfect guy… would you be into girls or other guys?”
This ought to be a no-brainer, but the fact is I do still find myself attracted to women now and then. Not all women or most women, but then all or most guys don’t turn me on either. The women are typically intelligent and confident, often a tad androgynous, and on more than one occasion lesbians, all of which should probably be telling me something. But why rule out getting intimately familiar with half of the population of earth on the technicality of one little chromosome? “I’d mostly be into guys, but would keep an open mind. Beauty comes in many forms, as does love.”
“Question 18: If you were the perfect guy… what would your sex life be like?”
No hesitation on this one. “It would be romantic and, once I found someone I truly loved, faithfully monogamous.” I’m already romantic, but still waiting for the true love thing to kick in.
“Question 19: If you were the perfect guy… what would your intelligence be? One being stupid and ten being high enough to drive the class nerd up the wall.”
Luckily for me, I’ve always been pretty smart, although sometimes I think it has held me back socially. I tend to overanalyze and worry over things that most people don’t seem to stress about so much. If I’m a nine now, maybe just knocking myself down a point will do the trick. Don’t want to make myself too much of a dimbulb. “Eight, with less book-smarts and more world-wisdom than I currently have.” I’m about to click, but move my mouse back to the front of the sentence and make it “Eight-point-five.” Like I said, I tend to overanalyze.
“Question 20: If you were the perfect guy… how old would you be, how tall would you be without shoes and what would you weigh without clothes?”
Well, I definitely wouldn’t want to go back to school. Once I started earning money at a job, I could never imagine going back to paying for the “privilege” of working as hard as I had in my college courses. But I’d still want to be young. And tall. And muscular, but not too bulky. “I would be 25 years old, six foot one, and 175 pounds.”
“Last Question: If you were the perfect guy… what would your name be?”
Not that I dislike my name, but I always enjoy coming up with the names for the characters in the stories I write. I lean back, stretching my long legs and clasping my fingers together behind my head as I contemplate a new handle. Grant always struck me as a cool first name, and no one in history has been cooler than Cary Grant. Maybe my name should be Grant Carey? Nah, too many people would make Cary Grant jokes. Who else do I admire? Mentally riffling through my library, I hit upon Oscar Wilde. Grant Wilde? Grant Wilde. GRANT Wilde. Grant WILDE. Works for me. I type it into the box and with one final click, I’m done.
I watch the screen, waiting for something to happen, but there are no offers for escort services, no special sex-toy coupons, no warnings from my anti-virus software. The window just seems to…evaporate…and my screen goes back to normal.
Shit, I’m feeling exhausted all of a sudden. How did it get so late? It’s already pitch dark outside. My mind’s a blank about what I’ve been doing since I got home, and I haven’t even been drinking! Weird.
I put an Art Tatum LP on my turntable and stretch out on my black leather sofa to relax. I pick up the remote to open the drapes and enjoy the expansive view of the skyline out the windows of my spacious loft. My palm slides gently across the ruts of my six-pack and my fingers slip idly under the waistband of my Calvin Kleins…
Nearly drowned out by the jazzy piano echoing from my stereo system, I hear the faint buzz of my vibrating cellphone. I hop up and pad barefoot across the hardwood floors toward my king-size bed where my artfully-destroyed 501s are lying. I pull the cellphone out of the pocket and a picture of my boyfriend Matt’s grinning face is staring up at me from the screen. I answer the call.
“Hello, McFly.” It’s my pet name for him, since he looks like Marty McFly after some heavy doses of HGH, with impressive hard-earned muscles all over his compact frame. He hasn’t gotten sick of me calling him that yet, or at least hasn’t said so. He’s even come up with a nickname for me in response.
“Hey, Doc.” I can hear the smile in his voice. Thank god I don’t resemble Christopher Lloyd in the way that Matt looks like Michael J. Fox. “I just saw on Facebook that it’s ‘80s Night at Revolver,” he tells me. “Wanna go ‘Back In Time’?”, he asks, singing the last three words. (I swear our conversations are not entirely composed of Back To The Future references.)
“Sure, babe. Do I have to wear a costume or can I just come as a normal person?”
“I don’t know, Grant. Can you come as a normal person?”
“Har-de-har. I can come any way you like, McFly.”
“I’ll test you on that later,” Matt promises. “You want me to just meet you there, or…?”
“Nah, I just got the Corvette back from the shop. I’ll swing by and pick you up.”
“Okay. I’ll be waiting.” He makes a kissing sound over the phone.
“See you in a bit, honey,” I say as I hang up. My heart still flutters every time I hear his voice. That’s a good sign, right?
I notice I missed a few voicemails, so I check them. One is trying to sell me more cable services and gets deleted immediately. One is from the drummer for my jazz trio, reminding me of rehearsal tomorrow afternoon. The last one is from my modeling agent, telling me I’m booked for a fashion shoot on Friday in Cabo. Hopefully Matt can come along with me, if he doesn’t have a shoot of his own booked this weekend.
I walk to my closet which takes up nearly an entire wall of my loft and search for what to wear to the club. I can’t resist my purple leather pants and matching vest, which are flatteringly and enjoyably snug on my bod. Through the form-fitting leather, you can totally tell how big and hard my cock is, but I don’t give a shit who sees it. Let them stare. I know Matt is the only guy getting his hands – and other parts – on it tonight.
I search my jewelry box and find an awesome silver necklace embedded with amethysts, which draws the eye to my broad, bare chest and goes well with the silver hoops in my right earlobe. I add an absurd number of silver and black rubber bracelets on both arms, plus black ankle boots with Cuban heels. I run my hands roughly through my hair to tousle it into a untamed mess. The overall effect turns me into a mashup of Prince, Madonna, George Michael and Bon Jovi. I look like the ‘80s condensed into a single person. I look…perfect.
On my way toward my private elevator to the garage, I notice an instant message on my iPad from someone named Collan. He’s asking if I just sent him some kind of online quiz. I quickly type back that I have no idea who he is or what he is talking about. He writes back to ask if I’m the Grant Wilde, the supermodel.
I ignore his message and leave the loft, wondering how some stranger even got my contact info. Another obsessed fan probably. Guess that’s the price of fame. It can definitely get annoying at times.
But, honestly, I wouldn’t change a single thing about my life.