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The Droodle Creativity Test
The Droodle Creativity Test
Are you a personality test addict?
Me, too. I like the short, sweet, sometimes funny tests best. So here is my newest test regarding creativity featuring Roger Price’s “Droodles.”
Do I hear you asking, “What is a Droodle?” Or maybe even, who the heck is Roger Price? Roger is my favorite comedy writer and cartoonist of all time. Back in the 1950s, he created the droodle – a combination of a doodle – what you scribble while attending a very dull lecture. Or while you are listening to some long-winded person on the phone. And a riddle. It’s a droodle.
First, let me tell you about Roger Price
Roger was born March 6, 1918 in Charleston, West Virginia. During the 1940s, he was a comedy writer for The Bob Hope Show. He performed in the musical revue, Tickets, Please! (1950), and wrote sketch material for New Faces of 1952. He was a panelist on several other game shows of the early 50s including the popular What's My Line? Your parents may remember that one.
His book, Droodles, published in 1953 became so popular it launched a droodles craze and subsequently became the subject of a new TV game show with the same name. Roger was the host. The commercial success of his collections of droodles led to the founding of the Price Stern Sloan publishing house. Roger had met Stern when they were both writers on the Tonight show.
Mad Libs Books
Price was the prolific author of a number of other Droodle books as well as numerous books in which he collaborated with Leonard Stern including the popular Mad Libs series based on a mixed-up story-telling game.
Other books by Price include What Not to Name the Baby, In One Head and Out the Other, I’m for Me First, J.G., the Upright Ape, and The Great Roob Revolution. As well as an album, Roger and Over.
There was a sense of the sublime in his writing. He once described a colleague as having “a physique that is just barely noticeable and a long expression.
In fact, he looks like a beagle who is too polite to mention that someone is standing on his tail . . . and pretty girls frequently stop on the street to scratch him behind the ears.”
A little history about Droodles
You won’t find the word in any dictionary, but droodles can be traced back to the 16th century.
The Italian painter, Agostino Carracci (1557- 1602), drew one of the oldest known droodles - a vertical line with a small circle near the top and another line at an angle – representing a blind beggar behind a street corner. At least that’s what Agostino said it was.
Baby-boomers may recall these puzzles from when they were younger. Roger Price's name may not be well known, but the images of his droodle drawings prove that his work resides in the deep recesses of our minds. These simple line drawings with sometimes complicated answers may be silly and almost impossible to guess but they are fun to try to decipher.
This graphic by the way is famous – it appears on the front cover of Frank Zappa’s album of the same name (1982) -“Ship Arriving Too Late to Save a Drowning Witch.” Can you see it? Price also had an alternate caption for this droodle – “Mother Pyramid Feeding Her Baby.” These whimsical diagrams can often have more than one punch line so there are no wrong answers – as long as the answer is funny.
Finally – The Droodle Test for Creativity
Here are 12 examples of popular Roger Price droodles – only the graphics and not the original captions. Each graphic is numbered from 1 to 12. Your mission if you care to undertake it, before I self-destruct, is to think of a caption that you think describes each droodle.
Take a sheet of blank paper and write down the numbers from 1 to 12. Write your title for each graphic next to the appropriate graphic number. Your caption may be Roger’s if you remember it, or your own as long as it is applicable . . . and funny.
Example: Look at the Droodle on the Frank Zappa album. Can you see the “ship arriving too late to save a drowning witch"? Now go forth and write captions on your paper for each of the twelve graphics.
Scientific Explanation of Droodles
How does the human brain make sense of these unfamiliar diagrams? Without going into a long scientific explanation, our interpretation of droodles is based on the pareidolia, an innate human tendency to impose a pattern on random or ambiguous shapes.
Think about the way we decipher cloud formations in the sky. “There’s a puppy . . . now it’s a turtle . . . no, it’s Uncle Louie.”
In the same way, our experiences and our knowledge interact with what we see, and allow us to recognize a scene, even a portrait, from minimal cartoons or droodles. Roger described his droodles as "a borkley-looking sort of drawing that doesn't make any sense until you know the correct title."
Besides being entertaining, droodles are also used in cognitive research and as a tool for building creativity.
(I often use droodles, both Roger’s and my own, in my motivational presentations to illustrate concepts and, if necessary, to wake up the audience,)
How to Score
Did you remember or create amusing captions for 9 to 12 droodles? Congratulations! You are hereby declared creative and ingenious – a Squiggle of the highest order (see “Simple Symbol Personality Test” ).
Did you write applicable funny captions for 5 to 8 droodles? Then you are a Squiggle in training. There is hope for you.
Could you think of only 4 or less? Then you may want to practice more thinking outside of the box, or Square, whichever applies. And take another Tylenol.
Do not look at the answers until you have attempted to supply captions for all 12 diagrams. If you disobey, you know I will know. Then I must inform Vlad Dracula and he really knows how to hurt a guy. Read about his favorite impalement methods in “Interview with Dracula.” Muuhhwaaahaaa.
1 Man wearing bowtie caught in elevator doors
2 Egg wearing a bikini
3 Pig emerging from a heavy fog
4 Tomato sandwich made by amateur chef
5 Child blowing giant bubble gum bubble
6 Person soaking in a bathtub
7 Obese bent-over person on bench
8 Four elephants inspecting an orange
9 Giraffe that swallowed landline phone
10 Man committing suicide falling past window
11 The Three Musketeers and D’Artagnan
12 Four guys looking under card table for card that fell on floor.
Marriage is a three-ring circus: first, there's the engagement ring, then there's the wedding ring, and finally, the suffering. – Roger Price
Roger Price knew what he was talking about - he married four times. He was not only a helluva cartoonist but a helluva optimist. as well.
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© Copyright BJ Rakow, Ph.D. 2011. All rights reserved. Author, "Much of What You Know about Job Search Just Ain't So." Readers say this book was the BEST! Includes most-needed information for older workers.