An African American birder approaches you in Central Park. He maintains a respectful (and COVID-appropriate) distance. He reminds you that you must, by law, leash your dog. What do you do?
A. You leash your dog—then ask insightful questions about birding, nodding thoughtfully as the wind disturbs not a single strand of your perfectly coiffed white hair.
Great news, you’re CNN anchor Anderson Cooper.
B. You confess that your infatuation with Archie not only distracted you from noticing the “Leash Your Dog” signs prominently displayed throughout the park—it’s also destroying your relationship with your best friend, Veronica.
Cool, you’re Archie character Betty Cooper.
C. You do not retort that your dog needs exercise right here, in a designated Important Bird Area, and refuse to take him elsewhere. You do rhapsodize about the perfect slice of pie to someone named Diane.
Fun, you’re Twin Peaks’ Special Agent Dale Cooper.
D. You take your dog to the leash-free area of the park—dressed, it should be noted, like a million dollar trooper.
Super duper, you’re style icon Gary Cooper.
E. You cry about Ryan, then die, unexpectedly, in Season 3.
Sad. You’re The OC’s Marissa Cooper.
F. You consider the birder’s point of view and remain calm, despite the many stresses in your life: being an ex-NBA-player-turned-high-school-teacher; mentoring countless students through a combination of sharp banter and tough love; falling for one of your female roommates.
TGIF, because you’re Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper’s Mark Cooper.
G. You do not charge at the birder. Instead, you treat all of Central Park to a stirring rendition of “Let Me Blow Your Mind.”
Amazing! You’re Grammy winner Eve Cooper.
H. You do not violate social distancing near the birder. Instead, you treat all of Central Park to a stirring rendition of “Lay All Your Love on Me.”
Neat, you’re Mama Mia!/Mama Mia! Here We Go Again star Dominic Cooper.
I. You do not choke your dog. You do bite the head off a chicken.
Hmm, are you rock legend Alice Cooper?
J. In fact, you leash your dog, which takes all of two seconds. A dazzling smile lights up your face which, like weathered, buttery leather, has only become more beautiful with the passage of time.
Hooray, you’re movie star Bradley Cooper.
K. Disaster averted, you walk home, squinting stoically into the sunset, conveying wells of deep feeling and hard-earned wisdom with the slightest shift in facial expression and a single, beautiful tear, just as you did in Little Women, Adaptation, and American Beauty.
Congrats, you’re Academy Award winner Chris Cooper.
L. At no time do you threaten to call the police and tell them an “African American man” is “threatening” your life.
Empathetic! Are you Hall of Famer Chuck Cooper, the first African American to be drafted to the NBA and a father of four?
M. You know the price Black men often pay for such a calculated act of racial profiling, from Emmet Till to Kevin Richardson, Raymond Santana, Antron McCray, Yusef Salaam, and Korey Wise.
Insightful! Are you “mother of Black Feminism” Dr. Anna Julia Haywood Cooper, the first Black woman to earn her PhD (in history) from the Sorbonne?
N. You consider the price Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice, Philando Castile, Eric Garner, Botham Jean, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and George Floyd all paid.
Wise! Are you author J. California Cooper, winner of the James Baldwin Writing and American Book Awards?
O. You certainly do not submit a false report.
Hmm. Are you just a halfway decent person?
P. You refuse to do A, B, C, D, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, or O. Instead, you leverage all the racial power at your disposal, and you make the call.
Bad news, you’re Amy Cooper.