That’s when they know they have you. Maybe you’re walking on a downtown sidewalk late at night. Perhaps you’re riding the subway, hailing a cab or cooling your heels waiting for the bus. No matter. They surround you. One of them binds your hands and another drops a sack over your head while something cold and metallic pokes you in the ribs. How many are there? Don’t ask. Resistance is futile.

Hours later they force you into a chair. They untie you hands only to shackle them to the back of the chair. That’s when they pull the sack off of your head. To reveal…

To reveal a man, maybe 6-foot-five, maybe taller, looking like Hulk Hogan back in his prime. He slaps you a couple of times to get your attention, then shoves his mean ugly mug up to your face. “Are you ready,” he growls. “Let’s rock and roll.”

“He points to a monitor hanging from the ceiling and clicks on what appears to be a remote-control unit. Suddenly a video clip appears, a band fronted by a blond-haired guitarist singing about an “American Girl.”

“Who is it?” yells the man. “Answer me. Now!”

Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers,” you shout back. He clicks the unit and another video appears, showing a young man frantically playing guitar while a woman pounds on a drum kit. “Who is it?”

The White Stripes,” you shout. He backslaps you across the face. “Not bad,” he sneers. “But we’re just starting.”

More videos follow. There’s Bryan Ferry, Fleetwood Mac, KISS and Radiohead. You correctly identify them all. Faster and faster the videos appear on the screen, more acts, like Dixie Chicks and Kings X flash before your eyes. You cry out their names as fast as you can. You’re rewarded with indifference when you’re right, and electric shocks when you’re wrong.

Finally, after you think you’ve seen every artist and every band that ever made a video, the man unshackles you from the chair and tosses $50 in your lap. Then the sack is pulled back over your head, your hands tied behind you and fifty minutes later your your beaten and bruised body is dumped out of a speeding car back onto the street where they first found you.

As you pick yourself up out of the gutter, you swear that you’ve learned your lesson, that you’ll never again walk these means streets by yourself. You promise yourself that you’ll be more careful next time, that you’ll always look behind you, and that from now on you’ll always avoid deserted streets, empty subways and near vacant bus stops.

But most importantly of all, you swear that you’ll never, ever volunteer for a radio station’s audience research program again.