Ignoring a deluge of requests, we’ll end the year with our annual pop quiz designed to show you how much smarter you are now than you were 364 days ago — ail thanks to the diligence and dedication of yours truly. We covered each of these topics in the past year, so don’t whine that I’m making up stuff to trick you.
Here’s a sample question:
I know M.A. would never make up stuff to trick me because: (a) M.A.’s honesty and fine character are legendary; (b) M.A. is a legendary character, and that’s fine with me, honestly; (c) uh, wa-a-a-ait a minute; maybe M.A. would trick me, d’ya think? (d) M.A. speaks to me, personally, in code through the classified ads.
The answer, of course, is...well, it’s so obvious I think we can skip that. So grab that #2 Ticonderoga and dig in.
- In the ’50s, Quaker Oats cereals gave away deeds to land in the Yukon Territory, a square inch at a time. Today the deeds are: (a) worth millions, contact Quaker immediately! (b) crammed into a box in your mother’s closet along with your third-grade report card, all your baby teeth, a lanyard you made at camp, and those embarrassing toddler pictures; (c) worth their weight in oatmeal.
- Tap dance lessons for hummingbirds...a bad idea because: (a) they have absolutely no sense of rhythm; (b) the little top hats and tailcoats never fit right; (c) in a kick line, they beat each other senseless with their wings; (d) Tap dance? Hummers are the only birds that can’t even walk.
- If Einstein were alive today, his favorite pop performer would be: (a) Frank Zappa; (b) Dr. Dre, who actually is a real Ph.D.! (French literature, or something like that); (c) E = M.C. Hammer; (d) Olivia Newton-John, granddaughter of his old friend Nobel physicist Max Born.
- Insect repellant keeps mosquitos away because: (a) the chemicals confuse the bugs’ receptors and make us “invisible” to them; (b) we smell so bad, even a mosquito won’t get near us; (c) when they land on us, the oil makes them slide right off, screaming, to their deaths; (d) gimme a break, Matt, I don’t believe any of these.
- Only one of these statements is correct. Which is it? (a) Marine iguanas bask in the sun after they eat in order to cook the food in their stomachs; (b) Roadrunners can’t fly; (c) The T-shirt was originally the “tea shirt,” designed so tea workers wouldn’t get leaves stuck in their clothes; (d) Janis Joplin was killed by the CIA; (e) Answers a, b, c, and d are bonehead things Alicelanders believed until M.A. set them straight.
- Disneyland is like Communist China because: (a) it’s hard to get the whole truth out of either one; (b) neither place is much fun; (c) they’re both much bigger than they need to be; (d) the people who run those places don’t like birds very much.
- Of all the famous body parts discussed this year, I’d most like to see: (a) Einstein’s eyes, because they’re in a New Jersey bank vault with money and valuables, and I might be able to walk off with some; (b) Edison’s breath, because it’s in a test tube in a museum in Detroit, a city with lots of good ethnic restaurants; (c) Josef Haydn’s skull...urn, who’s Josef Haydn?
- When M.A. published a request for lots of free valuable stuff as a token of appreciation, grateful readers sent: (a) gargantuan green T-shirt from the band Four Inches from the Floor, plus stickers and promo stuff; (b) gargantuan green T-shirt from the band Four Inches from the Floor, plus stickers and promo stuff; (c) gargantuan green T....
- Once again this year, M.A. did not answer the question I sent in, even though it was ten times better than the junk that did get answered. This is because: (a) M.A. is saving mine for that special centennial celebration column; (b) my question is still circulating among the staff of research gnomes, who are all getting a good laugh at my expense; (c) maybe I should have taped it to that $20 bill after all.
Okay, that’s enough. Trade papers with somebody you didn’t copy from, correct them, then add up your score. If you got all of them right, you’re a very sick person who needs a good entry-level job to get your life back on track. If you got all of them wrong, then you’d better pick up a pencil or a crayon or something and start sending those questions in to M.A. immediately. You’re severely fact-challenged.