OK, everyone, listen up.
It's time to find out if you've been paying attention to the world around you. I want you all to sharpen those No. 2 pencils and get ready for today's pop quiz on current events.
And no, we're not grading on a curve.
This is a simple quiz. If you've been marginally awake in recent weeks, none of this should baffle.
And if you've been out like a light, you might do even better.
Yeah, it's that kind of quiz.
What big-name star recently interviewed a high elected official about environmental issues, giving mainstream journalism a serious case of snit-induced angina?
1) Leo DiCaprio, who had a close, personal chat with Bill Clinton about, like, you know, all that global-warming stuff.
2) Christina Aguilera, who had a really cool heart-to-heart with Gov. George W. Bush on why his home state of Texas ranks 49th in the nation for environmental spending.
3) "What interview? With a big star? No one said anything to me! I've got environmental opinions! I'm all for an environment! I wanna be interviewed! Right now! Call Maria Shriver - I'm in good with the Kennedys!" Carty Finkbeiner
What new cable channel was recently started in the U.S.?
1) Oxygen, which is aimed at women viewers and whose founders include the wildly famous Oprah (No Last Name Really Needed) Winfrey.
2) A zipped-up offering from C-SPAN, called "When Good Politicians Go Wrong: Live City Council Proceedings From Across the Nation."
3) Elian 24/7, offering such reality-based programs as Let's Watch Elian Go Down the Slide Again; Don't Any Of Those People Protes ting Out There Ever Have To Go To Work? and Latin America's Saddest Home Videos: The Episode In Which A Child Demon strates The Effects of Round-The-Clock Brainwashing.
What all-American phenomenon is prone to wild, unpredictable ups and downs, the likes of which can inspire panic among the general population?
1) The Nasdaq.
2) The Dow Jones industrial average.
3) The mayor of Toledo.
Correctly identify who made this statement: "No more! No more! Please, God, no more!"
1) Bill Clinton, toward the end of his made-for-television interview by Leo DiCaprio.
2) The American public, whenever televised images of Elian Gonzalez appear on their TV screens.
3) Parsimonious Toledo voters, when last faced with the most recent, failed school levy.
(By the way, if you didn't have to look up "parsimonious" in a dictionary, thank a teacher.)
Who drew attention by filing a highly publicized lawsuit?
1) A local group challenging the constitutionality of tax breaks for the Jeep plant by way of a suit against the city of Toledo, DaimlerChrysler, and the state of Ohio.
2) Cody Gifford, age 10, who is evidently just as much a self-starting decision-maker as that other cute kid in the news, Elian.
What lesson might the American public draw from watching news footage of the protests in Washington?
1) Anarchists can be amazingly well-organized.
2) Globalization hurts poor people worldwide.
3) Police must practice a lot to get so good with those night sticks.
4) News footage? You mean, like, from today, even? Oh! We thought it must be some documentary about the '60s that came on while we dozed off.
Roberta de Boer's column appears Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. Readers may contact her at 724-6086, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.