Pop Quiz

Light ‘Em Up!

Fourth of July celebrations around the United States usually mean dazzling displays of pyrotechnics, but they can cause a lot of problems, including fires. There are plenty of alternatives like movies in the park, so here’s a pop quiz: Fireworks or Buddy Cop film?

1. Hot Fuzz

2. Point Break

3. Bad Boys

4. Turner And Hooch

5. Tuggy Huggy

6. A Gnome Named Gnorm

7. Sky Monster

8. Three Minute Blaze Of Glory

9. Lethal Weapon

10. Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot!

11. Furious Flamingo

12. Terms Of Endearment

13. Sixteen Blocks

14. Emoji Spinners

15. Ground Bloom Flower Brick

16. Men In Black

17. Buffy The Vampire Slayer

18. Dragnet

19. Penguin Mama

20. The Glimmer Man

21. Croc Rock

22. Midnight Run

23. Killer Chihuahua

24. Osmosis Jones

25. Demon Escape

26. Bottle Rocket

27. Roman Candle

28. Blue Streak

29. Heart Condition

30. Donkey Balls

More than 25–You’re a Hollywood special effects technician with a business card that says “I blow shit up for a living.” You burned down your high school.
15-24–For reasons only you can explain you double majored in film studies and chemistry and still have most of your fingers. You burned down your parents’ garage.
10-14–You like movies and always find the best parking spot for your local Fourth Of July celebration. You once burned off your eyebrows while grilling hot dogs.
5-9–You watch your local Fourth Of July celebration on the morning news on the fifth of July. You burn yourself on the stove every time you cook.
1-4–You once burned yourself with a glow stick.

All fireworks are currently commercially available and trademarked by their respective manufacturers.

Answer Key:

Buddy cop film: 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 9, 10, 13, 16, 18, 20, 22, 24, 28, 29
Fireworks: 5, 7, 8, 11, 14, 15, 19, 21, 23, 25, 26, 27, 30
Should be both: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 10, 11, 12, 14, 17, 19, 25, 30

Take Me To Your Mascot.

School has been back in session for a few weeks now which means it’s time for a pop quiz! Match the following advertising mascots with little known trivia about their personal lives.

  1. Mr. Clean
  2. The Jolly Green Giant
  3. The Energizer Bunny
  4. Snap, Crackle, and Pop
  5. Chester Cheetah
  6. Captain Morgan
  7. The Pillsbury Doughboy
  8. The Michelin Man
  9. Mr. Peanut
  10. Ronald McDonald


A. Also owns a modest chain of car wash places with locations in Van Nuys, Pasadena, and Yorbalinda.

B. Worked with Ted Healy in vaudeville before moving to food marketing.

C. Lives in Nebraska, only travels by hovercraft.

D. Showed up at an audition for mascots after misreading the ad as a sale for “ascots”.

E. Has 20/20 vision but can only read Braille.

F. Did an episode of Undercover Boss wearing a vintage toupee and fake beard previously owned by Eisenhower.

G. An accomplished bass player, often touring with Herman’s Hermits

H. Also has a line of athleisure wear.

I. Went to college to study nuclear physics, was expelled after a bizarre incident involving a Geiger counter, a box of Brillo pads, and an electric eel.

J. Can’t eat gluten.


1-2: You have no idea who most of these characters are. Congratulations–this is a winning score.

3-4: You were raised on a commune in upstate New York but have been acclimating to “normal” life. Good luck on your CPA exam.

5-6: One of your parents made you watch “Days Of Our Lives” with them each afternoon during the summer.

7-8: Both of your parents made you watch “Days Of Our Lives” with them each afternoon during the summer.

9-10: You are an advertising mascot.


Answer key:











In Space No One Can Hear You Sneeze.

It’s the season when every young person’s fancy turns lightly to thoughts of sneezing, coughing, and congestion, which means it’s time for a pop quiz: Allergy Medication or Star Wars alien?

  1. Chagrian
  2. Muftak
  3. Lotemax
  4. Arcona
  5. Prednisolone
  6. Flovent
  7. Quarren
  8. Qnasl
  9. Amanin
  10. Zetonna
  11. Snivvian
  12. Aqualish
  13. Rhinocort
  14. Zaditor
  15. Xyzal
  16. Gungan
  17. Nausicaan
  18. Ithorian
  19. Gamorrean
  20. Astelin
  21. Claridryl
  22. Sullustan
  23. Pazeo
  24. Grogu
  25. Nasonex

Source: Wikipedia

Answer Key (tip: you can copy the image, paste it into Paint or a similar program, and reverse it)

All’s Will That Ends Will.

Source: Wikipedia

The Nashville Shakespeare Festival is putting on one of The Bard’s lesser known plays as part of their annual Shakespeare In The Park, but then they’ve been going since 1988 and, well, there are only so many ways to put on the same half dozen comedies and a couple of tragedies.

It’s also important when putting on a Shakespeare play to find ways to make it relevant to contemporary audiences, which is why I now offer Shakespeare’s Plays As Episodes Of Friends.


  1. The One On The Island


  1. The One With All That King’s Big Speeches


  1. The One That Happens In The Trojan War


  1. The One Where A Guy Is Exiled From Rome And Of Course Murdered When He Comes Back Because It’s A Tragedy


5.  The One That Goes All Over Italy


  1. The One Where Two Dudes Almost Get Married, And That Old Dude Comes Back


  1. The One Where One Woman Stands In For Another Except She’s Lying Down


  1. The One With A Boatload Of Twins, Literally


  1. The Other One With The Twins And Also The Obnoxious Butler


  1. The One With The Lady Pretending To Be A Statue And A Bear Attack


  1. The First One Of The Three Parters About That King


  1. The Second One Of The Three Parters About That King


  1. The Third One Of The Three Partners About That King


  1. The One Where A Greek Guy Finds A Bunch Of Gold And Dies


  1. The First One With The Prince And That Old Dude


  1. The Second One With Even More Of That Old Dude


  1. The One That’s Not Famous Where Everybody Dies


  1. The One That Is Famous Where Everybody Dies


  1. The One With The Suicidal Teens


  1. The One Where Two People Who Hate Each Other Get Married And No One Dies


  1. The One With Four Guys Who Quit Dating


  1. The One Where Everybody Gets Married After A Night In The Woods


  1. The One Where A Jewish Guy Loses Everything, But It’s A Comedy


  1. The One Where Some Get Married And Some Get Religion After A Night In The Woods


  1. The One With The Two Daughters Who Have To Get Married


  1. The One With The Riddle That Means Marriage Or Death, But It’s A Comedy


  1. The One With Three Queens That Convince A King To Go To War, But It’s A Comedy


  1. The One That Doesn’t Mention Either The Magna Carta Or Robin Hood


  1. The One Where The Roman Leader Falls In Love With Egypt’s Queen And They Both Die


  1. The One With The Tournament


  1. The One With The Hunchbacked King Without A Horse


  1. The One About The King With All The Wives


  1. The One Where The King Goes To France


  1. The One That’s In Scotland—You Know, The One We Can’t Say


  1. The One Where The Salad Guy Is Murdered


  1. The One With The Crazy King Who Dies Along With His Faithful Daughter Because It’s A Tragedy


  1. The One With A Black Guy Who’s Tricked By A White Guy And Dies Because It’s A Tragedy


  1. The One Where A Girl Is In Love With A Guy Who Doesn’t Like Her But It All Works Out In The End


  1. The One That Ends With A Big Feast But Maybe It’s A Tragedy?



More Than 30-You are a retired English professor and you have tweed pajamas that are older than “Friends”

20-29-Stratford-On-Avon tour guides know you by name

15-19-You’ve acted in Shakespeare In The Park productions several years in a row

10-14-You’ve Been To Stratford-On-Avon once and asked a tour guide, “How you doin’?”

5-9-You’ve heard of Stratford-On-Avon

1-4-You barely passed Freshman English

Answer Key:

  1. The Tempest
  2. Henry V
  3. Troilus And Cressida
  4. Coriolanus
  5. Two Gentlemen Of Verona
  6. The Merry Wives Of Windsor
  7. Measure For Measure
  8. The Comedy Of Errors
  9. Twelfth Night
  10. The Winter’s Tale
  11. Henry VI Part 1
  12. Henry VI Part 2
  13. Henry VI Part 3
  14. Timon Of Athens
  15. Henry IV, Part 1
  16. Henry IV, Part 2
  17. Titus Andronicus
  18. Hamlet
  19. Romeo And Juliet
  20. Much Ado About Nothing
  21. Loves Labour’s Lost
  22. A Midsummer Night’s Dream
  23. The Merchant Of Venice
  24. As You Like It
  25. The Taming Of The Shrew
  26. Pericles
  27. The Two Noble Kinsmen
  28. King John
  29. Antony And Cleopatra
  30. Richard II
  31. Richard III
  32. Henry VIII
  33. Edward III
  34. MacBeth
  35. Julius Caesar
  36. King Lear
  37. Othello
  38. All’s Well That Ends Well
  39. Cymbeline

Games People Played.

Actual Christmas Parlor Games Of The 17th, 18th, and 19th Centuries:

The Ribbon

Everyone would be given a piece of string or ribbon to hold while one person in the middle of the room would hold the other end of all the strings or ribbons. The person in the middle would then say either “pull” or “let go”. When asked to “pull” all the players would have to let go of their strings. When asked to “let go” they would have to pull. Players who got the commands reversed would have to pay some sort of penalty, because it’s not the holidays without strings attached.

Shoe The Wild Mare

Players would have to straddle a wooden swing high enough that their feet would be off the ground and hit the bottom of the swing with a hammer and hopefully not fall off. Players who lost would have to pay some sort of penalty—usually a broken arm.

Jacob! Where Are You?

A version of Blind Man’s Bluff this game involves a blindfolded player who calls out, “Jacob! Where are you?” while chasing another player with a bell. If the bell ringer is caught the players trade places, which makes it a hilarious game for two people and a chance for everyone else to just wander around and drink.

The Toilette

One person would take the role of Lord or Lady. Everyone else would select or be assigned a toiletry item—a comb, a brush, a mirror, etc. When the Lord or Lady called for an item the corresponding person would have to answer. Or the Lord or Lady could call “All toilette!” and everyone would have to jump up and change seats. Each person would take the item of the previous seat holder. Playing this today would be a chance to assign Uncle Jerry the nose hair trimmer and maybe he’d get the hint to use the one you gave him last year because his nostrils look like they’ve been stuffed with porcupines.

The Doctor

One person chosen to be “The Doctor” would go around the room and each person would have to feign an illness. The Doctor would then prescribe the most ridiculous treatments he or she could think of. After going around the room the Doctor would then go back and ask each person what they’d been prescribed.

Hot Cockles

In this version of Blind Man’s Bluff a person would be blindfolded then hit and would have to guess who hit them. This game was a great opportunity to get into the Christmas spirit by taking revenge on someone for something they did back in July.

Steal The White Loaf

A person would sit at a table facing away from a piece of bread or cake and other people would try to grab it without being identified, which seems to be a common theme in Christmas parlor games and maybe how the whole “Secret Santa” thing got started.


A large dish of raisins would be doused with brandy and set on fire because it just wouldn’t be Christmas without flames. The idea of this game was that everyone would take turns reaching in and grabbing a raisin from the dish. The winner would be the one with the most raisins who didn’t need medical treatment or set anything else on fire. To this day, though, more people have been sent to the hospital by family games of Monopoly.

Source: Tenor

How D’You Like Them Apples?

It’s October and time to finally put to rest one of the most vexing seasonal questions of all: what is the difference between apple juice and apple cider?

Apple juice: Non-alcoholic.

Apple cider: May be non-alcoholic or alcoholic. Traditionally alcoholic in Europe the term “cider” referred to raw apple juice in the US for a long time in spite of its derivation from a Hebrew word meaning “strong drink” before the rising popularity of alcoholic cider.


Apple juice: Filtered, clear.

Apple cider: Generally unfiltered; may be clear or cloudy.


Apple juice: Pasteurized.

Apple cider: Generally also pasteurized but at a lower temperature or shorter period, giving it a shorter shelf life. Left alone will either turn into apple cider vinegar or applesauce.


Apple juice: Consumed year-round, mostly by children.

Apple cider: The alcoholic variety is consumed year-round, mostly by adults, while the non-alcoholic variety is consumed in the fall at church picnics by people who think it sounds kind of seasonal and also it’s cheaper.


Apple juice: Squeezed from the fruit using modern equipment, processed, and bottled within twenty-four hours.

Apple cider: Fruit and pulp are pressed in ancient stone building. The juice is then left to ferment for months or years while druids perform strange rituals over the barrels.


Apple juice: Usually served cold but can also be served hot and flavored with spices such as cinnamon, cloves, and star anise.

Apple cider: Always cold because of its aura of menace. Sucks the life force from cinnamon sticks like Billy Zane in The Mummy.


Apple juice: Made from a variety of red delicious apples specifically bred for juice.

Apple cider: Made from cursed apples that grow in orchards planted in forgotten graveyards.


Apple juice: Apples are harvested by industrial means in large quantities.

Apple cider: Apples are harvested by hand by tough withered Steinbeck characters with names like Nick, Skipjack, and Hortense.


Apple juice: Found on grocery store shelves next to the powdered drink mixes.

Apple cider: Found in the refrigerated section of the grocery store next to the beer, but may also be sold to you in the alley behind the store by a tough withered Steinbeck character with a three-day beard, an eyepatch, wearing a tattered trenchcoat, and carrying an axe. Answers to “Hortense”.


Apple juice: May be made from concentrate.

Apple cider: You know it’s thinking something.


Apple juice: Family friendly; often sold in bottles adorned with cartoon characters.

Apple cider: “We only fly the flag of the Jolly Roger,” says Hortense, glaring at you.


Apple juice: Goes great with a child’s afternoon snack of graham crackers or ginger snaps.

Apple cider: Lurks in the darkness waiting for the proper incantations that will release the demons trapped in its depths.


Apple juice: May have added sugar.

Apple cider: “I’d be more concerned with what it takes,” says Hortense, wiping something from her axe.


Apple juice: Makes adults nostalgic for carefree summer days of running barefoot through the tall grass with friends.

Apple cider: Wants you to pour it out over a blood sacrifice performed under a full moon, thus opening a portal to the netherworld where dark and mysterious creatures still reign.


Apple juice: Has a diuretic effect.

Apple cider: The only thing known to dislodge that bubblegum you swallowed in third grade.

Source: Wondermark

Source: Wondermark

Don’t Put It Pasta.

Source: Saveur

Carbs may be persona non grata for some personae but if I have to do a little extra exercise, or accept that my spare tire will be a little more inflated, I’m okay with that because there are many things I won’t do without and pasta is one of them. Or rather the many varieties of pasta, and thanks to 3-D printing there are even more varieties of pasta. I’m pretty sure the question of why there are already hundreds of varieties of pasta, mostly regional could be the subject of a whole book. Heck, last year a journalist did a deep dive into why there was a shortage of bucatini, which, in spite of my love for pasta, I never even noticed, maybe because there are so many varieties, and finally got an answer this year

And then there’s Barilla’s annual 3-D pasta printing contest that invites people to enter designs that couldn’t be made by hand or even conventional pasta machines, like this pasta galaxy:

Source: Saveur

It represents the possible future of food that doesn’t just look good but could be better for us, which seemed like a good excuse for me to bring out this palate-cleansing pop quiz:

Musical term or pasta?

  1. Fusilli
  2. Abbellimenti
  3. Pappardelle
  4. Pizzoccheri
  5. Villotta
  6. Lamento
  7. Mafaldine
  8. Rigatoni
  9. Bamboula
  10. Tutti
  11. Obbligato
  12. Zimbalon
  13. Farfalloni
  14. Jongleur
  15. Passacaglia
  16. Lumaconi
  17. Mandala
  18. Orecchiette
  19. Quadrefiore
  20. Funiculì
  21. Ricciutelle
  22. Quadrettini
  23. Sacchettini
  24. Tortelloni
  25. Epithalamium
  26. Gnocchi
  27. Spatzle
  28. Malagueña
  29. Bucatini
  30. Logorrhea

Each answer is worth 1 point.

1-10 points: Great job guessing!

11-20 points: Your music appreciation/cooking instructor is somewhere saying, “Thank goodness something got through.”

21-30 points: We’re coming to your place for dinner and/or a concert.

Answer key below the video.




TV Or Not TV?

Late fall always meant going back to school for me, and going back to school always meant the end of my summer tradition of watching too much TV even when the weather was nice enough to be outside, at least until
I got home in the afternoons. So that prompted this question: do you recognize the lyrics from the themes to these classic TV sitcoms?

(Note that some of these shows used instrumental versions but originally had lyrics written for them while others had extended versions that never made it to the air.)

  1. A smile is just a frown that’s turned upside down

So smile, and that frown will defrost.


  1. Memories help me hide my lonesome feelin’

Far away from you and feelin’ low

It’s gettin’ late my friend, I miss you so

Take good care of you, I’ve gotta go


  1. My heart was under lock and key,

But somehow it got unhitched.

I never thought that I could be had

But now I’m caught and I’m kinda glad


  1. Roll out of bed, Mr. Coffee’s dead

The morning’s looking bright

And your shrink ran off to Europe

And didn’t even write


  1. Fish don’t fry in the kitchen

Beans don’t burn on the grill

Took a whole lotta trying

Just to get up that hill


  1. We’ll have no need to call the roll when we get to The Fishin’ Hole,

There’ll be you, me, and Old Dog Trey, to doodle time away.


  1. Take me in your arms and hold me tight,

Tell me that your love is mine tonight,

Say that everything will turn up right,

It hurts to say goodbye.


  1. Everybody knows in a second life

We all come back sooner or later

As anything from a pussycat

To a man eating alligator


  1. Skin yourself alive, learn to speak Arapahoe,

Climb inside a dog, and behead an Eskimo.

Now you’ve heard it once, your brain will spring a leak, 

And though you hate this song, you’ll be humming it for weeks!


  1. And when we both get older

With walking canes and hair of gray

Have no fear, even though it’s hard to hear

I will stand real close and say


  1. This is the music that you hear as you watch the credits.

We’re almost to the part of where I start to whistle.

Then we’ll watch…


  1. I spend my nights just howling at the moon

Or hanging out in a creepy black lagoon…


  1. That game of life is hard to play

I’m gonna lose it anyway

The losing card, I’ll some day lay

So this is all I have to say


  1. Just like the light of a new day

It hit me from out of the blue

Breaking me out of the spell I was in

Making all of my wishes come true


  1. You’re all invited back again to this locality

To have a heapin’ helpin’ of their hospitality


12-15: Your mother told you more than once that if you didn’t stop sitting so close to the TV you were going to grow square eyes.

10-11: Every once in a while you stop on one of the nostalgia channels before you go look for something better to watch.

7-9: You found an old TV in your parents’ attic once, plugged it in, and assumed all the color seeped out years ago.

5-8: If you rolled your eyes at this list and said, “Okay, Gen-Xer” give yourself ten bonus points.

2-4: You have never lived in a time when DVR didn’t exist.

0-1: Congratulations on having done something useful with your summer vacations.

The Answer Key is below the video.

Answer Key:

1-The Dick Van Dyke Show

2-WKRP In Cincinnati



5-The Jeffersons

6-The Andy Griffith Show

7-Alfred Hitchcock Presents (not a sitcom and the lyrics are of questionable provenance since the original was an instrumental piece by Charles Gounod but are taken from The TV Theme Song Sing-Along Songbook by John Javna)

8-If you said “My Mother The Car” you guessed WRONG. This was never a classic sitcom.

9-Not a theme song but the infamous Chicken Song from Spitting Image.

10-The Golden Girls

11-It’s Garry Shandling’s Show

12-The Munsters


14-The Greatest American Hero

15-The Beverly Hillbillies













Fishing For Ideas.

Fishing Lure Or Early 20th Century Dance Craze?

  1. Lindy Hop
  2. Bagley Balsa B
  3. Balboa
  4. Lunker Lure Buzzbait
  5. Heddon Torpedo
  6. Collegiate Shag
  7. Charleston
  8. Jitterbug*
  9. Hula Grub
  10. Foxtrot
  11. Gitzit
  12. Shimmy
  13. Blue Fox Foxee Jig
  14. Panther Martin
  15. Toddle
  16. Big Apple
  17. Rooster Tail
  18. Turkey Trot
  19. Castle Walk
  20. Gibbs Pencil Popper
  21. Spoonplug
  22. Quadrille
  23. Mepps Aglia
  24. Maxixe
  25. Brain Wash Blue


20-25—You regularly trip the light fantastic at a Friday night fish fry.

15-19—You know your way around a dance floor and your grandfather took you fishing regularly when you were a kid.

10-14—You’ve been to a lot of wedding receptions and your grandfather took you fishing once when you were a kid.

5-9—You took a salsa class on a dare and once saw a copy of The Compleat Angler in a bookstore.

1-4—You once ate a worm while hopping on one leg and tell people you did it on a dare.

Answer Key: