Bruce Watson: Hey, 2012, thanks for the memories
LEVERETT — We’re all still here, which means the Mayans messed up. No apocalypse now or at least not until the Killer Asteroid gets within range. Cliffs maybe. Endless argument, withering discussions, pundits shooting from the hip. But before all that, it’s time for my annual year-end quiz.
Pass this quiz and you’ve been paying too much attention to the news. Fail and you can congratulate yourself. Having turned off TV and Twitter, you have exercised the most neglected of rights — freedom from speech.
1. In August, some dude stepped out of a spacecraft 24 miles up and fell to earth in order to A) take advantage of new early-voting rules; B) prove that no matter how lawless the world gets, the law of gravity still applies; C) be the first in line for Black Friday at Wal-Mart
2. When the iPhone 5 came out in September, millions were disappointed because it did not A) phone the dead; B) include a counterfeiting app; C) cure loneliness; D) seem much different than the iPhone 4
3. A candid video of a speech to supporters showed Mitt Romney stating that 47 percent of Americans A) would never vote for an empty suit; B) think they deserve more for their taxes than war; C) are not worthy of being called corporations
4. By a 5-4 vote, the Supreme Court upheld Obamacare, ruling that it A) “probably won’t kill anyone anytime soon”; B) “might even help some of the little people, who knows?”; C) “is the least the government could do to patch up a crippled health care system”; D) “stands a decent chance of jacking up HMO stocks”
5. When Hurricane Sandy tore up New York and New Jersey, global warming skeptics said A) “hmmmm”; B) “all those liberals had it coming”; C) “you should call it Climate Change”
6. Within weeks after Maine, Maryland and Washington voters approved same-sex marriage, A) traditional marriages across the nation began to crumble; B) category 4 hurricanes struck Maine, Maryland and Washington; C) some dude plummeted 24 miles from space in protest
7. The erotic “Fifty Shades of Grey” became a huge bestseller because A) the pages smoked as you turned them; B) no one had time to read “Anna Karenina” and the movie version was PG; C) it cured loneliness
8. General David Petraeus resigned as CIA director because A) two scheming women outsmarted America’s top military genius; B) his extramarital affair threatened to reveal top secrets about extramarital affairs; C) he had just finished reading “Fifty Shades of Grey”; D) the nation hadn’t had a good sex scandal all year
9. True or False? Lance Armstrong
10. As revealed in the Trayvon Martin shooting case, Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” self-defense law allows anyone who feels threatened to shoot A) anyone wearing a hoodie; B) anyone they don’t like; C) anyone who drives a Prius; D) anyone
11. In the wake of the recent slaughter in Newtown, Conn., Americans can either tighten gun laws and improve mental health services or A) hug more children goodbye; B) hunker down in an even deeper bunker of denial; C) bow down and worship the NRA; D) change the second amendment to read “A gun lobby having Congress in its hip pocket being necessary to uphold free speech, the right of all paranoid males to be armed to the teeth shall not be infringed”
12. The world was surprised when NASA’s Curiosity Rover roved the surface of Mars and discovered A) a McDonald’s; B) the first iPhone 6; C) a pile of lawn signs reading “Romney-Ryan ’12 – Believe in America”
13. The best title for 2012 is A) Searching for Sugarman; B) The Twilight Saga; C) Seven Psychopaths; D) Hope Springs
Bruce Watson’s column appears twice a month. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.