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TRIVIA QUIZ FOR A
DREARY FALL DAY

Yet Another Chance to Prove
That Even Though You're Older than Dirt,
Your Memory's (Almost) Intact

by Frank Kaiser

1. Who or what was Sparkle Plenty?

    a. The second engagement ring Richard Burton gave Liz Taylor
    b. A character in the Dick Tracy comic strip
    c. A constellation in the Milky Way discovered in 1849 by A. J. Plenty

2. What are Curb Whiskers?

    a. A cat's way of curbing bad habits
    b. Springy projections mounted on a car to let a driver know she's getting close to the curb
    c. In the '30s, "gates" that had to be removed from injection-molded curbs

3. What radio character was known to say, "You're a ha-a-a-ard man, McGee?"

    a. Throckmorton P. Gildersleeve
    b. Molly McGee
    c. Jack Armstrong

4. Name the first couple ever to be shown in bed together on primetime TV?

    A. Roy Rogers and his wife, Dale Evans. Trigger was just outside the door
    b. Matt Dillon and Kitty Russell on Gunsmoke
    c. Fred and Wilma Flintstone
    d. Mary Kay and Johnny

5. What comic used to say, "I'm a BAAAAAAD boy!"

    a. Lou Costello to Abbot, after a lecture by Bud Abbot, telling Lou how he screwed up
    b. The Lone Ranger to Tonto every time the masked man gave away a phony silver bullet
    c. Fibber McGee to Molly when she would open their closet door and 50 tons of junk came tumbling out

6. What was the first novel ever to be written on a typewriter?

    A. Portnoy's Complaint
    b. Tom Sawyer
    c. Tale of Two Cities

7. Name one song made famous by Doris Day other than "Que Sera?"

    a. "Rock of Ages"
    b. "Sentimental Journey"
    c. "Blue Moon"

8. What year was the first commercial microwave introduced?

    a. 1946
    b. 1954
    c. 1961

9. What was Walt Disney's first animated feature film?

    a. Toot. Toot
    b. Pinocchio
    c. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

10. What company sponsored Capt. Midnight on the radio?

    a. Ovaltine
    b. Cracker Jack
    c. Black Jack Chewing Gum

11. We collected them. We licked them. We got free merchandise with them.

    a. Popsicle sticks
    b. S & H Green Stamps
    c. 10¢ War Bond Saving Stamps

12. What was it that you had to be careful that you wouldn't step on when walking on the sidewalk back then?

    a. Ants
    b. Cracks
    c. Old gum

ANSWERS

1. b) A highlight of Chester Gould's Dick Tracy was the birth in 1947 of a beautiful daughter to the characters B.O. Plenty and Gravel Gertie, named Sparkle Plenty.

2. b. Curb Whiskers or Feelers are springy projections mounted on a car to let a driver know she's getting close to the curb. Important in the days of whitewall tires.

3. a) Throckmorton P. Gildersleeve was the vain, egotistical, and bombastic next door neighbor of the McGees' until, in 1941, he moved from Wistful Vista to Summerfield and his own show, one of the first great radio spin-offs.

4. d) Mary Kay and Johnny on Nov. 18, 1947. Years later, the first couple to be shown in bed together on prime time TV was Fred and Wilma Flintstone.

5. a) Lou Costello to Bud Abbot, after Abbot would tell Costello how he screwed up again.

6. c) Tom Sawyer. Like all things Twain, who knows for sure? A true geezer, he once said, "I can remember anything, whether it happened or not."

7. b) "Sentimental Journey"

8. b) 1954. The Raytheon RadaRange was five feet high, weighed 750 pounds, and was rated at 1600 Watts. Amana introduced the first counter top microwave for home use in 1967.

9. c) Snow White, made in 1938. This was followed by Pinocchio (1940), Fantasia (1940), The Reluctant Dragon (1941), Dumbo (1941), and Bambi (1942).

10. a) The series, born in 1938 on Chicago's WGN, was originally sponsored by the Skelly Oil Company, Once it went network in 1940, Ovaltine took over sponsorship. Millions of us kids were forced to buy one jar of evil-tasting Ovaltine powder every year in order to receive the free decoder badge which, most often, would decode the important encrypted message at program's end as B-U-Y-O-V-A-L-T-I-N-E.

11. b) S & H Green Stamps

12. b) Cracks

SCORING

10 -12 correct: You are not only older than dirt, but plenty smart, too. Now if you could only find your glasses.

7 - 9 correct: Not quite dirt yet, but your mind is definitely muddy.

0 - 6 correct: You are a sad excuse of a geezer. Redeem yourself. Wear yellow pants or let your ear hairs grow into a comb-overs.

Copyright © 2004 — Frank Kaiser


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Frank Kaiser
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