Collins: The almost year-end quiz

New York TimesDecember 2, 2013 

Gail Collins

Collins

EARL WILSON

Once we get past Thanksgiving, the year is pretty much over, right? There’s hardly anything left of 2013 — just ask the House of Representatives, which has a grand total of four full workdays remaining on the calendar.

It’s really not too soon to start looking back over where we’ve been. So much 2013 to remember: the government shutdown, Miley Cyrus, the Obamacare website, “Smurfs 2,” Ted Cruz.

Before you block it all away forever, let’s see how much you can recall in this Almost Year-End Quiz. In the spirit of the season, there are a few unfair trick questions hidden in the pile.

1. We now know that President Barack Obama travels with a special tent that can:

A) Create an eavesdropping-proof cone of silence in any hotel room.

B) Reduce expenses by housing low-level aides in the parking lot.

C) Screen out pollen during hay-fever season.

D) Attract publicity for the administration’s Yurts for Peace Program.

2. The “Filner headlock” is:

A) Professional wrestling move that has been banned in Wisconsin.

B) Gigantic black hole in the Andromeda galaxy that may be moving our way.

C) Hold used on female staffers by the ousted mayor of San Diego.

D) Popular anti-car-theft device marketed on TV by former Sen. Fred Thompson.

3. Just before the government shutdown, Rep. Ted Yoho, R-Fla., compared himself and his fellow repeal-Obamacare rebels to:

A) Brad Pitt in “World War Z.”

B) Sandra Bullock in “Gravity.”

C) Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King.

D) Everybody at the Alamo.

4. Another Republican representative, Mike Kelly of Pennsylvania, compared John Boehner to:

A) Charlton Heston parting the Red Sea.

B) Kanye West at the MTV Video Music Awards.

C) George Washington crossing the Delaware.

D) Jesus on Palm Sunday.

5. In the Virginia gubernatorial race, Ken Cuccinelli attempted to brand his opponent as a blowhard with the slogan:

A) “All puppy and no plan.”

B) “All bunny and no basics.”

C) “All otters and no organization.”

D) “All cats and no categories.”

6. Cuccinelli’s opponent, Terry McAuliffe, won the governorship despite his background as a proud Democratic Party fundraiser. McAuliffe bragged in his autobiography that when his fifth child was born he:

A) Left the hospital before the delivery to attend a Washington Post party.

B) Hit up the delivery room nurses for a donation to the Congressional Campaign Committee.

C) Named the baby “Bundler.”

D) Stopped at a fundraising event while driving home from the hospital, leaving his infant son and weeping wife in the car.

7. Neil Riser, a Louisiana state senator who was backed by both the tea party and the political establishment, lost a special congressional election to Vance McAllister, who was best known for:

A) Being confused with heavy metal guitarist Vince McAllister.

B) Never having set foot in Washington.

C) Being endorsed by Phil Robertson, duck call maker and star of the reality show “Duck Dynasty.”

D) Saying it was a waste of time to keep voting to repeal Obamacare.

8. Which of the following did Sen. Rand Paul not do this year:

A) Delivered an impassioned speech at a congressional hearing about the poor performance of his toilet.

B) Claimed the FDA is “coming after your doughnuts.”

C) Agreed to headline the opening of the Republican Party’s new African-American Engagement Office in Detroit.

D) Got caught plagiarizing from Wikipedia, a Heritage Foundation report, a Cato Institute journal and an article in The Week.

9. Which of the following did Gov. Chris Christie not do this year:

A) Scheduled a special senatorial election for a Wednesday in October so it wouldn’t divert attention from his own re-election two weeks later.

B) Chased a heckler down the boardwalk, waving an ice cream cone.

C) Invested $4.7 million in federal post-Sandy relief funds on “Stronger Than the Storm” TV ads starring Chris Christie.

D) Asked what he’d do if he was a U.S. senator, said “I’d kill myself.”

Answers: 1-A, 2-C, 3-C, 4-D, 5-A, 6-D (McAuliffe also left the delivery room to go to a Post party, but that was for his fourth baby), 7-C (All four did come up, but the Duck endorsement grabbed the headlines), 8-A (The toilet speech was in 2011), 9-B (The ice cream cone incident was in 2012).

Email Ms. Collins at editorial@nytimes.com.

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