The 2011 Unreal News Challenge

The 2011 Unreal News Challenge
Dan Zettwoch

The year 2011 was about the 1 percent versus the 99 percent. The 1 percent have it easy. They float high above the recession. They've somehow avoided going to jail for their crimes. The 99 percent are the rest of us, just regular working stiffs trying to get by. Some of the 99 percent here in St. Louis staged an occupation in order to teach the 1 percent a lesson. The remaining 98 percent continued with their regular preoccupations and didn't have to sleep in tents.

This year's Unreal News Challenge reflects the new dichotomy. Precisely 1 percent of the questions — the very first question, in fact — are as easy as life on a Wall Street banker's salary. As for those 99 percent, some may seem trivial, some may seem vile, some admirable. But they were all part of real life here in St. Louis in 2011.

OFFICIAL RULES: As always, there are no rules. Except one: You'll have to arrange to come to the RFT office in person to claim your prize. Um, make that two: Only one entry per household. Oh, and you have to supply a real name and phone number where we can reach you in the unlikely event that you win. If there's a tie, we'll come up with something. And, you know, void where prohibited and all that.

So answer the following questions to the best of your ability. We'll publish the results in a week or so.

Editor's Note: Put your pencils down. The test is over. Look for the answers and winners shortly.

1. Which team won the 2011 World Series?
A. The Chicago Cubs.
B. The St. Louis Cardinals.
C. The Texas Rangers.
D. The Detroit Tigers.

2. This past fall Washington University hosted an art installation of ten little huts called sukkahs to celebrate the Jewish holiday of Sukkot. What was the exhibition called?
A. I'm Gonna Git You, Sukkah.
B. Sukkah on This.
C. Sukkah City.
D. Hopeville.

3. Which was the first business in St. Louis to receive a citation for violating the city's spanking-new smoking ban?
A. The Missouri Athletic Club.
B. The Lumière Place Casino.
C. Pappy's Smokehouse.
D. Beffa's.
E. The Loading Zone.

4. Which of the following was not one of the rules St. Louis City officials imposed upon the homeless camp Hopeville?
A. No drugs or criminal activity.
B. No drunkenness.
C. All members of the opposite sex must be out of the tent by midnight.
D. People living in encampments must cooperate with police, the health department and the fire department at all times.

5. What reason did St. Louis Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo give for firing long-time equipment manager Todd Hewitt in January?
A. "We've decided to move in a different direction."
B. "You don't fold socks properly."
C. "You load the team plane too slowly."
D. "We suck, and it's all your fault."
E. "Kroenke said that either I go, or you go."

6. What band canceled its LouFest appearance owing to concerns about Hurricane Irene?
A. The Roots.
B. The Hold Steady.
C. Cat Power.
D. The Weathermen.

7. What happened after parents left a sleeping baby home alone in the town of Grain Valley, east of Kansas City?
A. The family dog courageously headed off a home invasion, trapping a prowler in the basement.
B. The baby spontaneously combusted.
C. The baby logged into the parents' E*TRADE account and shorted Lee Enterprises stock, amassing a profit of $22,000.
D. The family ferret gnawed off seven of the child's fingers.

8. Which noted vegetarian/vegan was spotted in 2011 eating barbecue pork ribs at Pappy's Smokehouse?
A. Bill Clinton.
B. Natalie Portman.
C. Prince Fielder.
D. Paul McCartney.

9. How did Mark Twain scholar Alan Gribben propose updating The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn for the 21st century?
A. By giving Huck and Jim Jet Skis to replace their raft.
B. By ending the novel with Pap Finn being jailed for child abuse.
C. By changing the word "nigger" to "slave."
D. By making Jim an undocumented migrant worker rather than a runaway slave.

10. The results of the 2010 census, released in February, brought bad news: The City of St. Louis had lost 29,000 residents since the 2000 census. The new official number of residents, 319,000, is the lowest in 130 years. Still, some city neighborhoods showed growth. Which area posted a population increase of 329 percent since 2000?
A. Downtown.
B. Cherokee Street.
C. Old North St. Louis.
D. Tower Grove East.

11. When J.J. Ward began showing signs of having overdosed in Tavis D. Doyle's East St. Louis crack house, how did Doyle respond?
A. He administered CPR on Ward and called 911.
B. He put frozen meat down Ward's pants.
C. He gave Ward an injection of adrenaline to the heart.
D. He offered him an immediate refund on his purchase.

12. Which St. Louis-area charity was chosen to benefit from the fruits of actor Gary Busey's business acumen on Celebrity Apprentice?
A. The Center for Head Injury Services.
B. Sunshine Ministries.
C. Greater St. Louis Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America.
D. Starkloff Disability Institute.

13. Which restaurant that closed in St. Louis during 2011 had the shortest lifespan (approximately four weeks)?
A. Adobe Reds.
B. Gyroad Rage.
C. Crostini Restaurant & Lounge.
D. Las Brisas.

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