Remember how in college once in a while old Doctor Schnitzelfinger would inadvertently include the answer to a test question within the question? Remember the boundless joy you felt at the realization that the good professor had blown it? That he had accidentally given away the answer?
Not that it happened often, of course. But you'll recall that when it did happen, it brought a rare double dose of pleasure. Not only had the good herr doktor messed up (a joy all by itself), but he also had inadvertently helped you get a better grade than your miserable study habits would have justified (joy unbounded).All right. For old times' sake, and to recreate the joy you felt way back then, all those many years ago when Herr Doktor Professor Schnitzelfinger messed up, let's do it again. Here are 20 easy Schnitzelfinger questions (containing the apparent answers within themselves). Let's see how well you can do.
Since the answers are implicit in the questions, you'll not need an answer key, right? (On the other hand, if you're not completely sure, you can check page C2, just in case.)
Der Herr Doktor Professor Schnitzelfinger has sought you oudt, und has gotten his revenge! (Happy April Fool's Day!)
Sincerely, Heinz Friedrich Schnitzelfinger
Answers to the Schnitzelfinger quiz:
1. No president was born on Feb. 22. George Washington was born on Feb. 11, 1732. Twenty years later, 11 days were dropped from the calendar as a rash of calendar reform swept England and her colonies. From that point on, George gave his birthday as Feb. 22.
2. The October Revolution is celebrated in November. Same problem: Calendar reform. Only the Russians didn't get around to it until 1922, and by then they had to drop 12 days to get things straight.
3. As long as we're on calendar reform, let's go to the source of it. In 1582, the pope urged all the Roman Catholic countries (not England, not Russia) to drop 10 days from the calendar. The day after Oct. 4 was Oct. 15!
4. Dogs. Honest: "Canary" is a corruption of "canis."
5. In each of the four French and Indian Wars the French and the Indians were allies, fighting the English and their pesky colonies.
7. On the front of a buffalo nickel you will find an Indian head. The buffalo is on the back of the nickel.
8. Because he was facing south when he first saw the new ocean, Balboa named it "The South Sea." Later, the name was changed to "The Pacific Ocean."
9. George Herbert Walker Bush is our 41st president, but only 39 men served as president before him. (Grover Cleveland served as both our 22nd and 24th president; hence the discrepancy.)
10. "Pennsylvania Dutch" is a corruption of "Pennsylvania Deutsch."
11. The moon gives forth no light of its own, of course. When we see "moonlight," we are seeing the sun's light reflected off the moon.
12. In 1900, foreigners seeing Chinese soldiers employing the martial arts had no correct name for what they were seeing. About the best they could do was to call it "boxing," and its practitioners "boxers." Hence, the "Boxer Rebellion."
13. A black hole has no color. It sucks into itself everything _ including light - which comes within its gravitational reach. Since there is no light, there can be no color.
14. The "English horn" is no more English than any other instrument. "English" is a corruption of "angled," referring to the angle just below the mouthpiece.
15. The Carolinas (North and South) were named for King Charles.
16. Few cities have a longer correct name nor a shorter nickname that "Ciudad de Nuestra Senora la Reina de los Angeles de Porciuncula," or "L.A.
17. Marbles are made of a special kind of glass.
18. Greenhouses are made of clear glass, and therefore have no color.
19. Quicksilver is the liquid form of mercury.
20. Any country bordering the Caribbean Sea would be acceptable, but especially Venezuela, Colombia, Panama and those nations of Central America facing the Caribbean.
-Terry J. Moyer is a Salt Lake area free-lance writer.