Vol. 12, No. 2,856W - The American Reporter - March 18, 2006


Make My Day
THE 'PBSAISSANCE' MAN (OR WOMAN)

by Erik Deckers
American Reporter Humor Writer
Syracuse, Ind.

SYRACU.S.E, Ind. -- Editor's NoteErik was out of the office this week, so we are reprinting a column from 1999. Erik will be back next week with an all-new column about stupid lawsuits, stupid politicians, or some cute thing one of his kids or dogs did.

As we enter the second year of the new millennium (and let me remind you that the millennium did not begin in 2000, it began in 2001), we have reached the point in fashion, style, architecture, and even movies and tv where everything old is new again. History is repeating itself,and to the dismay of every child of the Seventies, this includes bell bottoms. Even the Renaissance Man is enjoying a revival.

A recent search on Yahoo (www.yahoo.com) turned up seven different personal Web pages of people who call themselves Renaissance Men. The original Renaissance Man was Leonardo da Vinci, a man who could paint and sculpt, was an accomplished architect and designer, and was a master of science, including anatomy, nature, air and water dynamics,and even flight. As I read the pages of these people, I asked myself, "Is it possible to be a modern day Renaissance Man or Woman? After all, a Renaissance Man or Woman could also be a musician, a writer, a chef, or even a woodworker. I'm sure da Vinci was accomplished at a few of these things as well."

I pondered these questions as I played computer games for several hours - uhh, I mean wrote really important reports at work - and finally realized that anyone can be a Renaissance Man or Woman ... thanks to public television!

With the help of public television, you can become a modern-day Renaissance Man or Woman quite easily. In fact, you may already be one and not even know it. Want to find out? Take this simple quiz and see.Keep track of your answers and add up your score at the end of the quiz.

1. When examining the Mona Lisa, you make an astute observationsabout the painting (you did know it was a painting, right?). The thingthat sticks out most in your mind is:

a. That she's not smiling.

b. The rumors that it's da Vinci in drag.

c. It's not nearly as good as "Dogs Playing Poker."

d. "It needs a happy little tree. And a friend over here. Everyone needs a friend."

2. One of Italian architecture's most famous structures, The Leaning Tower of Pisa, is slated to be repaired over the next few years. Upon hearing this story in the news, your first thought was:

a. "They should leave it alone. They're destroying tradition." b. A virtual blizzard of Freudian comments.

c. "Man, pizza sure does sound good right now."

d. It's nothing Norm Abram couldn't fix with some good strong wood glue.

3. Despite the fact that the OJ trial has been over for a few years, and even the Aborigines in the Australian Outback are convincedhe did it, you still think:

a. "Hey, the law's the law. He was found 'not guilty'."

b. "It's pretty ironic that he's a spokesman for a legal service." c. "Those Bruno Magli shoes are pretty sharp. I think I'll get me a pair." d. The real police are idiots! Inspector Morse would have caught him in a heartbeat.

4. You and a close friend have a stupid argument over something so completely trivial, you've forgotten what it is. To make up, you:

a. Send a nice letter apologizing, even though you don't believeit was your fault.

b. Agree to never bring it up again.

c. Put a flaming bag of dog doody on the front porch, ring thebell, and hide in the bushes.

d. Sing "You Are My Friend, You Are Special" at the top of yourlungs, with puppets of a king and a tiger on your hands, until yourfriend forgives you.

5. Domingo, Carreras, and Pavarotti are:

a. Three well-known opera singers

b. Getting rich off all those albums they keep putting out.

c. Getting fatter by the year.

d. Three of the greatest fat opera singers of the 20th century, if not the millennium.

6. Public Television is a haven for new and old British comedies. After watching a "Britcom-a-thon" for eight hours straight, you:

a. Think British humor is pretty sophisticated, especially withthose accents.

b. Realize how much influence British humor has had on American humor.

c. Didn't get a single joke, including veiled references to, umm ... "human anatomy."

d. Threaten to go postal if you hear the word "Britcom" one more time.

So, let's see how you did. Give yourself 1 point for every A, 2 points for every B, 0 points for every C, and 4 points for every D. Add them up, and check your score below.

0 points -- You do have a TV, don't you?

6 - 11 points -- You need serious help. Quit watching "When Animals Attack Jerry Springer" and start watching something a little more educational. Teletubbies comes to mind.

12 - 17 points -- Not too bad. You're like most Americans (and a few Canadians). Spend Saturday nights watching some cultural television, instead of trying to figure out the plot intricacies on Xena, Warrior Princess. 18 - 22 points -- Hey, you're a real PBSaissance Person! If you can't actually paint, sculpt, cook, do woodworking or science, you at least know how to tell other people how to do it (and probably do). Be sure to pledge during the next membership drive.

Copyright 2006 Joe Shea The American Reporter. All Rights Reserved.

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