Friday, May 05, 2006

The Adventures of Orville Redenbacher in Prague

As noted in a previous post in this space, the bus system that whisks me to and from work features a TV system showing a network called "Transit TV". Transit TV runs all sorts of useful and appropriate features for a 7:30 am commute, like last night's weather forecast, trivia questions about Monty Python movies, the esoteric lead paragraph of Reuters news stories about Fortune 500 executives, and other topics sure to interest the Milwaukee bus riding crowd.

I wrote this as a member of the minority on the bus who actually knew the answers to most of the Monty Python questions, and the "Who Am I?" features about Calvin Coolidge. But this morning, Transit TV one-upped me.

Who, in God's name, were they expecting to reach with this question?:

"What petition called on Czechoslovakia's communist authorities to respect the international human rights agreements they had signed? The document was drafted behind closed doors in late 1976, initially signed in Prague by some 300 people, mainly dissidents, and was released to foreign correspondents in January 1977."

The answer, of course (which the 17 foreign policy experts on the bus would have shouted out, had there been 17 foreign policy experts on the #44 bus), was "Charter 77."

The following question was a fill-in-the-blanks spelling puzzle, the answer to which was "Cheese Popcorn".

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