As I mentioned in my prior posting, Hobart Pumpernickel first made his mark in the world of Elmont Memorial High School by making up tests about what went on in Mr. Lerz's World History class. Following (and with explanations where necessary) are a sampling of those questions.
1) Mr. Lerz does not like England because a) James Bond is supposed to be better than American spies b) the Queen didn't send him a Christmas card c) Rolls Royce engines are used in MIGs d) the Beatles have more money than he does.
The correct answer is c. Rolls Royce sold engines to the Russians for use in their fighter planes which, in turn, could be used against us in a war. Therefore, England was not a true ally of the U.S.
2) Mr. Lerz knew a) a woman who flew B-17s in World War II b) Mrs. Richard Kimble c) Abraham Lincoln d) the man who solved the riddle of the Sphinx
The correct answer is a. It was not until 1977 that the women of the WASP (Women Airforce Service Pilots) were recognized as military personnel rather than civilians. Prior to that, their service in ferrying bombers across the Atlantic was all but ignored... but Mr. Lerz made sure we knew about it.
3) According to Mr. Lerz, Columbus had a brother named a) Irving b) Lerz c) Bartholomew d) Hobart.
The correct answer is c. Yet another little known bit of history that was added to the curriculum by Mr. Lerz, the career of Christopher Columbus' brother.
4) Mr. Lerz got rid of his dog because a) he doesn't know how to make Gravy Train b) his son was sick c) cats kept chasing it up a tree d) it kept taking the newspaper and giving it back to the newsboy
The correct answer is b, but I don't remember what his son being sick had to do with the dog. What I do remember is we often heard that the dog was a Basenji, a breed that came from Africa, which did not bark like other canines.
5) According to Mr. Lerz, the greatest general of all was a) Grant b) Lee c) Motors d) Principles
The correct answer is b. Mr. Lerz would regularly tell us that the South would rise again.
6) Mr. Lerz says he has $10,000 in a) yen b) green stamps c) Confederate money d) apple turnovers
The correct answer c. In light of the previous answer, he obviously wanted to be prepared.
7) Mr. Lerz had a buddy there when a) MacArthur returned to the Philippines four times b) King Kong fell off the Empire State Building c) the Indians wiped out Custer at Little Big Horn d) a train wreck freed Richard Kimble en route to the death house
The correct answer is a. According to Mr. Lerz, General MacArthur's historic march up the beach was done four times so that the newsreels and photographers would get the perfect shots.
8) Mr. Lerz's brother was a) rented to Avis by Hertz b) loaned to NASA by General Electric c) sold by his mother to the New York Mets d) given to the Indians for Manhattan
The correct answer is b. I don't recall that Mr. Lerz ever told us what his brother did for GE, but it was something the space program needed done.
9) Mr. Lerz says that Richard the Lionhearted did a stupid thing. What was it? a) He died. b) He got married. c) He changed his name to Lerz. d) He lost his Ice-Blue Secret.
The correct answer is a. As Mr. Lerz explained it, Richard, sans his chain mail, was walking around a small, virtually unarmed castle his army has besieged when he was shot by a boy with a crossbow. The wound eventually proved fatal.
10) When Mary, Queen of Scots, was being executed, the axeman had to make two chops because he didn't go all the way through the first time. When she heard this, Barbara said, a) "Who was Mary, Queen of Scots?" b) "Was she still alive at half-time?" c) "Will this be on the final?" d) "Did they have an intermission?"
As you already know if you've read the previous installment about Hobart, the correct answer is b.
There were many more questions, quite a few of which were based on comments and actions of my classmates. The humor relied very much on "You had to be there" and, as such, they don't stand the test of time. But, buoyed by the popularity in Mr. Lerz's class, Hobart returned when the next school year began... and that is where we will pick up next time.