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Ye merrie ould quiz / January 07, 2010
What you will see, if you leave the Mirror free to work, I cannot tell. For it shows things that were, and things that are, and things that yet may be. But which it is that he sees, even the wisest cannot always tell. Do you wish to look?

— The elf queen Galadriel to Frodo Baggins in J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Fellowship Of The Ring.

Okay, now it’s your turn to hobbit up to the looking glass. Time to take the 2010 Pop Quiz of the Future©:

(1) At the close of 2009, the prediction made back in the fall by IDA Executive Director Mike Sexton that Halifax County would soon snare several new industries had yet to come to pass. What do the wisest say about the outlook for the first quarter of 2010?

(a) The county finds its treasure — a semiconductor maker that’ll employ 200 highly-paid workers at an existing industrial site in town. All else is forgotten and forgiven as joy reigns across the land.

(b) The company heralded to go into Riverstone Technology Park — creating 11 jobs, with hopes for many more to follow down the road — delivers on its promise. A modicum of joy sweeps across the land, although the peasants understandably are anxious for more.

(c) The Third Age of Middle Earth gives way to the Age of Man, and because this transition does nothing to fundamentally change Southside Virginia’s outlook everything more or less stays the same in town.

(d) The dark lord Sauron unleashes his minions and a local industry is forced to announce a major layoff.

(2) Which guest of the Round Table sallies forth from the castle to assume a new leadership role in the region?

(a) Sir John of Cannon, prince of the river, protector of the dale, and wielder of the ziggy.

(b) Sir Paul of Stapletown, watcher of younglings from K ‘er 12 and soon to strike out in retirement as a consultant to other school divisions.

(c) The White Lady of Kim, all gang aft agley and angling for a judgeship under the new McDonnell administration.

(d) The Solon of Ruff, who decides that a second-tier job in the administration of the new governour is preferable to a back-row seat in the Virginia State Senate.

(3) Singing songs terrible and fair, young maidens will lament which tragic event from The Year of Our Lord 2010:

(a) the Sacking of the Schools

(b) the Plowing of the Shares (and shareholders)

(c) the Fall of the House … of Representatives

(d) the Sowing of the Wind, the Reaping of the Whirlwind, and a county unemployment rate above 15 percent

(4) Young James Edmunds rides his noble steed to Richmond but soon discovers that

(a) it’s hard to be noticed amidst the company of so many other valiant knights of the Republic’n.

(b) all that glitters is not gold, and besides, whoever said anything about there being spare gold laying around …

(c) there’s really no need to fret over the composite index under a system of medieval education.

(d) legislatin’ is hard.

(e) all of the above.

(5) The Holy Roman Empire collapsed centuries ago, but the Italian influences of the period linger to this day. In this second decade of the new millennia, what fate shall befall Signore Toma Perriello in the District of the Fifth?

(a) he shall be beset by Sir Robert of the Hurt, whose gleaming sword forged from the hot ores of Coles Hill Farm shall cause all to flee from his path.

(b) young Toma will find peace, strength and victory of arms by achieving political separation from the House of Pelosi.

(c) markets will turn, spirits will lift, and the young gentiluomo shall find favor among the masses.

(d) mirth and laughter will resound across the land as pretenders to Toma’s throne beat each other silly with rocks and sticks.

(e) Answer D, except the battered GOP nominee still goes on to win the general election in the fall.

(6) William the Conqueror gained control of England at the Battle of Hastings in 1066. In the battle for control of Congress in 2010, which leader not hailing from the province of Normandy shall hold dominion over the battlefield?

(a) Lady Nancy of Francisco

(b) Lord Cantor of Richmond

(c) Prince Harry of Vegas

(d) Sir McConnell of Louisville

(e) The High King Obama

(f) The CEO of Dominion

(7) In J.R. R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit, the greatest threat to the peace-loving peoples of the world is Smaug the Dragon. In real life, the pre-eminent threat to humanity is

(a) smog and global warming

(b) schmucks on Wall Street

(c) Osmauga bin Laden

(d) Smug talk radio hosts

(8) The king is dead. Long live the king! Oh, and by the way …

(a) George Clooney wins the Oscar for Best Actor.

(b) Tiger Woods gets bored making amends for his personal life and cuts short his hiatus from the PGA tour, winning a major title shortly upon re-entry.

(c) Newspapers save the future of their industry by successfully charging for content on the Internet.

(d) The Who doesn’t stink up the stadium during the Super Bowl halftime show.

(e) Answer D, plus the Brett Favre-led Vikings win the game — further vindication for the geezers watching at home.

(9) Which nobleman of the kingdom will spend far too much of his precious time wrestling with scandal, real or imagined, during the year?

(a) Governour McDonnell, who will wind up regretting the appointment of his ethically-challenged Secretary of Commerce, Sir Bob of Sledd, squire of the boardroom and already squirming under the spotlight.

(b) High King Obama, allegiant of Acorn, target of Tea Partiers, wraith of the Right-wing, who sooner or later will be forced to fend off the same kind of over-the-top political attacks that bit his wayward predecessor-in-arms, King Clinton d’Big Dawg.

(c) The chairman of Goldman Sachs, only because justice still exists in this world.

(d) Not a dude, but Britney Spears.

(10) The first readily identifiable decade of the new century (what did we just leave behind? The Naughts?) will give rise to new ways of thinking about our future. Which shift in the collective consciousness will represent the most radical departure from the past?

(a) people will form a new appreciation for the importance of consuming less, living simply, and saving the planet

(b) In the wake of unprecedented budget woes, anti-tax zealotry will wane as a political force

(c) people will stop talking about the era of personal responsibility and start living it

(d) privacy concerns will blunt the rise of new technologies

(e) Top 10 lists will go out of style


(1) b, (2) a, (3) a, (4) e, (5) d, (6) b, (7) a, (8) e, (9) a, (10) b. Complaints about your impending future can be forwarded to management.

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