UnNews:Local man infuriated by newsletter quiz
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21 June 2008
"It wasn't that the question was difficult - that I can deal with. Last week's quiz asked what number the Roman numeral D represented. I didn't know the answer and I chalked it up as a loss and I learned something new. I'm fine with a situation like that. I accepted my quiz score of 4/5 and turned it into a positive experience. But when the quiz asks a question that is utterly pointless and that cannot be answered via common sense, general knowledge or even several years of specialized scholarship gained from junior college, then yes, I'm going to be irritated."
"It was a little frightening," said eyewitness Mildred Wilmer, a local retiree who had been enjoying a brunch at PJ's, the coffeeshop in which Stanley launched his tirade. "He threw the paper on the floor and started screaming profanity in all directions. I could hardly finish my blueberry scone and Earl Grey, it was so upsetting."
"He went completely nuts," added Trey Perry, a server at PJ's. "It was awesome. There was spittle everywhere and he kept yelling 'Who the F gives an S about F'ing Dipsy' and things like that."
The question that angered Stanley dealt with the popular children's show Teletubbies. It asked for the character from the show who would be listed first alphabetically.
"I guessed Tinky-Winky because he's the only one whose name I know offhand," Stanley fumed. "It was the only question I missed this week. I knew where the first solo transatlantic flight ended - Paris - and that brass is the alloy of copper and zinc, but I didn't know the name of some inconsequential cartoon character. So I get punished. That's the state of American intellectualism today."
When informed that Teletubbies is not in fact a cartoon but rather a live-action program, Stanley responded only with a cold stare.
UnNews contacted Coffee News, the company that prints and distributes the ad-supported newsletter. Editor Danielle Bund responded with the following statement:
"Although we regret that our choice of quiz questions angered Mr. Stanley, we cannot tailor our newsletter to individual readers because our coverage area is very large. Many people knew the answer to the Teletubby question, and we do consider knowledge of children's programs to be a legitimate source for our trivia. We hope Mr. Stanley can accept this and try again next week."
Stanley dismissed Bund's statement as "rhetorically amateur" and "ethically bankrupt," and threatened to find a new weekly quiz that "doesn't cater to four-year-olds, who can't arrange things alphabetically anyway."
Stanley's outburst has already resulted in one change - his banishment from PJ's.
"He knocked over a couple glasses and I guess he scared some customers pretty bad," said Perry. "Lisa [Morango, PJ's manager] felt like she wasn't losing much by kicking him out. He's caused some trouble before - nothing major, and nothing like this incident, but, you know, he'd do things like challenge other patrons to a 'quiz-off' and do this weird dance around the tables when he won. I won't miss him."
As for Stanley, he has not yet given up the fight. "I'll keep badgering Coffee News until they admit that I'm right. I'm not asking for damages. All I want is a public apology and a substitute question, because I sure as hell am not losing a perfect score because someone on their research team decided to quiz me on their favorite show."
"Burned," he added defiantly.