Is it Satire?

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Satire’s boundaries remain hotly contested in seminars, op-eds, and public apologies. Now captains of industry have joined in, rejecting ironic impressions of vice as satire. Before entering this essential debate, test your grasp of satire with this quiz.

Read each entry carefully. If it’s satire, circle it. If it isn’t, cross it out. If you don’t know, pretend you do.

1.
Bill says, “Hi Phil.”
Phil knees Bill in the genitals.
Phil leaves.

2.
Bill says, “Hello, Mr. President.”
President Phil knees Bill in the genitals.
Bill salutes.

3.
President Bill says, “Hello, citizen.”
Phil knees President Bill in the genitals.
Phil flees the country.

4.
Virtue says, “Hello Vice.”
Vice knees Virtue in the genitals.
Vice leaves.

5.
Vice says, “Hello Virtue.”
Virtue knees Vice in the genitals.
Virtue explains the merits of knee strikes at length.

6.
Bill says, “Only fools get kneed in the genitals.”
Phil knees Bill in the genitals.
Bill learns nothing.

7.
Bill is labeled “global economy.”
Phil is labeled “United States.”
Phil’s knee is labeled “interest rates.”

8.
Ken says, “Hello Barbie.”
Barbie knees Ken in the crotch.
Nothing happens.

9.
Bill says, “Hi Phil,” which is GOOD.
Phil knees Bill in the genitals, which is BAD.
Phil leaves, which is BAD.

10.
Bill, a boring foil, says “Hi Phil.”
That loveable scamp Phil knees him in the genitals. Classic.
Phil’s wrong, I guess. But isn’t he fun?

11.
Bill says, “This is the best of all possible worlds.”
Phil knees Bill in the genitals.
Bill says, “This is still the best of all possible worlds.”

12.
Bill says, “Knock knock.”
Phil knees Bill in the genitals twice.
Phil never learns who’s there.

13.
Bill says, “Hello Tom.”
Tom hugs Bill.
Bill, bored, looks for Phil.

14.
A Snowflake says HIS pronouns.
A Patriot knees HIM in the TESTICLES.
The Patriot stands proud.

15.
Bill says, “I really love racism.”
Phil provides restorative justice to the pelvis.
Bill thanks Phil for holding him accountable.

16.
Billie says, “Hi Phyllis.”
Phyllis knees Billie in the genitals.
Bill and Phil fans dox the director.

17.
Bill says, “Hi, Doc.”
The doctor diagnoses Bill with testicular torsion.
The doctor leaves a $6000 bill.

18.
Bill says nothing.
Phil does nothing.
Phil leaves after 350 small-print pages.

19.
Bill says, “Check this quiz out.”
Phil learns his life is a dick joke.
Phil leaves sanity behind.

20.
Bill, wearing the usual suit at the usual stop at the usual time, prays for anything to happen. Then he spies his old friend Phil. Bill crosses the street to greet him, missing the bus he came for in the first place.

Something in Phil cracks in half. He remembers everything Bill has that he doesn’t. Money. Health. Fiona. Before he can think, he drives his kneecap into Bill’s crotch. Something changes shape.

Ashamed, Phil flees. He can’t defend this to anyone. There’s nothing left in Rutherford but ghosts.

21.
Tralfamadorians don’t have knees.
Tralfamadorians don’t have genitals.
Hi ho.

22.
Knee says, “Hello genitals.”
Genitals bill Knee in the phil.
Genitals leave.

23.
Bill says, “I miss you, buddy.”
Bill remembers getting kneed in the genitals.
Bill leaves a cup on Phil’s grave.

24.
Space Bill says, “Hello PhilTron.” It is the future.
Philtron knees Space Bill in the mating apparatus. Much like today.
Philtron flies away (instead of walking).

25.
Bill quips, “Kneeing me in the genitals? Really?
Phil quips, “I get a kick out of it!”
Canned laughter plays.

26.
Bill says, “Nothing matters.”
Phil does whatever.
Sure, fine.

27.
Bill says, “Hello Bill.”
Bill knees Bill in the balls.
Bill leaves.

28.
Bill says, “Hello God.”
God spawns endless disease and warfare.
God leaves.

29.
Bill says, “Hello God.”
No one answers.
Bill sobs.

30.
Bill says, “Hello God.”
God smites Bill for idolatry.
Bill burns forever.

31.
Phil says, “I’m sorry.”
Bill knees Phil in the genitals.
Are they so different?

32.
Bill pleads insanity to avoid combat missions.
Phil declares avoiding combat missions proof of sanity.
Bill looks for a prostitute.

33.
Bill says, “Hello Hope.”
Hope knees Bill in the genitals.
Hope leaves.

34.
Bill says, “Goodbye, Phil.”
Phil wishes he’d kneed more genitals.
Phil moves on.

35.
Greeting.
Violence.
Aftermath.

36.
Great crowd! You guys know Phil, right? Phil? I thought he was a nice guy, until he crashed my date. I walked up, said “Hi Phil,” and then WHAM! Right in the beanbag. Guy left without even saying hi to his wife.

37.
Breaking: Local Man Knees Friend in Genitals, Flees

38.
Bill says, “Stop! We’re not their puppets! We can be free!”
Phil knees Bill in the genitals.
Phil leaves.

39.
Genitals.

40.
Bill says, “Is this satire?”
Phil skims the article.
Phil draws an X.

Answer Key

 

If you have more Os than Xs, you’re fun at parties.

If you have more Xs than Os, speak less.

If they’re equal, you’re almost there.

If you skipped to the punchline, you win.

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