American television producers come up with some pretty wild -- others would say stupid -- ideas for game shows. The game part is minimal. Rather, the idea is to get contestants to say or do dumb things and to expose their raw greed to win more and more prizes. Questions range from ridiculously simple to genius level, depending on how much money is at stake.
For the hottest new game show, you'd think the questions would skew toward the "ridiculously easy" end of the scale, since the show is called "Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?" A precocious youngster is matched against a sweating adult. Naturally, the adult loses much of the time, to his or her great humiliation. That's the whole point.
Let's see how YOU would do against a ten-year-old: Answer these three questions, which the Orlando Sentinel newspaper pulled from fifth-grade textbooks. And all the while, imagine a "countdown" clock ticking as you're thinking:
1. "True or false? A turtle is an amphibian."
2. "What is the largest South American country in size?"
3. "A heptagon has how many sides?
You are lucky, of course. There are no hot lights in YOUR eyes, no clock ticking, no studio audience pointing at you and laughing, or millions of people at home watching you lose to a perky child.
But who knows? Maybe you're smarter than a kid who's barely older than your car:
"No," you shout confidently, "the turtle is NOT an amphibian. Any fool knows it's a reptile."
Obviously, Brazil is South America's largest country.
And, of course, my dear child, a heptagon has nine sides.
Imagine the sound of a LOUD BUZZER here!
Wait! A heptagon DOESN'T have nine sides? It has SEVEN sides?