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Doug Clark: Simple quiz tests ability to get grip on gridlock

Thu., Oct. 3, 2013

We’re living in the craziest times.

The federal government can’t function. Meanwhile, any 17-year-old counter worker at Dick’s can take the burger orders from a busload of basketball players without using a notepad.

No wonder that so many Americans are suffering from government shutdown-related gridlock. (An actual psychiatric condition found on page 19,345 of the Affordable Care Act.)

So how gridlocked are you?

To find out, I’ve prepared an easy-to-take exam to measure your PGL (Personal Gridlock Level).

Answer the questions honestly. Then we’ll count your meds at the end to see how much intervention you need.

1. How often do you think about the government shutdown while you’re at work?

A. Twice. (1 Xanax)

B. Five or six times, maybe. (5 Xanax)

C. My boss told me to go home because I’m “a nonessential employee.” (10 Xanax)

2. I blame the government shutdown on …

A. Democrats. (1 Xanax)

B. Republicans. (5 Xanax)

C. The superhuman bladder control of Sen. Ted Cruz. (10 Xanax)

3. If I had to make a comparison, I’d say this government shutdown is …

A. Flakier than psoriasis. (1 Xanax)

B. More painful than hemorrhoids. (5 Xanax)

C. Dumber than a Dennis Rodman trip to North Korea. (10 Xanax)

4. The individuals we elect to the country’s highest positions of leadership can’t get along with each other. They behave like babies. Pick the answer that best describes how this makes you feel.

A. The rest of the world must be laughing at us. (1 Xanax)

B. Sometimes I want to hide under a rock. (5 Xanax)

C. Congress makes the Spokane City Council look dignified, almost. (10 Xanax)

5. Despite the government shutdown, I’d still rather see my child grow up to be a member of Congress than a …

A. Car thief. (1 Xanax)

B. Grave robber. (5 Xanax)

C. Columnist. (10 Xanax)

6. Pick the punch line to the following joke: If I saw a politician on fire, I would …

A. Text the fire department. (1 Xanax)

B. Yell “Fire!” loudly before running away. (5 Xanax)

C. Roll him to within 25 feet of a doorway and have him cited for smoking in public. (10 Xanax)

7. Even in the midst of a government shutdown I take exception to the above joke because …

A. It’s highly distasteful. (1 Xanax)

B. Smoldering politicians are no laughing matter. (5 Xanax)

C. One of the choices should have been about Lindsey Grahamcrackers and making s’mores. (10 Xanax)

8. There’s so much ill will in the nation’s capital right now. Getting Republicans and Democrats to compromise would probably take …

A. Divine intervention. (1 Xanax)

B. Bribes, bribes and more bribes. (5 Xanax)

C. All the medical marijuana in Washington state. (10 Xanax)

9. Shutting down the government is such an emotional issue. Thinking about it makes me feel …

A. Sad. (1 Xanax)

B. Confused. (5 Xanax)

C. Nostalgic for those happier times when we were on the brink of bombing Syria. (10 Xanax)

OK. Let’s count your tranquilizers to see how you did.

If your Xanax total is 13 or less, you probably weren’t aware the government was having any problems. Go back to sleep. Sorry to bother you.

A pile of 50 to 60 or so happy pills shows you have moderate gridlock and would benefit from a mild laxative or adding more fiber to your diet.

A perfect score of 90 Xanax reveals that you have been exposed to too much talk radio. Your gridlock is terminal and an Obamacare “death panel” should be contacting you soon.

Doug Clark can be reached at (509) 459-5432 or

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