By G.M. Donley
The questions below were developed by a “team of experts” to quantify Rust Belt literacy. Literacy has been shown to be an important word to mention. Sometimes you might select more than one answer.
- What does the term “Rust Belt” mean?
▢ A. What’s left in the bathtub after a steel worker takes a shower
▢ B. The region where much of the world’s finest rust is produced
▢ C. A condition that occurs due to the simultaneous oxidation of a continuous line of ferrous objects
▢ D. Once upon a time, Americans prospered by making things instead of making bets
- Why do people in your area seem to voice such negative perceptions about their own region?
▢ A. Because it sucks
▢ B. In order to lower their expectations so much that they are happy if anything nice ever happens.
▢ C. Because every time somebody moves farther away, they rationalize their decision by trashing the place they moved away from
▢ D. To keep assholes from moving here
- Which of the following counties straddles a continental divide?
▢ A. Portage County, Ohio
▢ B. Chautauqua County, New York
▢ C. Cheyenne County, Colorado
▢ D. La Porte County, Indiana
- You have lived in an inner-ring suburb for 10 years. In the space of a few months, the elderly longtime residents on either side of your house move out, and both houses are put up for sale. You tell a few friends who are house-hunting, but they dismiss your neighborhood because “the taxes are too high” and “you can’t use the schools.” What do you do?
▢ A. Sell immediately and move to an outer-ring suburb
▢ B. Keep telling friends until you find someone who gets it
▢ C. What’s an inner ring suburb?
▢ D. Complain about the government
- People often cite “high taxes” as a reason they moved from a city or inner ring suburb to an outer suburb. What is the definition of “high taxes?”
▢ A. Any amount of taxes
▢ B. Taxes collected from me that are not spent on me
▢ C. $6,000 a year based on a 3% tax rate on a 2,000-square-foot 1920s home valued at $200,000 in a leafy inner ring city
▢ D. $6,000 a year based on a 2% tax rate on a 1,500-square-foot 1990s townhouse house valued at $300,000 in an outlying cul-de-sac development
- The quest to be in a place with “good schools” is often cited as a reason to move from a city or inner ring suburb to an outer suburb. What is a “good school?”
▢ A. A school where kindergartners score in the 95th percentile on the state report card
▢ B. A school in an area that’s too expensive for low-income families
▢ C. A school that excludes students likelier to get bad grades
▢ D. A school that is inclusive, serves a wide range of incomes, challenges advanced students and catches up students who are behind, and prepares people for college or a career, no matter the circumstances where they start out
- Which city besides Cleveland has been referred to as “the mistake on the lake?”
▢ A. Erie
▢ B. Sochi
▢ C. Memphis
▢ D. Las Vegas
- Which Ohio is the real Ohio?
▢ A. Connecticut Ohio
▢ B. West Virginia Ohio
▢ C. Indiana Ohio
▢ D. Hang on Sloopy
- Which river does what? (write the matching letter in the space)
__ Turns green once a year because of toxic algae
__ Turns green once a year because of St. Patrick
__ Falls off a cliff
__ Flows south, gets confused, flows north
- Match the song to the region (write the matching letter in the space)
A. Search and Destroy
B. Seasons in the Sun
D. We Didn’t Start the Fire
__ Bible Belt
__ Rust Belt
__ Sun Belt
__ Sansa Belt
- A coastal ignoramus refers to your area as “flyover country.” Your response?
▢ A. Crawl back into your double-wide and watch The Bachelorette
▢ B. Procure a rocket launcher
▢ C. Well, goll-durn, was that you up thar in that aereoplane I seen yesterday?
▢ D. You didn’t hear the ignoramus because you were actually doing something productive
- Why did the Rust Belt economy suffer beginning in the 1970s?
▢ A. Scum-sucking unions
▢ B. Scum-sucking corporate profiteers
▢ C. We’re not worthy
▢ D. You’ll have that from time to time
- Which team is the most Rust Belty?
▢ A. Cleveland Indians
▢ B. Pittsburgh Steelers
▢ C. Manchester United
▢ D. Budapest Honvéd FC
- Which is worst for your health?
▢ A. Cleveland Cavaliers
▢ B. Chicago Cubs
▢ C. Buffalo Wings
▢ D. Detroit Lions
- Which are the best dill pickles?
▢ A. Hermann’s Pickles, Garrettsville, Ohio
▢ B. Hermann’s Pickles, Garrettsville, Ohio
▢ C. Hermann’s Pickles, Garrettsville, Ohio
▢ D. Hermann’s Pickles, Garrettsville, Ohio
- Is the Rust Belt the same as the Snow Belt?
▢ A. Is a cow pelt the same as a cheese melt?
▢ B. Stay in your lane, idiot
▢ C. Correlation is not causality
▢ D. Salt accelerates oxidation
- Your 1974 LTD rusts out so bad that your shoe keeps scraping on the pavement. What do you do?
▢ A. More plywood, duct tape
▢ B. Sue the city
▢ C. Give the car to your kid
▢ D. Pour paint through the hole while driving and try to write your name in the parking lot of your local dead mall.
- What are highways for?
▢ A. Temporary jobs for cement contractors
▢ B. Force farmers to sell to developers
▢ C. Give a financial leg up to distance commuters
▢ D. Divert storm water into sewer system
- What is the origin of Lake Erie?
▢ A. Early Irish immigrants misspelled Eire
▢ B. It was part of Vincent Price’s private estate
▢ C. A giant melted block of ice
▢ D. Part of WPA dam and waterfall project
- Do the math: cold Alberta Clipper + warm lake =
▢ A. A cocktail popular in the 1890s
▢ B. Three feet of snow in Chardon, Ohio
▢ C. Three feet of snow in Traverse City, Michigan
▢ D. Three feet of snow in Chautauqua, New York
- Which one was NOT the governor of a major Rust Belt state?
▢ A. Rod Blagojevich
▢ B. George Voinovich
▢ C. Ivan Denisovich
▢ D. Grover Cleveland
- Match the city to the concept: (write the matching letter in the space)
B. Las Vegas
D. New Orleans
__ Punctuated equilibrium
__ Idiopathic entropy
__ Dystopic choreography
__ Structural fallacy
- Where is which rusty industrialist buried? (write the matching letter in the space)
A. John D. Rockefeller
B. Henry Ford
C. Andrew Carnegie
D. J. P. Morgan
__ Detroit, Michigan
__ Hartford, Connecticut
__ Cleveland, Ohio
__ North Tarrytown, New York
- Which inventor was not from Ohio?
▢ A. Thomas “light bulb” Edison
▢ B. Orville “airplane” Wright
▢ C. Garrett “3-way traffic light” Morgan
▢ D. John “electronic computer” Mauchly
- Which is the most spine-tingling?
▢ A. Cedar Point Millennium Force
▢ B. Smokey Robinson falsetto
▢ C. Chicago Symphony brass
▢ D. Cleveland Orchestra strings
- Where does rust come from?
▢ A. We’ll talk about that when you’re older
▢ B. Asteroids
▢ C. Aphids
▢ D. Unions
- No, really, what causes rust?
▢ A. Lack of sleep
▢ B. Not practicing
▢ C. The Gulf of Mexico
▢ D. The salt mines under Lake Erie
- Come on, seriously.
▢ A. We prefer to call it a patina. How about the “Patina Belt” from now on?
▢ B. It’s nature’s way of saying gimme back that iron
▢ C. Make steel, then add oxygen + water + time
▢ D. Electrons taking off for the suburbs
1. A=0, B=1, C=2, D=3
2. A=0, B=1, C=2, D=3
3. A=1, B=1, C=0, D=1
4. A=0, B=1, C=0, D=0 [MB1]
5. A=0, B=1, C=0, D=0
6. D=3 (A, B, and C are all the same)
7. A=1, B=-1 (yes mistake, but not lake), C= -2 (river, not lake), D= -3 (city with no water=mistake)
9. 1 point for each correct: A=falls off, B=flows south, C=St Pat, D=algae
10. 1 point for each correct: A=rust[MB2] , B=Sun, C=Sansa, D=Bible
11. A=0, B=0, C=0, D=1
12. A=0, B=0, C=0, D=1
13. A=1, B=1, C=1, D=1
14. A=1, B=1, C=1, D=1
15. A=1, B=2, C=2, D=1
16. A=nonsequitor, B=basic driving skills, C=true, D=1
17. A=1, B=1, C=1, D=1
18. A=1, B=1, C=1, D=1
19. A=0, B=0, C=2, D=0
20. A=0, B=1, C=1, D=1
21. A=0, B=0, C=1, D=0
22. 1 point for each correct: A=Dystopic choreography, B=Structural fallacy, C=Idiopathic entropy, D=Punctuated equilibrium
23. 1 point for each correct: A=Cleveland, B=Detroit, C=N. Tarrytown, D=Hartford
24. A=0, B=0, C=1, D=0 (Morgan lived in Cleveland but was born in Kentucky)
25. A=1, B=1, C=1, D=1
26. A=0, B=0, C=0, D=0
27. A=1, B=1, C=1, D=1
28. A=1, B=1, C=1, D=1
0-20: You should probably stay in Los Angeles
20-54: Thank you for flying over
55 or more: You’re hopeless, so you fit right in here
G. M. Donley is a Cleveland Heights-based writer, photographer, and designer.
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