Archive for Friday, May 1, 2009

Net Worth: Test your Lawrence lore, courtesy of Facebook apps

May 1, 2009


Facebook is brimming with wily ways to quiz yourself and your friends.

“What ’80s movie defines you?”

“How big of a junk food fan are you?”

“Who are your biggest celebrity crushes?”

“What handgun best suits you?”

Occasionally I’ll take part (for instance, I’m only a 23 percent junk food fan, and I evidently have an incredible crush on Rosario Dawson), but most of the time I just read how my buddies who sent me the quizzes fared.

Yet this week I received one that could not be ignored. One that posed an absolute in-your-face challenge.

The quiz was called “How well do you know Lawrence, Kansas?”

Sure, I wasn’t born here, and I’ve never served on the City Commission or anything. But I’ve lived in Lawrence for 26 years, went to school at KU and have been a working journalist based in the city for 16 years. It’s amazing what you can learn about a place when you’re forced to write about it every day.

Thus, the grand sum of my Lawrence-ness should rank pretty high, right?

So I took the quiz.

SPOILER ALERT: If you’re going to give it a try, do so now before reading the following.

The opening question made me feel right at home.

Rock star Marilyn Manson kicked off his 1998 Rock is Dead world tour at which Lawrence venue?

1. The Lied Center

2. The Bottleneck

3. The Granada

Score one for Niccum. I know it was The Granada because I was at the show. Though I was not exactly a fan of the then-huge shock rocker, it was too big a happening to miss. I remember thinking it was the best-sounding concert I’d ever heard at the typically boomy venue, and the two female background singers/cage dancers really added some color to the heavy cacophony of Manson’s material.

A couple of easy William S. Burroughs questions cropped up next on the quiz, followed by some comparably painless Jayhawks basketball ones.

Question eight asked:

Which Lawrence bar was featured in a 2003 “Saturday Night Live” skit?

1. Red Lyon Tavern

2. It’s Brothers

3. The Wheel

Here’s where that journalism gig came in handy. In 2003, after watching this particular sketch, I also wondered why “SNL” would so specifically target The Wheel. A few dozen e-mails/calls to NBC led me to a fledgling writer named Jason Sudeikis, an Overland Park native and lifelong Jayhawks fan. For those who need a quiz on pop culture, Sudeikis has now worked for five seasons as one of the show’s headlining cast members.

Though the quiz only fielded 15 questions, they provided a nice range between the art, history, music and culture of Lawrence.

Ultimately, I only missed two out of 15, which is like 88 percent or something. (Good thing this wasn’t a math quiz.)

The results page trumpeted, “Congrats! You must have lived, loved and pub-crawled your way through Lawrence.”

If nothing else, I’m at least good at being a townie.

Addendum: This morning I got invited to take the new Lawrence Kansas Punk quiz on Facebook ... and barely broke 60 percent.

— Entertainment editor Jon Niccum explores facets of pop culture that have established a unique niche on the Internet. He can be reached at 832-7178.


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