Name that country!
"Yes, mystery country, are you a democracy?"
"Our mystery country says yes, but I'm going to have to rule that the answer should be no. That's thirty dollars and over to Dick Gaines."
"Mystery country, do you have free elections?"
"Our mystery country says yes, but once again I'm going to have to rule that the answer should be no, since our mystery country has liquidated all opposition parties. Forty dollars and time for a question from Stella Mace."
"Mystery country, do you have beautiful white sandy beaches?"
"Our mystery country says yes, but I'm afraid that I'm going to have to rule that the answer should be no one more time, since our mystery country is in fact land-locked. That should be a big clue for Ernest Moss. We're up to fifty dollars, Ernest."
"Mystery country, do you have a free press?"
"If our mystery country could stop laughing for a moment, the answer would be no since the government has shut down most of the papers, and even made it illegal to insult the leader or to report on his health, finances or private life. Sixty dollars and back to Joyce Smith."
"Mystery country, I'm sensing a pattern here. Are you a country that doesn't care for human rights?"
"Our mystery country replies correcto mondo. Still sixty dollars, and over to Dick Gaines."
"Mystery country, are you an enemy of the United States?"
"Our mystery country is insulted and wishes to inform you that Vice President Cheney recently said that 'the United States is proud to count XXX as a friend and that 'we are proud to be your strategic partner'. Up to seventy dollars and back to Stella Mace."
"Mystery country, do you have a shitload of oil?"
"Our mystery country replies that it has indeed been blessed with copious quantities of black gold. No gain on the question. And we're back to Ernest Moss for our final question."
"Hmm... Let's see... A country where opposition Political parties have been banned, the newspapers closed and where advocacy groups are harassed, but awash in oil, and a friend of the United States. I'm going to make a guess. Mystery country, are you Saudi Arabia?"
"Our mystery country says, 'Saudi Arabia isn't landlocked, you moron'. It's time to take off your masks. Honestly people, I thought the clue about Dick Cheney would have been enough to tip you off. Our mystery country is none other than the former Soviet republic of Kazakhstan, joyless homeland of Ali G's Borat Sagdiyev.
Congratulations Kazakhstan, you've stumped our panel and will be taking home eighty dollars and a year's supply of Turtle Wax. Thanks for playing, and now it's time for a commercial break."
©2006, Mark Hoback