Art Buchwald, The Real World , The Washington Post, May 20, 2003

To the class of 2003, congratulations. You will graduate and go out into the real world with hopes, prayers and a $100,000 debt to the government.

This is your final multiple-choice test. If you pass it you will be given your diploma.

You find a weapon of mass destruction in your back yard. A. You call the Orkin man. B. You invite Don Rumsfeld over to tea. C. You call the sanitation department and ask what days they pick up weapons of mass destruction. D. You send it back to Sears and say you didn't order it.

Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania said, "If you have a homosexual affair in your home, you are committing . . .": A. sodomy. B. adultery. C. incest. D. polygamy. E. all of the above.

If you do not believe in God, you don't have to answer the next question. If you do believe in God, which God? A. President Bush's God. B. The God of Abraham. C. The God of Osama bin Laden. D. Thor, the god of thunder and lightning.

Now that you are leaving school, what do you want to be? A. A greedy Wall Street banker. B. A greedy American Airlines executive. C. A greedy baseball player. D. A greedy newspaper reporter.

You are willing to battle AIDS in Africa by: A. Preaching abstinence as the only way to fight it. B. Just saying no. C. Stating that anyone who has sexual intercourse is a terrorist. D. Saying condoms should be used only as a last resort.

Okay, now a math question. The government of the United States is in debt to the tune of $1 trillion and wants to give everyone a tax cut. A. The higher the debt, the easier it is for you to get a job. B. The rich will benefit more than the middle class. C. It will be our children's problem, not ours. D. Put the White House spin on it so everyone will be confused.

You are the mayor of a large city. The federal government has stripped you of your funds for schools, health programs, fire and police protection, and unemployment benefits. You should: A. Stop whimpering. B. Cut educational programs that are a waste of money. C. Go to the governor. If he won't give you any money, go to the president. If Mr. Bush says, "I can feel your pain," you can consider it a flat rejection.

Bill Bennett believes that: A. A family that gambles together stays together. B. Gambling is not a mortal sin. C. He only went to casinos because that is where he found the real Americans. D. He's a high roller, which means that if he loses more than $100,000, he doesn't have to pay for his hotel room or his drinks.

Now that you have passed your last final and are ready to graduate, enjoy your adulthood. And don't forget to wear clean socks for when they make you take off your shoes at the airport.

THE BOTTOM LINE THE BOTTOM LINE THE BOTTOM LINE THE BOTTOM LINE THE BOTTOM LINE ETHE BOTTOM LINE