By Chuck Strouse
By Scott Fishman
By Terrence McCoy
By Ryan Yousefi
By Ciara LaVelle, Kat Bein, Carolina Del Busto, and Liz Tracy
By Pepe Billete
By Ryan Yousefi
By Kyle Swenson
In 1775, who said, "Give me liberty or give me death?"
"William Wallace in Braveheart, right?" responds Bill, a 28-year-old blond who drapes his refrigerator-like physique in a sexy (and stained) T-shirt.
"Wasn't it right before that scene where they paint their faces blue?"
Um. Not exactly. Try Patrick Henry attempting to snag troops from Virginia to aid the patriots in the Revolutionary War.
It's Independence Day this weekend, and I'm at Little Hoolie's Sports Bar and Grill (13135 SW 89th Pl., Palmetto Bay), asking questions from the U.S. citizenship test, which was recently redone in October 2008. The place represents America better than, say, the hipster-heavy White Room, the Latin-spiced Club Azúcar, or a SoBe lounge swarming with tourists and dripping with privilege. Hoolie's is dark. The only lighting comes from neon beer signs. A scrappy cover band plays Skynyrd and Metallica. The crowd is a ragtag mix of race, age, and class.
So you'd think Renee, a 31-year-old sporting penciled-on eyebrows and leaning against the bar, would get this one: "What are the colors on the American flag?"
"Red, white, and blue," she says with a smile. Good. She looks smart in a collared shirt snug enough to display all the areas where her bra digs into her flesh.
"How many stripes are on the flag, and what do they represent?"
"Forty-eight, and there's one for each state."
Forty-eight. OK. "The number of stars on Old Glory?"
"Fifty. They added two more for Hawaii and Alaska," she says.
Excellent. "Who's Susan B. Anthony?"
"She sewed the flag, right?"
I hope the fireworks go off soon.
"No! It was a Betsy something... Betsy... Johnson?"
Definitely. Johnson. And it's made of leopard print, pink lace, and gold studs.
Next comes Renee's friend, 30-year-old Crystal. She's a full-figured female donning a blue sundress and a cascade of scrunched-up curls courtesy of L.A. Looks that are secured in an elegant banana clip.
"Can you name two U.S. territories?"
"North and South America?"
"So what's Puerto Rico?"
"A country in Africa?"
Sitting at a high bar table is a cute, young couple. Tatiana is a bubbly, thin, and attractive 24-year-old with straight black hair and a cleft chin. She was once president of her eighth-grade class.
"If the president and the vice president both die, who's next in line to become president?"
She pulls on her pearl-studded earlobe. "Janet Reno?"
Should I tell her Nancy Pelosi? No, it's Independence Day.
"Who freed the slaves?"
"So, who was the president during the Civil War?"
"JFK... Didn't he help fight for black equality?"
"Then who was the president during Vietnam?"
Wow, and he lived to be only 46. "Who was president during World War II?"
"Can you name any other presidents besides JFK and Lincoln?"
Well played. Over the next few minutes, Andrew, a skinny Argentine with shaggy hair pulled back into a messy, little ponytail, pretty much nails the number of U.S. senators (100), Supreme Court justices (nine), and representatives (not 420, you pothead: 435).
Next question: "Which president do you think is most likely to own a thong?"
"George W. Bush," he says.s
"The ones who seem the most narrow-minded are usually the kinkiest."
"You don't think Clinton might've been the kinkiest?"
"Well, maybe, but he wouldn't own a thong. That's too restrictive. He's more likely to own assless chaps."
Outside, I find Christine, a 59-year-old smoking a cigarette and yapping on her iPhone. "Name five Native American Indian tribes."
"The Seminole, the Miccosukee, the Navajo, the Cherokee, and... the Coyote?"
"And what was the reason for the Revolutionary War?"
"America was having lots of problems."
"What kinds of problems?"
"Just lots of problems. Lots and lots of problems."
She laughs. "Give me a clue at least."
"We were trying to gain independence from someone."
"Oh! The Indians!"