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Satire: The Official IRI IQ Test for Foreigners


20 Dec 2010 19:5215 Comments

A cheat sheet for the uninitiated.

motorcycletehran.jpg[ satire ] The IQ test is a very useful tool, especially in Iran, because it helps determine your future path. With a low IQ score, you can become a government minister, prosecutor, judge, or army commander. With a high IQ score, you can go to Cambridge, Oxford, or Harvard after you're released from jail.

Now, there are certain cultural differences between Iran and other parts of the world. Because of these differences, a person who seems very intelligent in most places might not be smart at all in Iran. The following test has been designed to determine the IQ score of foreigners in the Islamic Republic:

Q1: You are on the right-hand side of a street. How do you get to the left-hand side?

A1: Find a pedestrian crosswalk and stand there at the curb. No driver will yield and allow you to cross the street, but don't give up! Thirty more people will gradually gather at the crosswalk. You will all start to chant "Death to the dictator!" The police will immediately swoop in and detain you and the others. Approximately six months later, you will be dropped off on the left-hand side of the street.

Q2: There are five birds sitting on a tree. Three of them fly away. How many birds are left?

A2: One. The other has been shot dead by a bullet fired by an unknown person from an unknown location for an unknown reason.

Q3: You become lost on the streets of Tehran. How do you find a police officer to ask directions from?

A3: It's useless to find a police officer in Tehran, as they are all from the countryside and do not know the directions.

Q4: What is two multiplied by two?

A4: Depending on what day it is, the answer might be four, six, or nine -- you should check to find out the latest government decision on the matter.

Q5: You want to find out what's going on in the city. How do you get the news?

A5: You turn on the state television network, but what you hear is all about the United States and Africa. There's some cursing, too. You decide to install a satellite dish to get the Iranian news from the BBC. You go to your rooftop and discover all your neighbors are already up there, chanting. They give you the news.

Q6: You want to smoke, but do not have a lighter. How can you find a lighter in under ten minutes?

A6: Go out on the street and flash a victory sign. One hundred people around you will start doing exactly the same thing. All of a sudden, something will land beside you releasing smoke. Don't worry. It's just tear gas. Soon, dozens of cigarettes will be lit in the immediate vicinity and you'll have your choice of lighters to borrow.

Q7: You have just arrived in Iran. How can you become a millionaire in a week?

A7: You have two options: First, go to the office of the president and declare that you are one of his fans. They will put you on television and give you a million dollars. Second, look out your window, write down your observations, and publish them as A Journey to Tehran once you're back home. Your original perceptions and insights will make you a millionaire.

Q8: You go to Iran as a millionaire with the goal of becoming a billionaire. What should your approach be?

A8: Right after you arrive, buy a house. After a year, sell the house, exchange the proceeds -- one billion tomans! -- for dollars, and quickly depart Iran.

Q9: You go to Iran as a billionaire and decide to live there. What will happen?

A9: You exchange all your dollars for rials. A year later, you exchange your rials for dollars, and find that you are now only a millionaire.

Q10: You are an expert in Iranian studies who speaks Persian and wants to become more familiar with Persian culture and literature. What should you do?

A10: Buy a ticket and fly to Tehran. One week later, you will be arrested as a spy who knows Persian and sent to Evin Prison. The most important humanities professors are also imprisoned there, and you will have the opportunity to study Persian culture and literature with them during your year in Evin until your government succeeds in getting you released.

Q11: You are interested in Persian culture, yet you do not speak Persian. How can you become fluent in the language within a year?

A11: Buy a ticket and fly to Tehran. One month later, you will be arrested on espionage charges and sent to Evin Prison. During your year there, you will learn perfect, advanced Persian from your interrogators and fellow prisoners.

Q12: You have arrived in Tehran, and would like to go to discos and bars and restaurants with fine Persian food. How can you find such places?

A12: Head out to the street and greet a pedestrian who seems cheerful and has no beard. Tell him you are interested in Iranian culture and society. For the next month, you will receive an endless stream of invitations from Iranians who have discos and bars and restaurants in their own homes.

Q13: After a month of accepting these invitations, you are getting bored. How can you escape from this social circle?

A13: During the middle of a party, say you love Ahmadinejad. Your hosts will kick you out and never invite you back.

Q14: What is the design of the Iranian flag?

A14: It totally depends on the time and place. It might be green/white/red or blue/white/red. In the middle, the Lion and Sun might appear, or the sign of Allah, or nothing at all. There might be gold embroidery reading "Allah-o Akbar"...or not. Basically, the design of the flag is a matter of personal preference.

Q15: In which century do the Iranian people live?

A15: It depends on the individual. The cabinet ministers live in the 17th century, the judiciary lives in the 18th century, the Leader lives in the 7th century, the police live in the 8th century, the public employees live in the 19th century, the private sector workers live in the 20th century, and the intellectuals live in the 21st century. The middle class sometimes lives in the 21st and sometimes in the 22nd century.

Q16: You are going to meet a person in three hours somewhere in the central part of the city, which is 10 km away. When should you leave in order to be on time for your appointment?

A16: Calculating that the person you're meeting will be detained for three hours and that you'll both be stuck in traffic for two hours, you should leave in four hours.

Q17: When someone asks, "Where are you?" over the phone, how should you respond?

A17: You should say, "I am doing fine, where are you?"

Q18: What does it mean when someone tells you, "Okay, thanks"?

A18: It means: Shut up, don't talk so much.

Copyright © 2010 Tehran Bureau

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Sorry Ebrahim but the whole country is not northern Tehran and its mostly spoiled class of Western wannabes.

Remember, folks with this sort of un-Iranian attitude lost the 2009 presidential election. Or maybe the "satire" here should have a subtitle that reads "sour grapes."

Pirouz / December 20, 2010 9:18 PM

EBRAHIM kheyli hal khardam ba in articleet,khub tozih dadi eyval,keep up the good work

Babak / December 20, 2010 9:19 PM

carrying on with some more satire,many of the Farsi proverbs are handed down from one generation to the other.some where along the line the true meaning of the original story which developed into a proverb or saying is lost to the younger generations.
One such proverb which I am sure that many Iranians haven't even heard is:
"Gooz ra vel dad va ghabzesh ra gereft"which in English is the synonym of "He or she kicked the bucket"
"Gooz ra vel dad va ghabzesh ra gereft"literally means,'He or she let out the fart and got the receipt'
How on earth did this proverb sneak into our rich collections of proverbs,?
This is how the story goes.According to our religious customs,before a corpse is shrouded and buried,it is taken to *Morde shoor khaneh*or *the house in which corpses are washed*,before the "Morde shoor", "corpse washer" starts washing the corpse,he applies one last big squeeze with both hands on the corpses abdomen which results in all the air that had gathered in the corpse's intestines to escape with one big bang or fart "Gooz".hence being satisfied that the corpse is definitely lifeless,he or she signs and issues the receipt.

We Iranians when wanting to show our atmost dissatisfaction with some one,we say:"Morde shoor bebaratet"or may the corpse washer take you away.

siamak zand / December 20, 2010 10:08 PM


Morde shoor bebaratet lol

siamak zand / December 20, 2010 10:13 PM

Thanks Mr. Nabavi
You really made my day.

@ Pirouz

Dont take things so personally. And you dont really need to HAVE and OPINION about ANYTHING and EVERYTHING that is posted here. Sometimes you need to let it go, kick back and smile for a change. You are making yourself like a crazy guy that wants to be against anything said here.
Come on Man,go get a life for God's sake

PersianTraveler / December 20, 2010 10:50 PM

Rationing is definitely in order. Anyway to ration Pirouz and his comments.

pirooz / December 20, 2010 11:57 PM

Great. Very funny.

Of course dont expect Pirouz to get any of it, as he is not really Iranian, has never lived in Iran, and doesnt speak much Farsi.

Vaghean mordeshoor bebaradesh,
(look it up in your dictionary Pirouz ;)

ahvaz / December 21, 2010 1:37 AM

Q&A15 is indeed the best part of it... So accurate!

Ray Mizane / December 21, 2010 4:22 AM

this is so 2009

M. Ali / December 21, 2010 3:28 PM

The humor is 2009, because its not relevant anymore. Unlike most of the posters in this site, I actually live in Iran. Satire needs to be based on realism for it to be funny. This satire is not.

They were not detained for insisting on the rule of law. They were usually detained for engaging in a mob protest that led to violent acts by random elements, such as throwing rocks, trying to take over a police station, and disrupting public life.

M. Ali / December 22, 2010 3:45 PM

Given the gravity of the situation, it's funnier now than it would have been in 2009.

Anonymous / December 22, 2010 7:26 PM

M. Ali

"engaging in a mob protest that led to violent acts by random elements, such as throwing rocks, trying to take over a police station, and disrupting public life".

So I guess Iranians protesting in 1979 were mobs too then, eh.
And palestinians, S Africans, and Black Americans were stone throwing mob protests distubing peace too, and deserved to be 'dealth with'.

Except I dont know of any Palestinians, S Africans, and Black Americans raped by their own countrie's police force/jailors.

M. ALi,
you sound like an Israili soldier dealing with 'violent elements' of 'mob protests'

good for you.

Ahvaz / December 22, 2010 7:50 PM

These jokes are incredibly stupid. I'm not pro-regime, but these kinds of publications are degrading towards Iran as a whole. I'm ashamed of PBS for publishing this junk.

Hamrah / December 25, 2010 8:45 AM

I agree with Hamrah. I think people of all political persuasions can agree that these jokes are trite. How did this make it to Tehran Bureau?

Davood / December 25, 2010 10:39 PM

Not being Iranian but (secretly) hooked on the culture, (alas from a distance, can't see me in constant head scarf as a desirable holiday . . .) I thought this was a HOOT and loved hearing the idioms explained (thanks, siamak zand, hee hee hee).

Do Iranians never suspect there might be a few "farangis" out there who love, respect and appreciate Iranian culture, who must read through inexhaustible reams of the Iranian self-critisicm du jour, just to get a little squirt of unabashed culture (instead of taarof)?

I'm not Iranian; but this is FUNNY / December 29, 2010 2:33 AM