News Quiz

No. 39: “Under Wraps”

No. 39: “Under Wraps”

By Randy Cohen

The Budweiser and Coca-Cola signs were shrouded at Madison Square Garden this past weekend. Why?

by noon ET Tuesday to e-mail your answer (

Responses to Thursday’s question (No. 37)–“Hard To Do”:

In a statement to Reuters announcing their breakup, they wrote, “We are stuck in a dead end. Today we are ending this project.” Who is ending what?

“The National Rifle Association’s innovative Head Sharp program that let kids with guns exchange them for more accurate high-powered models. ‘Getting to them early is the key,’ sniffed a disappointed volunteer.”–Beth Sherman

“Breakup? Hardly; that’s meant ironically. The line should read:

we are stuck in a dead end.
we are ending this project.

“It is of course a preview of Ted Hughes’ next book of poems about his relationship with Sylvia Plath.”–Charlie Rubin

“Dow Chemical is suspending its experiments in fiber buttocks.”–Kate Clinton

“The Cowsills’ World Tour ‘98.”–Meg Wolitzer

“God, oh God, why couldn’t it have been Hanson?”–Doug Strauss

“Sonny and Cher.”–Bill Franzen

Click for more responses.

Randy’s Wrap-Up

I was surprised to see so few references to The Sunshine Boys. None, actually. Surprised and delighted. Those guys scare me. But they’re perfect partners, depending on and detesting each other, a living metaphor for a first marriage or a murderous and rigidly disciplined anti-government cell. Ask Mr. and the first Mrs. Gingrich, Mr. and the first Mrs. Reagan, Mr. and the first Mrs. Dole. Ask R & B champions Sam and Dave. Hated each other. But sounded great together. Unlike the original Gingriches, who at least had the self-restraint to not record “Soul Man” or shoot at prominent German politicians.

AT&T. Yugoslavia. The Beatles. Donovan Leisure. All the big groups. It sometimes seems astonishing that any common endeavor can be sustained for more than about 20 minutes. And yet what is more appealing than “we few, we happy few, we band of brothers”?

How’s that Minneapolis-St. Paul thing working out?

End of an Era Answer

Germany’s Red Army Faction announced its dissolution in an anonymous letter marked with its emblem–a 5 pointed star, a machine pistol, and the initials RAF. Five fatal attacks ascribed to the group since 1985 remain unsolved. Nine RAF members are in prison; 10 more are thought to be at large.


“The way it was described was that the vice president sledgehammered some ashtrays.”–Christyne Lategano, communications director for New York Mayor Giuliani

“A vulgarity for a condom.”–Dan Van Natta, writing in the New York Times

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