News Quiz

No. 66: “The Envelope, Please”

No. 66: “The Envelope, Please”

By Randy Cohen

The Magnificent Seven, Hondo, The Sands of Iwo Jima, El Cid. What’s the connection?

by noon ET Tuesday to e-mail your answer (

Responses to Thursday’s question (No. 65)–“Simply Irresistible”:

According to one former Securities and Exchange Commission lawyer, “This is the most powerful lobbying force in America today.” What is?

“A Texarkana bottle-blonde with an oral fixation and a line of credit from Beijing.”–Chris Kelly

“The voices in Charlton Heston’s head.”–Beth Sherman

“The old Jews waiting for the first dinner seating at Brown’s Hotel and Resort in Loch Sheldrake, N.Y. Oh, I’m sorry–I thought you said ‘most powerful group in the lobby.’ “–Larry Amaros

“Six-year-old children at Toys ‘R’ Us.”–Michael Jenkinson

“Viagra-empowered members of the AARP.”–Cheryl Haaker (Britt Theismann, Christopher Grover, Ann StDen, and Leslie Goodman-Malamuth had similar answers.)

“Southern Baptists, out of Salt Lake City and crazy with caffeine.”–Louis Rice

“Free range rug shampoo.”–Juris Odins

Click for more responses.

Randy’s Wrap-Up

Some “News Quiz” responses make me laugh; some make me smile; and some make me double over, clutch my abdomen, and pray to whatever gods I hold dear for the swift onset of unconsciousness. (No, wait, that wasn’t the quiz; that was The Magic Hour.) And others–could anything be more adorable than Michael Jenkinson’s li’l kids at Toys “R” Us? Could anything be more bewildering than Juris Odins’ “free range rug shampoo”? I have no idea what this means. He’s just crazy. Or maybe I’m missing something, and he’s crazy all right, crazy like a rabid, feverish, drug-addled fox (see Medical Extra, below).

Several of you found the mere fact of being an SEC lawyer so doubly corrupting, so morally bankrupt, as to render the question ludicrous. I am reminded of a remark of Samuel Johnson’s, which I quote under a much appreciated exemption from Slate’s no Johnson quoting policy. Johnson once indicated a man across the room and said, “I do not wish to speak ill of anyone behind his back, but I believe that fellow is an SEC lawyer.” I quote from rabid, feverish, free-range-rug-shampoo-addled memory.

Semiconducting, Solidly Connected Answer?

Silicon Valley.

Operating through Technet, 140 California technology companies are currently pushing for a bill to restrict investors from filing securities fraud cases. In 1995 and 1996, Silicon Valley gave $4 million to congressional candidates. Over the last 18 months, they’ve given an additional $1.2 million. Last fall, Technet funneled $37,500 to House banking committee Chairman Al D’Amato. The bill cleared the Senate and is expected to waltz through the House.

Medical Extra: You Be the Psychiatrist

The human mind is a delicate structure of awe-inspiring complexity–until it malfunctions, transforming its owner into some kind of fruitcake. This is frequently the case with one’s political opponents. Without seeing the patient in a clinical setting, can you match each analyst with his diagnosis?

A. Serbian Deputy Prime Minister Tomislav Nikolic, on supporters of NATO military intervention in Serbia.

B. The Rev. Claude Nicolas, exorcist of Notre Dame, on those poor souls who believe themselves possessed by the devil.

C. Former New York City Mayor Ed Koch, on Rudy Giuliani’s plan to build a $15 million bulletproof, bomb-proof, hurricane-proof bunker as the city’s disaster control center.

1. “nuts”

2. “insane”

3. “serious mental problem”


A-2, B-3, C-1

Disclaimer: All submissions will become the property of Slate and will be published at Slate’s discretion. Slate may publish your name on its site in connection with your submission.