News Quiz

Long Holiday Weekend SpecialNo. 76: “Sir, Yes, Sir”

Long Holiday Weekend Special No. 76: “Sir, Yes, Sir”

By Randy Cohen

Monday in California, former Rep. Robert Dornan jumped to his feet and threw Newt Gingrich a crisp salute. What had happened a moment earlier to prompt this behavior?

by 5 p.m. ET Sunday to e-mail your answer (

Responses to Tuesday’s question (No. 75)–“Natural Wounders”:

Shark attack, avalanche, inhalation of volcanic fumes.

What’s the connection?

“Pat Robertson warned New York City to expect all of them following last Sunday’s gay pride parade. In response, Mayor Giuliani allocated another $5 million to shark-proof his bunker.”–Daniel Radosh (Fred Graver had a similar answer.)

“Activities planned for Skipper in Mattel’s new Schadenfreude Barbie.”–Meg Wolitzer

“From the vault of chronic depressive Richard Rodgers, rejected lyrics for ‘My Favorite Things.’ “–Peter Lerangis

“They’re all part of the severance package Mort Zuckerman offered James Fallows.”–Andrew Solovay (similar targeting of Al Dunlap, Danny Franklin)

“They are all special effects that porn siren Portia Lynn can create with her nether lips.”–Larry Amaros

“Things Trent Lott is pretty sure are worse than tobacco.”–Winter Miller

“Pre-existing conditions not covered by James Bond’s crappy new HMO.”–Chris Kelly

Click for more responses.

Randy’s Wrap-Up

George Meyer, a longtime writer-producer at The Simpsons, all too briefly published a magazine called Army Man, filling it with the (unpaid) comic writing of his talented friends. Issue 2 included this from Jack Handey:

Contrary to what most people would say, the most dangerous animal in the world is not the lion or the tiger or even the elephant. It’s a shark riding on an elephant’s back, just trampling and eating everything they see.

What if the elephant’s footsteps set off an avalanche, and the shark could blow volcanic fumes on everybody! That would really be dangerous. But it won’t happen, because these kids today, they’re soft. It’s like former Knick Charles Oakley says: “The problem is they have too many guys wearing dresses out there on the basketball court. They’re protecting too many guys; you’ve got to be a man. I’m just going to play my game, like a fighter, a great fighter. Just trampling and eating and blowing volcanic fumes on everything I see!”

Great Outdoors Answer

These were the only three “purely environmental” (i.e., outdoorsy) causes of death among 78 recent fatalities at national parks in California. A study by the University of California at San Diego shows that many more deaths occur in campsites than in the wild, with heart disease the prime culprit. Men accounted for 80 percent of the deaths, including all five alfresco suicides.

Monumental Extra

Celebrate Independence Day during New York City’s centennial year by matching the local landmark with the massive force of destruction recently unleashed against it.

1. Chrysler Building

2. Statue of Liberty

3. Brooklyn Bridge

4. Public schools and libraries

A. Enormous lizard from Godzilla

B. Giant asteroid from Armageddon

C. Huge space rock from Deep Impact

D. Massive ineptness from Mayor Giuliani


1-B, 2-C, 3-A, 4-D

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