News Quiz

Buff, Buffer, Buffest

No. 156: “Buff, Buffer, Buffest”

By Randy Cohen

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit ruled that a city in Washington may legally require a 10 foot buffer zone. Around what? Why?

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

Wednesday’s question (No. 155)–“That’s the Ticket”:“We’ve got tickets, but we’re not going in,” said Marina Ripa Di Meana. “What’s more, there’s a real horse in there that they’re keeping backstage for hours and hours.”
Why won’t Marina go in?
“She was told there would be live ponies at the impeachment hearings. Older brothers can be so cruel.”–Kate Wing“She’s afraid if she sees what Ira looks like the show will never be the same.”–David Goldberg“Perhaps Marina is deathly afraid of horses, like I once was. Of course, that was before I went to Montana and Robert Redford healed me with his true and perfect love. Oh no, wait. Wait. That was The Horse Whisperer. Never mind.”–Tim Carvell“Driving a spike into a stallion’s head and calling it a ‘unicorn’ is cruel, even by circus standards of animal care.”–Matt Sullivan“Oh, because she’s protesting something or other. And what for? All the Exxons in my neighborhood are being beautifully renovated to offer oranges, cappuccino, and Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, and yet as I drove to work this morning, seven or eight people were standing in the rain protesting this thoughtful gesture. And as they got splashed by Exxon-powered car after car, I thought to myself: Am I going to deny this company my business for making a little mess? No. Do I care if it’s not very nice to its handicapped workers? I ask you: Aren’t we all just a little handicapped? And honestly, are some rain-soaked, Grateful Dead-loving, tree-hugging hippies going to make me feel bad about the 142 shares of Exxon stock poor old Great-Aunt Margaret just gave me for Christmas? Absolutely not!”–Nicole Cody Click here for more responses. Randy’s Wrap-Up
An ice show, a few movies, one or two TV shows, sure; but for most participants bad entertainment means the American musical theater. It looks like that consulting arrangement News Quiz made with Mike Ovitz is about to pay off. You can each expect a phone call. Probably around dinner time.
Interestingly, there were no costumed cartoon characters with giant fiberglass heads, only a bit of circus, and a little sex show, and none of those other big ticket events–amusement park, planetarium, dog track, parking violations bureau, Lotto.
Horses references: Mr. Ed, dog food and glue, Catherine the Great, and the Emperor Claudius. There might have been many others. Off the top of my giant fiberglass cartoon head–Alexander the Great’s Bucephalus, Lee’s Traveler, Grant’s Cincinnatus, Napoleon’s Merango, and Wellington’s Copenhagen. Then there are racehorses–Silver Charm, or Citation, or two-time Horse of the Year, winner of the Dubai Cup, and gift to topical comedy double-entendres (or single-entendres), the great Cigar.
I blame the schools.
On the other hand, we had our first Degas joke. I blame the American Ballet Theater.
Milanese Answer
She stayed out because they’re wearing fur coats in there.
Socialite and anti-fur crusader Marina Ripa Di Meana led People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals’ topless anti-fur protest at La Scala’s season opening, a six hour production of Wagner’s Twilight of the Gods . The protesters scuffled with police, taunted the crowd, and threw eggs at the swells. Despite the freezing temperature, Di Meana flung open her short black jacket to reveal the words “No Fur” written in large blue letters across her chest.
Augmented Quotations Extra
(Each final sentence added by News Quiz.)
“This is the first time the U.N. has used the phrase ‘anti-Semitism.’ If only they hadn’t added ‘is cool.’ “–Felice Gaer, director of the Jacob Blaustein Institute for the Advancement of Human Rights, is pleased that for the first time in 50 years, the General Assembly has acknowledged anti-Semitism as a form of racism“We’re a death penalty state. We believe in swift and sure punishment. And the blacker, the poorer, the swifter, the surer; I made that up–it rhymes!”–Texas Gov. George Bush tells a Canadian about compassionate conservatism“It’s one of many missing links from ape to man. You know: like Strom Thurmond.”–paleontologist Ronald Clarke is one of the discoverers of an intact hominid skeleton, perhaps 3.6 million years old, in surprisingly southern Africa

“These early hominids had small body sizes and were climbing trees if they got in a jam and wanted to escape. Today, of course, we push for some kind of censure deal.”–anatomist Randall Sussman likes the look of those hominid instep bones

Randy Cohen writes News Quiz for Slate.

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.