News Quiz

No. 159: “Mourning After”

“After wrapping up his work on the Middle East’s problems, President Clinton headed home to face his own.” That’s the caption to a grim front-page photo in today’s New York Times. Participants are invited to submit a caption sure to appear on the front of any paper the day after the House votes on impeachment.

by noon ET Thursday to e-mail your answer to

Tuesday’s question (No. 158)–“Prereq?”:

Clearance from the vice squad, permission from a male relative, a university degree. Which does not belong? Why?

“You don’t need a university degree to become an e-mail order bride. At, placing an Amazon order means you’d like a really tall female as your spouse.”–Matt Sullivan

“University degree. The other two are prerequisites to coach under Jerry Tarkanian.”–Andrew Milner

“University degree. So very nonessential to a happy relationship with a Spelling offspring.”–Jennifer Miller

“University degree. It’s the only item that couldn’t also serve as the title of a late-night, soft-core movie on Cinemax. (Tonight at 2:30: Sherilyn Fenn and Rob Estes in Permission From a Male Relative or Shannon Tweed and Harry Hamlin in Clearance From the Vice Squad. Even if you put Adrienne Barbeau in it, A University Degree just doesn’t have the same ring.)”–Tim Carvell

Click for more responses.

Randy’s Wrap-Up

I’m a little uncomfortable with the way the question invites a sense of cultural superiority. So in lieu of swaggering, I should concede that in my family we needed permission from my Uncle Morty to buy a sport shirt. Why waste money when you have a male relative in the rag trade? Morty made uniform shirts, 100 percent polyester. Put one on and feel as comfortable and stylish as an Ohio Turnpike toll-taker. (Acknowledgment: I changed the name of the uncle to protect his privacy and exaggerated the fabric for comedic purposes. It was actually a luxurious 20/80 cotton-poly blend.) The point is not simply to wander aimlessly through Neil Simon country but also to establish that not so long ago to participate in an American election you needed to own property, pass a literacy test, and be a male relative. Or to put it another way, voting to recommend impeachment in our advanced democracy was that noted historian and constitutional scholar Mary Bono. So I’d go easy on the swaggering if I were me.

Culturally Relative (you know, like slavery) Answer

Permission of a male relative: Egyptian women still need it to travel abroad. But as of this month, they no longer need vice squad clearance to apply for a passport, previously required of those without a university degree.

(On a personal note, had I known that vice squad clearance was a B.A. equivalent, I’d have planned my education very differently. And my vices.)

Glossy Extra

 The British publisher, Emap, eager to expand its young male audience, announced its purchase of American magazine giant Petersen Co. for $1.5 billion.

Which of the following are Petersen titles?

1. Hot Rod

2. Rod & Custom

3. Guns and Ammo

4. Lawn and Order

5. Mountain Bike

6. Motor Trend

7. Truck Trend

8. Super Street

9. Mopar Muscle

10. Corvette Fever

11. Wheeled Penis

12. Max Speed

13. Snowboarder

14. Skateboarder

15. Skin Diver

16. BMX Rider

17. Dirt Rider

18. Sport Rider

19. Trail Rider

20. Dog Jockey

21. Rock Diver

22. Rifle Shooter

23. Surf Gourmet

24. Drunken Bungee

25. Sport

26. Slam

27. Blitz

28. Hunting

29. Handguns

30. Bowhunting

31. Hairy Shirtless Gardener


All are Petersen magazines except 4, 11, 20, 21, 23, 24, 31.

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.