News Quiz

That’s the Ticket

No. 155: “That’s the Ticket”

By Randy Cohen

“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?

by noon ET Thursday to e-mail your answer to

Tuesday’s question (No. 154)–“Come Again?”:
Who said this about what? “What are we going to tell him, not to come? Don’t come? I can prevent him from coming?”
“Estragon, as played by Jackie Mason, re the title character in Waiting for Godot.”–Happy Jack (Judith Spencer had a similar answer.)“Chinese underground priest Li Kao, on new laws requiring Santa Claus to work from a Beijing-approved list of ‘naughty’ and ‘nice’ children.”–Andrew Solovay (similarly Clausian, but with a little sex, Eddie Haskins; a little neatness, M. Wolf; a little resentment, Steve Smith; a little Jewishness, Doug Ingram; a little Reform Jewishness, Doug Strauss)“St. Peter, about Joe DiMaggio. (Hang in there, Joltin’ Joe, so I can make the Top 5!)”–Andrew Silow-Carroll“David Stern, about the expected attendance for the NBA players’ charity game.”–T. Liebler“Pope John Paul II, to nervous Las Vegas hoteliers requesting assurances against a ‘precipitous messianic event’ in advance of the gala New Year’s Eve 1999 celebration.”–James Poniewozik (similarly, Evan Cornog, Jennifer Miller, Juris Odins, David Kanevsky, and with a little Menachem Schneerson, Norman Oder) Click here for more responses. Randy’s Wrap-Up
“You’ll be buried in Monica Lewinsky answers,” warned John Snell and many others. But just because you can do something doesn’t mean you must. In this, as in everything, News Quiz strives to be guided by Henry Kissinger’s foreign policy–guided in the sense of running away, screaming in fear, determined to do the opposite.
The question was meant as a kind of two parter. You’d amuse yourselves with the first response, the lurid top-of-the-head answer, and then go beyond it to something you’d be proud to show your mom. I figured you’d read the question; contemplate the obvious answer; say, “This I do for me”; and then pour a glass of wine; draw a bubble bath; pick up the cat; and, oh, enough about you.
Even the staunchest Snellians must admit that there are many fine nongenital replies. But in the holiday spirit, welcoming all News Quiz factions, here’s a tip for making your own greeting cards. This year, how about something topical yet pornographic? First, you need a really good rhyme for “Hanukkah” …
Gaza Strip Tease Answer
Benjamin Netanyahu said it about President Clinton’s scheduled Dec. 14 trip to Gaza.
Communications chief David Bar-Illan denied that Netanyahu opposes Clinton’s visit, the first by a U.S. president to Palestinian-ruled areas: “He never hinted once that there was any reservation whatsoever about Clinton’s visit here.”
Struggling to stay in power, Netanyahu may not carry out a pledged West Bank pullback next week.
Sing or Sin Extra
The newly released FBI files, the endless congressional testimony–it all blurs together if you don’t take your pills. Which of these assessments refers to Frank Sinatra and which to Bill Clinton?
1. “Willing to do anything even if it affects his livelihood and costs him his job.”
2. “Evasive, incomplete, misleading, even maddening.”
3. Formal charge of “seduction,” later reduced to less serious “adultery.”
4. “I was personally let down and disappointed by his conduct.”
5. “Fat, round, and filled with tender fruit.”
6. “Disgraceful … reprehensible.”
7. “A fine match for grilled meat.”
8. “Neurotic, afraid to be in crowds, afraid to be in elevators.”
9. “He thrived on crowds.”
10. “Surprised me with its A&W-root-beerlike aromas.”

1. Sinatra, according to the FBI, when he volunteered to rat out his friends.
2. Clinton, according to Gregory Craig.
3. Sinatra, according to his Bergen County, N.J., arrest record.
4. Clinton, according to Richard Ben-Veniste.
5. Clinton. No, no, no. Trick question. It’s a 1997 Beaujolais, according to the Wine Advocate.
6. Clinton, according to James Hamilton.
7. A Beaujolais-Villages 1997, according to the Wine Spectator.
8. Sinatra, according to his draft board evaluation.
9. Sinatra, according to biographer Michael Freedland.
10. St. Amour 1997, another Beaujolais, according to the Wine Advocate , but did you ever get a whiff of Sinatra or Clinton?

Randy Cohen writes News Quiz for Slate.

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