News Quiz

No. 172: “Wear and Tear”

A year ago she wore an orange jumpsuit and brandished a torch, now she wears a look of remorse. Who is she, and what went wrong?

by noon ET Wednesday to e-mail your answer to

Monday’s question (No. 171)–“It Grates Outdoors”:

Fill in the blank.

It first happened outside in 1960, and now, frets Reba White Williams, former head of the New York City Art Commission, “it seems as though wherever there is a vacant spot, anybody can _______________ without any consideration of how it looks.”

“Daven.”–Evan Cornog

“Put words in my mouth.”–Tim Carvell (Fran Stearns had a similar answer.)

“Stand around unself-consciously.”–Jennifer Miller

“Paddle Bess Meyerson’s naked fanny.”–Larry Amaros

“Post their own personal ad on a penguin at the Central Park Zoo.”–Bill Franzen

Click for more responses.

Randy’s Wrap-Up

The most irritating sight on a New York street (excluding Donald Trump’s naked swing dancing with the ghost of Boss Tweed) is anyone jabbering into a cell phone. But why is it annoying? True loathing requires real understanding. So what underlies this mobile hatred?

  • It’s just showing off? That can’t be it. That would be like saying 60 years ago: “Ooh, Mr. Fancy Pants and his home phone! Too good to make your calls at the general store like the rest of us?”
  • It’s rude to perform a private act in public? Nope. I’m just relieved that the prattler isn’t cutting his nails or worse. And I don’t mind seeing someone at a pay phone.
  • Who wants to hear that inane chitchat? Nobody. But would I prefer those conversations to occur in person? This way, I only hear half. And how sophisticated is my own conversation? Aristotle seldom comes into it.
  • This heedless yammering adds to the clamor and prevents me from thinking my own thoughts? In a restaurant or on a commuter train, perhaps. But how quiet are the streets of Manhattan? That can’t be it.

I sadly conclude that my anti-cellularism is merely my being a stick in the mud. I’ll try to overcome it. Unless, of course, someone can give me a reason to hate with a clear conscience. Please.

Please Deposit 25 Cents for the Answer

Reba White Williams said, “It seems as though wherever there is a vacant spot, anybody can put up a telephone booth without any consideration of how it looks.”

A company called Telebeam has erected about 200 new phone enclosures designed by Rudy Fabiano, and many people hate them. Made of stainless steel, they are much bigger than the Adco 120, the most common model. Applications are pending for 19,965 new phones in addition to the 32,239 already on the streets of New York.

Jews and the News Extra

Monday, the National Security Archive at George Washington University released a book of previously top secret transcripts of Henry Kissinger’s meetings with Chinese and Soviet leaders. Below, part of his Oct. 21, 1975, conversation in Beijing with Mao Tse-tung:

KISSINGER: The New York Times has had a certain position for 20 years, and it has an unparalleled record for being wrong.

MAO: It is said that the New York Times is controlled by a Jewish family.

KISSINGER: That is true.MAO: And also the Washington Post.KISSINGER: The Washington Post–it is no longer true. (He then conferred with Ambassador Bush who pointed out that Mrs. Graham was Jewish, the daughter of Mr. Meyer.) You are right.

MAO: The proprietress is Jewish.

To learn more about the hell-bound former secretary of State, read The Kissinger Transcripts, edited by William Burr, or visit the National Security Archive Web site at

Race Results

Win: Excretion

Place: Parking

Show: The mayor

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