News Quiz

No. 201: “No-Stick Finish”

Fill in the blank. Ending her China trip yesterday, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright was disappointed with that nation’s position on human rights but has few ways to alter it, says Nicholas Lardy of the Brookings Institution. “The Administration has got only one carrot–that is _____________.”

by noon ET Thursday to e-mail your answer to

Tuesday’s Question (No. 200)–“Boyish or Goyish”:

In the ‘60s it happened to 95 percent of American boys; today it’s down to 60 percent, and a policy just announced by the American Academy of Pediatrics is meant to make it happen even less. What?

“Having sex with Alan Ginsberg. (As for the precipitous drop-off, Ginsberg said, ‘Come on, I’m dead. Sixty percent still ain’t bad.’)”–Jon Hotchkiss

“Getting through elementary school without a Ritalin prescription.”–Michael Connelly

“Circumlocution. From now on, boys will be obligated to get to the point. Immediately.”–Winter Miller (Lois C. Ambash had a similar answer.)

“Circumcising newborns by having members of the NYPD shoot 41 bullets at the foreskin.”–David Rakoff

“Being covered by health insurance.”–Jack Barth

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Randy’s Wrap-Up

There was a sweet and goofy nostalgia in many of today’s responses, recalling boyish sexual stirrings in a nonexistent time without today’s easy access to pornography. In those days, a trembling boy who yearned to see a naked woman had to see her on the radio, and that took imagination. If he lacked imagination, he’d need an older sister whose friends slept over, plus a homemade periscope, assembled at a scout meeting during those interludes when he wasn’t being fondled by the scout master, Father O’Finian. Such were the days. Or perhaps they weren’t. Wasn’t nostalgia one of the things in Pandora’s box? What about Marlboros, handguns, and malt liquor? Were they in there? And a tiny Pat Buchanan? In the box? I remember.

Abbreviated Answer

Circumcision, as you all knew.

Announcing its third penile policy in as many decades, the 55,000 member AAP says there is no “medical indication” for the routine circumcision of infants. While the group does not oppose the procedure for religious or cultural reasons, the new policy calls for the use of pain reducing creams or injections.

Augmented Quotations Extra

Each final sentence added by News Quiz.

  • “I am truly grateful that we are able to bestow this priceless gift on generations to come. And so I proudly dedicate Trump’s Sequoia Casino!”–President Clinton, not discontent with a $480 million plan to protect giant redwoods from giant lumber companies.
  • “There are several inaccuracies in what was printed, and that’s of more concern than what it might do to the ratings. And another thing: I can fly!”–Eileen Murphy, ABC spokeswoman, not convinced that the Washington Post’s reporting on Monica Lewinsky maintains the high standards of the Barbara Walters interview.
  • “Richard Nixon was a wartime commander in chief. We were in a culture war then. And we’re in a, oh, call it a haircut war now, so die, you shaggy bastard, die!”–John Taylor, executive director of the Nixon Library, not criticizing the former president for trampling the constitution.
  • “We are absolutely serious about making this a terrific place to work for a variety of diverse groups. Hey, ladies, pink curtains!”–John Steffens, vice chairman of Merrill Lynch, not encouraging women employees to join a class-action sex discrimination suit against the brokerage firm. Nearly a third of those eligible have joined the case, far more than the 3 percent response typical in similar actions.
  • “We have heard that only one percent of the college population is over 5 feet 10 inches with over 1400 S.A.T. scores. And we’d like to welcome each of you to Fashion Model University, a major motion picture from Miramax.”–Darlene Pinkerton, not embarrassed to have placed an ad on behalf of an infertile couple, offering $50,000 to a leggy, brainy egg donor.

Common Denominator

Youthful erotic awakening.

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