News Quiz

No. 425: “English Lessons”

For Manchester police Sgt. Tom McAndrew, like many of his English colleagues, trouble comes each night at 11:30 and includes menacing behavior, vomiting in the street, and fistfights at taxi stands—three problems with a single cause. But at last, the British are going to do something about it. What?

Send your answer by 10 a.m. ET Wednesday to

Thursday’s Question (No. 424)—”Strike Up the Banned”:

They’re noisy, they’re antiquated, and they smell terrible, and now says Donald Barry, assistant secretary of interior for fish and wildlife and parks, they “are no longer welcome in our national parks.” What won’t we be seeing at Yellowstone? (The Jagger-free zone is invoked.Ed.)

“Chickenpigs.”—Michael Wilson

“The Beardstown Ladies.”—Daniel Kahn

“Wooden shoes?”—John Haines

“Pamela Anderson Lee’s original breasts.”—Doug Ingram

“Those little animated Santas, riding electric razors through the snow.”—Peter G. Eipers

Click for more answers.

Randy’s Wrap-Up—Schedule Change

Beginning today, May Day, News Quiz inaugurates a new schedule. I’d hoped this would be announced during the festivities, from the reviewing stand in Red Square by a party hack. Unfortunately, the collapse of the Soviet Union, and of my own political power base, has made this impossible. Fortunately, on the Internet no one knows you lack a power base or that your hair is thinning. But enough about me. And Ron Perelman.

Henceforth, the quiz will run every other day—Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. This will give everyone additional time to hone their responses, particularly those babies on the West Coast who’ve been whining about deadlines ever since the games began. In addition, it will give me more time in the lab to work on a formula that I hope will be a breakthrough in both renewed hair growth and the courtship of Ellen Barkin, with only minimal dizziness and nausea.

The new deadlines for responses are Monday at 9 p.m. Sunday, Wednesday at 10 a.m. and, due to early posting in Seattle, Friday at 6 p.m. Thursday. All times (and most cultural references) Eastern.

One further point, it would be a big help if you would be sure to include your name after each answer you submit. Less typing for me, more lovin’ for Ellen. (Especially after that court order is lifted.)

Thank you for playing.

Confusion to Ron Perelman.

Old Loud Stinking Answer


The decision directly affects more than two dozen parks where 180,000 snowmobiles cavorted—do they cavort?—last year. There are exceptions to the rule, including parks in Alaska and Minnesota that explicitly permit fat guys to get liquored up and hot rod around. But not in so many words. Well, maybe just as many words, but different ones.

Earlier this month, the Interior Department banished Jet Skis. What next? “I tell you, tomorrow it will be campers, and the next day it will be sport utility vehicles,” suggests Edward “Slippery Slope” Klim, president of the International Snowmobile Manufacturers’ Association—not that his affiliation in any way alters his unbiased analysis. After all, without motor vehicles, going to a National Park would be like going to a park. Or something.

The decision followed a petition drive by more than 60 environmental groups, including the Wilderness Society, which points out that a single snowmobile can emit as many hydrocarbons and as much nitrous oxide as 1,000 cars. But it would have to be a huge snowmobile, like the size of a house. No, wait—turns out it could be just a regular one. Damn!

Pedagogical Notes From the Citadel Extra

“An upperclassman tells a freshman to crawl under the table and pour condiments like ketchup or salad dressing on an upperclassman’s shoes without being caught. Success wins the freshman the admiration of classmates.”—Associated Press

Andy Aaron’s You-Be-the-Pornographer Ongoing Extra

Airing May 20, Playboy’s first “interactive erotic feature film,” an innovation in wanking technology that lets viewers choose how the plot develops (assuming there is one).

At five points in Fast Lane to Malibu, the story of a couple of college guys on a road trip, the audience is presented with alternatives for a turn in the story. They then vote via phone, fax, or Internet, and the show continues accordingly. It’s like chess by mail, only it’s over the phone, fax, or Net, and all the chess pieces look like the busty cheerleader next door, if you live next door to a busty cheerleading academy, if cheerleaders go to an academy.

Actual Example

“Should a character stay at the party and cheat, or go home to his girlfriend?”

Inauthentic and Mocking Examples

  • Should the boys order pepperoni pizza or sausage pizza from the topless pizza delivery girl?
  • Eva or Zsa Zsa?
  • These frat boys—should they wear boxers or briefs on their heads before they vomit on one another?
  • Siegfried or Roy?
  • Should a character have a meaningless affair to help his wife look like a noble victim and triumph in an election, or go home to his Big Mac?
  • Participants are invited to devise similar alternative porn plot points.

Responses to run Friday.

Common Denominator

The Miami relatives, old-fashioned animals, cartoon bears.