No. 11: “Rudy in Michigan”

No. 11: “Rudy in Michigan”

No. 11: “Rudy in Michigan”

Testing your knowledge of what happened this week
March 12 1998 3:30 AM

No. 11: “Rudy in Michigan”

No. 11: "Rudy in Michigan"

Extra--Name It and Claim It--Extra


Complaints have been made about the name "News Quiz," because it suggests a tedious, factual ... well ... news quiz, rather than the witty, satirical romp the respondents have created. So it's time to retitle.

Please help us find a name that better expresses what the quiz is--a playful way to avoid your actual job.

Some early possibilities--"Asking Around," "Questionable Practices," "Jolly Jumbles," "Randy Cohen's Fun Page."

Another angle, the colon and catch phrase, perhaps--"Off the Top of My Head: Topical comedy in convenient quiz form."


Suggestions are solicited. And the best suggestion becomes the new name of the, you know, quiz thingy.

By Randy Cohen

Fill in the blank. At a fund-raising dinner, Ken Sikkema, the Michigan House Republican leader, said of New York City's mayor, the evening's speaker: "People are here to take the measure of Mayor Giuliani. The word I'm struggling not to use--I don't want to use this word--is ____________."


by noon ET on Wednesday to e-mail your answer (


Responses to Monday's Question (No. 10)--"Three Little Words":

Despite growing competition from Barnes & Noble, Borders, and Bertelsmann, the online bookseller is achieving its basic goal, defined by CEO Jeffrey Bezos in three words. Which three words?

(Hints--not "nude Pynchon photos," not "no damn coffee.")

"Garfield for everyone!"--Meg Wolitzer


"Child free zone."--Larry Amaros

"Postage cancels savings."--Chad Farrell (similarly, Fred Graver)

"1) Credit. 2) Card. 3) Fraud."--Beth Sherman

"No sales tax."--Greg Diamond


"Initial Public Offering."--Dan Simon

"Raking it in."--Nancy Franklin

" 'Make everyone shut-ins.' Once people can download yogurt and porn, everyone's home will truly be their castle--moat and all."--Francis Heaney(similarly,M.G. Lord, Bill Franzen)

" 'Steal this book.' No, wait, that was Abbie Hoffman. 'Get big fast.' "--Ransom Gustafson

" 'Eat. Fried. Chicken.' Oh, I'm sorry, that's how I define achieving my basic goal. Amazon's is 'Cyber-cat-bookmarks.' "--Chris Kelly

"Buns of steel."--Colleen Werthmann

"Microsoft at bay."--Larry Doyle

"Whip inflation now!"--Aaron Schatz

"Overexpose OprahBookClub obsequiously."--Scott Lemieux

"Location, location, location."--Patty Marx

" 'Volume! Volume! Volume!' And if you are keeping score at home, this is also Amazon woman Anna Nicole Smith's eating credo."--Jon Hotchkiss

Randy's Wrap-Up:

If I catch your drift, new, ugly Amazon makes ye olde Barnes & Noble look good, hearkening back to the intimate personal service of five minutes ago. In those days, of course, wicked new Barnes & Noble threatened good old Shakespeare and Co.--how I miss those surly clerks and high prices. The lesson: There's no need to reform; just wait for something worse to come along, and you'll look great by comparison. Right, Gramps? Right, Sonny: Everything gets worse; that's my three word slogan. Oh, Grampa, isn't it time for your pill?

Delivered to Your Home in Three to Five Business Days Answer:

As Ransom Gustafson and many others knew--"Get big fast." (Which, coincidentally, was porn star Johnny Wad's ... oh, make up your own damn joke.) The New York Times notes that Amazon is particularly successful at selling backlist titles and small press books. By the end of 1997, Amazon had 1.51 million customer accounts. In its last quarter, it lost $9.3 million on sales of $66 million.

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