By Randy Cohen
Anthony King told a NewYorkTimes reporter, "I would like to think that what happened last year was a very isolated incident." Who is he, and what is he talking about?
by noon ET on Wednesday to e-mail your answers (NewsQuiz@slate.com).
Responses to Monday's question (No. 14)--"Two Pair":
Two of these words describe one thing, and two refer to another. Match up each pair and identify what it refers to: Pizazz, Allure, Oomph, Charm.
(Note: No digs at Miss Liza Minnelli. Unless you are Miss Liza Minnelli or think you might be.)
"I haven't had so much fun since I fell off a dinosaur while taking my SATs! 'Pizazz' and 'Oomph' go together. 'Pizazz' is a left-handed complimentary term that men use for women who are attractive and have a great sense of humor and everything but whom they don't want to sleep with. 'Oomph' is the sound that a man makes when a woman who has pizazz punches him in the stomach after he tells her that she's really attractive and everything, but he doesn't want to sleep with her. 'Allure' and 'Charm' go together. During that fretful day when we thought that big fat asteroid was going to hit us, these were two of the names that NASA was considering bestowing on it in the hopes of flattering it into leaving us alone. Now that it turns out it's not going to hit us, NASA has reconsidered, and is weighing 'Large Marge' and 'Loser.' "--Nancy Franklin
"Allure and Pizazz are glossy magazines that prey on women's insecurities about their physical appearance. 'Oomph,' 'Charm,' and the ever popular 'Personality' are what women are said to have when they ignore such publications."--M.G. Lord
" 'Allure' and 'Charm' are the two new men's fragrances put out by figure skating expert Dick Button. 'Pizazz' and 'Oomph' are the sounds that come out of Dom DeLuise's guest cottage."--Chris Kelly
" 'Pizazz' and 'Oomph' are Picabo Street's parents. 'Allure' and 'Charm' are two qualities that Sgt. Maj. Gene McKinney somehow has, that I somehow missed. Who knew?--Chris Kelly
" 'Oomph,' 'Pizazz': dominant genes mapped by the Human Genome Project. 'Charm,' 'Allure': recessive genes mapped by the Human Genome Project."--Patty Marx
"I couldn't tell you what's so great about New York City unless you put a gun to my head, in which case, I'd have to say it's the Allure of eating freshly made Pizazz in Little Italy, followed by the Charm of the 100 mph cab trip home. God, how I wanted to work Saddam into this."--Bill Franzen
"These are obviously the four stamps in the new 'Eleanor Roosevelt, Ravishing American' series. Pizazz and Oomph depict the young Eleanor, pulling a horse from quicksand, making black friends, just gadding about--larking, really. While the older Eleanor is depicted in Allure and Charm, opening a restaurant, poisoning a dictator."--Charley Rubin
"In a continuing attempt to make the hard sciences more attractive to young girls, physicists have agreed to make the following nomenclature changes:
"Attributes of a quark--keep 'Charm' as it is; replace 'Spin' with 'Pizazz.'
"Four fundamental forces--rename 'Gravity' 'Allure'; the 'Strong Force' becomes 'Oomph!'
"Please update your copy of The Feynman Lectures."--Brett Porter
"Snow White's dwarfs Nos. 8-11. They ran off to Hawaii to get married legally just before the movie was filmed. Sneezy and Doc couldn't make the trip, but they have exchanged rings."--Beth Sherman
"Pizazz and Oomph were two of the least known, and most unpopular, Marx Brothers. As for Allure and Charm, they are the last two words I think of when asked to describe the guests on the JerrySpringerShow."--Jon Hotchkiss
"Oomph and Allure are two new Condé Nast magazines. The former, the recently acquired riot grrrl underground 'zine of Camp Greentree, a weight-reduction program for young women ages 13-17; the latter, a bold, men's interest, full-color, monthly hybrid of pornography and fishing articles. Charm and Pizazz are new products. Charm, Linda Tripp's pending line of 'finer ladies' sportswear,' cited the Lewinsky phenom as a major influence in Paris this week, as House of Tripp designer Narciso Rodriguez unveiled scores of beret-clad, knee-padded models with smeared lipstick. Pizazz is the House of Seagram's new champagne, in convenient 'astronaut-style' dehydrated crystals for the millennium."--Colleen Werthmann
"Bill Clinton has pizazz and allure, while Ken Starr has oomph and charm."--Thomas B. Reynolds
"Pizazz and Oomph are two of the ballplayers Rupert Murdoch believes are on the Los Angeles Dodgers team he is about to buy. Charm and Allure, according to Kathleen Willey, are the alleged nicknames President Clinton gave the alleged body parts he allegedly groped. (Willey is an allegedly admitted fan of South Pacific's 'Honey Bun' number.)"--Eliot Jay Cohen
"Oomph and Allure is the Washington, D.C., law firm representing Starbucks clerks who chatted up Monica Lewinsky while she 'hung out' and waited for George Stephanopoulos. Charm and Pizazz is the Los Angeles Dodgers' scheduled Opening Day battery, provided major league baseball owners allow Rupert Murdoch to join in their reindeer games."--Jeff Euston
" 'Allure' and 'Charm' describe that which drove Ms. Lewinsky to the Oval Office during the government shutdown back in the good ol' days. 'Pizazz' and 'Oomph' are the sounds she made as she arrived (she was trying for 'Pizzas,' but with that Los Angeles accent ...) and shortly before she departed."--Kevin Fowler
As the vernal equinox nears, it seems so right that Beth Sherman's allusion to the correct answer wafts onto the page as delicately as a spring breeze and that the whisper of sexism in Brett Porter's response is as gentle as a newborn lamb. Or perhaps I'm being overly fastidious: He might be mocking the pretensions of science. Besides, the days and nights are just too darn close to being of identical duration for me to carp. And your responses are so pleasing. My job? When asked what he did to make the act funny, George Burns said, "I say, 'What's new, Gracie?' "
Answer to participants:
--Yes, I would prefer just one answer per person.
--No, I'm not soliciting topics. As they say around the squad room and the IBM legal department, "I'm asking the questions."
Question to participants:
Should there be a moratorium on Lewinsky jokes? Are we becoming hacks, or are we mining a rich vein of pure gold? As longtime Letterman monologue writer Gerry Mulligan said of his own quite wonderful work, "It's not a rut; it's a groove." But sometimes a rut is just a rut.
100 mm Lite Answer
"Doc," an FDA informant, reported that R.J. Reynolds manipulated nicotine levels in some brands to increase "Oomph" and "Pizazz." The words "Allure" and "Charm" appear prominently in blurbs for the movie Titanic.
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