No. 8: “Odd Man Out”

No. 8: “Odd Man Out”

No. 8: “Odd Man Out”

Testing your knowledge of what happened this week
March 6 1998 3:30 AM

No. 8: “Odd Man Out”

No. 8: "Odd Man Out"

By Randy Cohen


Who does not belong: Leonardo DiCaprio, Zack Hanson, Billy Graham, Rupert Murdoch?


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

Responses to Tuesday's Question (No. 7)--"Scouting Around":

According to a New Jersey appellate court, Boy Scouts of America is very like a hotel or restaurant. How so?


"Actually, the appellate court was more specific in that it said that Boy Scouts of America was becoming very like a hotel or restaurant owned by Ian Schrager, which, while de jure open to the public, was perhaps a bit 'aesthetic' for today's youth, while the Boy Scouts of America has heretofore always taken pains to endorse a decent kind of foursquare, paunchy, Day's Inn/Sizzler lifestyle."--David Rakoff

"They are regularly washed and scrubbed by Mexicans. (I assume the correct answer is that BSA is like a restaurant or hotel in that if it is open to the public, it must be open to ALL the public, and cannot discriminate against any particular group. FYI: In the 1950s, African-Americans were forced to drink from special Boy Scouts.)"--Larry Amaros

"They all feature homosexuals in freshly pressed uniforms? (Which could also describe, for that matter, the chorus of South Pacific ... but can those chorus boys tie knots or make a perfect campfire? I think not.)"--Meg Wolitzer

"They must welcome and service all who enter. Coincidentally, this is also addressed in the White House intern-orientation packet."--Beth Sherman


"For one thing, at either a Boy Scout jamboree or a restaurant, you could have heard Leonard Bernstein say, 'I'd like a little something sweet, to go.' "--Jon Hotchkiss

"The secret to having fun both in restaurants and in the Boy Scouts lies in the Heimlich maneuver."--Patty Marx

"All are legitimate tax deductions when used for business purposes."--Fred Graver

"They know how to start fires, although the Scouts don't do so for the insurance money."--Ken Novak


"Because it is a 'public accommodation'--meaning that, like [in] a hotel, BSA is forbidden to either 'trash' a Boy Scout or throw one out of the window into the pool. Like [in] a restaurant, it is common practice for Boy Scouts to wander around the room, asking people if they'd like some pepper on their salad. And, like [on] an interstate bus, it is illegal to talk to a Boy Scout unless you're standing behind the white line. And, unless I'm mistaken, it's just this 'white line' that the New Jersey court ruled against in the current matter."--Eliot Wald

Randy's Wrap-Up:

Decidedly, most of you know the significance of "public accommodation" and "accommodatingly public." Disturbingly, some of you (Meg) impugn the woodland skills of Broadway dancers. (Maybe if you'd spent a few weeks lost in the Sierras with only a jackknife and a touring company of Fiddler, you wouldn't be so quick to mock. Although you would be astonishingly quick to clutch your skull and shriek: "Shut up! Shut up! Shut up!") Delightfully, none of you has to work blue to amuse; you just like to.

Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean, and Reverent Answer:

Hotels, restaurants, and Boy Scouts of America are public accommodations offering their services to all, ruled a three-judge panel Monday. As such, the BSA violated New Jersey anti-discrimination law when it ousted Eagle Scout James Dale because he is gay. The Scouts vow to appeal. The ultimate outcome is uncertain. In 1993, a federal appeals court in Chicago let the Scouts bounce a kid who wouldn't affirm his belief in God. Historical note: In 1974, New Jersey's Supreme Court ruled that Little League Baseball Inc. was a public accommodation and could not forbid girls to join teams.

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