By Randy Cohen
Fill in the blank. In Belfast Tuesday, a spokesman for Bono said, "U2 are a rock band; they're not a __________."
by noon ET Thursday to e-mail your answer (NewsQuiz@slate.com).
Responses to Tuesday's question (No. 52)--"B, T, and F.":
"Bambang and Tutut, their father is a dog!"
"Bambang and Tutut, their father is scary!"
So chanted thousands of college students yesterday. Who are Bambang, Tutut, and their father?
"Does Howard Stern have two daughters?"--Jason Smith
"They are the Indonesian names for those Stone Age scamps Pebbles and Bam-Bam. Conventional wisdom always had it that Fred was Pebbles' father and Barney Bam-Bam's, but DNA tests now prove conclusively that Fred sired both. Guess he doesn't need to see his urologist about a prescription for Viagrock!"--Nancy Franklin (Chuck Lawhorn, Dennis Levandoski, and Rick Norwood had similarly Flintstonian answers.)
"They are the adorable puppet stars of PBS's newest children's show, Corrupt, Nepotistic Cronyism Bilking a Destitute Public Street."--David Rakoff
"Characters on Indonesia's 'irreverent' hit TV show Bambang and Tutut and Their Scary Father the Schnauzer. In dorms and bars around the country, students were singing along with the catchy theme song to the final episode. The show, about two little kids and their father (a grumpy--but not truly 'scary'--dog, whose voice is supplied by Abe Vigoda, a big star in Indonesia), will be mourned."--Meg Wolitzer
"The specials at the Marriott cafeteria last night. What's really scary is that their father is a dog!"--Fritz Strohmeyer
"Yes, college students--but also stockbrokers, housewives, hell, all of us--jumped and shouted for joy as the news swept across the nation that the Olsen twins (also known as Bambang and Tutut) are returning to the air on ABC this fall. Their father, as the twins will tell you, is Lucifer. 'Not Satan--Lucifer! He is our lord and master. And he often appears in this plane of reality as a dog.' "--Fred Graver
Click for more responses.
When I went to college many years ago ("Oh, Granddad, tell us another of your stories!" "All right, children, I will, if you keep quiet and stop doing that to the cat."), an educated person was meant to know Shakespeare, Dante, Milton, Greek and Roman mythology, and the Bible. And that was just so you'd get the jokes when you did your contemporary reading. When I went to the party Monday night celebrating the 500th anniversary of the William Morris Agency, I heard one gent say: "That Alec McBeal did well. So offbeat." "Yes," agreed his companion, "but the trouble is that now everybody will try to be offbeat, and they'll probably fail." "True," said the first gent, "but if they don't try to be offbeat, they'll fail for sure." Both nodded with Miltonian sagacity.
As a deeply uneducated man, I got the McBeal remark because our contemporary reference set comprises a dozen politicians, three evil billionaires, two ballplayers, a few movies, and many, many television shows. You can confirm this for yourselves with a quick scan of the quiz answers above.
But if we must live in a world dominated by television, thank the lord for PBS, which tonight at 8 presents Orangutans With Julia Roberts. The only hard part is deciding which side to root for.
Actually, not all that hard.
Imminently Retiring Answer
As Kate Wing (of "Click for more") and others know, Bambang and Tutut are the two most prominent of Suharto's children. Both are billionaires.
Other chants include this list of demands:
One, Suharto step down!
Two, Suharto step down!
Three, Suharto step down!
Suharto, Suharto, how cruel you are!
Suharto, Suharto, how shameless you are!
"I would rather weep in a Rolls-Royce than be happy on a bicycle."--Patricia Regiani, accused of murdering her husband, Maurizio Gucci
"Dream, dream, dream! Conduct those dreams into thought, and then transform them into action."--Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam of the Indian nuclear team.
"We cannot allow this tobacco bill to turn into a wheel of fortune for trial lawyers."--Sen. Lauch Faircloth, R-N.C.
"I don't advocate dirty play and have never taught that to anybody."--Pat Riley, Miami Heat coach
forms of entertainment referred to over the last five quizzes
Movies ---------------------------- 16
Television -------------------------- 13
Popular Music----------------------- 5
The Broadway Stage ---------------- 2
Capering Costumed Animals --------- 1
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