No. 71: “Decline and Fall”

No. 71: “Decline and Fall”

No. 71: “Decline and Fall”

Testing your knowledge of what happened this week
June 25 1998 3:30 AM

No. 71: “Decline and Fall”

No. 71: "Decline and Fall"

By Randy Cohen


Four years ago it went from 21 to 18. As of yesterday it was 16. What?


by noon ET Wednesday to e-mail your answer (

Responses to Monday's question (No. 70)--"Courtship":

Fill in the blank.


At the annual meeting of the Arkansas Bar Association, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas said: "I was still one of those guys who, when I saw the White House, I got goose bumps. When I see the Capitol at night, I get ______________."

"Stopped by security."--Jon Delfin

"A woody. Particularly if, with my binoculars, I can see Maxine Waters, and she's not wearing panties."--Jon Hotchkiss (Leslie Goodman-Malamuth and Andrew Cohen had similarly erect answers.)

"The willies. When I see the Lincoln Memorial, I get the heebie-jeebies. When I see the Jefferson Memorial, I get the low-down-momma shakes. When I see the Washington Monument, I get the screamin' meemies. So, naturally, I don't go out much."--Fred Graver


"A whore to dress up like Strom Thurmond."--David Rakoff

"Lost. I know the Supreme Court's around there somewhere, but without Tony Scalia at my side I can never find the darn thing."--Steven Levy

"Knocked down, but I get up again; they're never gonna keep me down."--Steve Ballou

"Robbed."--Ananda Gupta


Click for more responses.

Randy's Wrap-Up

Now that we've put the unpleasantness of his confirmation hearing into perspective and seen his actual work on the high court, Clarence Thomas has emerged in the minds of "News Quiz" players as, well, a sex-crazed mediocrity. Yesterday once again found him snug among the conservative majority voting 5-4 that a child victimized by sexual harassment at school cannot sue the school if--and remember, I am not an attorney--the principal wrings his hands and says in a solemn voice, "Sakes alive! I had no idea such shenanigans were occurring."

Incidentally, the lackluster jurist turns 50 today. In lieu of gifts to Justice Thomas, I have asked that cash contributions be sent to me c/o the News Quiz.


Dermatological Answer

Goose bumps.

The chill-susceptible Thomas chided critics of the court, stressing his colleagues' hard work, sincerity, and good manners and noting that they begin each session "with a handshake," which, if each justice shakes the hand of every other, would mean 35 handshakes. Just thinking about all that mutual respect gives me, well ... I think those are goose bumps.

Theologians' Corner

(Freshness guarantee: All items culled from today's secular press.)

"If the Lord Almighty had meant men to commit sodomy with other men, their bodies would have been built differently."--Nicholas Winterton, British Conservative MP

"I just hugged Henry Kissinger so I'm already in heaven."--Dr. Ruth Westheimer

"The fish is better than a cross, because if you use a cross, the Jewish people are mad because it's not a Star of David."--Marilyn Shexsnayder, designer of town logo, Republic, Mo.

"This is the Bible Belt, and the number of churches we have per person is pretty high. It ranks right up there with fast-food restaurants."--Paul Howell, resident, Republic, Mo.

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