By Randy Cohen
I give the headline, you give a one-sentence summary of the story. From Florida's Osceola News-Gazette: "There Could Be No Boom This July."
by noon ET Thursday to e-mail your answer (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Responses to Tuesday's question (No. 71)--"Decline and Fall":
Four years ago it went from 21 to 18. As of yesterday it was 16. What?
"The legal drinking age for women if accompanied by the leader of the free world."--Beth Sherman
"Number of testicles a Masai warrior would have on Mars. Increasingly conservative research."--Charlie Rubin
"Kate Moss' waist."--Winter Miller (Kate Wing had a similar answer.)
"The average age at which a middle-class American stops thinking and commits to a financial services career."--Peter Lerangis
"Age (in months) by which Upper West Side babies should be able to speak Japanese, hang glide, and write proper thank you notes."--Colleen Werthmann
"Under Nike's progressive new human rights policy, the number of hours per day Third World children below 10 may work."--Chris Thomas
"The number of countries the U.S. National Soccer Team can handily defeat. It would have been 17, except for the rapid improvement of Guinea-Bissau."--Charlie Glassenberg
Click for more responses.
Extrapolating unreasonably, next year the age (you all know the question refers to an age) will be 14, the age of febrile sexual maturity for the heroine of many an Elizabethan drama. If you've been the parent of teen-agers, particularly Elizabethan teen-agers, you know how trying they can be, with the moodiness, the poisonings, the swordplay. There is a theory that an important function of college in late capitalism is to be an economic holding pen, keeping young people out of a job market that has no place for them. One can only cling to the vain hope that high school--or at least junior high--is a kind of erotic holding pen, deferring youthful sexual activity until the kids go off to college, where they won't frighten their parents. Anyway, shouldn't they be busy studying or falconing or something?
Old Enough to Know the Answer
The age of consent for British homosexuals.
As Dan Radosh (click) and many others know, the House of Commons voted overwhelmingly Monday to make the law conform to that of most European nations. Prime Minister Tony Blair supported the bill; Anglican bishops opposed it, saying the church and state have a duty "to protect young people from harm and exploitation and to offer them a vision of what is good."
Transit officials say they're ready for the extra 100 million trips a year new fare discounts will add to New York's already overcrowded buses and subways. But critics find the transit authority's performance "embarrassing." These remarks from today's papers could each refer to New York's mass transit but, uncannily, don't. To what do they refer?
1) "It seemed to be a prolonged nightmare."
2) "Sometimes you have to know the truly terrible to avoid it."
3) "It's nasty. It gets so bad you can't go outside. And you have to scrub down your inside walls."
4) "It might be cheap, but who wants to buy it?"
A) A chef explains why he made a student eat a raw tuna membrane.
B) A broker compares small cap stocks to land in Chernobyl.
C) A neighbor complains about a large scale hog farm.
D) A pitcher recalls losing to the New York Yankees.
1-D, 2-A, 3-C, 4-B
A trained attorney notes that the more accurate nickname to presumptuously employ for satiric purposes is Nino, not Tony, Scalia.
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