No. 77: “Thoughtless in Xian”

No. 77: “Thoughtless in Xian”

No. 77: “Thoughtless in Xian”

Testing your knowledge of what happened this week
July 8 1998 3:30 AM

No. 77: “Thoughtless in Xian”

No. 77: "Thoughtless in Xian"

By Randy Cohen


"In our culture we don't think about it. Or we try not to," President Clinton told his Chinese hosts. Think about what?


by noon p.m. ET Tuesday to e-mail your answer (

Responses to Wednesday's question (No. 76)--"Sir, Yes, Sir":

Last Monday in California, former Rep. Robert Dornan jumped to his feet and threw Newt Gingrich a crisp salute. What had happened a moment earlier to prompt this behavior?


"Gingrich declared that being Hispanic, like being a homosexual, is a sin."--Danny Franklin

"Gingrich twisted Dornan's nipple ring."--David Rakoff

"Gingrich had captured Dornan's flag during a particularly vicious congressmen-alums paintball match."--Beth Sherman

"Gingrich, filling in for the Indian in the Village People, had just finished a rousing rendition of 'In the Navy,' at the annual Wigstock event held in San Pedro."--Larry Amaros


"Don't ask, don't tell."--Gene Cluster

"Gingrich had just announced the results of a House study that found Dornan 'not entirely psychotic.' "--John MacDonald

"I've gotta believe everyone's going with 'he blew him.' Me, on the other hand, I'm taking the high road and guessing Dornan was thanking Newt for walking on his chest with stiletto pumps while wearing a diaper."--Jon Hotchkiss

Click for more responses.


Randy's Wrap-Up

Ask a covertly homoerotic question, expect an overtly homoerotic answer. It is a curious measure of social progress to consider how much homoerotic information is disseminated throughout the culture. A generation ago, News Quiz participants would have known only iceberg lettuce, Cantonese food, and maybe a straight stag film. Now it's arugula, Szechuan, and surprisingly detailed knowledge (or pseudoknowledge) of homosexual sadomasochism. Is it because of video cassettes? Are we spending our evenings eating pretty decent Chinese food in front of pretty indecent movies? Spending? Investing!

Of course, a generation ago, News Quiz participants had neither access to the Web nor e-mail. Back then the quiz was made possible by the nine daily deliveries of the U.S. mail by courteous postmen made of fine-grained walnut. In those tight little shorts. If only I'd had a camcorder.

Rehabilitated Answer


Expressing support for Dornan's re-election drive, Gingrich told a Republican rally, "I believe that B-1 Bob has one more mission to run for his country."

Just Deserts Extra

Can you match these recent penalties with the miscreants who received them?


1. Fined 30 days pay

2. Fined five days pay

3. Fired

4. Really stern talking to. No kidding. In very deep voice.

5. Bare-bottom spanking


A. Peter Arnett, CNN correspondent and co-author of Time nerve gas story

B. Two CNN senior producers on the nerve gas story

C. Personal fantasy of News Quiz involving color-enhanced Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh

D. Two New York firemen in "physical altercations" at Bryant Park Grill

E. Eight New York firemen who "tarnished the good reputation" of the department at the Bryant Park Grill


1-D, 2-E, 3-B, 4-A, 5-C

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