By Randy Cohen
Fill in the blank, plus.
Manager Shelly Finkel says: "He has really made over his behavior in the last year, and he has done things that will be favorable to his getting his _____________ back. He's working out. He's been doing some charity work. He's a changed person. He has really gotten a lot more at peace with himself."
Who is Shelly's client? What does he hope to get back?
by noon p.m. ET Thursday to e-mail your answer (email@example.com).
Responses to Tuesday's question (No. 78)--"Gag Rule":
"You get used to it, but in the first few minutes it was a little nauseating even for me," said Ron Gagliardo. Who is he, and what made him sick?
"Demi Moore's new boyfriend on working his way through her filmography."--Beth Sherman
"A Capitol tour guide describing debate on the House floor."--Tamara GL
"The stylist on Everybody Loves Raymond admitting his reluctance to wax Doris Roberts' back."--Larry Amaros
"The producer of The Howie Mandel Show. 'With only 12 stations in North America picking us up, I can avoid the show completely if I remember my earplugs while we're taping.' "--Christopher Clark
"Linguist Ron Gagliardo's discovery that in medieval Milanese his name literally translates as, 'You get used to it, but in the first few minutes it was a little nauseating even for me.' "--Jack Hitt
"The obvious answer, as always, is some sort of sodomy with some Republican, pretty much at random. The actual answer is the attempt to read five paragraphs in a row of anything Joseph Heller wrote after the first half of Something Happened."-- Chris Kelly
"The head of the Atlanta Botanical Gardens, when confronted by Gingrich and Lott doing a Garden of Eden schtick in his conservatory."--Cheng-Jih Chen (Jon Delfin had a similar answer.)
Click for more responses.
Cheng-Jih Chen and Jon Delfin were both quick enough to know the correct answer and slow enough to be easy prey for Chris Kelly. Assembled above is a group of people for whom buggering Republicans, Olestra, and Lewinsky are the predictable responses for which "News Quiz" provides the predictable stimulus.
Eight or nine years ago, already weary of endless Top 10 lists, Late Night writer Joe Toplyn devised a pair of cardboard discs labeled with hack references. Wheel No. 1 included Dogs, Ballplayers, Marion Barry. Wheel No. 2 included Complaints, Pickup Lines, Pet Peeves. When required to come up with a Top 10 topic, Joe would give them each a spin, intoning, "trust the wheel," and then jot down the resulting permutations and combinations. It was surprisingly effective, just the sort of productivity advance that makes American television the envy of viewers around the world who've had a glimpse at Joe's paycheck.
But at News Quiz pay rates, we'll have to do better.
Freakishly Flowering Answer
He's the curator of tropical plants at the Atlanta Botanical Garden. His gorge rose over Amorphophallus titanium, the world's largest flowering plant, which emits an odor like rotting flesh to attract the beetles and flies that spread its pollen.
Only six times in history has this species blossomed in cultivation; Atlanta's bloomed Saturday. Since budding on June 12, the Sumatra native has grown an average of 5 to 6 inches a day. It is now 6' 2". T-Shirts are available with the slogan "Our Amorphophallus is way bigger than yours."
Extra: Currents in Catholicism
"Unfortunately, when Sunday loses its fundamental meaning and becomes merely a part of a weekend, it can happen that people stay locked within a horizon so limited that they can no longer see the heavens."--Pope John Paul II, apostolic letter on the duty to attend Sunday Mass
"Sport is also part of that letting off of steam on Sunday." --Bishop Geraldo Agnelo, secretary, Vatican Department of Worship, Brazilian, soccer fan.
"If someone has a headache or some other reason to skip a Mass, I could not bring myself to condemn them for all eternity."--Bishop Piero Marini, Vatican director of liturgical celebrations and all-round understanding guy
"Erotic is using a feather. Pornography is when you use the whole bird."--Isabel Allende, Chilean novelist, not a Vatican official, but perhaps a reason to miss Mass
Disclaimer: All submissions will become the property of Slate and will be published at Slate's discretion. Slate may publish your name on its site in connection with your submission.