By Randy Cohen
Fill in the blank on this headline from today's Detroit Free Press: "____________ Regain Popularity, Despite Cost."
by noon ET Thursday to e-mail your answer (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Responses to Tuesday's question (No. 82)--"What's a Meta For?":
Speaking figuratively, Robert Hosey, the beneficiary of a new Los Angeles social program, said: "Wow! This is a Cadillac. Now I got to get rid of this Chevy before it gets me in trouble." What is his "Cadillac"? What is his "Chevy"?
"Cadillac: condom. Chevy: color photo of Webster Hubbell at the beach."--Jim O'Grady (Michael Jenkinson had a similar answer.)
"Cadillac: government subsidized development deal with UPN. Chevy: night custodian's job at the Food Network."--Doug Strauss
"Cadillac: brand new Armalite AR-15. Chevy: unreliable Saturday night special. Benefactor: National Rifle Association's Arms for Alms Program."--Andrew Cohen (similarly, Matthew Cole)
"Hosey was encouraged to drop his mild pot habit and start smoking the free crack supplied by the CIA, according to the San Jose Mercury News."--Tim Carvell
"Hosey is referring to the helping hand he got through Los Angeles' new Trophy Wives for the Homeless program."--Beth Sherman (similarly, Gary Frazier and Kate Wing)
"Hosey may have been speaking figuratively, but that doesn't mean he has a wonderful imagination. The Cadillac is a Lexus and the Chevy is a Chevy."--Patty Marx
"Free shopping carts for the homeless. And, just between you and me, if we keep coddling the poor this way they'll have no reason to ever pull up their socks and become hard-working talk show producers, special prosecutors, or guys who arrange for telephone companies to buy cable companies. Why'd he call it a Cadillac? Because he's getting a free ride."--Chris Kelly
Click for more responses.
The question for comedy is never if it attacks, the question is whom and why. Although there may be the occasional failure of execution, I'm certain that all Slate "News Quiz" players intend to mock the wicked and powerful, never the weak and victimized. And even when we assail the mighty, it is only for what they deliberately do, not for matters over which they have no control, like personal appearance or being French. Except for Michael Milken--what a baldy! (And even here, the target is not the rich man's scalp but the rich, vain man's wig. So who's up for a game of toupee keep-away?)
Wealthiest Nation on Earth Answer
As many of you know, the Cadillac is a brand new shopping cart; the Chevy is an old, possibly stolen shopping cart. Responding to harassment by the LAPD, who confiscate 20 to 50 carts a week from homeless people, the Catholic Workers distributed 100 new black shopping carts, bought for $100 each, to the poorest of the poor. With the compassion so characteristic of his department, Capt. Richard Bonneau said many poor people use the carts "as ladders to break into buildings." With the humility more of Calcutta than of California, Hosey, who makes a meager living collecting bottles, says, "I'm not saying the police are wrong. It's the law and all. But a guy has to do something. You can't carry 100 pounds of glass on your back. I just thank God I got my own cart now."
Extra--Randy's Achieve It or Not: Adverbs in Action
Perpetually pleased New York Times film critic Janet Maslin deployed these four adverb-adjective pairs in a single paragraph of gush over There's Something About Mary from Peter and Bobby Farrelly, best known for Dumb and Dumber.
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