Dead Reckoning

Dead Reckoning

Dead Reckoning

Testing your knowledge of what happened this week
Oct. 21 1998 3:30 AM

Dead Reckoning



"An entry in Air Force's Bad Flannery O'Connor contest: A parody of Everything That Rises Must Converge."--Jennifer Miller

"Studies find that up to 15 percent of Americans have retained the fact that the Cold War is over. On the bright side, this is still less than the percentage who think the Civil War is over."--Jim O'Grady

"The whole story: 'Officers are more anal than ever.' "--Chuck Lawhorn (Greg Diamond had a similar answer.)

"Isn't it obvious? It's the story about the recent promotion of June Allyson to squadron commander of the Blue Angels."--Larry Amaros

"Airforce magazine continues to lose subscribers despite repeated use of the word 'retention' in headlines."--Daniel Radosh

"UPN's inability to keep viewers past the first commercial break of The Secret Diaries of Desmond Pfeiffer begins to affect the viability of other shows."--Alex Balk

"The problem of zero gravity incontinence as NASA scrambles to ready the space shuttle for Sen. Glenn."--Steven Baughman

"In its ongoing quest to provide flyboys with high-caliber service journalism, Airforce reviews five new Olestra-based margarines, a k a retention problem spreads."--Tim Carvell (similarly Olestrian, Norman Oder)

" 'Sometimes,' said the wing commander, 'you don't have to ask or tell. You just know.' "--Marc Herman

"Increasingly, the politicians giving orders to the Air Force are full of shit."--Bill Franzen

"The story pertains to the technical difficulties in the new spongelike plastic used by the U.S. Air Force to, ahem, 'clean up' when ejection seats malfunction."--Ananda Gupta

"Mess officers are determining whether to cease 'Chino-Chow' night, an evening of spare ribs, egg rolls, and chilled pickles, because privates who previously complained about waking up puffy eyed the morning after are now experiencing swollen ankles and tender breasts."--Barbara Lippert

"A different kind of 'accident.' More pilots are pissing themselves. 'It's hard to hold it in for a whole mission,' said one pilot who has resorted to wearing Depends. 'This never happened to Maverick or Viper.' "--Matt Sullivan

Self-Reference Corner

"Something to do with Air Force personnel leaving the service for jobs in the private sector because while in the service they can't make self-referential "News Quiz" jokes about Strom Thurmond's anatomy, free-range rug shampoo, and Beth Sherman's coffee allergy; although the PX video rental counter has lots of copies of My Giant."--Sam Coppersmith


"Bed wetting among top guns has increased by 73 percent. By the way, the word 'Spreads' in the headline is a pun, referring to the widely used chenille bedspreads with the Air Force insignia on them. (Tim Carvell will be interested to know that a McGuire Air Force Base rock group calls itself The Chenille Bedspreads.)"--David Finkle

Randy Cohen used to write Slate's "News Quiz." His most recent book—oh, like you don't know.