The Old Sniff and Poke

The Old Sniff and Poke

The Old Sniff and Poke

Testing your knowledge of what happened this week
Oct. 16 1998 3:30 AM

The Old Sniff and Poke



"The first of a thousand jelly doughnuts, which leads to gravid obesity, which leads to enforced dieting, which fails and leads to low self-esteem, which leads to depression, which leads to sleep deprivation, which leads to another cup of coffee, which leads to another thousand jelly doughnuts, which ... well, you get the idea."--Judith Spencer (Todd Kaderabek and Cheryl Haaker had similar answers.)

"A date with the counterwoman, a May-December romance, an illegal choke hold on her protective older brother."--Beth Sherman

"Stakeout crews with wet holsters."--Larry Amaros (similarly, but with a poignant geriatric turn and a sense of his own mortality, Chris Thomas)

"The at-will suspension of the Fourth Amendment."--Paul Tullis

"What doesn't coffee lead to? It's the ultimate gateway drug, man! First coffee, then espresso, then biscotti, chai, Italian sodas, Turkish cigarettes, existentialism, casual sex. There's a monkey on your back, man, and his name is Juan Valdez."--Andrew Solovay (similarly, Dennis Cass, Leslie Goodman-Malamuth, and Adam Bonin)

"Lots of inane, laugh-track-enhanced chatter. Mr. Anderson was explaining just why he felt the need to 'eliminate' all six of the cast members of Friends, starting with Schwimmer."--Tim Carvell

" 'Community involvement, jazz concerts, literacy programs ... Who needs those kinds of rabble-rousers here? It's the suburbs,' Anderson explained, as he hurled a brick into the window of the newly opened Starbucks in East Plainview, N.J."--Doug Strauss

"A subtle yet acute lesson in semiotics as Starbucks patrons come to understand that the word 'tall' is merely a symbol, with no intrinsic value, and may also be read as 'small' or simply 'expensive.' "--Jennifer Miller

" 'All kinds of crazy stuff. I'd tell you, but that'd spoil it, so just buy the tape,' said the recent retiree and star of XXX-rated Take Out Your Teeth. 'It's a real hot scenario. Us old farts got sex lives too. That's why I had to do this,' he explained in Screw Tuesday."--Colleen Werthmann

"The saucer of cigarette ashes."--Marshall Efron

"Infidelity, as well as an awkward moment with your friendly neighbor's college-age son, at least according to Taster's Choice commercials."--Matt Sullivan

"That little creamer thingy. Ooooh, you can have so much fun with that little creamer. I put a couple in the sarge's hat one day. What a hoot. The boys at the precinct were laughing all day long. Then there was the time I dropped one down my pants. Try explaining that one to the missus! It was all great until Mr. High and Mighty commissioner brought in Coffee Mate to 'save money.' Yeah, sure. I'll bet he's got a creamer in his pants right now."--Christopher Clark

"The slice of pizza, which leads to the cigar, which leads to ... ARRGGHH!!!!!"--Dilan Esper

"If you mean Starbucks: bankruptcy."--Jonathan Snow

"Explosive diarrhea. Or maybe it was that bag of Olestra chips."--Tom McDonald

"Roofies, the Asian flu, TV shows with perky females leads named Felicity, Serbian aggression, the Y2K bug, meteors and, erm, hives."--Zev Borow

"Calling the Immigration and Naturalization Service to pick up Juan Valdez and the Humane Society to pick up his mule."--Chuck Lawhorn (similarly--well maybe not all that similar, but both mention Juan Valdez--Jim Arbogast)

"Holding up hard-working old ladies, appearing in blackface on a 'comical' parade float, finding new uses for hardware in raping black men, oh yeah, I'm trying to find the joke here. Caffeine doesn't kill people: Police officers leading a life of crime do!!"--Barbara Lippert (similarly failing to see what is surely the unique act of one misguided individual and utterly outside history, Charlie Glassenberg)

"One of those espresso high colonics I read about in that Hollywood hooker book, You'll Never Make Love in This Town Again."--Andrew Cohen

"A broom handle up the ass. Or a delicious pastry. Whichever is funnier."--Tim Rogers

"That Colombian bastard Valdez and his donkey blocking traffic for hours. And do you know who has to clean up the crap?! Yours freakin' truly--those sanitation guys have got it made with their union contract."--Brooke Saucier

"If you place it between your legs and then drive, thereby inevitably scalding the heck out of your privates, and you are irrational enough to blame others for your own stupidity (and/or so greedy as to see this as a chance for a big legal 'payday'), then a cup of coffee could lead to a lawsuit, a rich settlement made less rich on appeal and, finally, becoming the object of endless national ridicule."--Scott Davis

"Coffee futures, a notably volatile commodity, especially in today's market and with the Brazilian economy being what it is."--David Finkle

"An excuse to use great-tasting Rembrandt toothpaste. (For an explanation of why Officer Anderson is wrong about Rembrandt read Seth Stevenson's article in last week's Slate. Ironically, Rembrandt was renowned for his dark tones and lack of pure whites)."--Matthew Singer

"The rise of Starbucks, the growth of Seattle and, ultimately, Slate and its 'News Quiz.' "--Norman Oder (similarly alert to the caffeine-silicon symbiosis, Michael Travers)


"I don't know, but Beth Sherman's phone number might lead to a cup of coffee, if she is in the D.C. area. (I'm afraid to ask for Kate Wing's, lest Ragnarok commence.)"--Ananda Gupta

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