No. 162: "Check It Twice"

No. 162: "Check It Twice"

No. 162: "Check It Twice"

Testing your knowledge of what happened this week
Dec. 24 1998 3:30 AM

No. 162: "Check It Twice"

The list includes Louis Vuitton handbags, Mont Blanc pens, pecorino cheese, and cashmere sweaters, pullovers, sweat shirts, and waistcoats. List of what?


by noon ET Wednesday to e-mail your answer to

Monday's question (No. 161)--"Rapoportable":

Jacques Rapoport led the search for something "that was sweet rather than violent, that lingered for two weeks, and that suggested a feeling of cleanliness and well-being rather than of filthiness being covered up." What was Rapoport looking for?

"An unshowered Diane Sawyer on a lazy Sunday morning."--Danny Spiegel


"An alternative to the Senate impeachment trial."--Fred Graver (Paul Tullis, Adam Bonin, Greg Barbero, and Greg Diamond had similar answers.)

"An undiscovered type of drunken sex."--Steve Lyle (similarly, but sober, Katha Pollitt; but Pine Sol clean, Paul Tullis)

"Whatever it was, if he was looking in France, he probably had to look for a long time."--David Ballard

"A scent to improve the smell of the Paris Metro. He's chosen Meg Ryan."--Beth Sherman


Click for more responses.

Randy's Wrap-Up

It's a tough position for New Yorkers (as many of you are) to be put in--invited to joke about scents and sensibilities. How can you gain the moral high ground, that lofty crag from which to hurl down scorn, when your native city--what's the word?--stinks.

The best tactic for a situation tainted by your own imperfection is to define yourself as the happy medium, superior to those on both your left and right. Thus, cleaner than we are and they're prigs (like the Swiss); dirtier than we are and they're pigs (like the French). Or as Bob Livingston explains it, my history of adultery is only human (more human than that of those unsinning prigs, my critics), and I confessed to everything the moment I was sure I'd been found out (unlike our perjuring, porcine president).


Fouler even than the odor of contemporary Washington or Paris or New York was that of 18th century anywhere. Late in the evening of Aug. 14, 1773, James Boswell welcomed to his home city his great friend. "Mr. Johnson and I walked arm-in-arm up the High Street to my house in James's Court; it was a dusky night; I could not prevent his being assailed by the evening effluvia of Edinburgh. A zealous Scotsman would have wished Mr. Johnson to be without one of his five senses upon this occasion. As we marched slowly along, he grumbled in my ear, 'I smell you in the dark!' "

Look for that phrase at the impeachment trial.

Olfactory Worker Answer

As Beth Sherman and others knew, Rapoport was seeking a perfume to nasally improve the Paris metro. After screening 500 scents, his team selected a fragrance they named "Madeleine," after Paris' most noisome station. Each month, a ton and a half of it will be added to the cleaning products used throughout the subway system.


What's the Trouble Extra

 Fill in the blank by matching each problem with its cause.

The Causes

A. A coyote

B. A millionaire

C. The Vienna Boys Choir

The Problems

1. Explaining what led to her resignation, Karl-Heinz Schenk said, "The trouble with Mrs. Grossmann is, at some point, she began to believe that she personally was _______."

2. Contemplating trouble on the range, Sam Luce said, "They are in our chicken houses, killing our chickens, killing our barn cats. A lot of the sportsmen consider them a target. That puts the wolf in a bad situation, because he looks just like _______."

3. Musing on the recruiting trouble in the Army, Sgt. Daniel DeMilio said, "You're never going to be __________."


1-C, 2-A, 3-B.

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