"You like me! You really like me!"--Sally Field
"I'm the king of the world and the lord of Monkey Island!"--James Cameron
Every Academy Awards broadcast yields one perfect remark. Participants are invited to predict the comment from Sunday's Oscars that will be most quoted in Monday's papers.
(Topic courtesy of Greg Diamond.)
by 5 p.m. ET Sunday to e-mail your answer to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wednesday's Question (No. 209)--"Noise Is Off":
The whistle, the clanging, it's a good noise," said Dennis Brady, "a noise that's supposed to be there." Where?
"The NBA, trying to spin the hacking fouls and awful shooting that have dominated play."--Matt Sullivan
"Emanating from Bob Dole's new, souped-up prostate."--David Rakoff
"The Mir space station, according to Boris Yeltsin."--Michael Wilde
"HAL's shiva house."--Beth Sherman
"Gosh, I hope nobody made any Amtrak jokes. Remember, comedy is tragedy PLUS time. Such jokes wouldn't be appropriate until, oh, let's say, next Monday around noon."--Nell Scovell
Click for more answers.
Remember the grotesque defense-spending boondoggles of the '50s and '60s meant to bridge the "missile gap" with the Soviets and the "swimming pool and redwood deck gap" at the summer houses of General Dynamics executives? Well, it's back, and it's called the anti-missile system, an unworkable solution to an imaginary problem. It's the perfect program for a time when the best delivery system for a small nuclear warhead is UPS. Not only will the ABM program absorb money from programs that might actually benefit the country, but by taking scientists and engineers away from real work, it will skew technological progress for decades. (Wait, wait, I'm about to tie this into the actual topic.) The one tiny moment of happiness to come from this occurred yesterday; at the exact moment of President Clinton's utter moral collapse, I distinctly heard a whistle and clang. Thank you. And now let's bring out Bobby Orsini and his amazing orangutans!
Romance of the Rails Answer
The sound belongs at a railroad crossing in Kankakee, near the fatal Amtrak crash in Bourbonnais, Ill., said a local resident.
Since 1991, the Transportation Department has reduced the number of these crossings from 290,000 to 257,000 and intends to close another 30,000. Last year there were 422 deaths at crossings, down one-third from five years earlier. The remaining crossings will get upgraded warning systems including, in some cases, gates that block all four lanes of the road. The truck involved in the Bourbonnais crash is suspected of veering around the gates in an attempt to beat the train through the crossing.
Daniel Radosh's Spring Cleaning Extra
If amusing but ultimately unusable newspaper clippings are the dust bunnies of a free-lance humorist's living room, then the News Quiz Spring Cleaning Extra is the rug under which to sweep them.
- "There's a certain value in being overly courteous, even when it's to the point of being somewhat sarcastic."--Rudy Giuliani, admitting that police officers should call men "sir," as long as it's clear they don't mean any actual respect by it.
- "Only one thing would be worse than the status quo. And that would be for the status quo to become the norm."--Elizabeth Dole, craftily stealing rhetoric from rival candidate Dan Quayle.
- "Young children who are enchanted with the Teletubbies and Barney characters want to participate in a nurturing experience. Unfortunately, the children are toppling the TVs down on themselves causing head traumas and other crushing injuries."--Dr. Ellen Crain of the Jacobi Medical Center, warning parents not to let their little ones hug the television. Especially the Teletubbies. Especially the one with the purse.
- "PBS shows are not killers."--PBS spokeswoman Donna Williams, responding to Dr. Crain, and generating the most ambivalent network slogan since NBC's "If you haven't seen it, it's new to you."
- "Loads of pot!"--From an ad for a two-family house in the New York Times "Real Estate" section. I'm holding out for "tons of crack" down the street.
- "A picture caption in 'Weekend' last Friday ... misidentified a man in a Lone Ranger mask standing with J. Edgar Hoover. ... The FBI said yesterday that while the man was not Clayton Moore, one of several actors who have portrayed the Lone Ranger, it had not yet determined his identity."--A New York Times correction, barely concealing the urge to shout, "Who was that masked man?"
- "But last year in October, I finally did come out. I joined a teen support group for gay, lesbian, transgendered, questioning, bisexual and non-labeling youth."--A contributor to New Youth Connections, a high-school newspaper. Is it just me, or do the non-labeling youth lack the courage of their convictions?