No. 218: "You Smell Something?"

No. 218: "You Smell Something?"

No. 218: "You Smell Something?"

Testing your knowledge of what happened this week
April 3 1999 3:30 AM

No. 218: "You Smell Something?"

"It stinks in God's nostrils, and I know it stinks in the law's nostrils, and it stinks to me." Who said this about what?

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by 5 p.m. ET Sunday to e-mail your answer to newsquiz@slate.com.

Wednesday's Question (No. 217)--"Unlisted":

Up until Tuesday, Texan Robert White was No. 4 on a list of 3,600. What's the list and how did he get off it?

"Contemporary plagues, according to the new Renewal Movement haggada. White, who won a spot on the list two years ago in a Tikkun contest, was dropped along with smog, imperialism, people who spit on the subway, and 972 others in an effort to make the Seder 'not quite so long, for a change.' "--Daniel Radosh

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"The Rickey Ray Rector memorial execution list for tough-on-crime governors seeking to be president. Like Rector (of Arkansas), White is also brain-damaged, so he gets the chair."--Norm Oder

"List of 'worst-dressed Texans.' He got off the list by turning in his taffeta chaps and getting leather ones instead."--Jon Hotchkiss

"People magazine's 'Sexiest Murderers Alive' list, which he got off of by getting offed."--Peter Carlin (Tim Carvell had a similar answer.)

"People who've sold George W. Bush cocaine, danced with him naked as a frat prank, or got good and puking drunk with him in a whore house. Or, oh yeah, helped him move a body. I'd say more, but let's wait until he wraps up the nomination."--Chris "Contact Your Pastor for a Copy of My Videotape That Proves Everything" Kelly

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Click for more answers.

Randy's Wrap-Up

Stock cars, trailers, racism, and guns--no, not the answers to the four questions in the Theme Seder I attended last night, but what we know about Texas. We also know football, a narrow yet passionately held definition of manhood, and a cynical and ill-educated governor who'll do anything to achieve even higher office. But if you put "Texas" in the question, you get Texas in the answer. On the other hand: Had he given us the Dallas Cowboys but not given us beer can hats to wear to the game ... Dayanu!

Randy's Not Technically Part of the Wrap-Up

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The day four cops are arraigned on murder charges in the Amadou Diallo shooting, the mayor, with characteristic sensitivity, holds a ceremony to rename a city plaza for a policeman. That's the routine part. But a few hours later, in a frivolous bit of mutual assistance that involves declaring it "Out-of-Towners Day" to promote the just-remade Neil Simon movie--oh, yes, they're remaking Neil Simon movies--who's at city hall giggling and simpering with the mayor: Steve Martin. You know: the playwright, the New Yorker author, the ... you think of the word.

Final Answer

The list comprises people awaiting execution, arranged by time spent on death row; White was removed from the list by lethal injection.

Robert White was on death row from Aug. 26, 1974, for killing three people with a stolen machine gun and stabbing a fourth, a gun collector. Only three men, two in Georgia and one in Florida, have been awaiting execution longer. White's final words were: "Send me to my maker, warden."

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A Personal Moment With David Finkle

I agree with your father about the No Time for Sergeants saluting-toilets scene. I have always loved it. I loved it when I read the novel; I loved it when I saw the Broadway adaptation; I loved it when I saw the movie; I continue to love it. Truth is, I have always enjoyed toilet humor. It's my curse and my triumph.

April Is the Cruelest Extra

If you like your tax tips innovative, your conspiracy theories baroque, and your anti-Semitism classic, you can't beat the Posse Comitatus Web site. Their take on Kosovo: "jewish orchestrated MURDER of White Christians using the armed forces of the U.S and others under the cover of NATO!" Their take on U.S. politics: "THE RACIST JEWISH MAFIA CONTROL AMERICA 100%!" And yes, there is a transcript of the Anti-Defamation League hosted "Second Centennial Meeting of the Learned Elders of Zion." Also impressive are the dozens of links under "Jew Watch: Keeping a Close Watch on Jewish Communities & Organizations."

One subcategory, "Jews on Stage, Screen, Musicians, Artists, Writers, etc.," lists hundreds of names along with capsule comments, an odd melange of minutiae, misinformation, and admiration so befuddling it's tough to tell if the list was assembled by -phobe or -philo Semites. I quote a few without comment.

  • Jakob Dylan--lead singer of The Wallflowers and son of the great Bob Dylan
  • Steve Lawrence--singer, skeptic, husband of Edie Gorme
  • Keith Moon--The Who (Reputedly Jewish)
  • Tony Parisi--of the Village People (cowboy)
  • Elvis Presley--Jewish maternal grandparent
  • Marcel Proust--Second most important writer (after Kafka) this century
  • Robert Redford--Actor. Describes himself as "half Jewish"
  • Mark Reizen--Great Russian bass, "probably the greatest bass voice Russia ever produced"
  • Joan Rivers--Comedian/writer/jeweler/actress
  • Adam Sandler--A GUY THAT WRITES SONGS FOR COOL JEWS!

Surely it's assembled with a goofy sort of ethnic pride, but once it's on the Posse Comitatus site, does that matter?

Common Denominator

Bush ambition.