No. 232: "Summoning DiMaggio's Ghost?"

No. 232: "Summoning DiMaggio's Ghost?"

No. 232: "Summoning DiMaggio's Ghost?"

Testing your knowledge of what happened this week
April 29 1999 3:30 AM

No. 232: "Summoning DiMaggio's Ghost?"

The list includes whistling, making certain hand gestures, and carrying bottles, baseball bats, or flashlights. List of what?

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by noon ET Wednesday to e-mail your answer to newsquiz@slate.com.

Monday's Question (No. 231)-- "Ultracolossal":

An announcement Sunday roiled the world of the superjumbo. Who plans to do what?

"In a concession to economy, Long Dong Silver is downsizing, but he promises to continue his fine work under the name Medium Dong Silver."--Larry Amaros (Gary Steinkohl had a similar answer.)

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"Air France plans to reclassify children under 9 as carry-on luggage. They must be stowed in overhead storage compartments or slipped neatly under the seat."--Stanley Marcus

"7-Eleven plans to recall 2 million cups designed to hold its newest extra-extra-large soda, 'The Big-Ass Gulp,' after it was discovered that a printing error had placed the hyphen between 'Ass' and 'Gulp' "--Tim Carvell

"Gloria Steinem announced that in the new incarnation of Ms., fat is no longer a feminist issue. 'No wonder we couldn't sell magazines,' Steinem said. 'This time around, it's all about thin thighs and firm butts.' "--Daniel Radosh

"Superjumbo? Superjumbo? Well, I'm sure as hell not buying Jumbo anymore!!"--Dale Shuger

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Click for more answers.

Randy's Fat Wrap-Up

Posing this question meant risking fat jokes, but mercifully most of you steered clear. The fat joke assumes that the body is a physical manifestation of the mind, an outward sign of inward gracelessness. It assumes that weight is volitional, that the fat person chooses to be fat--i.e., lazy, greedy, undisciplined, self-indulgent--and thus ought to be mocked. Not so, of course. Like most things about the human body, genetics play all too indomitable a part. Unless the human is Pamela Anderson. She's still classified as human, right? After the surgery and all?

Much is made of the modern focus on weight, but it's an old form of unkindness. In George Orwell's 1938 novel Coming up for Air, the protagonist muses on how years of such mockery transform a man:

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I've been both fat and thin in my life, and I know the difference fatness makes to our outlook. It kind of prevents you from taking things too hard. I doubt whether a man who's never been anything but fat, a man who's been called Fatty ever since he could walk, even knows of the existence of any really deep emotions. How could he? He's got no experience of such things. He can't ever be present at a tragic scene, because a scene where there's a fat man present isn't tragic, it's comic. Just imagine a fat Hamlet, for instance! Or Oliver Hardy acting Romeo.

This was, of course, not meant to be good news. But what is?

Massive Capacity for Everything Except Pleasure Answer

Boeing may develop an 800-passenger airplane.

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Fending off rival Airbus Industrie, the Seattle company will invest $3 billion either to build a 550-seat version of its 747 or to start from scratch on something even bigger and more uncomfortable. Current versions of the 747 seat between 272 and 386 passengers, depending on configuration and how much the pilot is distracted by pathetic whimpering akin to that of caged animals.

In a countermove, Airbus today announced plans to build the A318, a 107-seat passenger jet that will pose a challenge to Boeing's 737, a still-popular commuter plane derived from 1960's technology.

And in a countermove to superjumbo fat jokes, the Food and Drug Administration has approved Hoffman-LaRoche's orlistat, the first in a new class of anti-obesity drugs that block the body's absorption of dietary fat.

Errata

Due to an editing error, yesterday's Afternoon Delivery ran the wrong quiz question. Sorry. Those interested can write in for the editor's name and a detailed map to her house. That Global Positioning Thingy--it's a marvel!

Roiled Riled Retort

What? It's a perfectly fine word! What's the problem?

Common Denominators

1) Fat people, 2) fast-food portion control, 3) penis size, and 4) breast size.