No. 233: "Courtly"

No. 233: "Courtly"

No. 233: "Courtly"

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

No. 233: "Courtly"

"I couldn't do my current job without them," said Justice Antonin Scalia yesterday as he waved something in the air. What?


by noon ET Thursday to e-mail your answer to

Tuesday's Question (No. 232)--"Summoning DiMaggio's Ghost":

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

"Telltale signs that your teen-ager might be troubled. That and having a bomb factory in your garage."--Barbara Lippert (Andrew Kickertz, Francis Heaney, and Michael Jenkinson had similar answers.)


"Things I'm not allowed to do within 50 yards of Dame Judi Dench."--Daniel Radosh

"Why, West Side Story dance steps, of course."--Steve Lyle

"Ways to ward off Peter Lorre in M."--Andrea Carla "Been in a Coma Since 1932" Michaels

"Chapter headings in Wendy Shalit's new book, When Modesty Fails."--Ananda Gupta


Click for more answers.

Kate Wing's Question Critique

Oh, Randy, this is one of those questions where you taunt us with the open arms of the obvious. You--sitting in a well-upholstered recliner, casually sipping something top-shelf and free of little umbrellas, poking lackadaisically at a morsel of takeout--have only to dance your fingertips across the keyboard to condemn us as we fall prey to writing "things prohibited in high schools" or "new ways to pick up interns." We are so weak, Randy. Pity us.

Randy's Wrap-Up


"The whole system should be blown up." No, not Eric Harris or Dylan Klebold on the Littleton schools--that's Rudolph Giuliani on the New York schools. Metaphorically? Wadda ya, an idiot? It's just an expression. "I can understand why people would pick on it. Because they want to deliberately misunderstand it," said the mayor. "And if anybody misunderstands it, they're honestly doing it on purpose. To get me," he added, except for those last three words.

News Quiz participants mostly associate the activities in today's question with Littleton or Kosovo, two locales that President Clinton seems unable to connect, even when his hand-wringing about teen violence runs on the same front pages that report NATO bombs and refugee suffering. It's a violent country. Who knew? I'm no fancy social reformer but maybe, just maybe, the whole system should be blown up. Metaphorically. Don't pretend not to understand me, the way those robots do when they follow me around. Idiots.

There's No Such Thing as a Free Association Answer

All are illegal under the anti-gang statutes of various California towns.


Betty Loren-Maltese, town president of Cicero, Ill., wants to fight even harder; she proposes exiling gang members--banishing them from Cicero--and coming down hard if they ever return, even to visit their families. The people of Cicero overwhelmingly supported a nonbinding referendum on her plan.

Q: How will Betty Loren-Maltese identify gang members?
A: The town has a list of 600 "known gang members" including several minors. They'd have 60 days to get out of town.

Q: How does Betty Loren-Maltese propose to round up these young thugs?

A: She might consider gating neighborhoods and establishing police checkpoints.

Q: Cicero has a reputation for racism and government corruption. What did the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. call it?

A: The Selma of the North.

Q: Does Betty Loren-Maltese think her law should apply to convicted felons like her late husband and to those in organized crime?

A: "If they get involved in drive-by shootings."

Q: How does Betty Loren-Maltese respond when constitutional scholar Mark Tushnet notes: "You can punish people for what they do; you can't punish people for what that are."

A: "The ACLU says gang members have rights. How about our civil rights?"

Q: Is there something else Betty Loren-Maltese kind of calls her proposal?

A: "I kind of call it tough love."

Prelude to a Kick Extra

  • "This is an all-out war on people who do bad things," said San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown, just before strangling Michael Eisner with the entrails of Rupert Murdoch. Or perhaps he was planning to arrest some more jaywalkers.
  • "Any visit-and-search regime, of course, has to have the appropriate rules of engagement," said Gen. Wesley Clark, just before rummaging through Julia Roberts' lingerie drawer. Or perhaps he was clarifying NATO plans to board Balkans-bound oil tankers.
  • "There's still a lot of old equipment out there," said Mick Mack, just before using a laser pointer to highlight surprising features of Cher's anatomy. Or perhaps he was commenting on dangerously outmoded playground apparatus.
  • "I want to make a plea to everybody who is waiting for the next deer season in my home state," said President Clinton, just before telling newly mobilized Air National Guardsmen that bombing Serbs would be a lot like shooting ruminants, only safer. Or perhaps he was about to announce a new gun control package.

Common Denominator

Littleton and Kosovo.