According to Justice Anthony Kennedy, it's a place where people "practice newly learned vulgarities, erupt with anger, tease and embarrass each other, share offensive notes, flirt, push and shove in the halls, grab and offend." Where is this wonderful, magical place?
Send your answer by noon ET Wednesday to email@example.com.
Monday's Question (No. 247)--"Does This Look Inflected?":
The author of a new book charges that a prominent American not only betrayed him, but also "[h]is mocking pronunciation of my name ... sounded like a jeering mob." Who is this insensitive American, and how did he mispronounce the author's name?
"Tom Selleck. And he was complaining about the insinuating way that little English guy used to call him 'Magnum' on Magnum P.I. Just between you and me, this Selleck seems pretty sensitive for a he-man."--Chris Kelly
"Aren't we all insensitive Americans when we say 'NetanYAHOO'? Or worse, 'NetanLOSER'?"--Molly Shear Gabel (H Nelson had a similar answer.)
"The author in question was self-help guru Rajesh Ajeerinmob, who should really be less sensitive, in my opinion."--Bill Wasik
"It's Bob Dole, and he pronounced the author's name as 'Liddy.' "--Mark Craven
"Randy, I've been rethinking that 'he-man' stuff I said about Tom Selleck. It wasn't fair. Some of butchest guys around go all atwitter when ladies ask them about their guns. Remember that time you and Gary Cooper and I were having fondue at Hedda Hopper's house and she just wouldn't let up on Coop about the hunting? That was the fourth- or fifth-worst time I ever saw him cry."--Chris Kelly
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A Wang, a Dong, a Pun, and not just a Pun, a Big Ho Pun--such is the provincial, infantile, cross-cultural fun available to anyone with a Manhattan phone book and a cold heart. Imagine the torments of Robert Fatty, Charles Fatone, Jennifer Bigham, or Antonio Bigas whose schooldays must have consisted largely of correcting his teacher as she called the roll. There's Brook Sissay (that's Sissay, like a really rich French sissy) who we can only hope finds sympathy and comfort in the arms of page-mate Gerald Shittko.
What recourse is available to these sufferers? None. Tolerate those boorish mispronunciations and look like a sap. Or say something--You're doing that on purpose! Quit it! I'm telling Mom!--and look like a bigger sap. Hopeless.
Of course, no sophisticated person would indulge in this kind of childish mockery. And so I'm going to make a long overdue phone call of apology right now, to Ms. Helene Lickdyke.
Now we are 6.
Treacherous Back-Stabbing Answer
President Clinton deliberately mispronounced it "Boo-trus, Boo-trus," just to mock him, charges former U.N. Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali.
The pink bellies, the short-sheeting, the midnight deliveries of two dozen pizzas he didn't even order--had any of these actually been mentioned in Boutros-Ghali's book they too would have been part of Clinton's plan to deny him a second term as secretary-general during Clinton's own 1996 campaign, out of fear for Bob Dole, who was accusing the administration of cooperation with international bodies. Bastards!
And that liar Madeleine Albright was even worse. In Unvanquished: A U.S.-U.N. Saga, Boutros-Ghali asserts that the wily secretary of state sought to unseat him "with determination, letting pass no opportunity to demolish my authority and tarnish my image all the while showing a serene face, wearing a friendly smile and repeating expressions of friendships and admiration through the poutiest ruby lips I have ever beheld. Except, of course, for the part about the lips, which look though you may, you will not find in this book, for I did not write such nonsense. Aiee, this paradox makes my head ache. And I didn't write that either. Or that last bit."
(Note: The actual book quotation ends with the word "admiration.")
Ads Up Extra
Which of the following are from those twee little ads in The New Yorker, and which are two-bedroom apartments with WBFP, RivVu, SWM, and ... no wait, sorry--which are crude travesties?
1. Adopt Me! I'm a smart, charming, rare Gloucestershire Old Spots Pig. Adopt me for $25 and help fund ...
2. Swim at Home ...
3. Swim in other people's homes while they're summering in Tuscany, out for the evening, or just sleeping soundly ...
4. Adopt Me! I'm a portly old fool from Hampshire. Adopt me for $350,000 and help fund the whiskey and ...
5. A different kind of Khaki ... price $350
6. Superb Handmade Tie--"Petrol" Crisp, elegant black & white puppytooth. $95
7. Sock Garters Handmade in England--"Sir Ankleton" ... $85
8. Upton Tea Importers--purveyor of the World's Finest Teas
9. Unabridged AudioBooks Read in plummy English accent ...
10. Lighthouse Pin a beloved coastal beacon made by James Breakell in sterling silver $30. 14k gold $200
11. Discrete Unattractive Jewelry ...
12. The Inn on Princess Margaret's Lap ...
1, 2, 5, 6, 8, 10.
Mark Gibbens' Headline Haiku
--Madison Capital Times, May 20, 1999