No. 256: "Artifacts or Fiction?"

No. 256: "Artifacts or Fiction?"

No. 256: "Artifacts or Fiction?"

Testing your knowledge of what happened this week
June 9 1999 11:07 PM

No. 256: "Artifacts or Fiction?"

The list includes a paper shredder (Shark 200 personal security shredder), a leather picture frame (without picture), and three pair of Jockey® shorts (athletic midway pouch brief). List of what?


Send your answer by noon ET Thursday to

Tuesday's Question (No. 255)--"Sorry, Right Number":

On Sunday, Maryland Gov. Parris Glendening and his wife, Frances, released a statement that began: "Early this morning, we received a call that every parent dreads." What did the caller say?

"Mom? Dad? I've decided to major in English."--Tim Rogers (Matt Sullivan had a similar answer.)


"Mom? Dad? I'm gay. And now for the bad news ..."--Larry Amoros (similarly, Darren Thorneycroft)

"The good Lord called upon them to sacrifice their eldest child, as a sign of their faith. They later learned that the Lord was making a prank call."--William Considine

"We've traced the call ... it's coming from inside the house."--Daniel Radosh and Floyd Elliot

"First, the good news: John Kasich was nearby."--Tim Carvell (similarly, Greg Diamond, Daniel Radosh, and Charles Star)


Click for more answers.

Randy's Wrap-Up

The most feared (in a good-natured, humorous way) teen news--other than the startlingly high number of "your child was killed in a car crash" (in a lighthearted, frolicsome way)--was this: Your adolescent is enjoying sex and drugs. This is a tricky territory for parents who enjoy sex and drugs and liberal politics. How do you forbid the kids to practice what you, er, practice? The hypocrisy buster? Age-appropriate. There are many things that are permitted to adults--e.g. driving a car--that are not wrong in themselves, just wrong for a 5-year-old. Once you get your adolescent to endorse this idea (and to forget that Juliet was just 14), you've won. The rest is just arguing over what age is the threshold for each activity. Some suggestions:

  • Drinking--21, in accordance with the law of the land
  • Dating--16, in accordance with parents' senile reminiscence
  • Own Monkey--12, or whenever old enough to operate electro-stick
  • Own Erotic Life--18, if attending college out of state; 35, if living at home
  • Own Seat on New Jersey Supreme Court--18, or old enough to serve Gov. Christine Todd Whitman's relentless ambition


Slurred Answer

The caller told the Glendenings that their 19-year-old son, Raymond, had just been arrested for drunken driving, in a parking lot, at 2:30 a.m. Most piquant detail: Frances Glendening's assumption that this is a universal experience.

After giving the little miscreant a sound thrashing, the governor and his wife will throw Raymond out of the house and disinherit him, or, if you choose to believe the pronouncement of parents befuddled by grief: "We will offer Raymond our unconditional and abiding love, support and guidance."

Augmented Quotation Extra


(Each final sentence added by News Quiz.)

"... I particularly want to congratulate the Police Department. And that boozy old fool who piloted the Exxon Valdez--I'm sending him a bouquet of daffodils."--New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, reacting to the Louima verdicts.

"... It was such a surprise that we couldn't believe it at first. How on God's green earth could he think this makes the cops look good?"--Al Ghiorso of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, commenting on the discovery of two new chemical elements.

"... We feel this will go a long way in carrying out our responsibilities to the parents of America. And we hope Adam Sandler makes good use of his time on Prison Island."--William Kartozian, president of the National Association of Theater Owners, announcing that teen-agers will now have to present fake photo IDs to get into R-rated movies.

"... All I have to do is say I am going to see Star Wars' and then sneak into the movies I really want to see. All the kids in my class think William Kartozian is as goofy as a New York City mayor."--Paul McSweeny, 14, who has so little respect for phony-baloney gestures that he won't even bother to purchase a fake ID. Kids.

"... He acknowledged his mistake but also said, 'Don't forget, I'm a three-time N.B.A. All-Star,' which for every 16-year-old is the American Dream. That, and having sex indoors."--Jay Coen Gilbert, vice president of And 1 sneakers, sympathizing with company pitchman Latrell Sprewell.

"... All of this depends on Mr. Milosevic's accepting the terms of the military technical agreement, and abiding by it. He really congratulated the cops?!!"--Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, assessing progress in the Kosovo talks.

Mike Madden's Headline Haiku

Haven for illicit
10-digit dialing is
the death knell.
Move into Web.

--Philadelphia Inquirer, June 3, 1999

(Technology section only)

Common Denominator, Unrun

Michael Jackson, White House interns, Burbank, prunes.

Common Denominator, Run

Mom, Dad, I need my old room back.