No. 299: "What Would Jesus Sue?"

No. 299: "What Would Jesus Sue?"

No. 299: "What Would Jesus Sue?"

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

No. 299: "What Would Jesus Sue?"

In England, a group of 40 independent Christian schools plans to petition the European Court of Human Rights to have the ban lifted. Ban on what?

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Send your answer by 5 p.m. ET Monday to newsquiz@slate.com.

Tuesday's Question(No 298)--"Fair Play":

"I'm so excited!" hairstylist Richard Ferris said Monday at the Syracuse, N.Y., State Fair. "This is the most exciting thing that has ever happened to me." What happened to Ferris?

"He invented a ride to sell to the fair that involved stationary painted horses that revolve on a circular platform to calliope music. He called it the Ferris Go Round."--Merrill Markoe

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"He won a blue ribbon for best hairdresser. Nobody has the heart to tell him that this simply means he'll fetch a higher price at auction, where he'll be sold off to a rendering plant."--Tim Carvell

"A representative of the news media asked him a question and wrote down his answer and his name in a spiral notebook."--William Considine

"Doing a wash and comb-out to a stick of spun sugar."--Sean Fitzpatrick (Ben Heller had a similar answer referencing the bearded lady's beard; as did Ian O'Henley referring to the Ape Woman from Borneo)

"He was touched by a Hell's Angel."--Francis Heaney (similar, but less tender, Floyd Elliot)

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Randy's Wrap-Up

"And Jacob said to Rebekah, his mother, 'Behold, Esau my brother is a hairy man, and I am a smooth man, so maybe I should take him to a good stylist who would no doubt be, as so many of them are, gay. And attending a state fair.'" (Genesis 27:11)

All well and good, but what really intrigued News Quiz participants was the coincidence of names between a certain hair stylist (no doubt gay; they all are) and a giant amusement park attraction. And because, refreshed by my vacation, I want only to please you, here is the uncharacteristically melancholy entry from the 1960 edition of the World Book Encyclopedia describing the invention of the popular ride:

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"The first Ferris wheel was the largest of all. It was much larger than wheels seen today. It was built by G. W. Gale Ferris, a mechanical engineer of Galesburg, Ill., for the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893. The wheel was 250 feet in diameter and had 36 cars. Each of the cars could carry 60 persons. After it was used at the exhibition in St. Louis in 1904, the wheel was sold for scrap metal. By heartless bastards without an ounce of poetry in their souls. You pour your guts into something, trying to create a little beauty and wonder--250 feet tall!--and they just use you up and throw you away. Why try? Why live?" Last few sentences added by an autumnal News Quiz, if it matters, which hardly seems likely, so ephemeral are the works of man, as transient as the mood-lifting effects of a vacation. "Vanity of vanities; all is vanity." (Ecclesiastes 9:2)

Hey, I'm back from Bible camp. Did you miss me?

Fair, Fairer, Ferris Answer

Richard Ferris kissed the right hand of Hillary Clinton, who was not an official exhibit at the fair but was, rather, a visitor, in the sense that someone working the crowd for money and votes is visiting. "And I want to do her hair!" exclaimed the giddy Ferris, "I've always been mad about corporate lawyers, especially when they're pro-death penalty," he did not add.

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Accompanied by her husband, Mrs. Clinton took in an exhibition of quilts but skipped the Freakathon.

AugmentedQuotations Extra

(Final sentence added by News Quiz.)

  • "There appears to be every reason to believe that the police officers acted in accordance with police procedure and acted in a responsible way to save human life. And of course by 'save human life,' I mean 'shoot some idiot.' "--Unapologetic New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani responds to the fatal shooting--12 bullets from six cops--of a mentally ill man armed with a hand tool.
  • "It is almost as if she never existed. If we are not very careful, there is a real danger that she will disappear. Although, as Mayor Giuliani said, the police were right to shoot her; she might have had a gun."--Amusingly named British social scientist J. Mallory Wober assesses his country's reaction to the late Princess Di on her two year deathaversary.
  • "The conclusion I've reached is that no one is doing what I believe needs to be done. I refer, with my trademark belligerence, to gay-bashing and encouraging the police to gun down the mentally ill; well actually, I suppose Mayor Giuliani is doing one of those."--Pugnacious presidential hopeful Alan Keyes explains why he enjoys being a losing candidate in the Republican primary race.
  • "It makes me nervous, because I've seen what these things can do. It is as if Mayor Giuliani had sent over a boatload of New York City policeman to patrol our streets and shoot us."--Homeless Turkish carpenter Yusuf Okul, who often wields a hammer, reacts to recent aftershocks.
  • "These judges have their heads in the sand. Thank goodness they don't have to govern a city because things would be really dangerous. There'd be cops gunning down the mentally ill--you know, in accordance with police procedure and in a responsible way to save human life; is that my phone?"--Puffed up New York Mayor Giuliani disagrees with a federal appeals court judge's decision that even those expressing unpopular views have the right to speak in New York.

CommonDenominator

The Wheel.