No. 339: "Bird in Hand"

No. 339: "Bird in Hand"

No. 339: "Bird in Hand"

Testing your knowledge of what happened this week
Nov. 18 1999 3:30 AM

No. 339: "Bird in Hand"

On Nov. 6 in New Jersey, volunteers opened crates and pulled out pheasants, then, holding them by the legs, spun the birds around to make them dizzy; this is one feature of a program whose uneasy combination of private and state funding is drawing increasing criticism nationwide. What is the program called?

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Send your answer by noon ET Thursday to newsquiz@slate.com.

Tuesday's Question (No. 338)--"Super-standard":

In part to accommodate older people, federal standards now mandate that new ones be 6 inches tall--2 inches taller than the old ones. New what?

"The type size of Kervorkian's 800 number in his Yellow Pages ad."--Michael Koegel

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"The wheelchair ramp that leads directly to Anna Nicole Smith's bed."--Jon Hotchkiss (You see, she likes old people.)

"Tiny, yapping dogs."--Tim Carvell (Dan Dickinson had a similar answer.)

"Curbs. Oh, the fun we'll have watching geezers struggle to get out of the street before the light changes!"--Chris Hammett

"Those old 4-inch magic elves were completely useless for anything except making shoes."--Francis Heaney

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Click for more answers.

Randy's Wrap-Up

Among many native peoples, the elderly are cherished and respected for their funny smell. That's what I learned in Anthropology 101 from a professor who had to be at least 110, kept on the job by tenure and a network of Teflon tubing that functioned much like an actual large intestine. Who can blame him for lying to the gullible young? He had every reason to be angry: Old age is an unforgivable insult. Consider the sex lives of older Americans. (As did most quiz participants, with disturbing vividness.) The elderly are damned if they do and damned if they don't; damned and mocked if they can't; and damned, mocked, and pointed out by the neighbors if they can but only with pharmacological aids or an elaborate arrangement of winches and pulleys. The sad fact of an extended life span is that you get those extra years tacked on at the end, extending your frailty and neglect, not added to your 20s, extending your time in ersatz anthropology classes. The other horrifying consequence of a greatly extended life span--Strom Thurmond's ass. Thank you! Great to be back!

Big Answer

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New standards specify 6-inch letters on street signs so elderly drivers can read them.

"They're just a lot easier to see," says Lou Gerard, highway superintendent of Clifton Park, N.Y., where they've begun switching to the new signs at $50 a pop each time an old one must be replaced.

The Federal Highway Administration predicts that by 2020--and I know a cheap joke when I see it, especially from some smarty-pants highway administrator--one out of five drivers will be 65 or older. And damn mad about Medicare.

Holiday Shopping Extra

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Every commercial enterprise makes assumptions about its customers. Judging by WIRELESS, a catalog for fans and friends of public radio, Jesse Helms can quit worrying. NPR listeners are bland, white, Midwestern, and very, very old--more likely to watch birds than to man barricades. (Assuming that the birds are at least 6 inches high.) Below, some actual sample products.

  • RADIO-CONTROL MOUSE: "gets even the laziest cat on the prowl."--At last, science has taken the drudgery out of playing with your kitty and reduced the risk of breaking your hip.
  • HANDY GIFT FOR A HANDYMAN: "a collection of reproduction nails and the history behind them."--The energy you save by not playing with your cat, you can save all over again with these pre-collected nails.
  • BASS FISHING MONOPOLY; GOLF MONOPOLY--coming soon, Substandard Nursing Home Monopoly, Constant Joint Pain Monopoly, Gradual Loss of Memory Monopoly.
  • SHIRTS WITH FUNNY SLOGANS--the greatest affront of all to the dignity of older Americans, including the following:

    When Did My Wild Oats Turn Into Shredded Wheat
    In Dog Years, I'm Dead
    As Bad as the Kids
    This Shirt Condescends to Me
    Please Treat Me Like an Enfeebled Old Drooler
    The Above Two Don't Actually Exist
    Neither Does That One or This

  • BERNADETTE PETERS IN CONCERT VIDEO: "sings, sashays, and shimmers through her favorite Broadway songs. …This is your chance to experience her famed pig Latin rendition of 'We're in the Money.' "--as good an argument as you'll ever see for the Right To Die. Ustjay ootay utecay orfay ordsway.

Read more about it at www.wirelesstoo.com if you dare.

Al Cloutier's Right-On Chant Against Submarine Service Sexism Extra

(See you all at the big demo.)

Foggo

Froggo

Hoggo

Gog and Magoggo

Foggo Foggo, looks like a Doggo!

Leggo my Foggo

Troggolodyte

Faggo

Fucko

Groggo Noggin

Common Denominator

That crazy Viagra. It's wild. And funny. Like Chaucer. And his enormous yet embarrassing penis.