"I wonder if she understands how much her life has changed this day. Mr. Itchy Pants has the potential to make her a millionaire." Who said this about what?
Send your answer by 5 p.m. ET Sunday to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wednesday's Question (No. 350)--"USP Si! ISP No!":
On Tuesday the U.S. Postal Service announced that it's done something for the fifth consecutive year. What?
"Airbrushed Mary's cigarette from its annual Madonna and child Christmas stamp."--Katha Pollitt
"Secretly euthanized Donner, Prancer, and Blitzen, so that some lucky mailman can look like a hero when he offers to 'help Santa deliver those packages.' "--Ann Gavaghan
"Captured a NASA vehicle before it got to Mars."--Ray Hastings
"Sponsored a kick-ass bicycling team. So stop your bellyaching about the long lines and homicidal postal workers, already."--Greg Narver
"For the fifth consecutive year, it's going to let pretty girls ship everything book rate."--Laura Miller
Click for more answers.
For 33 cents--33 cents! Less than the cost of a small caliber bullet!--the U.S. Postal Service will pick up a letter from anywhere in America and deliver it to any place else in the nation--any place! even some stupid place way the hell out in the stupid country, thousands of miles away, like Alabama!--in about three days! Three days! Why isn't that great? A bargain! A marvel! Why all the damn whining? Could NASA? Could (as many of you noted) Shining Path, Slate's fiercely Maoist yet unreliable Internet service? Not likely! And now--licking optional! If you want to lick, lick. If not, not. No way you'll get that kind of freedom of choice from, say, those bastards at Mobil Exxon! There's your precious private industry. I'd say some News Quiz participants owe some quasi-autonomous but government-regulated agency a letter of apology. Oh yes, my friends, a letter.
Next-Day Delivery Answer
Once again, the U.S. Postal Service is in the black. Its $363 million profit for Fiscal 1999, $163 more than expected, means that rates will remain unchanged until 2001.
John McCain's Threat List Extra
Speaking aboard the U.S.S. Intrepid Tuesday night, the presidential candidate named "potential threats" facing our nation. Which of the following are from his list and which are mere fabrications likely to make him go nuts and start screaming at people, what with that terrible temper of his?
1. Political and economic chaos in Russia.
2. China's growing economic and military threat.
3. Evil monkeys that might crawl up our trouser legs and bite us on the ass.
4. Violent expressions of nationalist and ethnic rivalry.
5. Cats that read our minds.
6. The proliferation of weapons of mass destruction to rogue states and potential adversaries.
7. The control of weapons of mass destruction by a really dumb guy. You know--Orgejay Ushbay?
8. Information warfare such as an attack on our private sector's computer grids.
9. Crips and Bloods merging into supergang, Blips. Or Cruds. Either way, bad news! Even worse than the cats and monkeys!
1, 2, 4, 6, 8, and 10 made the list; 3, 5, 7, and 9 did not.
Least-Believable Assertions Ongoing Extra
President Clinton: We'll be together as much as we can.
(At Wednesday's press conference he claimed that, although the first lady would be campaigning in New York and the first man would be stuck in Washington, what they really wanted was to be together.)
Participants are invited to submit similar credulity-straining claims--fact or fiction, actual or invented, drunk or disorderly. Replies to run Monday.
Disgruntled employees, natch.