On Sunday a distinguished visitor lambasted a gathering: "Please join the modern world. Why are you lagging behind? Why do you allow yourselves to be regarded as leaders without talent, leaders without a vision?" Who chided whom for what?
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Thursday's Question (No. 367)--"Lost in Translation":
Can you translate the message on this Havana billboard?
"Elián's father has no vulva."—Adam Bonin
"If you were Elián's father, you'd be home now."—Carrie Rickey
"Elián says: Come to America and you can play with my toys!"—Matt Wagner
"Your geeky third-grade school portrait enlarged while you wait!"—Andrew Milner
" 'CBS Evening News With Dan Rather.' At least, that's what it said on television."—Peter Carlin, Michael Mannella, and Noah Meyerson
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It's not surprising that anti-Castro Cuban-Americans and their pandering government allies are trying to bribe a child to jilt his father—the toys, the trips to amusement parks, the Labrador puppy from Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart. (Wasn't there a note tied to the dog's collar that said: "If you go back to your dad, the dog stays here. And dies." Well, no. Not in so many words. But Elián got the message.) It is surprising that, for everyone else in Cuba, they use the opposite tactic—the boycott, the complete deprivation of American goods. For 40 years, this approach has failed to achieve its goal. Why not apply that Elián-tempting bribery to Cuba itself? In an early '60s satirical Cold-War novel (The Siege of Harlem? The Man?), the American president launched "Operation Happy Surprise," sending waves of B-52s over the Soviet Union to drop vast loads of American consumer goods—TV sets, washer-dryers, makeup—gently descending on billowing parachutes. The Soviets quickly capitulated, crushed by our largess. We've still got the B-52s. And I'm sure we could put cute little parachutes on a heck of a lot of puppies. And on Julia Roberts.
Puppies, Parades, Toys, and Trips to Disney World Answer
"Return Elián to his homeland."
Jon Delfin's Home Entertainment Extra
My friends and I gather each year for the Super Bowl and food. We try to key the menu to the teams, so for New York, deli; Buffalo, chicken wings; etc. If the two teams from Florida make it to the Super Bowl, do we have to eat dinner at 4 p.m.?
The new ads "leverage what's unique about Coke—the flavor composition, the spice and aromatics, the good memories, the feel of the bottle, and how it adds a little bit of magic, a little sparkle to the little moments of everyday life." With the usual puffery and blather, Charles S. Frenette, former chief marketing officer of Coca-Cola, announced the company's new slogan, "Coca-Cola. Enjoy." Can you arrange these former Coke slogans in chronological order?
* I'd like to buy the world a Coke.
* Always Coca-Cola.
* Enjoy our caramel-colored sugar-water, defeated former enemy!
* It's the real thing.
* Coke is it.
* We've taken out the cat piss but left in the fun!
* The pause that refreshes.
* Things go better with Coke.
* Many of our factories are quite clean.
* Hey, amigo, why squander your pesos on food?
Excluding the obvious (and adorable) counterfeits, these actual slogans were introduced in this order:
1. The pause that refreshes, 1929.
2. It's the real thing, 1942.
3. Things go better with Coke, 1963.
4. I'd like to buy the world a Coke, 1971.
5. Coke is it, 1982.
6. Always Coca-Cola, 1993.
You can't put a price on family; no, wait, sorry—you can put a price on family.