No. 373: "Courtier"

No. 373: "Courtier"

No. 373: "Courtier"

Testing your knowledge of what happened this week
Jan. 26 2000 3:30 AM

No. 373: "Courtier"

On Monday the Supreme Court ruled in Nixon vs. Shrink Missouri Government PAC. Fill in the blank as Justice John Paul Stevens sums up the majority opinion: "Money is property; it is not ___________." 

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

Monday's Question (No. 372)--"Stakes Sauce":

Sunday's contests determined that the Tennessee Titans will face the St. Louis Rams in Super Bowl XXXIV. Inevitably the mayors of Nashville and St. Louis will wager well-known local products on the big game. What's their bet? (Question courtesy of Jon Delfin.)

"Dolly Parton's breast implants against Mark McGwire's shrunken, steroid-ruined testicles."—Brooke Saucier

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"If St. Louis wins, Tennessee drops all criminal charges currently pending against the Rams' players, and vice versa."—Peter Carlin

"Well, given that Bill Bradley grew up in St. Louis … wait, sorry, that would only be funny if Al Gore had grown up in Tennessee."—Greg Diamond

"Clarence Thomas' penis. Oh, crap. That was yesterday's answer. Sorry."—Jon Hotchkiss

"Beats me. Does 'incest' count as a product?"—Tim Carvell

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Click for more answers.

Randy's Wrap-Up

To quiz participants, the structure that symbolizes Nashville is, of course, the Grand Ole Opry, and the structure that symbolizes St. Louis is the 12-ounce Budweiser beer can—not the Arch, which was mentioned only a few times. Nashville has its own failed attempt at a symbolic structure: None of you referred to the life-size model of the Parthenon located in Centennial Park (or to the life-size model of a Jew, so beloved by school children, in the city's Natural History Museum. The diorama is wonderful: The "Torah" and "roasting Christian baby" are incredibly lifelike!). The Opry succeeds where the Arch and Parthenon fail because it is not merely a tourist attraction but a vibrant part of the city's life, with a genuine, if regrettable, purpose—as a performance space for country music—while these latter two are self-conscious attempts to construct a symbol. So the lesson is Empire State Building, good; Space Needle, bad. The Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial, and their ilk seem to be exceptions to this rule, being evocative symbols of the capital but lacking apparent utility. However the Lincoln Memorial is not a cheap bit of chamber of commerce boosterism; it is a genuine attempt to honor the 16th president, just as the Washington Monument is meant to inspire penis jokes about presidents, judges, and former U.S. senators eager to pick up a quick buck, and so to unite a nation.

 Inadequately Researched Answer

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I found no stories about mayoral wagering of local products. I mourn the lost clichés of labored regionalism and my own inability to figure out these "search engine" thingies.

However, for traditional money gamblers, St. Louis is an 8-point favorite; the over-and-under bet is 48 1/2.

About 80 percent of the action will be on which team wins, but Vegas bookmakers offer more than 200 wagering options, including Player to Score First Touchdown (Eddie George, Titans, is the 9-2 favorite); the Double Result, a bet on who's ahead at the half and at the end (you can have Tennessee at the half and St. Louis at the end at 7-2); who scores first and who wins the game (you can take the Rams both ways at 5-6). What player gets arrested for a felony during the actual game (Marshall Faulk, Rams, is a long shot at 20-1). The odds are 50-1 against this last bet actually being offered in Vegas, although I once rented an Uzi not 100 yards from the Strip, so pretty much anything goes. And the shrimp cocktail—huge! And virtually free. 

Iowa Republican Caucus Results Augmented Quotations Extra

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(Each final sentence added by News Quiz.)

  • "We've had a record-shattering victory, and I never dreamt I'd be able to get such a high vote total. I have dreamt about having sex with a gun, but that was before I stopped drinking and started executin'; I'm better now."—G.W. Bush is giddy with victory.
  • "The power brokers and the power elite are worried because they have no hooks in me. Calm down, boys, I'm on your side, and so is my gold-plated monkey, Popo: And, yes, that is a real diamond on his ass."—Steve Forbes is giddy with defeat.
  • "Don't let anyone convince you that the decent heart of America is dead. It won't be dead until I crush it beneath my boot heel."—Alan Keyes is just plain giddy.
  • "The kids don't know any difference when you say Mike Tyson was convicted of rape or got in a fight with a tourist. They just want a famous guy to show them love and respect. Celebrities—is there anything they can't do?"—Mike Tyson is giddy with not actually running in the Iowa caucuses.
  • "If they really love him, they will come see him. Obviously they don't love him. Instead of visiting Elián, his grandmothers should get in a fight with Mike Tyson, a famous guy."—Elly Carrera, a Cuban-American, is giddy with keeping Elián from running in the Iowa caucuses or from being reunited with his father.

Matthew Singer's Amtrak Slogan Ongoing Extra

I'm still seeking new safety slogans for the Baltimore-Washington commuter line I ride to work. Actual slogans include "Walk, Don't Run," "Watch the Gap," and "Stay Alert, Stay Alive" and feature little mockery and derision. Damn government bureaucrats.

Reponses will run Thursday and be forwarded to contest officials for a shot at the big prize, a one-month free pass on the MARC, but no one will be forced to ride the MARC to Washington.

Common Denominator

Anheuser-Busch.